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ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — A Bladen County family can start the healing process after a judge ruled the 2011 death of a nine-day-old girl was an accident.

In August 2011 Addyson Camerino was just nine days old when her mom, 18-year-old Chelsea Brigman, left her sleeping in her carrier while she took a shower. Investigators say that’s when the family’s five dogs mauled the infant to death. It led investigators to charge Brigman with involuntary manslaughter.

“Any time we have a case involving a child that is so vulnerable, we have pledged to our community that children should grow up in a safe and injury-free environment,” Assistant District Attorney Tripp Watson said.

After a week long trial at the Bladen County Courthouse, Judge Ronal Stephens granted a mistrial after jurors could not reach a verdict after six hours of deliberations. Judge Stephens then granted a motion to dismiss all charges in the case. He said that even if jurors had reached a guilty verdict, he would have set aside that verdict and sent the case directly to the appellate court.

“If the judge decides the evidence was just insufficient or perhaps the jury had made an incorrect decision, they can set the verdict aside, but I don’t remember the last time that’s happened for me in 29 years,” Brigman’s attorney Butch Pope said.

Prosecutors decided not to appeal the dismissal, which means this case is closed.

What’s not closed, though, is a mother’s grief.

“Her whole world changed forever,” Pope said. “I don’t know that any of us can imagine what they have been through, but I don’t know that chelsea will ever fully get over the loss of that baby.”

Prosecutors have also dropped involuntary manslaughter charges against Brigman’s father-in-law and co-defendant Nelson Camerino.

Brigman left court quickly after the judge’s ruling. Her family did not want to comment.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest461

    …rides again! Do you seriously think the mother of that 9 day old baby isn’t tormented over this virtually every moment of her life? You believe she actually meant for this to happen? Sure, she made a serious mistake in judgement, but she’ll pay forever whether in prison or not. You can’t imagine the suffering because you lack a warm heart and 5 cents worth of compassion! True to form!

  • Guest_dog

    She should be mauled. Why does anyone need five dogs in their home? With that many dogs a shower wouldn’t do you much good, you would quickly stink like dogs. Unless you smoke, then she would just smell like a stinky, smoky dog. What a house, the poor baby had no chance.

  • Das Weibstück

    Did I say she meant for this to happen? When someone says they cant imagine the suffering they mean its too horrendous to comprehend. Ya friggin fool.

  • Guest666

    Justice was served. She left her child in the care of a relative, as most everybody does from time to time. She has lived with this since it happened and will continue to do so the rest of her life. Why punish her more? If anybody should have gone to trial, it is whoever was supposed to watch the baby. As far as ‘Ol Surf, nobody takes that jerk seriously, anyhow. He usually speaks from what he sits on.

  • GuestTBagger

    Sorry, Das… Ole Surf was advocating that the mom be mauled by dogs if she were found guilty.

  • Guest—–dog You must be one of those internet trolls. In case you are not familiar with that term Internet slang, a troll (pron.: /ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion
    In other word s it is someone like your self that writes stupid things , and posts them where they do not belong. Did you actually even read this story. This was ruled an accident and the mother was not found guilty of doing anything wrong. These dogs are not hers as she was a guest at her in laws home. You talk about someone smelling like a stinky smelly dog. This is a story about the death of a 9 day old baby and you are talking about the way someone might smell. How old are you??? I do not want to be to harsh to you because I have the feeling that you are mentally handicapped. Why in the world would you say anyone should be mauled. I mean if anyone should be mauled its your loose around town mother. Let me ask you something else. Why do you use a made up name and not your real name. Seems sort of cowardly to me for you to get on here saying someone you know nothing about should be mauled when you have to make up a name to hide behind. I hope you are able to get your mother off her back long enough to read this to you, so you respond to my questions.

  • Das Weibstück

    You are real mature. The only one who lost was the poor defenceless baby. Cant imagine the suffering.

  • GuestTBagger

    Hey, SurfCityTommy…. YOU LOSE. Case dismissed.

  • cindy lewis

    Yes surf city stupid where are all your comments and accusations now that you were wrong about this young lady. Im not surprised that there are only a few comments on here and on the storys accuseing chelsea of wrong doing alot of them have close to a hundred. with pompous Surf city all over them. People love to kick people when they are down. where are the people saying well I am so sorry I judged this girl wrongly and with out haveing all the facts. ??????????????????????? /No one is big enough to admit they were wrong.

  • Bladen co citizen

    Now Mr. Pope can represent his other client in bladen co. A 37 yr old man accused of raping a 14 yr old, 2 years ago! It’s time the DA John David stands up to what he quoted ” Those of us who work in the law enforcement community feel a responsibility to ensure the children in Bladen co are raised in a protected and secure community” now that this case is over its time to protect this girl and not let Mr. Pope or anyone else put this case off any longer!!!

  • AnonBboroNative

    The Final Point Is You Should Never EVER Trust Anyone With Your Child. havent Ppl Heard The Stories About Mothers And Fathers Killing Their Children. And Its A GIVEN!! Not To Leave ANY CHILD No Matter The Age UNATTENDED!! With FIVE EFFING DOGS!!!! This Girl Should Rot. CHELSEA BRIGMAN Should Never Have Been A Mother In The First Place OBVIOUSLY!!! Its Terrible That Because Of HER ACTIONS A Child Will Never Experience Life. Stupid GIRL!


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