An Ohio boy asked a judge to keep his mom in prison because he is afraid of her. Bradyn Smith was 4 when his mother stabbed his father through the heart with a knife. Robert Takach was holding the unmarried couple’s infant daughter when he was killed, according to the boy also known as Bradyn Takach.
Bradyn Smith said his father has placed him in time-out and his mother, Shannon Smith, got angry. The boy, now 10, said he heard his parents fighting, and then he saw his dad shove his mom. After the physical altercation, Smith grabbed a knife, drove it into Takach’s chest, and then tossed the murder weapon into the sink, according to the boy’s memory.
Robert Takach, 25, died at the hospital a short time later, MSN reports. Shannon Smith, now 29, was convicted on voluntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence charges in a Warren County court. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Murder charges initially levied against the Ohio woman were ultimately dropped.
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Smith requested early release from prison, and a hearing was held on the matter yesterday. When the paternal grandmother of Bradyn Smith told him that his mother could be getting out of jail early, he reportedly cried in her lap for an hour and asked to speak to the judge, a Washington Post report said.
The court encouraged Bradyn Smith to write a letter to the judge instead of appearing on the witness stand at the hearing.
Below is an excerpt from the letter the Ohio boy wrote asking the judge to keep his mother in jail.
“Dear Judge Peeler: I feel that my mom should stay in prison because I seen [saw] her stab my dad clean through the heart with my sister in his arms. Life for me would be 10 times better if mom didn’t kill my dad because that took a big amount of happiness out of mine and my sister’s life.”
During the hearing, the judge heard the letter read and then set Shannon Smith’s release date for December 2016. After spending only seven years in prison, the Warren County mom will be placed on community control for three years and spend her first year out of a prison cell on house arrest.
“We’re happy that the decision was made to let her out early,” Smith’s attorney, Charlie Rittgers, said. “We know it was a difficult decision for everyone involved. Hopefully she can start to mend her relationships and reunite with her children.”
Patty Todd, the mother of Robert Takach, told the media that she is still in a state of shock after hearing the early release ruling.
“The judge said she needed to be out to be there for her children — but her children are afraid of her,” Todd added. “She took a life in front of her children. The court just disregarded the children’s lives, my son’s life.”
Shannon Smith and Robert Takach reportedly had a tumultuous relationship. The couple had known each other since they were children and had a baby of their own in 2004 and moved in together. In 2007, the couple had a second child, Brooklyn. Violence and drugs continued to be a problem for the Ohio couple, with Takach being ordered into rehab in 2008, according to a 2011 court opinion.
After spending three months in a rehabilitation program, Robert Takach returned to the home of his family. But, during his time in treatment, Shannon had decided to move on with her life and was pregnant by another man. Smith said that when Takach showed up at the home with his belongings in January 2009, she allowed him to stay for the day so that he could spend some time with his children.
“Smith did not want Takach to move back in, because she wanted to start a new life,” an opinion from now-retired Judge William Young explained. “However, she did not ‘say anything because [she] didn’t want there to be a problem’ and so she agreed to let Takach stay for a day so he could spend some time with their children.”
— Lindsey Bever (@lindseybever) November 4, 2015
Robert Takach and Shannon Smith began arguing later that day inside the Dayton area apartment. Smith told police investigators that the father of her children began pushing her on the stomach and asking how she could “do this to him.”
According to Smith, he then grabbed her throat and, being unable to breathe, could not tell him to stop. She claims she pulled the knife in self-defense and swung it intending to cut his arm. When police officers arrived at the scene, Bradyn Smith said that his “mommy stabbed his daddy and put the knife in the sink.”
Attorney Rittgers said the jury found that the killing was the result of a “serious provocation” and viewed the physical altercation as a mitigating factor and not an excuse. The lawyer said she has spent every day behind bars thinking about what she did and maintains that she will continue to think about her “wrongdoing” until the day she dies.
Takach’s relatives do not think that justice is served by granting the early release and feel the family should get the justice handed out by the court. In their opinion, Smith should serve her full sentence.
Patty Todd also had this to say about the Shannon Smith early release.
“She knew when she did this it would devastate the people who once loved her. She did it to her children. She did it to her family. In another five years, Bradyn will be 15; Brooklynn will be 13. They’ll be older and better able to handle the situation. They’re afraid of her, and I don’t want them to have to go through that.”
The letter from the boy who asked the judge to keep his mom in prison also referenced memories of time spent with his dad and the memories he feels he would have made if his mother had not stabbed him in the heart.
“I think it would be better for me and my sister if my mom would stay in prison. because I am afraid of her because I have seen what she did to my dad,” Bradyn Takach said.
Rittgers said that when Bradyn is with Shannon Smith’s family, he shares a different sentiment about his mother. The attorney said that the boy is nervous but has also told the relatives that he is excited to see his mother. Smith’s father, Michael Smith, also sent a letter to the judge and said the children have gone long enough with being held, kissed, or hugged by a parent. Her mother, Wendy Geis, said she does not believe what her daughter did was intentional and nothing can now be done to change what happened on that January day.
What do you think about the boy asking the judge to keep his mom in jail because he is afraid of her and the ruling by the court in the case?
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