Oklahoma mother serving 30 years for failing to protect children from abuse recommended for commutation
OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma woman who has served more jail time for failing to protect her children than the man who hurt them was approved to send a commutation request to Governor Stitt.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board unanimously voted to recommend Tondalao Hall for commutation with time served to the governor.
Hall’s attorneys expect the governor to approve it by the holidays.
The judge told News 4 the letter Prater wrote changed how he felt about this case.
“I wish Ms. Hall the best. She now has the opportunity to have a relationship with her children outside of prison. I’m hopeful that Ms. Hall will use this opportunity to educate women in abusive relationships to seek help before their children are abused by their violent partner. As a parent, our first priority is to protect our children. The most effective way to do that is to not expose our children to violence in the first place. If anyone finds themselves in a violent relationship I urge them to seek help immediately. In Oklahoma County, there are wonderful people at Palomar, our family justice center, who are ready to assist anyone who needs their services,” said District Attorney David Prater.
In July, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted to advance Hall’s case to the second stage of consideration. The board has rejected Hall’s previous commutation requests, however, four out of five board members were appointed within the past year, making an almost new board.
Hall asked to have her 30-year sentence modified.
Back in 2004, Hall was in an abusive relationship with a boyfriend, Robert Braxton Jr. He was beating her and then began abusing her children.
“On that particular night, she had to take her kids to the hospital because something was wrong and, when she did, what she found out was that the same man that was abusing her was abusing those kids,” Brady Henderson, legal director with ACLU, told News 4 in 2017.
That trip to the hospital eventually led to criminal charges for both Braxton and Hall. He pled guilty to child abuse and she entered a blind plea on charges of failing to protect her children.
“That plea deal involved him getting credit for the time he served in jail, which was almost two years, and so essentially being released straight to probation,” Henderson said.
Hall has served more than a decade of her 30-year sentence.
This story was updated to correct the mispelling of Tondalao. (11/8/19)