Barbara Michelle Pemberton enters guilty plea and is sentenced – May 1, 2017

Barbara Michelle Pemberton was indicted in Walker County, Georgia, with Murder in the Second Degree and Cruelty to Children in the Second Degree arising from the death of her thirteen month old grandson, Shadoe Braxton Pate, whom she had left unattended in a car for several hours on January 12, 2015.  The indictment alleged Pemberton acted negligently in leaving the child unattended in a car seat in the vehicle while she visited with friends.  Pemberton had no previous criminal history and both parents of the deceased child requested that she not be sentenced to serve any time in custody for this offense.  The State recommended that Pemberton be sentenced to serve ten years on probation under the First Offender’s Act with a fine of $2500 and the special condition that she not be a caretaker for any child under ten years of age.  After a sentencing hearing, which included testimony about Pemberton’s chronic medical condition of sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder, Judge Kristina C. Graham accepted the recommendation and sentenced Pemberton accordingly.  The defendant was represented by Christopher Townley, an attorney with an office in Rossville, Georgia.  The State was represented by District Attorney Herbert E. (Buzz) Franklin.

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