McCaa Uncut: Reporting, justice in death of Hunt County toddler



Bio | Email | Follow: @johnmccaa


Posted on July 22, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 23 at 9:11 AM

How much is too much to know when it comes to the death of a child? It's this week's "Uncut" commentary.

We walk a fine line in this business on stories. The death — no, make that the murder — of two-year-old Brandon Herrera in Hunt County is a good example

What a nightmare was the end of his life

Left in the care of one of his mother's cousins and her boyfriend,  they called 911 last Sunday saying he wasn't breathing.

He wasn't. In fact, the police documents show Brandon had not been breathing for some time.

Six weeks ago, Brandon Herrera looked like a bright shining star. By last Sunday, hardly a part of his two-year-old body was without a bruise or a scar.

We've got the documents and know a lot more than we're describing, but to go into more detail would be sensationalizing. It's better conveyed in the ashen faces of investigators.

And this is still America, where the suspects facing capital murder charges have a right to a fair hearing.

So, we face two challenges in this case: What to show (which we have answered), and giving the defendants a fair trial.

We're all trying — the very restrained sheriff, the judge and the media.

There's already nasty mean talk on the Internet about Old West justice, but I have faith... faith that we can find twelve Texans in Hunt County who can ignore all that, hear the evidence and render a verdict.

It won't be easy, and it shouldn't be.

My thoughts, tell me yours: