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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: DA called special Grand Jury to indict mother of baby mauled

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: DA called special Grand Jury to indict mother of baby mauled
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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- We have new information about the nine-day-old baby mauled to death by dogs in Bladen County.

In a story you saw FIRST ON 3 online yesterday, the mother of the baby girl was arrested last week and charged with involuntary manslaughter.

In a news release today District Attorney Jon David says he called for a special session of the Bladen County Grand Jury last week. Members of both the Bladen County Sheriff's Office and the SBI testified before that grand jury, leading to the indictment of the baby's mother.

"Something should have been done before now," Clarkton resident Sandra Guyton said after learning about the arrest in the case. "I mean how long has it been since the child was attacked? I don't know. It just seems something should have been done."

In his news release David said his office has been working closely with both Bladen County Sheriff Prentis Benston and the SBI to determine what exactly happened to nine-day-old Addyson Camerino. The dogs involved in Addyson's death August 30 lived in the same Clarkton home with the child's mother, grandparents, uncles and an upstairs tenant.

"It was just a preventable accident unfortunately," Clarkton resident Susan Butler said.

Guyton said, "Everyone there that was there and had the dogs around in the house, to me they're all responsible."

So far, the only person held responsible is Addyson's mother, 18-year-old Chelsea Lynn Bridman. A special grand jury called to consider just this case indicted her last week on one charge of involuntary manslaughter. Deputies arrested Brigman Friday afternoon. A few hours later she walked out of the Bladen County Jail under a $50,000 bond.

In Clarkton, some folks wonder why it took so long for someone to be arrested when the incident happened nearly three weeks ago.

In his press release, David said, "The death of such a young child, by a group of dogs, is an emotionally charged event. It is for this reason that we decided to embark on a slow and deliberate process... Nobody who worked on the case had a predetermined view about the need to charge anyone in the name of holding someone responsible for this tragic loss."

Because the case is pending, David said prosecutors and law enforcement cannot say much else about the investigation.

Here is David's full news release:

Addyson Camerino, was mauled to death by dogs in Clarkton, North Carolina on August 30, 2011. Addyson was nine days old. The dogs lived in the same home as Addyson, together with her mother, grandparents, uncles, and an upstairs tenant. At an early stage of the investigation, Sheriff Prentis Benston contacted the District Attorney’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation. Our three agencies worked closely together
to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.

As a team, we committed ourselves to following a tightly structured process. The first step in this process was to scrupulously investigate the facts. The crime scene was processed, photographs were taken, and numerous interviews were conducted. Next, we researched the controlling law. Our purpose was to determine whether anyone should be held criminally responsible for the death of Addyson. In making this determination we
elected to involve the community in the form of a grand jury.

On September 16, 2011, a special session of the Bladen County Grand Jury was convened to consider this case. Members of the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation testified before the Grand Jury. The District Attorney’s Office elected to employ a seldom used legal device known as a Presentment. A Grand Jury Presentment allows the State to present a detailed rendition of the facts. Following
this presentation, the Grand Jurors are asked whether or not anyone should be charged.

An Indictment is a charging instrument that accuses an individual with a crime. In this case, after hearing all of the evidence, the Grand Jurors requested that charges be brought forth. Superior Court Judge Jack Hooks gave the Grand Jurors detailed charging instructions regarding their role, and the law of Involuntary Manslaughter. Subsequently, the Grand Jury acted and Judge Hooks ordered the matter sealed until service of process. Everyone who worked on the investigation was impacted by the gruesome nature of the death. The death of such a young child, by a group of dogs, is an emotionally charged event. It is for this reason that we decided to embark on a slow and deliberate process. As a team, we were determined that there would be no rush to judgment, and that our decision to charge would be based on the facts and the law. Nobody who worked
on the case had a predetermined view about the need to charge anyone in the name of holding someone responsible for this tragic loss. Moreover, we determined that it was important to involve the community in the charging process. The Grand Jury has made their determination, and we respect their decision.

Prosecutors and law enforcement officers are bound by a code of ethics regarding what information they can share about a pending case. As a team, we are obligated to give those charged with a crime a fair process. Accordingly, in the future we are limited about what we can say about this matter.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

http://www.wwaytv3.com/2013/01/23/first-3-mistrial-dismissal-end-case-ag... I would like for you to all read this. After a week long trial it was found to be an accident and that Chelsea did nothing wrong. I see no one on here saying they were wrong about a young mother and family that loved there new baby with all our hearts. Addy was not an object like some on here portray her with your awful comments and accusations. You wanted her charged . She was . It was proven that she did not leave the baby alone, but asked her father n law to watch the baby. That was then attacked while she was in the shower. The emts did not find the baby on the floor. The mother did after running out of the bathroom. When Emts arrived she was on the floor, with her towel at her feet, giving her only child cpr. Trying to save its life. All of you that said stupid things on here and made light of the situation should be ashamed of your selves. My neice loved her addy bug with all her heart. She is only a shell of the vibrant young girl she was, and I dont know if we will ever see that Chelsea again. I think part of her died with Addy that day.

