Parents Outraged at Child Abuse, Satisfied with Sentencing - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Parents Outraged at Child Abuse, Satisfied with Sentencing

Brandi Davis-Scruggs. Brandi Davis-Scruggs.
April Hardy. April Hardy.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Many parents are outraged after 11-month-old Aiden Waller was abused by his own mother, twice in his young life. A judge sentenced 19-year-old Tina Richards to 21 years in prison for the first offense (Baby Aiden's Mother Sentenced to 21 Years for Child Abuse).

Two young mothers who both knew Tina Richards think the sentence is justified. While they're shocked at what happened, they said there's no excuse for child abuse.

"I'm a mother, too, and I feel like age doesn't define how good of a parent you are. To me, there's just no excuse for harming a child," said Brandi Davis-Scruggs.

Brandi, just 19-years-old, is a mother to 16-month-old Chase. She went to school with Tina Richards and has been following what's happened with Tina's young son. "It really shocked me and devastated me," she said. "I feel bad for her, but mostly, my main concern is Aiden."

"I agree with the judge. I agree with the sheriff," said April Hardy. "Child abuse is something that should not be tolerated."

Twenty-three-year-old April Hardy is a mother of two. A victim of abuse herself, she said her heart goes out to Aiden. She organized a candlelight vigil for him and manages his MySpace page. Still, she used to work with Tina Richards and can't understand how this happened.

"Everyone of us has had the, 'Oh my gosh! Are you serious? Tina?'" she said. "She's not one that you would look at and say, 'oh, she's not trustworthy with kids.'"

She is concerned that Tina Richards is pregnant again. "Maybe she's just one of those people who's not made to be a mother. Unfortunately, the people who aren't fit to be mothers, nine times out of ten, tend to reproduce like rabbits," said April.

She hopes Tina gets her life back together, but she doesn't think she should have custody of her children. "I think if she's able to rehabilitate, great, good for her. But in my opinion, I think child abusers should have to register just like sex offenders," she said.

"We really have to think of the children first. That's the main thing," added Brandi. "Aiden was very lucky. He could have died through all of this and I think, that's definitely a lesson learned for everyone."

Aiden's father, Phillip Waller, is also charged with child abuse. A judge denied his bond yesterday. Aiden's grandmother said they expect Aiden to be released from the hospital soon.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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