The second defendant charged in the Oct. 21 death of an 11-month-old child has agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge in the indictment.
Cecelia Rose Gardipee has signed an agreement to plead guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury in the death of Kaidynce Small. The prosecution has agreed to drop the murder charge including in the indictment, the plea agreement says.
A document detailing some of what the government was prepared to prove if the case went to trial said Kaidynce sustained injuries that night including multiple skull fractures, a broken nose, fractured ribs, bruising and bleeding on his brain, bleeding on his spinal nerves, cuts on his scalp, mouth and fingers and bruising on his forehead, nose, cheeks, ears and lower extremities.
Gardipee was scheduled to enter her plea today in U.S. District Court in Great Falls. The charge to which she is pleading guilty, which includes that the victim was a minor, has a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with a maximum of life in prison.
Her boyfriend, Garret “Kirby” LaFromboise, the father of the child with another woman, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to assault with a murder charge against him also dropped in the agreement.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris sentenced LaFromboise April 25 to 13 years and four months in prison, saying during sentencing that the primary duty of a father is to protect his child.
Both the family of LaFromboise and the family of Kaidynce’s mother, Jasmine Small, were furious about the sentence.
His family said he did nothing wrong except falling into the trap of drugs and alcohol and was both extorted into pleading guilty and protecting Gardipee. His sentence should have been to treatment, not prison, his mother, Loranda LaFromboise said. Anyone who knows Kirby LaFromboise knows he would not hurt his son, father Joe LaFromboise said, adding that his son already was serving a life sentence “for what he didn’t do.”
Jasmine Small’s family said nothing but life in prison was enough to punish him for his son’s death.
Her father, Warren Small, said that day that he feared Gardipee also would plead in an agreement and receive less than life in prison as her sentence. He wanted both convicted of murder, Small said, adding that the LaFromboises still can see their son, but Jasmine does not have the chance to see hers.
LaFromboise, 21 at the time of the child’s death, pleaded guilty in January to becoming frustrated when the child would not stop crying and sticking his finger down Kaidynce’s throat to try to make him stop crying and striking him in the stomach when the toddler continued to cry.
The offer of proof says that when Gardipee, 22 at the time, told law enforcement officers she had been drinking Black Velvet whisky the night of Oct. 20 and early morning of Oct. 21. She became frustrated when Kaidynce wouldn’t stop crying, the document says, and covered his nose and mouth with her hand. When he continued to cry, it says, her frustration turned to anger and she shook the child for about 90 seconds, telling the officers on a scale of 1 to 10 she used a force of nine.
The document says the injuries Kaidynce sustained, some due to her actions and some due to LaFromboise’s, were deemed by a medical examiner to be homicidal violence, including head, brain and cervical trauma and possible suffocation.
Several of the child’s injuries were consistent with what Gardipee described to law enforcement that she did, the document said.