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Defense to seek continuance for Wise County woman charged in death of 2-year-old daughter

Stephen Igo • Aug 11, 2014 at 11:45 AM

WISE — Defense counsel for the Wise County mother facing charges in the 2012 beating death of her 2-year-old daughter will ask for a continuance of the trial on Monday, the day jury selection is scheduled to begin in the trial.

30th Circuit Judge Chad Dotson will preside over the trial of Brandie Maxine Baldwin, 31, indicted on four counts, including one count of felony murder, related to the death of her daughter, Emma.

The toddler succumbed at a Knoxville hospital to severe injuries inflicted at the Wise County home of Baldwin and her boyfriend, Juwan Moore, on or about Oct. 19, 2012. Moore pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and two felony child abuse charges earlier this year and is serving a life-plus sentence in prison.

At around 4:15 p.m. Friday, a spokesperson for the Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney's office told the Times-News that defense counsel is expected to request a continuance in the trial to at least the following Monday.

In November 2012, a Wise County grand jury indicted Baldwin on four charges, the most serious charging that she "did accidentally, and contrary to her intention to kill Emma Baldwin, a child two (2) years of age while in the commission of felony child neglect resulting in serious injury and/or death."

In essence, the first count charges Baldwin of being a party to the commission of a felony that results in a death, or 2nd degree murder. That count carries a maximum 40-year prison sentence.

The other three counts are essentially child neglect charges of various severity, accusing Baldwin of "willful act or omission or refusal to provide any necessary care" to cause or permit serious injury and/or death.

The most serious of the other three counts carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, and the other two are Class 6 felonies alleging acting "in a manner so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life," carrying a maximum punishment of five years in prison each.

According to reports at the time of the incident, Baldwin told investigators she left her daughter in Moore's care in order to conduct shopping errands. When she returned home, she told authorities she discovered her daughter unresponsive and called paramedics.

The child was taken to Norton Community Hospital, then transferred to the University of Tennessee's Children's Hospital in Knoxville where she died of her injuries. Baldwin and Moore were indicted while in Knoxville and waived extradition back to Virginia.

Baldwin had been free on bond awaiting trial until earlier this year when she was arrested on drug possession charges. Bond was revoked in late January and she is incarcerated in the regional jail pending outcome of the trial.

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