Mom was going to take Dad DENNIS POTTS to court over paternity. Guess he wasn't too happy about the prospect of being a dad, so he is accused of faking the paternity test, and then strangling both mom and the baby.
I think we need to get away from fetishizing "paternity," especially with casual "boyfriends" who never showed much commitment to the mother, much less the child. The whole sperm glorification thing puts too many mothers and children at risk of violence, retaliation, and visitation/custody battles. There must be better ways to make sure children grow up with the the financial support they need then depending on a one-time sexual partner/casual boyfriend for child support.
Trial set for man accused of strangling ex-girlfriend, baby
Suspect is also accused of faking a paterntiy test
By Kelly Wheeler, City News Service
Monday, August 10, 2009
A Bonita man accused of strangling his former girlfriend and their 10-month-old son after she threatened to take him to court over the paternity of the child will stand trial next week, a judge ruled today.
Dennis Potts, 25, faces a no-parole life prison sentence if convicted of murdering 22-year-old Tori Vienneau and her baby, Dean Springstube, on July 26, 2006.
Vienneau was found dead in her Southcrest apartment with the cord of a hair-straightening iron wrapped around her neck. The child was found hanging in his crib with the cord from a cell phone charger wrapped around his neck.
Jury selection for Potts’ trial — which could last a month - is expected to begin next Monday in courtroom of Judge Bernard Revak.
Potts’ friend, 25-year-old Maxwell Corn, will be tried at a later date on a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice for allegedly helping Potts fake a paternity test and lying to police about it, Revak said today.
Corn — free on $200,000 bail — will be back in court Sept. 22 so a trial date can be set.
San Diego police Detective Joe Cristinziani testified at a June 2008 preliminary hearing that Potts never once asked about the child during an interview hours after the bodies were discovered.
Potts told the detective that he had last seen Vienneau six days earlier.
Potts said he had taken a paternity test and it showed that he wasn’t the baby’s father, Cristinziani testified.
The defendant never volunteered the fact that he actually faked the paternity test by using Corn’s DNA, according to the detective.
Potts said he and Vienneau were high school friends who had been intimate, then broke apart but remained friends, the detective said.
According to Cristinziani, Potts said he and Vienneau “did something stupid” and had sex 12-14 months prior to her death.
Potts told the detective that he had text-messaged the victim throughout the day she was killed, but erased the messages so his current girlfriend wouldn’t see them.
The defendant said he and Vienneau had no formalized plans to go out the night she was killed and she, in fact, called off their proposed date, Cristinziani testified.
Potts said he was at Corn’s home during the three-hour period when police believe Vienneau and the child were killed, the detective testified.
An examination of Potts’ cell phone showed that it was “pinging” off the cell tower closest to Vienneau’s home around the time of the murders, an investigator from the District Attorney’s Office testified.
A police criminalist testified that he performed additional DNA tests in August 2006 and determined that Potts was the biological father of the baby.