DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Father sentenced to life in murder of his son (Tennessee)

This story has gotten alot of blog attention, so I wanted to give you the latest update. Pictures of both parents can been seen at the URL listed below. This is such a tragedy and tears at my heart . The children are the ones that suffer at the choices of their parents. Kim


By JAMIE SATTERFIELD, satterfield@knews.com

A Knox County jury today convicted a father of killing his 3-month-old son and sentenced him to life in prison.
Blake Delaney Tallant, 33, will have to serve at least 51 years behind bars before he's eligible for parole.

Jurors in Criminal Court deliberated 7.5 hours over two days before finding Tallant guilty of felony murder, second-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and neglect in the August 2002 death of Lex Arson Tallant. They took only 24 minutes to agree on the sentence.

Tallant wept as the jury announced its verdict.

Tallant has been on trial this week in what authorities have said is the most horrific case of child abuse ever investigated in Knoxville.

In the two weeks before his death, Lex sustained 23 broken ribs, a broken arm and a broken leg — all of which went untreated. At the time of his death, his tiny body was a mass of bruises, cuts, tears, burns and scrapes.

Although Lex's father is the one on trial, it was the baby's mother, Sarah Tallant — her role, her testimony, her value as a witness, her character, her psyche and, most of all, her plea deal — who took center stage Thursday as the prosecution and defense team squared off in closing arguments.

Tallant, 30, testified earlier this week against her husband as part of a plea deal brokered between attorney Tom Slaughter and Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols.

Under terms of the plea deal, she would receive a 20-year prison term but would be required to serve only one-third of it before she is eligible for parole. She would get credit for the more than three years she already has served since her arrest.

As part of the agreement, she gave a statement to Nichols in which she failed to accuse her husband of murder but pointed to instances of rough treatment by him that could account for some of the baby's injuries.

On the witness stand, she insisted her husband never intentionally hurt her son and claimed she never saw most of the injuries documented on the boy's body. She conceded both she and her husband were methamphetamine users.

She also disavowed both statements she made to police implicating her husband and parts of her statement to Nichols. It's not clear if her plea deal is in jeopardy as a result.

But Knox County Public Defender Mark Stephens made it a key point in his closing arguments Thursday. Prosecutors Steve Garrett and Marsha Mitchell found themselves defending the agreement on one hand and distancing their case from her on the other.

"Although (plea bargaining) is sometimes necessary, it is not always pretty," Garrett told jurors. "It's not your job to decide what's fair between Sarah Tallant and Blake Tallant. It makes no difference what happens to Sarah Tallant.

"Did we make a mistake making a deal with Ms. Tallant?" Garrett asked. "I don't know. But that deal has nothing to do with whether Blake Tallant is guilty."

Garrett pointed to a tape recording of Sarah Tallant's call for help on the night of her son's death in which she tearfully tells authorities her son isn't breathing.

"Sarah was showing emotion," Garrett said. "(Her husband) almost seems put out that he's having to deal with this. He knows what he's done to that baby. He knows if the police find out he's going to be arrested. I submit that Sarah finally showed some love for this child in the two weeks this child was in such agony."

Stephens was quick to respond.

"The state tells you, ‘Don't worry about Sarah Tallant. Don't worry about the consequences of the plea deal,' " he told jurors. "There's not much she said that's worth believing. She's written letter after letter (to her husband, saying, ‘I love you. We're innocent.' All the while, her attorney is meeting with (Nichols) getting a deal."

Stephens also argued that evidence showed Blake Tallant was on a methamphetamine-cooking trip for most of the final days of Lex's life.

"He's gone most of that time," Stephens said. "She's the exclusive caretaker, and she's taking meth every single day, twice a day."

Mitchell fired back with a closing argument that featured a defense of the plea deal, a layman's look at the "delusional" psyche of Sarah Tallant and haunting photographs of Lex's injuries.

"This baby had all this abuse," she said. "He would have been screaming out in pain. ? Parents should love their children. What did the world look like to this baby? We're just asking for justice for him."

Jamie Satterfield may be reached at 865-342-6308.

http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/local_news/article/0,1406,KNS_347_4604067,00.html

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i personally have had the chance to hear from blake by mail and im gonna let you in on what the news didnt share his story>>>> "i had been gone for a week on a trip and since i hadnt spent much time with sarah and the kids i was in a hurry to get home and see them. it was just after 6 pm when i got home sarah met me outside telling me that lex was running a fevor of 100 and that he hadnt been feeling well all day, i sit down to feed him a 4 oz bottle and she went into the back bedroom and got ivan came back thru and said she was gonna give ivan a bath and told me not to feed him anymore he had only ate 1 of the 4 oz that i had made and then she told me to go and lay him down he was tired. so i did and then i went to sit in the living room and i heard a noise and she said go look like she didnt want to so i went to see and he had spit up on himself it was dark colored and so i changed his shirt and laid down with him to watch tv and i noticed a smell so i changed him and i noticed he had a rash and a bad one at that so i put desitin on him and when i went to lift his legs to put another one on him he didnt respond and was limp and thats when i seen he wasnt breathing so i dont know what came over me but i started doing cpr and yelled for sarah to call 911" so this is a letter he wrote to me in september of last year, i have known him for many many years and her as well and i feel like justice did not prevail in this case she is very much guilty and she should not walk free in 2 years like the plea deal gave her he is guilty of neglect i know he could not have not noticed the abuse the 3 yr old ivan is now living in memphis with blakes parents and im scared sarah will get him back

Monday, April 10, 2006 9:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blake Tallant was not gone on a week long fishing trip or anything remotely similiar. He was gone cooking meth. People who have using meth for a week do not rush home to hug and spend quality time with their children. They are either coming down and want to be left alone or tweaked out of their minds - either way they are usually violent.

That poor little baby had 23 broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken leg, burns to his stomach and hand, a torn rectum, large bruises, inch long gashes on his neck and in his groin area, and busted lips.

No "loving" father who was incapable of abuse could overlook that.

It doesn't matter if Sarah or Blake were responsible for the injuries themselves - they were both responsible for Lex.

Friday, April 28, 2006 8:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amazes me how a mother can be home with her child and not notice cuts, burns and gashes. I don't understand it. Blake was out of town the week before the baby's death and the autopsy showed injuries that were 5-7 days old. Explain to me HOW only the father will spend life in prison over this. It is such injustice that Sarah will see the light of day in just a few short years and Blake will serve life. Sarah definitely got a deal and Blake will not only serve time for his actions, but it seems he will have to serve time for Sarah's as well.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 10:47:00 AM  

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