Sean Ford Paddock
September 2001 - February 26, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial

I can't figure out why it is that people who don't seem to like children, or value them as people, keep adopting them, but they do. Johnny and Lynn Marie Paddock adopted six children and had one child that was biologically theirs, the family lived on a farm where the animals were treated better than the children. All of the children living in the home, were home schooled.

Paramedics were called to the home in response to Lynn saying that her son was not breathing. Lynn's story was that she had gone in to check on her son Sean at about 3:30 a.m. and he was fine. Returning to check on him again at 7:00 a.m., she found him stiff, grabbed him up, carried him down stairs and yelled for one of the children to call 911. Johnny came inside and tried to do CPR on Sean, but Sean was already dead. Paramedics arrived and took Sean to Johnston Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Two children in the home told Social Workers that Lynn had been punishing them by hitting them with PVC pipe and bruises on their bodies showed that they were not lying. Lynn was arrested and held without bail. Sean was found to have bruises on his body as well and it was evident that he had been severely beaten. Lynn was charged with murder as well as two counts of felony child abuse, inflicting serious injury. Oddly, Social Workers removed four the children who had been adopted, but two other children were allowed to go back and stay with their father. Why would this have been allowed when it had to be obvious to this man that the children were being beaten and he didn't seem to have done anything to protect them from his wife? One of the children was 18 years old and the biological child, but the other was one of the adopted children.

The State's Chief Medical Examiner, John Butts, said that it was evident Sean had been beaten with the PVC pipe, he had bruises on his back and bottom, though those were not the injuries which had killed Sean. It was discovered that in the weeks leading up to his death, Sean had been wrapped tightly in blankets to restrain him and keep him from getting up, this was done as a form of punishment. Sean had suffocated to death while being restrained this way:

"This is the most extreme case of torture of a child I have ever seen. There's no excuse or
explanation for this"
Sheriff Steve Bizzell

The other children in the home told of how the beatings they were given, had caused Sean to walk with a limp. District Attorney Tom Lock was  considering an indictment for first degree murder and using the fact that Sean had been tortured as his justification for what is the toughest homicide charge. If found guilty of first degree murder, Lynn would be facing the death penalty or life in prison without a chance for parole. Charges were possibly going to be filed against Johnny once a thorough investigation was completed.

It came out that in 2005, the Paddock's had adopted Sean and his siblings and seven months later, complaints were made by a foster parent that they were using inappropriate methods of discipline when in January, Sean was seen after a pre adoption visit with bruises on his bottom. Lynn lied and said he had fallen off of a bunk bed. An interview was done by Child Protective Services and nothing was round to be wrong, the children were allowed to be adopted by these  monsters.

It was reported that Lynn decided she needed help in how to discipline her children so she ordered books and learned from those "Christian" based books that it was proper to beat your children with a pipe in order to discipline them. The books CLEARLY gave bad advice about how to hit the children, saying it wouldn't cause bruising if done in just the right way. The books say not to do it in front of others because they might not understand and would consider it abuse and call CPS. They would consider it abuse, because IT IS ABUSE! Still, some people at her church thought she was just trying to be a good mother:

"I think she was trying to do the right thing by her children"
Another child abuse supporter - Reece

The writers of these terrible, child abuse promoting books would not be interviewed when they learned of the death of Sean they said that their materials speak on their own. Yeah they do, they teach child abuse or you wouldn't tell people NOT to do it in front of other people who would call to get protection for those children.

In May of 2008, court was in session and Prosecutor Paul Jackson had just won a victory in being allowed to speak about the abuse that Lynn had given these children though she called it discipline. Judge Knox Jenkins decided that the children could tell their story. Two of the children were in court and were speaking about times when hammers had been thrown, their mouths had been taped shut, they were forced to eat vomit and stay in bed for weeks at a time. At times, Sean and one of his sisters were wrapped in blankets tightly and then shoved between beds or bookshelves so they couldn't move and one of those wrapping had been severe enough to kill Sean. Along with the physical abuse, the children were also verbally and mentally abused:

"She's just curse at us to make us feel we weren't worth anything. She very rarely told us she
loved us. She told us nobody would ever take us if we left"
Ray Paddock 17 years old

The children had not been comfortable at first, talking to Police or Social Workers, but over time, they were no longer afraid that their mother would punish them for talking:

"I finally felt comfortable telling the truth when I knew Paddock was in jail and wouldn't be able
to
come out and hurt us. I finally realized that I could trust people and they actually cared"

Lynn was sitting just a few feet from the children as the testified about the horrible things they had been through at her hands. Lynn cried and dabbed her eyes while her lawyer tried to say that Johnny deserved some of the blame. Tami Paddock, the 21 year old, who was the oldest of the adopted children, testified that Johnny had known about some of the "discipline techniques" that Lynn had been using and that he had been asleep one time when Sean was hit 70 or 80 times with the PVC pipe simply for asking Johnny if he would turn on the air conditioner in the car while they traveled to church. Johnny eventually divorced Lynn and was saying that he wanted to see her brought to justice. Sorry, Johnny, YOU should also be brought to justice for not protecting these children.