Assumeing no foul play was

Assumeing no foul play was involved.....is it really necessary to charge the mother with anything? She has this to live with the rest of her life. Is that not punishment enough? I don't know the people and probably never will, but how is causing her to have a criminal record going to make anything right? It will only add unnecessary complications to her already troubled life. I guess where a child is concerned, society demands some blood letting and revenge even if it is not justified. It gives them a warm, fuzzy, artificial feeling that everything has been made OK.

Enough is ENOUGH!!!

Your right, I do know them and I also know that girl was more excited about that baby than anything in this world. It was a horrible accident but your right, she is going through enough. People tend to forget that, what ever happened, I think everyone can agree it was an ACCIDENT and she has feelings to. Pressing all these charges is doing nothing but ripping a family apart and hurting everyone involved in ways the public doesn't even realize.

Tragic occurence, not to be worsened

It's easy to make judgements and spout off opinions but, here are the facts. A tragic accidental death occurred.
Could it have been prevented?... Probably but, so can the other 99% of accidental deaths that occur with less visability.
One thing that fuels the emotional fire of this case is... the incorrect reporting of the actual events. The news media was so intent on being the 'first to report', that much of the initial disclosures were incorrect. The ages, amount of dogs actually involved, people living there, etc... all was grossly reported and exaggerated. This caused many people to form opinions before the actual facts. And once an opinion is formed, it's hard to change. Not all the dogs 'lived' inside the house, not all the people lived there al the time, etc... And during the worst moments of their lives, the news people was pushing the devistated family members into an interview. Then, when rejected, they selected only the negative-based community responses to give broadcast time to. Many locals here understand the decency of giving a family time to grieve yet, the news grabs one person that says "Why has the law waited so long to make an arrest?... Think about it for just a moment, there was no malicious intent involved in the accident. No smoking gun or serial killer trying to escape. At the worst, a young 18 year old mother that would give anything to rewind the clock and save her 9 day old baby. Clarkton has been home to me all my life, and like everyone else, am impacted as to the events since the tragic accident. If the Grand Jury found enough testimony to suggest an indictment so-be-it. However, when the family testifies the actual events maybe people will learn all the details.
If nothing else is learned from this tragic event, we learned just how fast a family can suffer the worst moments of their life.
And that the same community that comforts you, can condemn you. (even before you speak)
Makes me wonder why society has regressed so much in only a couple generations.

It is tragic--tragic that no

It is tragic--tragic that no one could be bothered enough to care for a nine-day old baby and see to her safety. It's tragic that some people care more about the feelings of the people who are responsible for what happened than they do about that little baby's suffering. Obviously the grand jury didn't see malicious intent or the charges would have been more serious. And no, we're not talking about smoking guns or serial killers. We are talking about the people who were supposed to be protecting that baby. Instead, they were neglecting that baby. Otherwise, that baby wouldn't be dead.

Well said

Thank you for this post. Glad to hear someone in town still has some decency & a little sympathy in their hearts. It's always been my opinion that people with glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and I know that Clarkton's full of those glass houses, just like every other small community in the country.

My sympathy lies with that

My sympathy lies with that little baby who had to suffer because she was not watched out for properly.

Yeah, something really

Yeah, something really stinks here. And it doesn't smell like flowers. Three weeks later? I know this: NO child in my care, ESPECIALLY at the age of 9 DAYS OLD, would be left unattended long enough for a tragedy like this to happen. The dogs all went invisible? The dogs gassed all the responsible adults in the house so they were unconscious while the dogs mauled the baby? The 9 day old infant decided to go out in the back yard to play? I mean, really, wasn't Casey Anthony enough? Let's look at a scenario shall we? Your baby (who is 9 DAYS OLD!!)is in a playpen in the living room while you are doing dishes in the kitchen 15 feet away. The ninja dogs owned by you, your parents and the upstairs tenant sneak in to the living room, stealth over the side of the playpen and begin to maul your baby. You happily continue washing dishes as the dogs eat your child's face off 15 feet away from you. The bubbles from the dish detergent block off the sound of your baby screaming.
Sounds a little far fetched doesn't it? But not quite as far fetched as I find THREE WEEKS of "investigation" to figure out who should be the "responsible" party in the death of this child. Sounds to me like all law enforcement involved needs to wake up and apparently get some more education. Just another ridiculous blunder by those in power. Seems to be the norm lately.

You know the more I thought

You know the more I thought about what you wrote the more horrified and hurt I become. You are talking about a mother, happily washing dishes while dogs chew on the face of a baby. Besides haveing your facts wrong , or just plain makeing up little fantasys in your sick mind. you are truely a sad deranged person. you say no child in your care, i hope no one lets a child around you. I come from a decent , hard working family. This baby you are talking about getting its face eaten off by dogs was a my great neice, and we loved her and wanted to have her with us forever. I dont know when I can stop crying , thinking about the alful things you have said here. i hope you think next time you start makeing up ninja dog stories ( that this was a precious little human being you are talking about). my family loved this little girl , and this is the worst thing thats ever happened to us. she was my sisters first grand child . there was no one washing dishes, no playpen, no 15 feet away. nothing you said makes any sense at all. You are a very sick and heartless person Tracie c

What are you even talking

What are you even talking about. ? The child was left in the care of its grandfather while the mother was takeing a shower. I do not appreciate the stupid radical things you have said above., You must have this story mixed up with another or eithier you are retarded. you are the one who should get educated, maby by reading a news report, before you start makeing up heartless scenerios.

