Criminal Charges Uncovered For Woman Said To Be Caring For Bass-Lesure's Foster Children
Jon Jordan, News 9
EDMOND, Oklahoma -- Judge Tammy Bass-Lesure and her husband Karlos were charged Friday with 36 felony counts for taking money from the state to care for two foster children that did not live with them. They allegedly gave the twins to the sister of the judge's bailiff.
News 9 had been gathering more details about the bailiff's sister and the twins' birth mother.
Ravonda Latrice Edwards, is facing several criminal charges in addition to being an identified as a suspect in an arson case in the felony court documents against Judge Tammy Bass-LaSure.
Almost all the criminal charges against Edwards stem from an incident that occurred on January 7, during the same time prosecutors say she was caring for the twin babies thought to be living with Judge LeSure.
Court documents show Edwards is being charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, kidnapping and a charge of causing malicious injury. She was also charged with a first-degree burglary charge in July.
Kapri Whitehead, the twins' birth mother, said she wanted to keep her babies, but was constantly pressured to give them up to Judge Bass-Lesure by Edwards, who worked at DHS at the time. Whitehead said she never could understand why Edwards was so persistent until now.
"Ravonda was like interceding for us. You know she would, if I talk to her then she would go tell judge and the judge would talk to her and she would call me. She was like the middle woman," said Whitehead.
Whitehead said it started three years ago when Bass-LeSure and Edwards began trying to get her to hand over her parental rights. She said they were willing to do anything and everything to make it happen.
"Ravonda came and picked me up and took me to pay a fine that I had, just you know, to show in good faith ‘Look, anything else you need us to do…' Just so I could relinquish," said Whitehead.
Whitehead said she wanted her kids, but was barely able to take care of herself at the time, so she allowed her kids to be adopted. However, she said it was not only because she thought it was best, but because she felt intimidated by Judge Bass-Lesure.
"She took me through the ringer. She took me through all this mess. All this type of stuff from my past resurfaced and I didn't even know nothing about it. And I know that was her doing. I know that was her making me look bad in court," said Whitehead. "She's going to get hers, despite what happens in the court when the trial does happens, you know the Lord will deal with her in her own. He's gonna deal with her."
Whitehead was notified in July her kids had officially been adopted. She hopes the charges filed against Judge Bass-Lesure and her husband will allow her to get her kids back.
News 9 tried going to the latest known address for Edwards for comment but no one was home. Judge Bass-LeSure was also contacted by phone but she denied comment. News 9 also went to the home of the Judge Bass-LeSure's bailiff and Edward's sister but they also refused comment.