Thursday, January 4, 2018

Parents Charged in Baby’s Death


The parents of a deceased three-week old girl were charged last week in Sequoyah County District Court, Sallisaw, with the baby’s death.

The mother, Bretta Workman, 26, was charged with murder in the second degree or, in the alternative, second-degree manslaughter. She entered a not guilty plea to the charge on Dec. 27, and on Wednesday the court agreed she could not afford an attorney and agreed to appoint one. She was being held in the Sequoyah County Jail without bond.

The father, Jacob Colby Henning, 31, was charged with felony child neglect. He entered a not guilty plea to the charge on Dec. 27. He was released from the county jail on Dec. 21 on a $5,000 bond.

According to the investigator’s report filed with the charges, Sallisaw police, Sallisaw Fire Department first responders and Pafford EMS were all dispatched to #35 at 300 N. Cherry in Sallisaw at 12:14 p.m. on Dec. 18 to see to an “unresponsive infant.”

The investigators reported the baby was transported to the Sallisaw hospital by ambulance, and officers believed the child was already deceased. They reported the baby had blood on her nose and around her mouth. Officers reported both the mother and father appeared “to be under the influence of drugs, methamphetamines.”

The investigator, who interviewed the mother and father at the scene and at the Sallisaw Police Department, reported the parents were emotional and slurring their words to an extent where he had trouble understanding them. The investigator reported Workman “appeared to be very much under the influence of methamphetamines. Workman could not control her body movements, had numerous open sores on her body and appeared to have fresh track marks on her left arm.”

Workman told the investigator she fed the baby between 4:30 and 5 a.m. on Dec.18 then put her in bed, a piece of foam on the floor, with she and Henning. Workman told the investigator when she woke up around noon she found the baby under a blanket and she “was down in the hole where the foam had slid over her.” When she picked the baby up, Workman told the investigator, the baby had blood around her nose and mouth and was “cold to the touch.”

According to the report, Workman admitted to the investigator that she had used methamphetamine and that she had used “Too much.”

Workman was arrested for second-degree murder.

Henning also admitted to snorting methamphetamines, and “was aware that the mother. . .was using methamphetamine while caring for their child.”

Blood samples were taken from both Workman and Henning at the Sallisaw hospital. Neither the results of the blood tests nor the results of the state medical examiner’s report on the deceased baby are included with the charges.

Workman’s next court appearance is on Associate District Judge Kyle Water’s felony disposition docket on Jan. 17.

Henning’s next court appearance is on Associate District Judge Kyle Water’s felony disposition docket on Feb. 7.


Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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