LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 21-year-old Lufkin woman who was arrested for taking pictures of her daughter with a knife at her throat and sending them to the child's father accepted a plea bargain agreement of five years of probation Monday morning.
Casey Danielle Olford appeared in front of Judge Gerald Goodwin for a plea hearing on the felony injury to a child charge that stemmed from the incident.
James Mamalis, a prosecutor with the Angelina County District Attorney's Office, said the state agreed to the plea bargain because they couldn't prove that Olford actually intended to harm the girl.
"As bizarre and disturbing as this behavior was, it wasn't a situation where we could perceive she was going to harm the infant," Mamalis said. "We don't really believe she was going to harm the infant. "
Olford declined to talk to The East Texas News, but her attorney did speak.
"it's a situation where she suffered from postpartum depression," Al Charanza said. "I believe there are many mothers that have gone through this."
Licensed counselor Debra Burton is not part of Olford's case but has been called on in many postpartum cases. Burton said that postpartum depression is becoming a serious issue.
"It is very real," Burton said. "It can happen. It can be severe anger and irritability. The person can have thoughts of harming themselves, even harming the child. It can interfere with the bonding of the child."
Burton said she has the facts to back up her claim.
According to a recent study by JAMA Psychiatry, one out of seven new mothers experience depression in the first year after giving birth. The study also found that one out of five women has had harmful thoughts.
According to the on-view arrest affidavit East Texas News obtained for a previous story, officers were dispatched to the 1800 block of Sayers Street, in reference to a welfare concern on Sunday.
On the way to the home, officers were speaking with the child's grandmother and father, who officers a text message from Olford, which came around 2:30 p.m. and said, "It's n tha trash u too. Hope yall have enough money for Kaylee funeral. Bye." A picture from 3 p.m. showed the child on the floor crying with a large knife under her throat with blood smeared on her chin and the knife.
Officers arrived at the home and talked to Olford, who denied taking or sending any pictures. The children in the home appeared to be fine and Olford allowed the officers to look at her phone. The officers could not find any texts or pictures sent to the father and grandmother.
Investigators began looking into the case and took Olford into custody. While Olford was in the police car, Olford admitted that she took the pictures the day before and that the blood was not from her daughter, but from Olford's menstrual cycle, according to the affidavit.
Olford explained that she did it for attention and she was depressed and lonely.
For more information on the study, you can visit the JAMA website.