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Seabeck woman pleads guilty to second-degree manslaughter

Kimberly Ann Forder, being led into the courtroom for her arraignment in 2006, recently accepted a plea agreement of second-degree manslaughter in the death of her adopted son. - Photo by Kassie Korich/file photo 2006
Kimberly Ann Forder, being led into the courtroom for her arraignment in 2006, recently accepted a plea agreement of second-degree manslaughter in the death of her adopted son.
— image credit: Photo by Kassie Korich/file photo 2006

By RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

Kimberly Ann Forder, formerly of Seabeck, has been held in Kitsap County Jail for 18 months for the death of her adopted son, but could be released as early as Friday.

Forder was charged in Kitsap County Superior Court in 2006 with homicide by abuse and first-degree manslaughter for the 2002 death of her adopted son, Christopher Michael Forder. The 45-year-old agreed to a plea agreement late last week and pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, according to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Montgomery, who is handling the case.

“Basically the defense indicated they would plea to second-degree manslaughter,” Montgomery said.

Forder and her husband, Robert, lived in the 2600 block of Northwest Four Wheel Drive in Seabeck at the time of Christopher’s death in 2002 with their three biological children and four adopted children, including Christopher whom they adopted from Oregon at the age of 4. Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies responded to their home Nov. 24, 2002 to investigate the 8-year-old boy’s death. Lori Blankenship, lead detective in the case, immediately noticed numerous bruises and abrasions on Christopher’s body. Despite their findings, detectives could not develop enough proof at that time to make an arrest.

An autopsy performed by the county coroner’s office revealed that Christopher died of pneumonia and the manner of death was listed as undetermined.

Years later, Forder’s eldest biological daughter came forward with information regarding her adopted brother’s death. She told detectives that Forder had starved and beaten Christopher daily for four years and would throw him into a shed where the family kept its ducks as a form of punishment and left him there for several days. The 8-year-old boy also was forced to wear diapers and sleep in a crib and, at times, had to wear soiled diapers on his head as punishment. Forder’s eldest biological son confirmed much of what his sister told detectives in regard to Christopher’s death.

Montgomery said based on the evidence at hand, the prosecutor’s office decided the plea agreement was a good option to close the case. She added that there was “some credibility issues with testimony” and the plea to second-degree manslaughter means Forder “admitted that she should have sought medical treatment for him (Christopher).”

“We thought that it was a fair resolution of the case,” Montgomery said.

Forder will be sentenced for second-degree manslaughter in Kitsap County Superior Court Friday, Feb. 29. Her sentence could range from 21-27 months.

With Forder having already served 18 months in county jail, a judge could suspend the rest of her sentence and she could be released following her sentencing hearing Friday.

“She’s pretty much served her sentence,” Montgomery said.

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