Trial date set for stepmother accused of nearly beating child to death

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Eight months later and supporters are still fighting for justice for little Kaiden Starr Rice.

Her stepmother, Marissa Bickford-Rice, was in court on Friday.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office offered another plea deal in a case that involves the traumatic brain injury suffered by now 5-year-old Kaiden Starr Rice.

Last September, police say Bickford-Rice slammed her head on the floor, breaking her skull and causing other injuries.

Kaiden’s Godmother Colleen Lyon says she will not give up on justice.

“I mean that’s a great range if she pleads to that first-degree assault. Her pleading to the assault first is really an important thing for Kaiden and for Kaiden’s mental recovery as well,” Lyon said.

Kaiden has left a patient rehab facility and is now back home with her grandmother Tammie Waite, who says cognitively Kaiden is like a 2-year-old but is improving.

“She’s very willing to learn everything and try everything but you know we’ll see where the progress is in two years you know,” Tammie Waite, Kaiden’s grandmother, said.

“It’s difficult. It is a fight every day and she’s walking. She’s still not using her right arm. She is talking about three-word sentences,” Lyon said.

Walking and talking, eight months ago Kaiden was at Albany Med on life support, a miracle but a life changed forever.

Waite says she wants Bickford-Rice behind bars for a long time.

“25 isn’t enough for me but I’ll take what they give. I’ll take what they give, double digits is what I’ll take.”

Meanwhile, Kaiden is busy at school. She recently started and is already bossing around her bus driver, asking that he bring her music.

“Louder and bigger so he was turning it up as they pulled up,” Waite said. “I could see her mouth through the window and she’s going bye grandma.”

Bickford-Rice still has time to accept a plea deal but if she doesn’t this will go to trial in September.

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