A woman who drowned her three children in the bathtub of her New Cassel apartment five years ago has asked a judge for a cut of the $350,000 in wrongful-death settlements paid by Nassau County to the children’s estates.
Leatrice Brewer, 33, was found not guilty in the deaths of her children “due to mental disease or defect,” according to NBC News. Since the killing in February 2008, Brewer has been residing in a psychiatric facility upstate.
Brewer reportedly drowned her children, ages 1, 5, and 6, in the bathtub because she believed they had a voodoo curse on them, and that their deaths would save them from the effects of voodoo. She then moved their bodies to a bed and attempted suicide by swallowing a mix of household cleaning chemicals. Brewer survived ingesting the chemicals, so she then jumped out of her second-story window in a second suicide attempt, which she also survived.
If Brewer is successful in her case for a cut of her children’s estate, she is not expected to profit, as there is a $1.2 million lien against her for psychiatric counseling and other services she has received since her arrest.
In the minds of many, the Long Island mother’s case evokes the New York’s Son of Sam Law, which prevents criminals from profiting on their crimes, such as from publishing books or allowing movies to be made about them. Brewer’s case is unique in that she was not found guilty of the crime, and the money would go towards her debt for her psychiatric services.
The case also shed light on the Nassau County social services agency. Two days before Brewer drowned her children, social service caseworkers dropped in for a visit and found that no one was home. They then failed to schedule an immediate follow-up visit, which led to the suspension of two caseworkers.
According to NBC News, lawsuits were filed against the county by the father of Brewer's 1-year-old son, Innocent Demesyeux, and 5-year-old son, Michael Demesyeux, for $250,000. A lawsuit filed by the father of Brewer's 6-year-old daughter, Jewell Ward, was recently settled for $100,000.
[Source: NBC News]