Do you know what I hate? Well, most things really but I have something specific in mind today. I hate just about any ‘Free Whoever’ movements when the evidence clearly showed that the person who they want free has no business being free. For example my opposition to the “Free Mumia” movement is well documented.
So I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with bad parenting or child abuse. Well, another case of people wanting to free a convicted criminal has been brought to my attention. It seems there is a movement to free one Hannah Overton. Who is Hannah Overton you ask? Let me tell you.
At the age of two Andrew Burd was placed into foster care. He lived for 18 months with Sharon Hamil. Ms. Hamil is a widow with grown children who took very good care of Andrew and never had any behavioral or medical problems with him. However she felt that Andrew would do better in a two parent household. This is where the Overtons stepped in. They took Andrew into what on the surface seemed like an ideal household. They were a religious family with 4 children of their own. But as we all know religion doesn’t mean squat when it comes to bad parenting.
In May of 2006 Andrew had a medical exam that was required by social services. The doctor who examined Andrew found him to be totally healthy. The Overtons then started the procedure to adopt Andrew.
Later that year it is claimed that Andrew had a voracious apeteite and was constantly overeating. This is where things started to go wrong for Andrew.
Hannah Overtin and her supporters claim that while Andrew was on one of his eating binges Hannah sprinkled a small amount of Zatarain’s seasoning into his sippy cup with water to get him to stop eating. Allegedly that plan backfired and Andrew enjoyed the taste of it. Later that night Andrew started to have respiratory problems, flu like symptoms, and started vomiting. Hannah, who was studying to be an EMT and LVN, did not call 911. Rather than doing that she made some phone calls, looked up ‘shock’ in her EMT book, then finally, 90 minutes later, took Andrew not to an emergency room but an urgent care clinic. From the urgent care Andrew was taken to the hospital. Unfortunately Andrew did not survive.
When the autopsy was performed the cause of death was ruled as sodioum poisoning with a secondary factor of blunt force trauma. Hospiatl workrers also noticed bruising in his body and an untreated wound on his arm that was consistent with a burn. The Overtons were arrested for Andrew’s death.
During the investigation one of the Overtons biological children told police that Hannah Overton would use pepper as a form of punishment and that Hannah would watch over Andrew with a security cam. One might assume that since she was using a security cam they she may have been locking Andrew in the room, the same room where it was alleged that Andrew was forced to sleep on a piece of plywood.
Larry Overton cut a deal that kept him out of prison to care for his other kids. Hannah went to trial and was convicted of Andrew’s murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
As with most of these movements thay have a website that allegedly outlines all the ways that Hannah Overton is ‘innocent’. I’m not going to link to them because they don’t deserve the traffic. However check out what they say about the accusation that Hannah Overton used pepper as a form of punishment…
Lie: Hannah regularly forced spices down her children’s throats
Truth: Nether I or the leadership of Calvary Chapel have ever told anyone how to specifically discipline their children as was a rumor on the blogs and reported by TV stations in CC. Instead of soap (which is common,) “Focus on the Family” recommends Tabasco sauce on the tongue when a child cusses or lies. Reasoning, soap is toxic and Tabasco sauce is a food substance and much safer. A respected friend of Hannah’s recommended one fleck of “Pizza Hut” pepper (again a food substance) on the tongue when a child lied or cussed. This has nothing to do with the Zaterain’s seasoning and was never been used as discipline on Andrew or any of the younger children. Confusion arose with the term “pepper” because the families’ favorite drink is Dr. Pepper and is referred to as Pepper by the whole family.
Seriously, that’s the best you can come up with? A 1/4 teaspon of Zataran’s contains 240mg of salt. For the amount of sodium that was found in Andrew’s body he would have to have ingested 10 times that amount. Yet they say the kid who talked to police must have been confused with Dr. Pepper
Here’s what they say about the blunt force trauma…
Lie: Hannah beat Andrew on the head causing blunt force head trauma
Truth: No doctor reported any bruising on the scalp prior to the autopsy. Even in the autopsy there was no bruising on the scalp but only underneath it. A medical examiner from San Francisco , top graduate from Harvard explained that this would be a result of the high sodium in his blood and his bloods inability to clot. Turns out I rubbed his head all day in the hospital and even this could have caused his sub-skin bruising.
At least they didn’t go with the ‘he walked into a table’ defense we see so much. Blunt force trauma doesn’t always produce a bruise. As many times as I’ve had concussions none of them bruised the skin.
But their main argument seems to be why would she abuse a child that she could just give back? Apparently they don’t read this site much. I can cite several stories on this website alone where foster children had been abused to the point of death. There doesn’t have to be a reason but the main reason is usually greed with some foster parents collecting government money.
As with most of these movements there have been an ongoing number of appeals to try and get this convicted killer turned loose. If you want to help you can send correspondence in support of Hannah’s conviction to…
13th Court of Appeals: Corpus Christi Site Nueces County Courthouse
901 Leopard, 10th Floor,
Corpus Christi, Texas
They can be reached by phone at (361) 888-0416 or by fax at (361) 888-0794. Or you can send them an e-mail here.
When contacting them please be professional and courteous.
I’ll be updating this story as more details become available.
You can also check out Lost in Lima Ohio for another take on it.