“Rachel, Wyatt will be the last child you put your hands on,” and with that the sentencing phase for Rachel Edwards began Thursday.
The mother of the abused child, Erica Hammel continued her tear fought statement, “Every time you eat your food, I want you to think about how Wyatt can’t eat his, (because) he chokes and gags.” When you talk on the phone I want to think about how Wyatt can’t say one word and communicate his needs and wants.” When you feel confined in your cell, I want you think about how Wyatt is confined to his leg braces. When you get a headache I want you to think about the shunt that is permanently installed in Wyatt’s brain, to drain fluid.”
The woman who was convicted in the child abuse case that has been life shattering for both her little victim and his family met her fate Thursday as she was sentenced for second degree child abuse. Rachel Edwards was sentenced by Judge Richard Caretti, of the 16th Circuit Court in Macomb County, Michigan, to 33 months to 10 years for a case that has garnered national attention as the mother of the child who suffered irreversible brain damage, as his mother, Erica Hammel fights for legislation to create a registry of those who are convicted of child abuse to be named for her son, Wyatt Rewoldt.
On Nov. 1, 2013 the world that Wyatt knew and that of his mother, Erica changed forever. Wyatt was rushed to the hospital from Ms. Hammel’s ex-husbands house for severe head and several other injuries. Edwards was the girlfriend of Hammel’s ex-husband. Wyatt spent 7 weeks in the hospital where it was revealed that Wyatt suffered a brain injury from being shaken so violently that he was temporarily blinded, is unable to talk and is undergoing therapies four times a week.
“This crime has forever changed Wyatt’s and my life,” Hammel said. “He will never be normal. He will forever be haunted by what happened to him. He was robbed of so many things because of what Miss Edwards did to him. “You took my son’s innocence away, but I will not let you take his dignity,” Hammel, 26, of St. Clair Shores told Edward who plead no contest to second-degree child abuse in Macomb County Circuit Court. Edwards received credit for 236 days served in the county jail. She is to have no contact with Wyatt or his family. Hammel’s continued “I am going to make it my life’s mission that when Ms. Edwards gets out of prison, she or any other person who physically abuses a child, will have to register as a child abuser — just like a sex offender.”
The proposed registry would be the first in the country to be accessible to the public as there are registry that are held by states department of welfare for children that only state workers can access. If such a registry was accessible at the time Hammel would have been alerted to the fact that her child was in hands of a convicted child abuser – twice. In both cases, Edwards both pled guilty to child abuse involving a boy who was the son of a man she previously dated. Edwards pleaded no contest to third-degree child abuse in 2011 and was found guilty of fourth-degree child abuse by a jury in a subsequent case in 2013.