Trial set for couple charged in death of child in Smyrna

By Craig Anderson
Posted 8/6/21

DOVER — The trial date for a couple indicted following the discovery of their child’s remains nearly two years ago is set for Sept. 6, 2022.

Brandon and Kristie L. Haas are each …

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Trial set for couple charged in death of child in Smyrna

Posted

DOVER — The trial date for a couple indicted following the discovery of their child’s remains nearly two years ago is set for Sept. 6, 2022.

Brandon and Kristie L. Haas are each charged with multiple offenses in connection with the death of Emma Grace Cole, the Delaware Attorney General’s Office said.

The girl’s remains were found by a passerby at the Smyrna-Clayton Little Lass softball fields on Sept. 11, 2019, authorities said. The couple was arrested in Pennsylvania on Oct. 2, 2020.

Ms. Haas was Emma Grace’s mother and her husband was the child’s stepfather. They lived together in Smyrna, along with Emma Grace’s siblings, at the time of the girl’s death, the AG’s Office said.

The trial is scheduled to be held at Kent County Superior Court in Dover. No judge was listed in a scheduling order. Jury selection is set to begin on Sept. 1, 2022.

Earlier this year, AG Kathy Jennings announced that Ms. Haas was being charged with murder by abuse or neglect in the first degree through a superseding indictment, which joined earlier charges. Ms. Haas is also facing charges of first-degree child abuse, felony endangering the welfare of a child (three counts), misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child (three counts), second-degree assault, hindering prosecution, abusing a corpse and reckless burning. She could face a life sentence if convicted.

The AG’s office said that Mr. Haas was charged with child abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and hindering prosecution. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 45 years in prison based on the charges, the AG’s office said.

“Both Haases are alleged to have deprived Emma of sufficient food and needed medical attention and subjected Emma and her siblings to excessive forced exercise and inappropriate physical discipline,” according to an AG’s office news release earlier this year.

Mr. Haas, 39, is currently on pre-trial supervision after posting bail. His attorneys of record are Natalie Woloshin and Tom Donovan.

Ms. Haas, 29, is incarcerated at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution. She is being represented by attorneys Anthony Capone and Joe Halsey.
Deputy Attorneys General Kevin B. Smith, Kathleen A. Dickerson and Alicia Porter are prosecuting the case.

If the case must be rescheduled, an alternative trial date is set for Dec. 5, 2022.

While the Smyrna Police Department was the lead investigating agency in the case, it was assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, Delaware State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, the Delaware Division of Forensic Science, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Delaware Department of Transportation, the Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Newtown Township (Pa.) Police Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.