Body of 3-year-old girl to return home

There are 13 comments on the Nov 9, 2009, The Post and Courier story titled Body of 3-year-old girl to return home. In it, The Post and Courier reports that:

The body of 3-year-old Serenity Richardson will be flown back to her hometown of Detroit today for burial.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Post and Courier.

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AGP

Mount Pleasant, SC

#22 Nov 6, 2011
http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/nov/0...
"There was not a plane of her body that was spared, save the soles of her feet," Gordon said.
Circuit Judge Deadra Jefferson said the photos of Serenity's injuries showed a child "systematically beaten to death."
They beat the little girl for days until her fragile, bruised and swollen body finally gave up -- but the two women showed shock when a judge demanded the rest of their lives in return.
Erica Mae Butts and Shanita Latrice Cunningham, both 25, each collapsed upon hearing that they would serve life in prison for killing 3-year-old Serenity Richardson, Butts' goddaughter, two years ago.
The sentencing hearing took nearly two hours and ended with court officials dragging Cunningham from the courtroom on a chair and peeling Butts from the floor as she writhed and screamed hysterically.
Butts' sister threw herself against a bench over and over, shouting, "No!" Her mother refused to leave the courtroom, screaming, "I can't leave my baby like this!"
Eventually, they all left -- with officials escorting out Cunningham's and Butts' supporters first, then leading Richardson's family and friends outside.
The two Summerville women, a couple at the time of their arrest, had made their pleas in August. Butts entered an Alford plea, meaning she maintained her innocence but acknowledged that taking her case to trial would likely result in a conviction. Cunningham pleaded guilty.
The court treats the two pleas the same, and each woman faced 20 years to life in prison on the charge of homicide by child abuse. The sentencing hearing took place Thursday to allow Serenity's family travel time from Michigan.
Serenity's mother, Ieshia Richardson, had been childhood best friends with Butts and had brought her daughter to stay at her godmother's home on Congaree River Drive in Summerville for about two weeks, beginning in late October 2009.
Butts admitted to Summerville police on Nov. 3 that she whipped the girl with a belt for urinating on the floor, and that Serenity had fallen several times in the bathroom.
When the child's breathing became shallow that day, Butts called her own mother in Goose Creek but didn't tell her what happened. Butts' mother called 911.
By the time paramedics reached Serenity, she was already dead but had been placed on ice and exposed to bleach in desperate attempts to revive her. Assistant Solicitor Elizabeth Gordon said the girl's injuries reflected weeks of torture -- a duration that matched the amount of time the child had spent with Butts and Cunningham
ANOTHER MOTHER

Detroit, MI

#23 Nov 8, 2011
NO ONE KNOWS WAT HAPPENED JUST THEM AND GOD SO IF YOUR NIETHER WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE LEAVE THAT FOR THE MAN ABOVE...WE ARE SUPPOSE TO BE PRAYING FOR THIS MOTHER IN HER TIME OF NEED NOT BASHING HER FOR HER MISTAKES IF YOU THINK SHE MADE ANY KEEP THAT CRAP TO YOUSELF... MY MOTHER RAISED ME TO PRAY FOR PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT BECAUSE WAT HAPPENS IN THE DARK ALWAYS I MEAN ALWAYS COMES TO THE LIGHT GOD BLESS EVERYONE!
Ash

Philadelphia, PA

#24 Nov 11, 2011
Yall crazy...but i feel for the mother and the family i pray god heal yall hearts look at this way bby girl dnt have to deal with these monsters... like some of these stats say yall dont kno how she raised her child or what they did so mind yall FCKIN business ughhhh

P.I.P Serenity (God's ANgel)
kits

Chicago, IL

#25 Nov 21, 2011
damn leave her alone wrote:
You ppl are sick! I hope Iesha never has to read these horrible comments. Whether she left her daughter for a day or a month, she loved her daughter. No one knows what was going on... maybe it was supposed to be a one week thing but something came up. None of u know and who the fuck r yall to question. Erica was Serenity's godmother and Iesha's best friend. Do you know what it means to be a godmother? She trusted her! The other woman, Shanita seems more guilty to me because she tried so hard to wake Serenity up when she realized she was unconscious. Then she went out of state to avoid punishment.
omg smh @ all of this...r.I.p Serenity
Wow

