Press Release


CONTACT: Deb Brammer,

Phone: 011-643-214-1188

Babysitter Forced to Fight to Prove her Innocence

Wrongful Conviction Could Happen to You


MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA – November 22, 2013 – A new book gives a personal and detailed account of Mary Weaver and her lawyer, Steve Brennecke in their fight to clear her name. The babysitter who tried to save 11-month-old Melissa Mathes’ life, was accused of taking her life instead.

In Edges of Truth: the Mary Weaver Story, author Deb Brammer weaves the facts of the case with the personal struggle Mary’s family was forced to endure when Mary was falsely accused of first-degree murder. Co-author Steve Brennecke adds insight into the legal process and the sense of failure he felt when his innocent client was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

This timely book will touch your heart as you relive the tragedy of death, cover-up, rationalization of medical experts, and the bumpy road to righting an unthinkable wrong. As you read the final page you will realize:

  • The same thing could happen to you.
  • Innocent caregivers are still being convicted of shaken baby syndrome (abusive head trauma) today.
  • Hope still shines in the darkest situations.

In an extensive article in the LA Times showcasing Mary’s case and others like it, Barry Siegel writes, “It’s that child in the ER–or morgue–who finally makes the shaken baby controversy most complicated. Say what you will, it’s hard to challenge someone who’s campaigning against baby killers. To do so isn’t politically palatable, or, for many, personally appealing. Dismay over child abuse trumps concern for civil liberties.”  (“Judging Parents as Murderers on 4 Specks of Blood,” LA Times, July 11, 1999.)

“I wrote this book,” says Brammer, “to highlight the hidden dangers in the abusive head trauma controversy today. Though some progress has been made, I’m convinced innocent caregivers are still being convicted for murder. You place yourself in grave danger when you are with a baby who dies. We must continue to fight for the presumption of innocence.”

Deb Brammer has written for publication for more than 30 years. Along with other extensive writing, she has published four fiction books with Bob Jones University Press. She worked closely with co-author Steve Brennecke and Mary Weaver in the writing of this book.

Edges of Truth: The Mary Weaver Story ($13.95, 350 pages, 6×9, paperback, ISBN:978-1491070710) is available through