Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dad finally charged after teen daughter "disappears" during his custody time; pleads "not guilty" (Mobile, Alabama)

I wonder how voluntary this visit was on the mother's part. The media is often inaccurate about these kinds of details. But even if this visit with a mentally ill, suicidal father wasn't court-ordered, mothers are under considerable pressure to promote visitation from the fathers rights movement and their influence on mothers and others in authority.

Dad is identified as DEMETRIC L. HOOPER.


Year and a half after Mobile teen disappeared, father pleads not guilty to interference

By Brendan Kirby on February 10, 2014 at 7:30 PM, updated February 11, 2014 at 8:51 AM

MOBILE, Alabama – A father whose daughter disappeared while she was in his custody pleaded not guilty to a felony charge Monday, while investigators appear no closer to solving the mystery than they were a year and a half ago.

After police arrested Demetric L. Hooper in 2012, prosecutors expressed hope that they would be able to learn what happened to Brittany Robinson and held out the possibility that they would upgrade charges against the defendant.

But a Mobile County grand jury indicted Hooper, 37, on the same Class C felony that police originally charged him with. He faces one to 10 years in prison if convicted.

“The grand jury indicted on the evidence it had before it,” Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Jill Phillips said Monday. “There still is an ongoing investigation into her whereabouts. … We continue to follow leads.”

Phillips said prosecutors could amend charge at a later date.

Mobile County Circuit Judge Ben Brooks scheduled a status hearing for March 12 and appointed attorney Zackery Moore to represent him. Moore said he does not know enough about the case yet to comment.

According to law enforcement authorities, the mother of Brittany Robinson allowed her then 14-year-old daughter to visit her father in June 2012. When Hooper did not return the girl, the mother called police. Hooper’s home was empty, according to officials.

Investigators managed to track down Hooper in Arkansas, where he had checked himself into a mental health facility. Authorities have said the defendant resisted arrest and required four law enforcement officers to physically restrain him before they could put him in the squad car There was no sign of Brittany, who now is 16 years old.

Prosecutors have said that Hooper threatened suicide and has a history of mental health problems.

According to law enforcement authorities, Hooper traveled extensively throughout the Southeast since disappearing with the teenager over the summer.

Phillips said local authorities have received help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.