Boy writes letter asking judge to keep mom in prison
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio —At a coffee shop in Middletown, Patty Todd wiped away tears as she reads a letter written by her 10-year-old grandson, Bradyn.
The two page letter is written in pencil, on a piece of loose leaf paper.
"Life for me would be 10 times better if mom didn't kill my dad. That took a big amount of happiness out of mine and my sister's lives," the letter said.
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Bradyn was just 4 years old, his sister Brooklynn was 15 months old when they watched their mother, Shannon Smith, stab their father, Robbie Takach, in the heart inside their Franklin apartment.
Smith had stabbed him and then pulled the knife out. It was like letting the water out of a dam," said Todd. "She pulled out the knife, she washed it clean and put it in the sink."
Todd describes what Bradyn told a counselor, "Bradyn said that his daddy put him in a corner because he had gotten in trouble and then his mother got mad. Robbie was holding his sister Brooklynn, and he said that she got a knife and she came at his daddy and he shoved her away and then she came back again and she stabbed him."
Smith was arrested and indicted for murder.
Her defense attorney at the time, Mike Allen, argued Smith killed her boyfriend in self-defense.
Takach's family said that was a lie.
"Robbie had one wound, straight through his heart, no defensive wounds," Todd said. "They didn't observe any type of marks on her. She claimed in court he had her in a choke hold and was trying to drag her to the bedroom. The police officer seen no marks on her."
In March 2010, a Warren County jury found Smith guilty of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.
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She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
"I wanted 10 years for Bradyn and Brooklynn. Bradyn would be 15 and Brooklynn would be 13 and they would be old enough to make their own decisions," Todd said.
But now after serving a little more than half her sentence, Smith could be released soon.
A judicial release hearing is set for next week.
Todd, who has been raising her grandchildren, said she's going to fight this.
She's hoping Bradyn's own words are heard loud and clear.
"I think it would be better for me and my sister if my mom would stay in prison cause I am afraid of her. I have seen what she did to my dad," Bradyn wrote in the letter.
Charlie Rittgers who is representing Smith now said, "There's no question that this was a tragic story for both families, and I do know that Shannon is genuinely remorseful for her actions and hopes that at some point Robbie's family will be able to forgive her."
The judicial release hearing is set for Nov. 4 in front of Judge Robert Peeler.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said he will fight against Smith's release as well.
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