Testifying in court was a Social Worker named Heather Binder, who had been the one to take the children to the hospital they day their brother died:

"They were extremely well behaved. It was like, sit still, look straight ahead, don't make a move.
Don't do anything"

At first, the children told lies about what had happened, out of fear of punishment by their mother. Speaking with each child on their own, Heather noticed that they were timid and depressed. At the hospital, the children had asked permission when one of them wanted to pick up a crayon that had fallen on the floor, they ate the snacks they were given and then quoted scripture from the Bible.

Ray said that his brother David threw fits and that was the reason he had bruises. David, who is Sean's biological brother was scared and shaking as he was examined, it was noted that he was very thin and like his brother Sean, he walked with a limp. Mostly, David just seemed sad:

"There was no life behind his eyes. He seemed to be a very sad child"

Heather had forced Johnny to look at the bruises on David's body before she took the children away. All Johnny could say was:

"I'm sorry David"

Sorry doesn't BEGIN to describe what you are, Johnny. In court, Heather testified that Johnny told her he was not in opposition to the way his wife disciplined their children and the children made that clear:

"They said that Johnny might've like it because during some of the discipline, he smiled"

Also testifying was Doctor Benjamin Winter who said that the all of the children seemed to be abused and in need of a lot more nutrition including supplements:

"These injuries were not accidental. You won't have this many over this much of a part of your
body
in this many different stages of healing unless you're a football player"

In June of 2008, it was Lynn's turn to take the stand to try an explain her behavior. Lynn told of how she met Johnny and how they came to adopt the children and what kind of methods she used in home schooling them. She spoke of nothing other than the "good" things she had done, teaching them math, reading, writing and the Bible. Then she spoke of how she found the teachings from the books she started using to discipline the children: (NOTE: Lynn mentioned the name of the man who wrote the book, in her testimony. I will NOT leave his name in because I think the man has something wrong in his brain and he appears to be an advocate for beating children)

"We liked ***** ***** approach because it was quick, it didn't demean the child. He advocated
giving
a swat and moving on"

Then why didn't you do THAT instead of hitting a child no less than 70 times? Lynn said that she went to the hardware store and bough the PVC pipe that the book suggested. She bought the pipe, cut it into the lengths they needed and she and Johnny put them in different places around the house so that she wouldn't have to go too far when she wanted to beat a child with it. Of course she said it was so she wouldn't have to search for it.

Another Social Worker, Deborah Artist, said that the Paddock's had adopted six children over ten years, from 2996 through 2005 and had completed training that was required of people wanting to adopt children from foster homes. Deborah said that while she knew the family used discipline measures such as time outs and taking away privileges, there never was an issue with physical abuse. The Paddock's received $300. a month for Sean and each other child adopted brought in about $400. a month. I guess THERE is the answer the first question I asked about why people adopt children when they don't want them.

The defense was trying to say that the death was accidental and that Lynn had only been trying to follow the Christian discipline plan she found in the books. I wish I could SHAKE people who say things such as a child who was hit at least 70 times with a PVC pipe and then bound in blankets so tight that they can't move, is an accident. I guess if we beat them with a pipe and bound them, they might see it differently!

Now comes the predictable part, where Lynn tells of the abuse SHE suffered as a child. Lynn told of her own mother had beaten her with a PVC pipe and that her skin would turn blue after the beatings, how she went hungry at times so she knew what it was like ot miss a meal and that it ALL had come to her through her mother. Lynn's sister testified in court about the same abuse they had suffered:

"Dad never hit us. But the thing he did do was nothing. He watched that go on all day, every
day and never stopped it:
Tanya Luck

Lynn and Tanya ended up running away from home and living with a foster family. During her testimony, Lynn admitted what she had done to her children and as pictures were shown to her of the injuries they suffered, she would say "yes sir" to indicate that she had done that to her child. When asked by her attorney if she had forced David to eat vomit on his birthday she said:

"I'm sorry. I'm very ashamed"

Lynn said that she had made him eat his own vomit because she felt he had made himself throw up on purpose. Lynn also said that she had lied about her forms of discipline to Social Workers and she had told her children, even coached them, to lie. Lynn did her share of denying things as well, she said she never forced the children to sit with their legs crossed for hours at a time, she never didn't hit them with a wooden spoon, a hammer or a metal stake and she said she would never kick them. Well, what a nice mother you are Lynn, to NOT do those things to your children. (eye roll)

Ironically, Lynn said that she and Johnny had promised they would never return a child to foster care no matter how damaged they were:

"We would take whatever God brought us. Whatever they needed, we'd give it to them"

WOW! Funny, none of them were damaged until you and Johnny got your hands on them.

Lynn finally said that Sean had been a typical toddler, always playing and busy and that she had to wrap him up to keep him from walking around the house at night or playing in his bed. For five nights in a row, Sean bucked, screamed and spit in her face as she wrapped him tightly in those blankets until the night he finally died, not able to stand any more. Of course Lynn told the people in the court room that she never meant to hurt him and that she loved him:

"It's a feeling like I've never felt in my life, to lose a child. All the bad things that ever happened
in my life,
I've never experienced anything like that in my life"

Wake up, Lynn! You didn't LOSE a child, you caused a child to die, you killed a child. The child is dead because of what YOU did to him. That's NOT losing a child, that's murder! What Lynn and others fail to see is that you can't use abuse YOU suffered as a child as a reason to abuse other children in your life as an adult. I am sorry that Lynn and Tanya were abused as children. But apparently, Lynn learned NOTHING from it. She hated it, she ran from the very things she did her children, the only difference is that SHE made it out alive.

