Candace Newmaker's murderer, Connell Watkins released on parole
Courtesy of AP | ED ANDRIESKI)
Connell Watkins, one of two therapists convicted in the "rebirthing" death of 10-year-old Candace Newmaker, has been released from prison.
In 2001, Watkins and Julie Ponder were both sentenced to 16 years in prison after being convicted of reckless child abuse resulting in the death of Candace Newmaker. Candace was suffocated during a "rebirthing-scripted attachment therapy" session.
The session was videotaped and shown to the jury during the trial. It showed Candace pleading for oxygen and for her life. It also showed the therapists disregarding those pleas.
The following is excerpted from the transcript of Candace's fatal attachment therapy:
16:08 Candace: — Can you let me have some oxygen? You mean, like you want me to die for real?
Ponder: Uh huh.
Candace: Die right now and go to heaven?
Ponder: Go ahead and die right now. For real. For real.
17:07 Candace: — [Labored breathing] Get off. I’m sick. Get off. Where am I supposed to come out? Where? But how can I get there?
Watkins: Just go ahead and die. It’s easier… It takes a lot of courage to be born.
18:26 Candace: — You said you would give me oxygen.
Watkins: You gotta fight for it.
19:50 — [Candace vomits] OK, I’m throwing up. I just threw up. [Vomiting] I gotta poop. I gotta poop.
21:24 Candace: — Uh, I’m going in my pants.
Ponder: Go ahead.
Watkins: Stay in there with the poop and vomit.
23:22 Candace: — Help! I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. It’s hot. I can’t breathe.
Ponder: Scream, Candace.