Brandon Addison is a full-time father, although he gained custody in the most shocking of ways. Ashley Hautzenrader, the mother of Brandon’s infant son Matthew, left Matthew for dead in a restroom garbage can right after he was born. She left him in the restroom garbage after her efforts to flush the newborn down a toilet didn’t work.
Now Brandon has full custody of both baby Matthew, now 16 months old, and Matthew’s sister, 3-year-old Ahnna.
And what has become of Ashley Hautzenrader? Surely she is serving prison time for this horrible crime of attempted murder of her own newborn son, right?
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Ms. Hautzenrader merely got probation.
Think about this for a minute.
Do you suppose that if the roles had been reversed – if Mr. Addison had been in attendance at the birth of his son and had promptly tried to stuff the newborn down a toilet, that he’d be a free man today?
Not bloody likely.
In an interview with the the Iowa Gazette, Brandon Addison explains that he “wanted to introduce Matthew and Ahnna to the community so people who have read about Hautzenrader’s case would know the children are happy and thriving in his care.”
And he also expressed disappointment with how lightly Hautzenrader got off, explaining that he hopes other expectant parents don’t see this as an ‘easy out’ if they don’t want the baby.
Of children generally, and of his in particular, Addison adds that it’s “your job as a parent to step up and make sure they are safe and protected at all cost.” Given the extreme circumstances under which he gained custody of his two children, and that three-year old Ahnna has a serious condition which will necessitate a heart transplant, we’d say that Addison exemplifies stepping up and making sure your children are safe and protected.
Hautzenrader was facing the possibility of prison time under an attempted murder charge, then a plea bargain allowed her to plead guilty to neglect/abandonment instead. Then a last-minute witness – a psychiatrist – testified that Hautzenrader suffered from PTSD due to Ahnna’s medical conditions and that she was in “pregnancy denial”.
The judge explicitly stated that she had been inclined to send Hautzenrader to prison until she heard from this psychiatrist, and as a result, for the crime of trying to kill her newborn son, Hautzenrader received just five years of probation.
Meanwhile, Brandon Addison is moving on, and attending to the needs of his children after abruptly becoming a full-time parent.
Says Addison, in a Facebook post, “At the end of the day, I am happy that the University of Iowa Hospital found my baby boy and saved his life. The university has helped countlessly with both of my children and I can’t thank them enough.”