Brittany Ann Myers, the 39-year-old former neonatal intensive care nurse and mother of five, was sentenced Monday to 14 months in prison followed by three years on probation for brutalizing her 14-year-old son, acts captured on video by the boy’s sister.
Before that incident, the Department of Children and Families had for a time removed Myers’s older daughter from the home after allegations of abuse, claims Myers denied.
Her children reported to authorities 13 months ago that beatings and psychological abuse was frequent and affected all of them. Authorities interviewed four of the five siblings at the time of Myers’s arrest in September 2021, when they were 16, 14, 9 and 7. A 2-year-old boy was not interviewed. Myers faced only one count of felony child abuse–the count based on video recordings of the incident. The count carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Myers is to have no contact with her biological children until either a parenting safety plan has been devised or a family-court judge makes that determination. Court papers filed by the State Attorney’s Office include references to dependency cases and parental fitness evaluations, pointing to restricted or severed parental rights. The case had been heading for trial until weeks ago, with three of the five children on the state’s list of witnesses who may have testified. Prosecutors are typically loath to put children through trial if they can avoid it.
Myers attempted to avoid severe punishment by participating in counseling, becoming a client of Alpha Women’s Center, a Palm Coast Christian ministry and attending Community Baptist Church in Bunnell. “She carried so much guilt about the events that transpired and shame surrounding her own childhood and her ability to be a mother that it was difficult for her to admit to herself and others that she was wrong,” Ashley Smith, a client services coordinator, wrote the court last month. Myers took courses with such titles as “Parenting Without Shame,” “Value Packed Parenting” and “Have a New Kid by Friday.” Smith documented the classes taken.
“I believe that Mrs. Myers needs further resources and support so she can continue her own journey of healing and repairing the damage her behaviors have inflicted on her children,” the coordinator wrote the court, without going as far as asking for any mercy from the court.
The state by then had built its case against Myers with video evidence and the accounts of the children, particularly a long interview with the 14-year-old boy with Nicole Heise, a senior case coordinator and forensic interviewer for the University of Florida’s First Coast Child Protection Team.
In the interview, the child told Heise that the incident his sister recorded on video started when Myers demanded the password for a phone he had, and he did not turn it over. So his mother “hit him multiple times on the back of his head with the phone,” according to an account in a motion filed by the prosecution, summarizing the interview. The boy described Myers pushing him to the floor, kicking him on his back, in the stomach, intentionally kicking him in his private parts, stomping him with her ankle, and choking him. (The boy’s 9-year-old brother would also report to authorities that Myers would kick him in the private parts.)
The incident took place in the kitchen the morning of September 21, 2021 on Patchogue Lane in Palm Coast.
The next day, the Department of Children and Families was alerted by Flagler County school personnel, and video of the incident, in four segments, was turned over to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. The video’s images are not as clear as the sounds, which include Myers repeatedly insulting, mocking and demeaning her son, the sounds of smacking and thudding, and the boy’s cries.
The 7 and 9-year-old children also reported beatings, as did the 16-year-old daughter. The daughter told authorities that the phone her brother had brought home and had been the focus of Myers’s anger was given to the 16 year old by her boyfriend to document the incidents at home. Florida law empowers children to record assailants’ abuse without the assailants’ knowledge, and without risk of prosecution for the children. Otherwise, Florida law forbids secret recordings.
Days after the incident, when the boy who suffered the beating on Sept. 21 had been placed in a different home, the daughter heard both her mother and father “try to convince [the boy] he is retarded to manipulate him into going back home.”
When deputies interviewed Myers at her home after the incident was reported, Myers accused her son of being “entitled” and “lazy,” but that the most she did was swat him on his butt. But she was shown the videos of the beatings.
“After watching that video, do you think now that you hitting him the way that you did, for a minimum of four minutes, was a reasonable use of force to discipline a child?” Sheriff’s detective Augustin Rodriguez asked her. (Florida law, mirroring law in 49 other states, still allows parents to beat their children or use other forms of violence as long as the beatings are not with malice or intended to bruise. Sixty-three countries have outlawed corporal punishment even by parents.)
“I’m not answering that because you’re going to arrest me,” Myers told the detective.
Myers had served two weeks in jail when she was first arrested in September 2021, before posting bail on $15,000 bond. That time will be credited to her prison sentence. With gain time, or early release, to which she could be entitled after serving 85 percent of her sentence, Myers is likely to be released from prison in time for Christmas 2023.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Tara Libby. Myers was represented by Daytona Beach attorney Michael Lambert.
Abuse Hotline: Report Abuse Online
The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day and 7 days a week of known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and reports of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Please use the links below to report a child or adult abuse.
If you suspect or know of a child or vulnerable adult in immediate danger, call 911.
TTY: 711 or
Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare is a mandatory reporter. § 39.201(1)(a), Florida Statutes.
To report an allegation in Spanish or Creole, please call 1-800-962-2873, for TTY use 711 or 1-800-955-8771. This toll free number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with counselors waiting to assist you.
See the End Violence Against Children website.
Wonder what kind of childhood that Mother had, sounds like she must have been abused herself. Her children deserve love and someone that doesn’t abuse them.
Timothy Patrick Welch says
So many women have been treated unfairly or worse. Its a wonder that some women seem to overcome past events while others continue to carry them and are burdened by them forever.
Love and Peace to the children and hope for the mother.
And I’m sure she’s someone who rails against saying gay and doesn’t want her kids reading certain books. These are the people policing all kids. Enough already.
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Evidence & Facts?
no one says
yes she is a “pray the gay away” mom
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Hope she gets the help she needs to restore her family unit. She looks a mess. Mental illness and stress are a plague on our society.
Where is the father?
Did you really compare this article and what that monster did to discipline?
Peaches McGee says
Although it won’t remain active much longer, her nursing license is still active as of this article.
Not only should her home be continually monitored for signs of abuse, she should be randomly tox screened for an extended number of years. It is not unusual to find that substance abuse plays a major part in such scenarios. Too many lot “clergy based counseling programs” miss that sort of thing in their counseling efforts.
This woman might have a Dual Diagnosis (Mental health/Addiction) disorder. And if that is true, if both parts of the problem are nlt receivning the necessary attention, she will remain at high risk for relapsing on one part or the other.