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Jan 14, 2015 10:40 PM

NH1 Exclusive: Grandmother wants laws changed after granddaughter's murder


NASHUA - A New Hampshire woman whose 3-year-old granddaughter was allegedly murdered by her mother is speaking out and only to NH1.

Sharon Boucher says that even though she saw all the warning signs and tried to get help from the courts, she said her pleas fell on deaf ears.

Now she says she wants to change laws and even though it may be too late for her granddaughter, she'll fight until it's not too late for other young children.

Brielle Gage, 3, was found beaten back in November at her mother's Nashua home.

Officials say the official cause of death was blunt force trauma.

They later charged the toddler's mother, Katlyn Marin, 24, with second-degree murder after investigators say she abused Brielle to death.

"...And I believe right now if they had placed her with me when I originally went to court, I believe it was last May, she'd still be alive today," Boucher said in an exclusive NH1 interview.

But would she?

During the interview, Boucher said the Division of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) came to her house and she says they were extremely impressed with letting Brielle stay there but that never happened.

That's even more ammunition for Boucher to fight the system.

"...Kids are dying all the time. It's in the news more and more. So something is not right with that. That needs to be changed..," she said.

She tells NH1 exclusively that she wants both DCYF and the court system held accountable, especially she says, since felony abuse charges hung over the mother and her boyfriend at the time of Brielle's death.

Boucher also says her petition to get custody of Brielle fell on deaf ears.

She also argues that being Brielle's grandmother, she has the right to be in court but not so in the eyes of the law.

"...I'm a grandmother with no criminal record. I'm a certified child care provider for DCYF for preventive and protective services. I've done it since 2010. There's no reason why she shouldn't have been placed with me...," Boucher said.

Now, Boucher has taken the fight to the New Hampshire State House with her plan to every state lawmaker.

Here it is:

• During legal hearings and trials, grandparents should be there while at the same time, children shouldn't be forced to testify against their alleged accusers in court.
• Grandparents with no criminal background who are **not the parents of the accused, should have custodial rights.
• During the investigation, children should not be given back to their parents.
• Lastly, that the state has too much control and that families should have a say and not just the state making its rulings.

So why all of this planning? Boucher says it's not about her. It's about Brielle and now protecting others so they don't suffer her fate.

"...I don't want to have to have any other family to go through this. This is needless. This could have been prevented and she fell through the cracks...," Boucher said.

DCYF told NH1 News they cannot comment on the case because state law prohibits them from talking about any cases.


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