On Tuesday morning, after 2-year-old Jonathan Flam underwent emergency brain surgery at a Tampa hospital, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory P. Holder held a hearing to determine whether the child should be removed from his mother's care. This is an excerpt from the transcript of that hearing.
MOTHER: . . . I was ordered for the baby not to be near Mr. Cortez, not me.
JUDGE: Did you allow Mr. Cortez to take care of your baby?
MOTHER: Just __ __
JUDGE: Just long enough for him to kill your baby. Is that what you're telling me?
MOTHER: No, no. I ordered him to take him _ _
JUDGE: You ordered him to _ _ you allowed that man who had allegedly beaten your child to have unsupervised contact with your baby. Is that what you're telling the court? Is that what you're telling me?
MOTHER: But I'm explaining to you _ _
JUDGE: You're not explaining anything. You're admitting that you don't care about your baby and that you're allowing this man to attempt to murder your child. That's what you're telling me.
MOTHER: I do care about my baby.
JUDGE: If you cared about your baby, you wouldn't allow this man within 2-million miles of your child.
MOTHER: That was my mistake.
JUDGE: He's already facing criminal charges. You allowed him to have unsupervised contact, which allows him to batter that child such that that child has to have emergency surgery on his brain. What does that tell me? It tells me you don't care about your child.
MOTHER: That's the mistake I made.
JUDGE: A mistake. A mistake is spilling your coffee. A mistake is not allowing a man that batters your child to have contact with your child again. That's not a mistake.
MOTHER: I understand.
JUDGE: You don't deserve to have that child. You don't protect your child. You don't deserve to have the child.