Beaufort woman guilty of 'horrific' child abuse
BEAUFORT – A 25-year-old Beaufort woman was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday, May 21 2014 for the brutal beating and attempted murder of her three-year-old daughter in 2011.
At the conclusion of a three-day bench trial, Judge Maite Murphy found Bryan guilty of attempted murder and handed down the maximum sentence.
Solicitor Duffie Stone, who prosecuted the case, called the case one of the most horrific instances of child abuse that he had ever seen.
“She deserves every minute of that 30-year sentence,” he said. “I never thought she was insane based on the lengths she went to cover up what she had done. I think it is clear that she is just a mean person who almost killed a defenseless child. That is reprehensible. ”
On December 19, 2011, Bryan was bathing her daughter when she began to beat and stab the child. She ultimately threw the baby from a third-floor balcony of Cross Creek Apartments, 325 Ambrose Run. The child was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she was treated for multiple skull fractures, bruising of brain tissue, internal bleeding and a laceration to her liver.
She has since made almost a full recovery and lives with other family members.
Bryan’s defense attorney argued that Bryan was psychotic at the time, but after hearing testimony from several psychiatrists, Judge Murphy found that Bryan was able to decipher between moral right and wrong, and was therefore criminally responsible for her actions that night.
During an interrogation with Beaufort Police Department investigators, Bryan concocted a half-dozen explanations for how the child was injured before ultimately telling them she had harmed the girl.
By law, Bryan must serve at least 85 percent of her sentence before being eligible for any early-release mechanisms.