Criminal Justice News

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fairchild Airman reflects on nephew who died as a result of suspected child abuse

by Scott King
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

4/10/2013 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- On March 13, 22-month-old Joseph [Joey] Wayne Graham III died in Boise, Idaho, from what appeared to be "trauma-related" injuries including significant bruising, brain swelling and a fractured skull.

Meanwhile at Fairchild, Staff Sgt. Jordan Allen was just getting home from work when she received a phone call from her mother saying her nephew had died.

"Needless to say I was devastated when I heard that from my mother," Allen said. "Joey is no longer with us and that's hard to believe."

Elmore County Idaho prosecutors filed a first-degree murder charge March 14 against 20-year-old Richard Ryan Laubach, a Mountain Home AFB Airman in connection with the death of his step son, Joseph. The Ada County Coroner's office said the cause of death was an abusive head injury and the manner of death was homicide.

The death of her nephew has prompted Allen to be a "voice" and speak out.

"No one wants to talk about child abuse until it becomes personal for them," she said. "When I saw Joey on life support before he died I instantly thought about my daughter Hayley. They look alike and all I could think of was that could be her laying there - it was bad enough seeing him in that shape, I couldn't imagine if it was Hayley."

This tragedy has effected more than just her.

"This has destroyed my brother, Joseph Graham II and Joey's mom Erin Bessey," Allen said. "They no longer have a son."

Laubach has not yet entered a plea and is being held in the Elmore County Jail without bond.

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