I am angry. A few days ago I wrote a letter to Judge Algeo from the Montgomery County, MD courts reminding him of my son Prince. The child he trusted in the care of a disordered man. Today, I have thought a lot about the woman who represented my ex. Her name is Prudence Upton. During court, it came out that my ex only paid her about 600 dollars for the entire court case. I find it baffling that this woman basically represented him pro bono given the testimony against him. I will not write her a letter and send it to her office, however, maybe she will see this when she searches for her name online someday. Or maybe someone will find this letter when they look online to see if they should hire her as an attorney. I will not make a comment on her skills as an attorney, but I do question her morals after how she was instrumental in what led to the events on October 20th when my son passed away.
Someone told me the other day that the courts take “acceptable risks” when it comes to parents. Even when they know a parent to be disordered, they would rather risk harm to the child than deny access. What the courts did with my son was not “acceptable” and I am going to keep writing until someone takes notice.
Dear Prudence Upton (of Avery and Upton),
My name is Hera McLeod (also known as Cappuccino Queen). I know you must have a lot of cases so maybe you don’t remember me. The last time you saw me was July 12, 2012 when Judge Algeo granted your client unsupervised access to my baby boy. Did you know that my son, Prince, passed away while he was just on his fourth unsupervised visit with his father?
You probably never got a chance to meet my son. (Your client barely knew enough about him to even tell you about him.) Prince was an amazing little boy. He was a little angel. He smiled often, loved to dance and sing, and was a proud new walker. He was the type of child who would run up to hug crying children and was the only toddler I knew who would share his toys without anyone. Even though you never met him, the decisions and choices you made (namely to represent his father) made a significant impact on Prince’s life.
I know you are a mother. I can imagine that you are (or will be) so proud the day you see your child off to school, watch him/her graduate from high school and college, get him/her ready for the school dance, or dance with your son on his wedding day. I will never get to do those things with my son. I am now a mother without a child. Instead of watching him grow, I will be visiting his grave and imagining how his life would have been had he gotten the chance to live it.
I will never forget how you confidently attacked me on the stand as your client smirked. Just today I read a letter you wrote Judge Algeo about how you felt your client should have had extra time during the unsupervised visits so that he could bring Prince back to his house. In case you don’t know, that house was where my son died. He was dead by the time the ambulance arrived.
Did you know that your client lied to you about having a job? Do you even care? Don’t you think that its odd that my son spent less than 24 hours of unsupervised time with this man, yet he ended up having a medical emergency that killed him during one of these visits?
Knowing what you know now, would you still have fought to represent this man? I hope it was worth the 600 dollars he claimed he paid you.
My son’s life was a job to you. You will go on and likely feel justified in your actions. I hope, however, that you will remember my son every time you step foot in the court room. When you are watching your children grow, I will be mourning mine.
We had a small wake for my son before his funeral. I went in to see his body by myself and sat with him for a few minutes before the rest of my family joined me. I read him one of his favorite books, Dr Seuss’ “Oh Baby, Go Baby”. After I read him the book, I put it in his casket with him. I also made him a promise. I said, “My Prince – I will love you forever, I will love you always, as long as I am alive…my baby boy you will be. I promise you that I will continue to fight for you, I will never let people forget you, and I will hold those accountable who have failed you.”
Ms. Upton – you are one of those who failed my son.