Mother and boyfriend dunk two children in scalding hot bath as punishment, jailed for 40 years
Defoe had helped his girlfriend Reyer dunk her two children, two-year-old Adriauna and five-year-old son Cameron, in scalding hot water at their trailer park home in 2015
An Alabama man has been accused of intentionally burning and scalding two children in a bathtub as a form of punishment. The man Derrick Defoe and his girlfriend Amanda Reyer from Limestone County have been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
The 33-year-old Defoe pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated child abuse before the opening statements in his trial were about to start. The other charges that were made against him, were dropped as part of his plea deal. According to authorities, Defoe had helped his girlfriend Reyer dunk her two children, two-year-old Adriauna and five-year-old son Cameron, in scalding hot water at their trailer park home in 2015.
The vile act was done as a form of punishment as the children had allegedly broken a bed. Investigators who went to the house shared that the hot water boiler had been set to 150 degrees Fahrenheit while water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
As reported by WAFF, Defoe had earlier shared with authorities that Adriauna had leaped right out of the water because of the pain when the incident took place. However, the child's mother Reyer put her back into the bathtub full of hot water. Defoe dipped Cameron into the water from which he immediately jumped out crying and ran to find a safe place to hide.
Reyer claimed that she underestimated how hot the water was and said that Adriauna had fallen back into the water when she tried to get out.
The two-year-old girl had reportedly received second and third-hand degree burns which covered around 70 percent of her entire body. Little Adriauna suffered from respiratory failure and also went into cardiac arrest when she was being treated in hospital. She was driven to the hospital by Reyer herself who was doing her best not to call 911. An officer testified at Reyer's trial saying, "From the neck down, her skin looked like a patchwork quilt."
Reyer had earlier revealed to a judge that she was "trying to appease" her boyfriend Defoe when they decided to use the scalding bath as a way to punish their children. She shared that she had gotten the idea from a TV show where a child counselor had suggested giving children a cold water shower or bath as a form of discipline or punishment. However, Reyer decided to use hot water instead of cold and told the judge that she feared her boyfriend would do something much worse to her children.
The cops who had responded to the scene in 2015 revealed that they had discovered five-year-old Cameron trembling on a couch.
One of the child's teeth was chipped and both of the children's heads had been shaved as a punishment as Cameron had allegedly cut a part of his sister's hair with a pair of scissors in a previous incident. The investigators had also found pieces of the children's skin around the trailer.
Both the children managed to survive the horrific ordeal but had to have multiple skin grafting surgeries. These facts from the case made Circuit Judge Robert Baker very emotional during Reyer's sentencing which took place in November. He shared, "I'm a hard fellow to shock. But you did it. This is not a situation where you didn't know what a medication would do… Hot water is hot. It hurts. It burns."