One of two therapists convicted in the “rebirthing” death of a 10-year-old girl has been released from prison and is completing her sentence in a Denver area halfway house.
In 2001, Watkins and Julie Ponder, 47, were both sentenced to 16 years in prison after being convicted of reckless child abuse resulting in the death of Candace Newmaker.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday urging states to pass laws against “rebirthing” therapy, which critics say has killed at least five children, including one in Colorado. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., joined with Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., to sponsor the resolution. As Colorado attorney general, Salazar successfully argued to uphold the convictions of unlicensed therapists Connell Watkins and Julie Ponder, who were sentenced to 16 years in prison in the death of 10-year-old Candace Newmaker during an April 2000 “rebirthing” session in Evergreen.
The state Court of Appeals in Denver on Thursday upheld the verdict and 16-year prison sentence of a woman convicted in the “rebirthing therapy” death of a 10-year-old girl. Attorneys for Julie Ponder had argued it was unfair to try her jointly with Evergreen therapist Connell Watkins and to use evidence against her that should have been used against Watkins, who also was convicted and sentenced to 16 years. Candace Newmaker died April 19, 2000, a day after the rebirthing session. The girl had been wrapped in a sheet while Watkins, assistant therapist Ponder and two other adults pushed against
Law Bans Controversial Practice RALEIGH, N.C. — A new law that takes effect Dec. 1 bans a controversial form of therapy that led to the death of a Durham girl. State lawmakers marked the death of rebirthing therapy when they decided to ban the controversial practice. The new law makes the use of rebirthing therapy a misdemeanor; a second offense is considered a felony. Not everyone supports the ban. Barbara Janeway is disappointed by the decision. She underwent the therapy and said it changed her life. “I feel more grounded, more solid. one of the best feelings I’ve
The Evergreen therapist convicted in the “rebirthing” death of 10-year- old Candace Newmaker will stay in prison. The Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday denied Connell Watkins’ appeal of her 16-year sentence handed down by a Jefferson County judge in 2001. Watkins was found guilty of reckless child abuse resulting in death for the rebirthing therapy of Candace, a North Carolina girl brought to Colorado by her adoptive mother for psychological help. “I’m glad that they saw that she stay in there,” said Mary Davis, Candace’s biological grandmother, in Vale, N.C. “It’s only right.” The appellate court ruled that Jefferson
The Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the conviction and sentence of psychotherapist Connell Jane Watkins in the “rebirthing” death of 10-year-old Candace Newmaker in April 2000. The child suffocated during a 70-minute rebirthing session, part of a two-week intensive program that was supposed to help her bond with her adoptive mother, Jeane Newmaker. During the session, she was wrapped in a sheet, with pillows placed on top of her. The unanimous opinion rejected contentions by Watkins that she wasn’t able to present crucial evidence during the trial that might have led to a not-guilty verdict. Judge Robert Kapelke
Associated Press, July 26, 2003 http://www.casperstartribune.net/ DENVER (AP) — An Evergreen therapist convicted in the “rebirthing therapy” death of a 10-year-old girl four years ago is asking the Colorado Court of Appeals for a new trial. Connell Watkins was convicted of a child abuse charge and sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2001. During her trial, Jefferson County District Judge Jane Tidball refused to allow testimony by parents whose children have behavioral problems. The jury needed to see the therapy wasn’t as “far out” as the prosecution made it seem, and that some parents believed it helped their children,
An O.C. couple say attachment therapy, though linked to deaths, has brought their raging son under control. Orange County Register, Nov. 24, 2002 http://www2.ocregister.com/ By JENIFER B. McKIM, The Orange County Register Josh was taken from an abusive home when he was 3. He had a black eye and a belly full of rage. By the time he was 8, he’d blown through three foster homes, struggled in increasingly high-security group homes and been hospitalized in a psychiatric ward. He’d sent two staff members to the hospital, fought, raged, bullied and threatened suicide. Many said he was too violent and
AP, Sep. 17, 2002 http://www.macon.com/ WASHINGTON (AP) – The House voted Tuesday to condemn a therapeutic technique known as