Today I stand here in the final phase of my fight in seeing Justice done for my son, Cory Sechtin.
Today is the day I have been waiting for, for 3 years and 4 months I have waited to be able to get up here and speak about the great loss my family and I have been through due to Mr. Atwell’s disgusting behavior and negligence towards my son, Cory.
On September 5th I entrusted the care of my son Cory to your wife, Patrice Atwell. She in turn decided to leave my son in your care and leave the home. During that time you took it upon yourself to, in my opinion, murder my child.
I will probably never hear the truth of what happened that day. Since day one you have done nothing but lie to me. You - Larry, and your wife, came to the hospital the day my son was injured. You sat in the hospital room talking to me like you were in just as much shock as I was that this had happened. I believed you.
The doctors, nurses and surgeons in the hospital all told me that Cory’s injuries were caused by child abuse and/or shaken baby syndrome. I had to sit in that hospital for three days and watch my 1-year-old child deteriorate and slowly die.
First, we had to decide whether I was going to allow them to drill a hole in his skull to alleviate the swelling in his brain. Then, after we were there for less than 10 hours, I awoke from a short nap to hear my son, Cory, suffering a brain seizure and then a stroke. Then, having to go through talks with doctors about what kind of life Cory would have if he did survive: Would he be blind, slow or deaf?
This is nothing that anyone should ever have to go through. My next decision, unfortunately, ended up being to decide whether or not I was going to donate his organs because he was not going to survive. It seemed like I was there for months when in fact I was only there for 3 days. The time then came for the doctors to come in and try to explain to me that my son would never recover and what were my thoughts and/or plans for what I wanted to do next. After much deliberation we decided to take Cory off of life support. I got to hold my son as he took his last breath. Parents are not supposed to bury their children.
For the following 3 years and 4 months my fight has been to get you here - to where we are today. You took away a huge piece of my life and my heart. My life and the life of my family will never be the same.
We will never get to see Cory grow up. Never get to see his first unassisted steps, his first day at school, his first lost tooth, his first girlfriend, to watch him graduate college, get his first job or get married and have children. Since Cory’s death I have gotten married and was lucky enough to have another baby boy. I now get to look at my son Logan and say to myself, Wow I wish I could have seen the two boys play together.
How am I going to explain to Logan what happened to Cory? Every time Logan looks at Cory’s pictures I will always be waiting for the day when I know I will have to explain what happened to Cory and how you took my son from me.
My family has gone through hell for the last 3 years and 4 months. I have gone from being a completely normal adult to now having to be medicated just to get through the day. I can’t sleep without having reoccurring nightmares from what you have put me through. Every night I go to bed I get to sleep to the thoughts of you killing my child.
Every step I have taken in this fight for justice for my son Cory has definitely not been an easy one. I have waited through 3 years worth of interviews, changes of staff in the prosecutor’s office, changes in your counsel, and many, many court appearances. I truly thought today would never happen for me.
I can say that I don’t necessarily agree that your plea agreement or time spent in prison is nearly enough for killing Cory - a defenseless 1-year-old child - but at this point, for my self-preservation, I need to take what I can get and start to heal and receive some sort of closure. I need to be able to start to let go of the anger and hatred I have for you and begin to focus on new parts of life. I have a family I need to begin to live for.
I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive you but I need to start to forgive myself for the feelings I have and start the healing process.
My solace is going to bed every night for at least the next 5 years and 11 months knowing you will be in prison and I hope that every night you lay there in your cot that you remember why you are there and that you never forget the reason you are there.