Ricky Holland's Birth Mom Continues Fight For Custody

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Casey Caswell was back in court Tuesday. She's the biological mother of Ricky Holland, who was murdered by his foster parents in 2006, and Caswell is still trying to keep custody of one of her children.

She's already given up or lost custody of five other kids, including Ricky. Now there's been months worth of hearings to keep 13-month old Matthew Caswell.

The Caswells' pastor was just one of several people who testified in Judge George Economy's court in Lansing.

"They're parents who love and miss their child," Pastor Coye Bouyer of King Life Church said.

The family's therapist also took the stand and said their parenting has improved. Dr. Kathleen Jager has had 13 2-hour sessions with them since their last court appearance in November.

"If he gets fussy, you know, they'll give him a bottle and they'll see if that works, and if that doesn't work then they'll hold him and pat him," Jager said. "They'll try different things to help him regulate, and they're very effective with that, and so that's been very good to see."

What's isn't good to see, according to several testimonies, is the Caswells' living situation. It's a concern many people have - the parents are still unemployed, unable to pay rent, and neither has a high school diploma. Plus, Casey was recently under investigation by Adult Protective Services regarding people she invited into their home.

"They've had a rough life," the Caswells' attorney William Campbell said. "This is a situation, abject poverty has placed them in a position they're just scrambling to provide a home for themselves and this child."

The child's pediatrician said she worries for little Matthew's development after three foster homes in the first year of his life.

"Matthew needs permanency," Dr. Anne Seuss said. "He needs to have a place where he's going to be and where he's going to stay. He needs exceptional parenting."

Another concern is Matthew's father history. Mr. Caswell was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in juvenile court and still hasn't gotten proper treatment, according to a psychologist's testimony. Judge Economy said he has to consider all of these factors before he can reach a decision.

"There are months of testimony that I have to go over and review before I finally make a decision as to what would be in the best interest of the child," Judge Economy said.

Social workers and psychologists testified right now the Caswells' home is not stable or safe enough to have Matthew in their care.

The Caswells are scheduled to be back in court March 26 for the last part of these hearings, and Casey is expected to testify.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Mar 11, 2013 at 08:46 AM
    Point blank its a insult to us tax payers to even consider this womans plea. I am a full time working mother of 3, married as well my husband working full time however we can't even get affordable medical yet this woman takes every advantage every avenue to get hand outs and does nothing productive. Learning to sooth a child is not a enough to make up for the fact she failed 5 times prior, she does nothing to secure even the basic of jobs, education or living situation especially when you socialize w/ others who are are worse in the productivy gene then you. Sorry but i can not show sympathy for some one that expects me the tax payer to do do do for them and they can't seem to do for them selves. If anything the courts should be more concerned on how to prevent this woman from producing any more children.
  • by Carol Location: Charlotte on Mar 6, 2013 at 12:43 PM
    This woman is a baby factory, has no concept of motherhood. Nor does the father. No job, no ambition. Why has this proposal even been considered. Think of what this child will go through with these so-called parents?
  • by Chrissy Location: Tampa Bay on Mar 6, 2013 at 09:10 AM
    Why is this even in question? She is an unfit parent who has lost 5 kids and should be required to have her tubes tied. Losing one kid is bad enough, losing 5 it should be a crime.
  • by shauna Location: jackson on Mar 6, 2013 at 04:17 AM
    Please do not return this child. You will be making a mistake. Think about the baby first, this man is charged with csc, he should be nowhere around this child. DUH!!!.
  • by liz hann Location: michigan on Mar 6, 2013 at 03:37 AM
    Well I hope the judge dose not give back the kid. I know both of them and they would not get up and do anything to get a job or to be with her kids all the time. And how I know is because they both lived with me for a long time and the only thing they have done is sleep and eat all the time. I just hope the judge dose not give them the baby at all
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