Below is a copy of an e-mail I received from Hannah's Aunt with some additional information... Please keep Hannah
and her family in your prayers.
Dear Louise Buhay,
I recently found your website “Women Wrongly Convicted,” and was overjoyed to find it and read about you, and at the same
time deeply saddened by the stories of the women who are incarcerated.
I am writing to bring your attention to the case of my niece, Hannah Overton. Information about the case
is available at www.freehannah.com. Hannah is a life-long evangelical Christian. In Hannah’s case, the prosecution used her faith against
her, doing their best to cast her as a religious zealot who practiced abusive discipline. Nothing could be further from the
We who know Hannah is innocent want to enlist as much assistance as possible for her case and make it clear that many
in the public are paying attention. Any suggestions, advice, or contacts you can
offer would be greatly, greatly appreciated.
Hannah was convicted in September, 2007 in Corpus Christi, TX of capital murder in the death of Andrew
Burd, the 4 year old boy she and her husband were in the process of adopting. She was found guilty of capital murder “by
omission” – by delaying in seeking medical attention for the child. Andrew died from hypernatremia, or sodium
intoxication, commonly called “salt poisoning.” His first symptom was vomiting, then chills.
Hannah treated the symptoms, not aware of what was wrong. Hypernatremia takes about an hour to an hour and a half before the
symptoms manifest. That’s exactly the amount of time it was before Hannah and her husband rushed Andrew to medical
care. Medical staff at the 2nd hospital where he was taken had to run lab tests to find out what was
wrong with him. Hypernatremia is difficult to diagnose, and virtually impossible to treat once it reaches a threshold point.
Prosecutors asked the jury to find Hannah guilty of intentionally poisoning Andrew, and also gave them the option
to find her guilty of omission – of delaying seeking medical help – without specifying that they believe that
she intended or even knew that a delay would cause him harm. The latter charge was objected to by Hannah’s defense
attorneys, but the judge allowed it to stand. A poll of all 12 jurors revealed that all found her guilty of “omission.”
The jury was not aware of the mandatory sentence.
Hannah received life in prison without parole. She is 30, and the mother of 5 children under 10. She
has no prior criminal record whatsoever. Her husband, initially charged with capital murder, pled no contest to
criminally negligent manslaughter. He received adjudicated probation in a hearing presided over by a visiting judge.
An appeal has been filed at the 13th Court of Appeals in Texas.
Case Number: 13-07-00735-CR HANNAH RUTH OVERTON vs THE STATE OF TEXAS.
Key evidence of prosecutorial misconduct in this case include the following:
1. After the verdict, a key witness contacted the
defense attorney, stating that he’d been squelched by the prosecutor. This was a doctor who had told the prosecution
he believed the death was an accident.
2. A juror came forward a few months later to say
that the instructions to the jury were unclear and did not require them to believe that the defendant had any intention of
harming the child.
3. It is described in the motion for appeal as “one
of the rare cases which warranted a mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct.”
Before this all happened to Hannah, I and the rest of her family and friends
were completely unaware of how many innocent people are incarcerated. May God bless you for the work you are doing for
women who are wrongly convicted,