The Justice Files: Tears for little Christopher

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DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Brittany Hall claimed she didn’t know her son was being physically abused.

In May, she pleaded guilty to child abuse and obstruction of justice in connection to her son’s death. She was sentenced to a term of two-and-up to thirty-years in prison.

Thursday, Hall went before a member of the Board of Pardons for possible parole.

Hearing officer Curtis Garner got right to the point with Hall. “You have a man who is abusive to you, abusive to your boy (and) even after he kills your boy, you cover for him,” Garner said.

He wanted to know why a mother would do that to her child.

Christoper Leader was two-and-a-half years old when he died last year at his Cedar City home. Hall’s boyfriend Gavin Haar is accused of murdering Christopher. He was charged with murder and two counts of child abuse.

Police learned that Haar was with Christopher that night and allegedly texted her a cryptic message. “your son is going to get an ass beating,” Garner read from the record.

Hall didn’t think it was a real threat.

“To be honest no I didn’t,” Hall answered Garner. “He had never shown signs of treating any of my kids that way.”

Christopher’s extended family looked on in disbelief. Some claimed Hall had witnessed several episodes between Haar and her son.

“He would grab little Chris by the arm because he would be playing with the wrong toy,” said his aunt Jenn Huffman. “(Then) drag him down my hallway slamming the door on me and locking it as little Chris is screaming bloody murder. And Brittany is in the room with them.”

Huffman claimed Hall downplayed the violence and told her he was okay.

“She knew, she saw those bruises,” Huffman said. “I begged Brittany every day, ‘bring him home’ and she would say he is sick (with the flu).”

Christopher Leader, the boy’s dad was also present at the parole hearing and asked that if he could speak face to face with Hall. Garner said it was against their policy for an inmate to turn around and face people.

“We have Christmas coming up and my son can’t be home for Christmas,” Leader said. “Now I get to see my son in a picture and in an urn it’s wrong. For all of us. She doesn’t care.”

After the boy was beaten, Garr allegedly told Hall to lie about the injuries. After his death, she and Garr left for Washington State.

“She should never be allowed out in my eyes because of the lies,” said Kristen Bell, Christopher’s grandmother. “She ran with a man she knew killed him.”

After their statements to the hearing officer, Hall was in tears and admitted her actions caused Christopher’s death.

“I hurt them all so badly and I blame myself for all of it because I could walk away and I didn’t and I can’t apologize enough for it,” she said.

Hall told the hearing officer she’s not ready for parole and said she needs more therapy.

The entire Board of Pardons will review her case and make an official ruling on her parole in the coming weeks.

As for Gavin Haar, his trial is set to begin February 11th in Iron County.

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