A Council Bluffs mother, who police said admitted to shoving her 1-year-old’s arm into hot coffee to “teach him a lesson,” pleaded guilty to child endangerment resulting in injury in court on Tuesday.
Rebecca Brahier, 36, was represented by her attorney Peter Tenny. Tenny said the child grabbed the cup of coffee, which spilled on him.
“The child was wearing pajamas, which increased the severity of the burn,” Tenny said. “The child’s wounds are healing well now, and (Brahier) is responsible for acting in a manner that created the circumstances.”
When asked if she wanted to comment before sentencing, Brahier said she was “ready to go.”
Brahier was sentenced to five years of incarceration in exchange for her plea deal with credit for time served since Nov. 19, 2016. In six months, her sentence is eligible for reconsideration if she has not yet been released.
According to court records, officers were dispatched to Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital on a report of possible child endangerment on Nov. 19, 2016.
Medical staff told police the burns the child suffered did not correspond to the mother’s story. The child had second-degree burns on his arm.
She reportedly told medical staff her child was sitting on her lap on the edge of the bed and reached for the coffee cup, submerging his left arm in the hot water. She said she ran cold water over the burn, then took him to the emergency room.
“The child had severe burns to his left hand and arm, which caused blistering and skin was sloughing off,” the report reads.
Investigators interviewed Brahier, the father of the child and Brahier’s daughter. The father did not have knowledge of the incident, police said.
When police interviewed Brahier, she told officers she had a cup of instant coffee using hot water on a table near her bed. During the interview, Brahier reportedly said she intentionally submerged the child’s arm in hot coffee “in an attempt to teach the child a lesson.”
Brahier reportedly told police the child tried to touch her hot coffee several times prior to placing his arm in the mug. Investigators said she told officers she put his arm in the coffee to prove to the child that the coffee was hot.