Juror Talks To News 9 About Edmond Woman Convicted Of Child Abuse

Tuesday, October 4th 2011, 8:13 pm
By: News 9

Lisa Monahan, News 9

GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -- A foster mom is convicted of child abuse in the death of her foster child but she will not spend time in jail. Now a juror is explaining what happened behind closed doors during the 10-hour deliberation.

10/3/2011 Related Story: Edmond Woman Convicted Of Child Abuse In Death Of Foster Child

The juror did not want to reveal her face because she fears retaliation. But she said it is important that people understand why the jury did not want Holder to serve a prison sentence.

"We felt like we needed to make a statement that it was not just her," the juror said.

The juror said they decided on a guilty verdict because evidence shows Amy Holder neglected to get 2-year-old Naomi Whitecrow the medical treatment she needed in a timely manner.

Naomi Whitecrow died on January 20, 2009 from blunt force trauma. A juror said the jury reached the decision early on but were locked on the punishment. The juror said three people on the jury believe the Department of Human Services and its caseworkers should also be held responsible.

"It was said last night and I think it is true that it was a witch hunt. I feel like people are trying to cover their backs," the juror said.

The juror said the jury did not feel like Holder deserves the 25 year prison sentence prosecutor recommended. But they wanted her to spend as many days in jail as Naomi Whitecrow spent in the Holder's home. The juror said the deliberation got heated.

"Definitely emotions and accusations and people getting in your face a little bit," the juror said.

After 10 hours, the jury agreed upon a $5,000 fine. Holder's attorney said there are no winners in this case because a little girl died. The Logan County District Attorney Tom Lee released a statement saying "the office is happy Holder was found guilty of child abuse."

But some people are obviously disappointed she was not sent to prison.

An attorney for the mother of Naomi Whitecrow is also responding to the verdict. Don Strong said Kala Whitecrow would rather see Amy Holder spend time in jail, but understands the jury is trying being sensitive to Holder because Holder still has children who live in her home.

Whitecrow is personally suing Holder and DHS for the death of Naomi.