Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dad denies charges in beating death of son, 7; boy murdered right after Dad secured summer visitation (Worcester, Massachusetts)

Dad LESLIE G. SCHULER has pleaded "not guilty" to all charges in connection with the beating death of his 7-year-old son, which took place during Daddy's summer visitation, the one he had fought so hard to get. Next we'll be hearing that the tooth fairy was the guilty party, I suppose. It was pure unearned father exaltation that won this dad visitation. Note that the boy "barely knew" this guy, since Dad had never bothered to express an interest before. Why can't we reserve our praise for the parents who have a long documented history of love and commitment to their children, rather than the mere DNA donors?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Father denies charges in beating death of son, 7


WORCESTER — The words, “not guilty,” were softly uttered from Leslie G. Schuler's mouth 10 times this morning as he answered to charges about the death of his son, 7-year-old Nathaniel Turner.

And each time, Nathaniel's mother grew increasingly upset. Alicia Turner cried as a Superior Court clerk read aloud the charges. She shook as Mr. Schuler denied them all.

“Seeing him trying to say he's not guilty … it just hurts more to see him like this,” the boy's self-described stepfather, Scott Wilson, said outside the courtroom. “That's his sin. He took the life of his own son.”

Nathaniel was 7 this past Father's Day, when his father allegedly killed him in a string of assaults over several weeks. The boy had been living with his grandmother in Alabama and was spending the summer with Mr. Schuler, the father he barely knew.

Ms. Turner has consistently declined to speak about her son's death at various court appearances, and this morning, at Mr. Schuler's arraignment on murder and assault charges, told reporters, “Get away from me.” Mr. Wilson, her fiancĂ©, spoke on her behalf as she stood across the corridor.

“She's going to have to hold this in her mind for the rest of her life,” Mr. Wilson said, noting the holiday season has been difficult for the family. “If anyone has ever lost a child … that's a piece of you you'll never get back.”

Mr. Schuler, 36, has been held at the Worcester County House of Correction since June, when he was arrested in connection with Nathaniel's death. He and his girlfriend, Tiffany N. Hyman, took Nathaniel to the hospital the morning after the alleged June 21 beating; where doctors found the boy had no brain activity and a severe abdominal injury. Nathaniel was pronounced clinically dead June 23, but remained on life support until June 27.

A Superior Court grand jury earlier this month indicted Mr. Schuler on 10 charges, transferring the case from Central District Court to Superior Court. The charges are: murder, reckless endangerment of a child, two counts of assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury, assault and battery on a child causing injury, two counts of assault and battery and three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (belt, wall and floor).

Ms. Hyman was indicted earlier this year and is awaiting trial in Worcester Superior Court. Free on $5,000 bail since July, she faces charges of assault and battery on a child causing substantial injury, assault and battery on a child causing injury, permitting assault and battery on a child causing substantial injury and reckless endangerment of a child and being an accessory, after the fact, to assault and battery on a child causing substantial injury.

“We know at some point, justice will be served,” Mr. Wilson said.

Mr. Schuler remains held without bail, and will return to court Jan. 28.