Brianna Blackmond
Died Jan. 6, 2000, Age 23 months
Blunt impact trauma
Brianna was 23 months old when D.C. Superior Court Judge Evelyn E.C. Queen ordered her removed from foster care and returned to her mother, Charrisise Blackmond, who had an IQ of 58 and a history of neglecting her children. Within two weeks, Brianna was dead. She had been beaten and slammed against a wall. Blackmond's roommate, Angela T. O'Brien, is charged with murder. Blackmond is charged as an accessory. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Nine days before Brianna was sent home, the child protection agency had decided that the toddler should stay in foster care. But the social worker assigned to the case, YaVonne DuBose, neglected to tell the judge. The mother's court-appointed attorney, Jacquelyn M. Walsh, subsequently filed a motion stating that DuBose and city lawyer Michael Orton agreed that Brianna should go home. The judge sent Brianna home without holding a hearing. DuBose and Orton now say they never consented to the move. Judge Queen later retired from the bench.


These accounts are based on interviews and records from the D.C. Child Fatality Review Committee, the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency, D.C. Superior Court, the medical examiner's office and the police department.
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A note from Brianna's brothers on her grave marker. (Carol Guzy - The Washington Post)