Lot of stone casting here...

I am a mother who was told for ten years that I would never have children. I am a Criminal Justice, major maintaining a very high GPA who has never been in trouble with the law and who works with the police on cold cases in my area. I used to read stories about people who left their kids in the car and they died from heat and I would shake my head and demand the death penalty. When my daughter was finally born, she was very sick. She was diagnosed with several serious health problems that no one looking at her would ever know that she had. She was required to sleep on a breathing monitor and I was told that there was a very good possibility that she would not make it. I used to sit at her crib side all day and all night willing her to keep breathing with my mind and praying constantly. I rarely got more than 3 hours of sleep per day, as her father took off, unable to deal with her illnesses. When she was three weeks old I had to go pick up a prescription for her and went into the pharmacy where I waited for nearly 40 minutes for them to fill it. I was absolutely devastated when I returned to my car and found that I had not only completely forgotten that she was with me, but had left her in a completely unlocked car with all of the windows down while I was in the pharmacy. She was not at risk of dying from the heat, however, she could have been kidnapped. When I realized what I had done I had somewhat of a nervous breakdown in the parking lot and lot it. My knees buckled to the point where I could not walk, nor drive home and had to call someone for help. It was not until then that anyone recognized that I had physically been pushed too far by the lack of sleep and that in my efforts to keep my daughter alive, I could have killed her. After that, people started coming to help me in shifts, so that I could sleep while others sat with her to make sure she was okay and after that I was better able to care for her. When I think back to that day, like right now, I shake and my heart starts beating faster, as though I had just walked out to that car 2 seconds ago and realized what I had done. I learned a very valuable lesson that day about never knowing another person's situation and not jumping to conclusions without all of the facts. I hope that you are never in a similar situation someday, but fate, karma and life do have a way of teaching you things when you least expect it.

yea you really stink perfect one

Well I presume we have just met the perfect one!!!How can you pass judgement on this young girl,and how can you say what will or will not happen if a child is with you ACCIDENTS HAPPEN!! You were not at these peoples home you don't know what happened so shut your mouth,this girl and her family have been through enough she just lost her baby for goodness sake,and besides it's none of your buisness anyway!!!

I think

I am pretty sure that the Grand Jury only comes together twice a month and they wanted to have them decide on the charges.

Have you considered that in

Have you considered that in some situations, prudence takes precedence over speed? As I have said before in other discussions, in real life you don't wrap up a case in a neat little package in one hour like they do on television. A lot of times there is more at play than just pointing a finger at a suspect, putting them in jail, then let things run their course. There is evidence that needs to be processed and there are questions that need to be asked and answered. Sometimes these things take time. Another thing is that a prosecutor only gets one bite of the apple in bringing a suspect to trial so it is vitally important that they take the care needed to get it right the first time. If they proceed to arrest and trial without their ducks in a row, the perpetrator can go free. And I for one would rather they err on the side of caution and get it right rather than to let the criminals go free because of our freedom from double jeopardy.

Please

Town of Clarkton, please let the legal system work & SHUT UP!!! Your opinion being broadcast on local news networks does not really amount to a hill of beans and only makes yourself and the town look bad. It's OK to sit back & allow your the town's leadership to ignore rampant crime because it may hit your wallet in tax dollars to fund a police force but let a high-profile crime happen & it's hanging time. Talk about hypocrisy. Prayers to the family...no matter the result of a criminal trial, this family will live with the horror of this event the rest of their lives.

Many will likely disagree

but this was probably the best course of action. Given the number of residents in the structure and the emotional volatility of the incident, the DA likely made the best choice in how to proceed.

+1 Tom... I have children

+1 Tom...
I have children and I have walked to the mailbox or out to the car to get my checkbook or workbag etc...while the kids were asleep. I have a dog in the house and never really thought about the fact that she could turn vicious and attack one of my kids while they were asleep or waking from their nap. Freak things happen and now I can really think of many scenarios that could have possibly happened without my intent being to have one of my children mauled to death. Many of you critics need to shut the hell up and allow the people we have elected to do their job. Yes I cringe at the fact of knowing that a child was mauled to death but I also cringe about the fact of people walking free who have killed members of my family by mistakes made while driving. I just lost a uncle last year when a girl turned in front of him on an open highway in beautiful sunny weather. She said she never saw him when she turned left. He laid there and suffered and died. Is she in Prison? No! She made a mistake and it caused my uncle to suffer a painful death as he died about 90 minutes later.