McKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The father of the boy known as Wylie’s Angel got his chance Thursday to confront the woman who left his son to die.
Jerry Isgrigg spent many hours planning what he would say in court. “I wrote it down over the last year many many a times on paper.”
In the end, he spoke from the heart about the loss of his son, a boy better known as Wylie’s Angel. “It’s my way of talking to him.”
6-year-old Gerren Isgrigg was found dead last year in this wooded area in Wylie. His grandmother, Darlene Phillips, who had spent the last three years caring for him. pleaded guilty to murder for leaving him there.
Severely disabled, Gerren couldn’t see or hear and died from lack of medical care. In court, Isgrigg said his son was the best thing that ever happened to him. He also admitted he felt like he had failed him.
Defense attorney Marc Fratter has said Phillips had little to no support caring for her grandson and found Isgrigg’s sudden interest in his son’s welfare surprising.
“Her response to that was, ‘Where was he three years ago?’” said Fratter.
Isgrigg blamed his long absences on his military career and his strained relationship with Gerren’s mother. “Could I have done other things? I don’t know. Maybe. I don’t know. Therein lies my failure as a father.”
He doesn’t believe, though anything could excuse Phillips’ decision to leave his son to die, alone and helpless.
Although she sat in court Thursday, he never addressed her and never even looked at her. He said he didn’t want to risk losing his composure.
Darlene Phillips was sentenced to 28 years in prison Wednesday as part of a plea deal with Collin County prosecutors. The 64-year-old woman faced up to life in prison.
Fratter said his goal was to make sure Phillips didn’t spend the rest of her life in prison.
Authorities have said the boy, Gerren Isgrigg, had significant medical needs, and Phillips was his primary caregiver after the child’s mother left him with Phillips. Police in the Dallas suburb of Wylie said the boy appeared to have once had a feeding tube.