Father accused of 'torturing' 2-year-old Glenara Bates to death goes on trial

Glen Bates, Andrea Bradley could get death penalty
Posted at 1:41 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 14:59:26-04

CINCINNATI -- The county prosecutor and coroner said Glenara Bates'  death was one of the worst cases of abuse and neglect they had ever seen.

The father accused of torturing the 2-year-old to death went on trial for aggravated murder Monday and could get the death penalty if convicted.

Glen Bates, 34, dropped Glenara on her head and bit off her skin before the child died in 2015, prosecutors say. Glenara's mother, Andrea Bradley, will be tried separately and also could face the death penalty.

"If they get executed, God bless them, I’d like to see it,” Prosecutor Joe Deters said when they were indicted. Both parents have turned down plea deals.

Glen Bates and Andrea Bradley

Glenara weighed only 13 pounds when her parents' brought her dead body to the hospital on March 29, 2015, coroner Lakshmi Kode Sammarco said.

“I’ve never seen starvation like this before, and I’ve traveled around the world,” Sammarco said. "We are not sure the last time she had been fed or given anything to drink."

Glenara slept in a bathtub filled with feces. She had numerous broken bones and almost more abrasions than they could count.

"It took one of our forensic pathologists over four hours to document the number of scars and wounds on her extremities and her torso and her body," the coroner said.

Three photos of her injuries appeared to show open wounds on her torso, whip marks on her legs and cuts on her fingers. 

Glenara also suffered internal bleeding in her head on three separate occasions, the autopsy uncovered.

"There is no doubt in my mind this child was tortured for the majority of her pitifully short life," Sammarco said.

Deters said Glenara lived in deplorable conditions.

"This baby ate and slept in a bathtub filled with feces and blood,” Deters said. "You wouldn’t treat your dog like this."

After Glenara's death, Deters said the 2-year-old  was “tortured” to death by her parents and accused Job & Family Services of “dropping the ball”  by taking her out of foster care and giving her back to her mother.

JFS acknowledged that the case was mishandled,  and two caseworkers resigned.

Glenara's grandmother sued JFS, Director Moira Weir and the child's caseworkers, as well as county commissioners.

Four months before she died, Glenara was hospitalized with malnutrition as her mother dealt with depression and bipolar disorder.

JFS gave Glenara back to Bradley a few weeks before she died, records show.

Juvenile Court records obtained by WCPO show social workers removed some of Bradley's seven children in 2010 because she knowingly "allowed drug trafficking" in her home.

Documents also showed one of Bradley's children suffered bruises to the neck, eye, back and legs in 2012.

But in late 2013, after Bradley completed drug treatment and parenting education, JFS asked juvenile court to give Bradley's children back to her.

"The push to put babies back into these homes is so tragic," Deters said at the time. "It’s just got to stop. They just got to recognize there are some people who should just not have kids."

Bates fathered four of Bradley's children and lived with Bradley and her kids. Bradley was pregnant with her eighth child when Glenara died, Deters said.

Bradley's attorney, William Welsh, blamed Bates for Glenara's death, saying he abused, manipulated and controlled the girl's mother.

In response, Bates' attorney, Norman Aubin, pointed to Bradley's previous history with JFS.

"It’s interesting to note [Andrea Bradley] also has a previous conviction for child endangering and her children were taken away by JFS. Those are just the facts,” Aubin said.