It is a story of children who become parents, Department of Human Services cases, and allegations of child abuse. But most of all, say Quinton Huett’s supporters, it is a tale about one man wrongfully accused and a legal system that is working to prove he is guilty despite the evidence.
Quinton Huett married Kay* in 2008. Kay already had one child; together Huett and Kay had two more children. They separated and finally divorced in 2011; Huett claimed Kay was both physically and verbally abusive toward him, abusive toward the children, and involved in drugs. Huett requested custody of his children. Shortly after his divorce, Huett met Ali.* Ali was a mother by age 15 to her baby Jay* and, six months after Jay’s birth, gave birth to Jordan. “They are my world and my reason for living” Ali wrote of her children. (source)
Huett’s family states there was never abuse in the Huett home, not even spankings if young “Quin” misbehaved. “Quin has no history of violence, no past DHS cases, no criminal history. Quinton is a kind and loving soul and hurting another human is not in his DNA. Especially a child,” says Huett’s mother. According a family member, Ali had emotional issues, a history of family violence, a criminal history, numerous DHS allegations, and talked of killing or abandoning Jay and Jordon. When Ali entered a room in their presence, her children cried, urinated on themselves, or hid in fear. When Quinton Huett came in the room, says the family, the children were delighted to see him, rushing to him for comfort, which he always gave.
A friend of Ali’s, a young girl named Bette,* was close to Jay and Jordan. Bette took numerous photographs and kept a detailed journal on Ali’s abuse of the youngsters. According to this journal, Ali would drop the girls off without clothing, filthy, hungry, covered in marks and scratches. One mark was an alleged cigarette burn Ali admitted to using as a form of discipline. The family also strongly suspected sexual abuse. One family member confides, “Bette tried for almost two years to get someone to listen to her about the abuse and even the County Health Department called DHS to report bruises, cuts and various other injuries to both girls.” The investigations were always closed without incident. “We have physical proof Ali was abusive but the case detective, DHS, and even the state police will not accept it in an open investigation” says a Huett family member close to the case.
On Monday, March 12, 2012, Huett and Ali rushed an unresponsive Jordan to the hospital. Huett was performing CPR. Two days later 21-month-old Jordan died from an occipital skull fracture, blood on her brain, retinal hemorrhages, and bruises in the lower right quadrant and in the mid-chest and down her spine on her back, a distended stomach filled with blood and no brain activity. Huett was arrested for murder. According to the probable cause warrant, Huett confessed.
“He made a false confession due to techniques, coercion, and so called promises made to him by the detective,” says a Huett family member. Friends and family began to rally around him, convinced of his innocence. They have received death threats and threats of harm for their support.
Quinton Huett, 23, waits as attorneys and investigators wrangle over the investigation. But there are unanswered questions and skeptics ask just how fair a trial Huett will receive. For example, the case investigator, Harold Madden, has a criminal past. “We live in a 'good ol’ boy system' here in this area,” explains one resident. “It matters how much you are worth, who you know, and who you pay off. Ali’s family is connected to 'old money' here.” Quinton Huett comes from a simple family who “lives paycheck to paycheck;” his father is a minister and his mother is disabled after working in the healthcare profession.
It is a tragic tale for all involved.
Credit: photo of J. Yates