In June of 2008, Lynn Paddock was found guilty of first degree murder. Johnny had been waiting to be called to the stand in her trial, but it never happened and he wasn't charged up to that point:

"We can only make a decision based upon the evidence, not upon speculation, no matter how
reasonable the speculation"
Assistant District Attorney Paul Jackson

Defense Attorney's had no comments as they left the court room. The conviction meant that Lynn would go to prison for the rest of her life. Thankfully, Lynn, who was 47 years old at the time, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for her first degree murder conviction and 73 to 79 months for the felony child abuse conviction. Lynn would never get out of prison alive.

Biological family of Sean was hoping for something good to come out of the conviction. Sean's Aunt Dawn said that she had believed his death to be an accident in the beginning, until the children testified to what had happened to them in the home:

"You can't do what she did and say it was an accident. I've shed a lot of tears in the last three
weeks. A lot of people say justice was served. I don't know that there will ever be any justice"
Dawn Sewell - Biological Aunt



Dawn wanted Social Workers to take notice of what had happened and take steps to avoid it happening to any other children:

"The one thing I do hope is that his death is not in vain and that if nothing else comes out of this,
that the next time a child tells someone they are being abused, whether it's their real family, their
adoptive family, their foster family, that somebody will listen. I hope Social Services will do a better
job of investigating families and making sure they're placing children with people that deserve them

and will treat them the way children deserve to be treated"

Prosecutor Paul Jackson had never met Sean, but his story haunted him just the same and he was glad that the jury did the right thing and was happy for the children who had come out of this home alive:

"I'm looking forward to telling Hannah, Kayla and David that they will never have to be afraid again"

Sean's biological grandfather was happy with the verdict:

"I'm so tickled that the jury decided something has got to be done about child abuse. But
there's really no justice for because Sean's not here. I'll never get over that"
Ron Ford Sr.

Tanya Luck said that Lynn had not really faced what was happening and considered it be God's plan for her. The family put a lot of blame on Social Services saying that they should never have allowed Lynn and Johnny to adopt so many troubled children, especially when she was troubled herself. They also blamed the man and woman who wrote the book their sister had used as a guide saying Lynn really believed in the stuff she had read and became wrapped up in it. Blame was even placed on Johnny who they said had such high expectations of Lynn that she was desperate to do right by him.

I have to wonder how much blame this family was placing on the actual person who did the beating and ended up killing this child. It seems like they want to blame everyone other than her. Johnny was partly to blame and I am saddened that he was not prosecuted at all  for not protecting these children who were in court telling people that their father seemed to enjoy when they got beaten by their mother. But Lynn is the one with the most blame, she should have gotten help rather than beat her children. If Tanya had a problem with her "troubled" sister adopting so many children, why didn't she do anything to prevent it? That's a big question in my  mind!

Lynn and Tanya's mother was never punished for what she had done to her children, they went to foster care and that was the end of it. Paul Jackson hoped that he had done the best he could for the remaining Paddock children, Tami, Jessy, Ray, David, Kayla and Hannah:

"We've stepped up to the end of the cycle. I think they can be great parents"

In July of 2011, Johnny Paddock was stripped of his parental rights to Sean and what that meant was that while there were lawsuits being filed for wrongful death, Johnny was not going to be able to collect any of the money if a settlement was reached:

"It matters a great deal to the people who cared about Sean"
Jay Trehy - Attorney for Ron Ford

Ron had filed wrongful death lawsuits and in a civil trial, a jury decided that Johnny aided and abetted Lynn in Sean's death and his rights a his father were taken away. Ron filed wrongful death lawsuits against the Children's Home Society Of North Carolina Inc., the agency who placed Sean with the Paddocks and the State Department Of Health And Human Services, who should have been making sure the children were being taken care of properly and protecting them. There would be another trial where damages would be asked from Johnny, but since he had filed bankruptcy, any verdict for him to pay, would not likely produce any money at all.

Ron was planning to set up trust funds for Sean's siblings with whatever money was to come from the lawsuits:

"Anyone who's spent that many years in such horrible abuse will be trying to recover
for the rest of their lives. They are products of a cycle of violence we see. Lynn Paddock
was abused as a child, she abused her child. We want it to end with this generation"
Jay Trehy

Three of the children who came out of that home were in loving, nurturing and stable homes while three more were already adults. Sadly, Sean is not the first child to die after being link to those who make use of the horrible book these people wrote:  Hannah Grace Rose Williams, Lydia Schatz. Sadly, I suspect these won't be the last deaths connected to the people who wrote the book who obviously do not value the life of children at all. Over a million people are said to practice this form of what I call, child abuse!


Death occurred in the state of North Carolina
This page was created on July 11, 2014

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