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Caldwell child protective services report alleges ?improper care' 6 months before infant's slaying

The McDowell News - 7/16/2017

LENOIR ? The Granite Falls mother charged with slaying her 12-month-old son last week has been receiving in-home services from the Caldwell County Department of Social Services since January, according to a press release.

Friday's social services statement included details about the department's contact with the Brewer family before mother Heather Ray Brewer was charged with second-degree murder.

The department "received a child protective services report regarding Rodney Lee Brewer Jr. on Jan. 4, 2017, alleging concerns of improper medical/remedial care."

The department had no history of contact with the family prior, according to the release.

Upon completion of an assessment at the time, it was determined in-home services were needed to ensure continued compliance with medical and developmental services for the child, according to the release.

The services included education about child development, speech and physical therapy, community-based rehabilitation services, budgeting assistance, feeding and nutritional education and instruction, monitoring physical health, and monitoring the condition of the home, according to the release.

Social services representatives also maintained face-to-face contact with all household members.

In addition to relatives and other professionals, the department was present in the home multiple times per week during the provision of in-home services, according to the release, which led up to Brewer's late June murder charge.

No further protective services reports were received by the department.

Caldwell County Sheriff's Office investigators received a report of abuse with physical injuries June 28, more than six months after social services received a report, and the infant died June 29 at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, according to a previous press release.

Brewer made her first appearance before Caldwell County District Court on Thursday morning in Lenoir on the second-degree murder charge, a Class B1 felony, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

District Court Judge Wes W. Barkley presided over the first appearance hearing.

District Attorney David Learner represented the state, and attorney Bruce Cannon represented the defendant.

Brewer's bond is set at $1 million, and the probable cause hearing will be July 27 in Caldwell County District Court in Lenoir.

Cannon said he and his client would seek a bond reduction hearing "at a later date."


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