The child abuse case referred to as one of the most egregious in recent years just fell short of a trial in Major County. A judge dismissed the charges against 27-year-old Cody King, seven years after the crime — and mere days before his trial was set to begin.
In April 2012, 20-month-old Braylee Hinkle arrived to the hospital with countless bruises, broken arms, ribs, and legs.
Doctors said the injuries were so severe that the child would likely never walk again.
The investigation quickly pointed to the child’s mother, Kayla Pollock, 25, and her mother’s boyfriend, Cody King.
Major County court records state that the child was abused while in the care of Pollock and King.
Prosecutors charged the couple with felony child abuse in 2012 and so began the state’s lengthy pursuit of justice.
In 2015, the child’s mother made a deal with the state. Pollock pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of omitting to provide care for her child. She received a 5-year deferred sentence, according to court records.
The state’s case against King would prove to be more challenging with multiple issues and delays.
None of that prepared the victim’s family for the case to to be dismissed within days of the highly-anticipated trial on March 4.
“Our justice system is so broken... how in the world could this happen after all of this time?” said Sheila Thompson, the child’s paternal grandmother.
The defense raised issues with discovery in the case in early February. The case was dismissed on Feb. 26.
“This case has been postponed for years while the person who hurt her (Braylee) has never spent one day in jail,” Thompson said,” he will hurt another innocent child.. such a shame.”
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Thompson said she and prosecutors are already planning to appeal the judge’s decision.
Thompson says she has to keep fighting just as her granddaughter fought to live. Braylee Hinkle defied all odds — she can walk and even dance like other 7-year-olds.
Still, Thompson fears it won’t be long before her granddaughter will be old enough to understand that the system failed to deliver her justice.