Saturday, February 13, 2010

IT'S HAPPENED AGAIN: Dad gets court-ordered visitation despite the mother's two orders of protection; dad murders son (Greece, New York)

As a former resident of western New York, I can tell you that the family court corruption and incompetence there is a serious rival to San Bernadino County, California, where there were TWO recent cases of fathers murdering their children during court-ordered visitation (additional information on those cases is posted here at Dastardly Dads).

In this case, the (still) UNNAMED DAD had court-ordered visitation with his 7-year-old son DESPITE the fact that the mother had taken out two orders of protection against the father, one of which was SUPPOSED to clear the father's home of guns. And you think these half-assed measures are going to protect a child? Let's get real. In 100% of the cases where dad is a danger to the mother, he is a real or potential danger to the children. Even if there are no documented incidences of child abuse--yet.

The Chief of Police calls the incident "traumatic." Actually, it's worse than that. This was a completely preventable crime. The courts need to stop granting visitation to violent fathers. If he's bad enough for two orders of protection to be issued to the mother, he's not safe around kids. Period. Use some common sense, people. And let's value children's safety over some loser's "rights" for once, shall we?

Hat tip to Eileen for finding this.

Father, young son found dead in apparent murder-suicide in Greece
Chad Roberts • Overnight Editor • February 13, 2010

GREECE -- Police said a 39-year-old man shot and killed his 7-year-old son and then committed suicide in a house at 491 Island Cottage Road last night.

Chief Todd Baxter of the Greece Police Department said names of the victims have not been released yet, pending identification by the Monroe County Medical Examiner's office.

Baxter said the mother of the child, who was estranged from her husband who lived at 491 Island Cottage, called 911 last evening asking police to check on the welfare of her child.

The house is located directly across Island Cottage Road from the access road leading to the Greece Police Department.

"The wife was responding to the house at the same time we were responding," Baxter said. "She was coming from another location."

When officers arrived at the address at about 7:30, they first checked the exterior of the house, then discovered the grisly scene when they looked inside.

"They peered through one of the windows and they saw an apparent gunshot victim inside the location, in the living room," Baxter said. "They immediately made entry into the house to try and secure that victim. Upon entering the house, the officers found a second victim just inside the back door of the house. That victim was also apparently dead on arrival from a gunshot wound."

Baxter said that the father picked up his son earlier Friday from the mother's residence for a scheduled visitation period. The mother had received an order of protection against her husband on Jan. 25, and at that time, weapons had been cleared from the Island Cottage Road address by police, Baxter said. A second order was issued on Feb. 8.

Baxter said that yesterday evening, the boy's mother became concerned with his welfare after speaking to the boy's father on the phone.

"She called from an area on Ridge Road," Baxter said. "She got worried about her son based on conversations she was having with the male at the house. So she was starting to respond here. While she was responding, she also called 911 and asked us to go check on the welfare of the child. The officers beat her to the scene and were just doing the preliminary check on the exterior of the house when she arrived."

Baxter, who is in his first week as chief of police in Greece after a long career with the Rochester Police Department, said the situation was a difficult one for everybody involved.

"It is very traumatic on the family, the family is extremely distraught, both sides of the family," Baxter said. "The officers are quite upset, the ones that had to go inside and see the child in that condition. It is a very traumatic situation."

Baxter said that the father had left at least one note inside the house that referred to Friday's shootings.

Baxter said the weapon used in the shootings appeared to be a shotgun.