Dundalk, MD

#26 Oct 24, 2012
It is a lot of judging going on here. First, it doesn't matter why she left the child with someone else or for however long, these ladies had the responsibility to make sure the child's welfare was protected not violated. What about mothers who made have an extensive stay in the hospital with no relatives nearby? Is that an okay for someone to beat them half to death? Check your values or better yet check your heart because you don't sound any better off than those murderers!
whatever wrote:
No "real" mother would leave her daughter that long with a "friend" A real mother would have their daughter with them and make sacrifices like mothers have done for ages.. She should have left the child with her the grandmother maybe...that way she could have been close by. So sad...hopefully, if she has other children, she will make wiser decisions.
Im just saying

Canton, MI

#27 Jul 31, 2013
I can't begin to imagine leaving my baby girl for weeks with anybody let alone a friend!!!! As a parent its your responsibility to protect your child. Smh. May the lord have Mercy on everybody's soul who was involved with this little angels death. Rest serenity!!! My heart goes out to this child and this child only even though she's in a better place. Wow!
Jcnyc

Port Washington, NY

#28 Sep 7, 2013
God bless that poor little girl. How tragic that an innocent child went through this. I hope and pray that the two degenerates that harmed that child suffer daily the same abuse in prison they inflicted on this innocent baby.
Serenitys Mother

United States

#29 Jan 29, 2014
It has almost been 5yrs since my daughter died and I still cry daily. I also still read blogs like this one. I love my daughter with every breathe in my body. It hurts so much knowing that I cant hold her or play with her or even see her smile. I hate seeing people accuse me of being a bad mother when they have no facts or evidence of any kind. I made the choices best for my daughter and our family. What happened to Serenity is the worst thing I could even imagine to happen. I still cant believe I lost her. Its funny how strangers judge me without even knowing my true story. Most of the media had the story wrong anyway. My heart is shattered at the loss of Serenity. She is and will always be the love of my life.
To Serenitys Mother

Mableton, GA

#30 Mar 20, 2014
Ma, I just wanna say to you that I know there is probably nothing worse than losing your child, except maybe losing your child to someone you trust. For other ppl to bash you when you are already at your lowest is so wrong beyond measures. Don't ever feel like you have to justify yourself to ignorant ppl. I hope and pray that you can get to a point where you can think about your daughter and it instantly makes you smile instead of crying. There is no time frame on mourning, take as much time as you need. Pray everyday, ask God for guidance, and He will breathe life back into you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
1mad mom

Bridgeport, CT

#31 Apr 7, 2014
I hope them BITCHES ROT IN HELL!!!
yourcrazy

Houston, TX

#32 Nov 20, 2014
MOCCA1 wrote:
I'am a good ole friend of ladawn butts which is erica's mom. it kills me how people can make judgment when they don't have facts. get your facts right first then say what u feel otherwise you sound like some damn fools. put yourself in erica's shoes and think how would you feel with these statements being made.
first of all, this bitch shanita and erica buse this little girl and how can you say that how would erica feel about these statement, she should never beat that child for weeks because of potty train, the judge which is my aunt that sentence erica and shanita to life in prison, said that they could have stop but the beaten was taken since serenity was in their care. so you mean to tell me, because of one potty train accident leads to a week of beaten? they wanted to beat that child even my aunt the judge stated that the picture of that child reflected her and then she had burn on her. yeah people that a family or friend of the killer (erica is going to say oh...... she's a good person to serentiy. if so , serenity wouldnt gotten beaten like the way she did not behind a accident of potty train. so fuck what you say erica and shanita deserved the max of prison LIFE
Caprica2424

Chicago, IL

#33 Jan 27, 2015
No matter what the child should not be dead it's sad ! I feel for the mother of both sadddd!!!
Caprica2424

Chicago, IL

#34 Jan 27, 2015
To Serenitys Mother wrote:
Ma, I just wanna say to you that I know there is probably nothing worse than losing your child, except maybe losing your child to someone you trust. For other ppl to bash you when you are already at your lowest is so wrong beyond measures. Don't ever feel like you have to justify yourself to ignorant ppl. I hope and pray that you can get to a point where you can think about your daughter and it instantly makes you smile instead of crying. There is no time frame on mourning, take as much time as you need. Pray everyday, ask God for guidance, and He will breathe life back into you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Good reply

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