Two children died in an apartment fire while their mother was not home. Is this a tragedy or negligent homicide? A jury will have to decide, as Danielle Brockman faces charges of child abuse leading to death following just such an incident on October 30. Brockman has not secured the services of an independent Colorado criminal defense attorney, but has rather been assigned a public defender, who will no doubt do their best to ensure that her rights are seen to during the trial.
Details are somewhat sketchy at this point, as they tend to be this early in the case, but the 22-year old mother was not at home when the fire broke out; both of the children were rescued, but one died en route to the hospital and the other died at the hospital two days later. Brockman was arrested by police on suspicion of child abuse leading to death. She waived her preliminary hearing and is being held over for trial.
Whether Brockman is indeed guilty of negligence or child abuse will be for the courts to decide, and her criminal defense attorney to argue. There is one thing, however, upon which we all can agree, regardless of whether you are a lay person, a district attorney, or a Colorado criminal defense attorney. Whenever children die, it’s a horrible tragedy and a great loss to our society. It becomes very easy to make these sorts of cases about laying blame for the death. We shouldn’t forget, as a whole society, to mourn the loss of these innocents. Sometimes in a greater sense that’s more important than determining who is responsible. A tragedy is a tragedy, and even if it’s fatal, an accident doesn’t always equate to abuse.