Saturday, May 4, 2013

Custodial dad found guilty of 1st-degree murder, arson in death of 7-year-old son (St. Joseph, Missouri)

This article makes it sound like this is a rare misstep by social services. In fact, this kind of f*** up is disturbingly common, especially with fathers.That's why so many murdered children have in fact had histories with DSS--all to no avail. 

Once again, we see that this poor little boy's mother has been airbrushed out of existence, as if she had never lived. It seems pretty clear that killer dad TONY KING was custodial. But how and why? Does somebody not want to answer that?

Update: We see it verified here that King was in fact a custodial father. This was in January:

According to police, King and his son’s mother had separated years ago, and he had custody of the boy.

Which once again illustrates one of our standard Dastardly Dad Axioms: A violent dad's status as a custodial father tends to get "lost" by the time the case goes to trial. 

Jury Finds Bethany Father Guilty in Son's Death

By: Alan Van Zandt, Melinda Barrett Updated: May 2, 2013

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A Harrison County man has been convicted of first degree murder, arson and child abuse in the death of his 7-year-old son.

"We have a guilty verdict for a father who killed his son," says Johnathan Meyer, Harrison County prosecutor.

A Buchanan County jury reached the verdict in Tony King's trial around 1 o'clock Thursday. 

Testimony came to a close Wednesday for the Bethany man who was accused of setting his home on fire last January with the boy, Jeremiah Lamm, inside.

"It's a terrible crime anytime a father takes the life of his own son and then tries to cover that crime with an arson," Meyer said.

A medical examiner testified that Lamm had been strangled and killed prior to the fire being set.

During the trial which began Monday, jurors also heard testimony from school officials in Bethany. They pointed out that they had suspected Lamm was being abused, but they never could link their suspicion to his father.

Lamm's teacher, principal and school counselor fought back tears as they recalled the 7-year-old coming to school with bruises and other injuries.

"It was getting close to dismissal time, and in my gut, I just had a feeling that I didn't want to send him home, I was so worried. I knelt down to him at his desk, and I looked in his eyes, and I said Jeremiah I love you so much. I want you to know that I care about you, and you deserve to have every person in your life treat you good," said Jamie Carter, first grader teacher at South Harrison Elementary.

The school's principal called the child abuse hotline in the weeks leading up to a fire at his home in Bethany on January 11, 2012.

King's attorneys brought in investigators from the Children's Division of the Division of Social Services who said they did visit his home and interviewed the boy.

The reports from DSS came back as good and the boy's stories seemed to add up with his injuries. 

They also said King was always cooperative with them and allowed them in his home.

The trial was moved from Harrison County to Buchanan County following a change of venue request. Prosecutors say the community has been scarred by the entire ordeal.

"There's a lot of heartbreak," said Meyer. "I know people are talking about it a great deal. We know that Jerimiah was loved. There were a number of people who cared about him, teachers, family and friends. It's sad that he met the fate that he did."

Sentencing for King, who could face life in prison, will be next month.