Brittney Pryce, a 26-year-old aunt and foster mom from Broken Bow, Nebraska, will have to wait until November to learn how she will be spending at least the next 20 years of her life, after a jury in Custer County wrapped up an eight-day trial by taking only 90 minutes to convict her in the child abuse death of her 21-month-old nephew, Noah Pryce, who was also in her foster care, according to a report in The Sand Hills Express newspaper.
When she finally called 911 on November 17, 2013 — a full 17 minutes after she found little Noah unresponsive — and police showed up at her home, she told them that the toddler had slipped in a bathtub and struck his head.
In fact, in August of last year when Pryce’s lawyer Stephen Potter asked the court to delay Brittney’s trial, he claimed that Noah had indeed fallen in a bathtub a few days before the little boy passed away — and that injuries from the fall are what led to the tragedy, according to a report by The Kearney Hub newspaper.
26 year old Brittney Pryce was found guilty of intentional child abuse resulting in death of 21 month old Noah Prycehttps://t.co/3xdQZEtart
— Amy Kauffman (@amykauffmanTV) August 31, 2016
But according to what prosecutors told the jury on Wednesday, before sending the 12 jurors into deliberations, Brittney Pryce “snapped” and deliberately caused those fatal injuries herself — in a “moment of rage” caused by the stress of caring for three young children, and being pregnant at the same time, with a husband who was often not home.
“She was eight months pregnant, admittedly was not sleeping, her husband was never there. And she just snapped,” said prosecutor William Tangeman, in his closing statement summing up the case. “Losing it for one minute did this to Noah. She probably is a good person. But sometimes nice people do bad things.”
An autopsy on Noah Pryce showed that the toddler’s injuries could not have been caused by a simple slip in the bathtub. The little boy not only had a fractured skull, he suffered numerous bruises and an injury to his spine.
Pryce, then 23, was arrested in March of 2014, along with her the-50-year-old mother, Diane Hill. They were charged with second-degree murder as child abuse resulting in death. But all charges against Hill were dropped in July of 2014, along with the second-degree murder charge against Brittney Pryce, leaving only the charge of child abuse resulting in death.
The following video news report from the time of the arrest contains further details on the case.
Brittney Price and her husband, RJ Price, agreed to take Noah and his brother, both of whom were wards of the state, in as foster children, in addition to their own child and second one on the way, because “it was something we knew we had to do,” Brittney said on the witness stand during her trial. “They needed to be in a safe home with structure.”
Veronica Aguilar: L.A. Mom Starved 11-Year-Old Son To Death, Horrifying Murder Charge Says — Boy Stuffed In Closet
Jessica Smith: Mom Who Drowned Her 2-Year-Old Girl Avoids Death Penalty, Also Slashed Teen Daughter’s Throat
Katlyn Marin: Mom Murdered Daughter Brielle, Tried Framing Lover Then Ordered Him Killed, Prosecutors Say
Alyssa Garcia: Mom, 27, And Teen Lover Burned Her 4-Year-Old Boy’s Body To Conceal Horrifying Abuse
Rachel Bostian: Friend Helped 5-Year-Old’s Mom Beat Boy To Death Because Child Was Hungry, Charges Say
Ryan Alan Reed And Allison Ann Clement: Mom, Dad In Day Care Horror, Stomped 2-Year-Old To Death
Tami Huntsman: Mom Charged In Horrifying Torture, Murder Of 2 Small Children Will Face Death Penalty
Britney Mayes: Pregnant Mom Held In ‘Blunt Force’ Murder Of Her 4-Year-Old — Got Child Back After Fracturing Girl’s Skull
Noah’s biological father, Christopher Harding, had been told that he was not actually Noah’s father. But when a paternity test proved that Noah was indeed his son, he began the process of setting up legal visitation rights.
His first visit was November 18 — the day after Noah suffered the injuries that would claim his life five days later.
“I am thankful I got to be by my son’s side the last days of his life,” Harding said. “I’m just glad we got justice for Noah today.”
The following video was compiled by Noah Pryce’s family members in memory of the little boy.
Price had also claimed that when she found Noah unresponsive she tried to call 911 right away, but no one picked up on the other end. She then attempted to call her mother, needing “four or five tries” before connecting, prosecutors said. Only after reaching her mother did she call 911 and summon rescuers to her home to rush Noah to a nearby hospital.
A judge revoked bond on Brittney Pryce after the jury came back with its guilty verdict. She is now behind bars and when she is sentenced on November 10 could face between 20 years and life in prison.
[Featured Photos By Nebraska State Police, Justice For Noah Facebook Page]