Police said Brewer slashed her daughter Jewell Ward’s throat before drowning the child and her two younger brothers, believing she was saving them from the deadly effects of voodoo.
Hours later, Brewer survived two suicide attempts — swallowing a concoction of home cleaning fluids and later jumping out a second-story window.
Brewer was brought Wednesday from an upstate New York psychiatric center for the court proceeding, but she did not comment. After the judge issued his order, she briefly stopped to kiss her grandmother and speak with other relatives.
The children’s fathers settled wrongful death lawsuits with Nassau County after they claimed social workers failed to properly monitor the woman and children. Caseworkers visited Brewer’s apartment two days before the killings and found no one home but neglected to schedule an immediate follow-up visit.
Brewer subsequently filed an objection to the fathers receiving the settlement money.
Innocent Demesyeux Sr. is the father of 5-year-old Michael and 18-month Innocent Demesyeux who were killed; Ricky Ward is Jewell’s father.
But in his ruling, the judge said, “There is a direct causal link between her wrongdoing and the benefit she seeks. The funds only exist because of Ms. Brewer’s wrongful conduct. But for her killing of Jewel, Innocent and Michael, there would be no funds to allocate.”
Even if McCarty had ruled for Brewer, she likely would have never cashed a check from her children’s estate because, as a state official noted during Wednesday’s proceeding, there is a $1.3 million lien against Brewer for medical and mental health services she has received while in custody.
The judge said he planned a separate hearing — likely in December — to determine whether the fathers legally abandoned their children, which could potentially disqualify them from receiving the money as well. It was not clear who would be next in line for the estate money if that happens.
Brewer’s court-appointed attorneys did not comment after the proceeding, but during a hearing Wednesday morning, attorney Peter Kelly said Brewer’s motivation was to block Demesyeux from getting the money.
Demesyeux did not attend Wednesday’s proceeding, but his attorney, Thomas Foley, rejected any suggestion that the man had abandoned his children.