Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Family wants death penalty for custodial dad, girlfriend charged with murder of 4-year-old daughter (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Vanessa Hart's family wants death penalty for Clinton Hart, girlfriend Marina Navarro
By Emiley Morgan
Published: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:23 p.m. MDT
SALT LAKE CITY — The last time Stephanie Alfaro saw her little girl, the 4-year-old was undergoing surgery in a futile attempt to save her life.
That hospital visit was also the first time Vanessa Hart's mother had seen her in 1 1/2 years, said Stephanie Medina, Vanessa's stepgrandmother.
Vanessa later died from massive head injuries police say were caused by her father's girlfriend.
According to Medina, Alfaro agreed to let the girl's father, Clinton Hart, 21, take Vanessa and her younger brother, Anthony, for a weekend. But Alfaro never saw her daughter again, as Hart moved and rarely responded to the woman's text messages and phone calls. Occasionally he would tell the woman he'd bring the children back, but never did.
Hart and his girlfriend, Marina Navarro, 21, both are facing charges in connection with the girl's death. Navarro is charged with criminal homicide/aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, and three counts of second-degree felony child abuse. Hart is charged with first-degree felony murder and two counts of intentionally inflicting serious injury on a child, both second-degree felonies.
Alfaro wasn't at Wednesday's scheduling hearing in 3rd District Court because Medina said the woman was too "emotional" to be there. Medina sat outside the hearings with the girl's aunts, who were holding pictures of the small girl and a poster calling for "Justice for Vanessa Hart."
"We're doing OK so far," Medina said. "We're just trying to understand why. How they could do this? We've got questions, and we want answers. It's just really difficult. We want justice for what was done."
Medina has a clear idea of what justice would mean for Vanessa, who she called a "happy little child who loved to play."
"I believe in eye for an eye, just like the Sloops," she said. "We want justice for her life like they did for little Ethan. … Give them the death penalty."
The case has some similarities to that of Nathan and Stephanie Sloop, who face aggravated murder charges in the death of 4-year-old Ethan Stacy. Prosecutors have not expressly stated their intent to pursue the death penalty in that case but have indicated it is a possibility.
Vanessa died June 13 from what doctors at Primary Children's Medical Center described as "multiple severe injuries, including massive trauma to (her) head, massive swelling of (her) brain" and neurological damage possibly caused by several impacts to the head, according to court documents.
Charging documents state that Hart left for work around 8:30 a.m. that day and returned home after receiving a text message from Navarro that said Vanessa had fallen down the stairs, was lethargic and was having a hard time breathing.
When Hart arrived home around 11:30 a.m., he found Vanessa unconscious, court records state.
Doctors at Primary Children's said Vanessa's head injuries could not have been caused by falling down a flight of carpeted stairs, according to charging documents, and older injuries were discovered during an autopsy, including bruising on the girl's chest.
Though Hart and Navarro both have been charged in the case, attorneys for the pair insisted again and again that they are in different circumstances. Navarro could face the death penalty, if prosecutors choose to pursue it, while Hart's attorneys say the murder charge won't stick.
For now, their cases are on separate time lines. Navarro is six months pregnant, expected to deliver Hart's child on Oct. 3, leading her attorneys to ask the judge to postpone the woman's next court appearance until November.
"Our first concern is the safe arrival of her child," defense attorney Denise Porter said. "We want our main focus to be on her health and the health of her unborn child and having that child properly placed."
Given the severity of the charges leveled against Navarro, the woman will not be considered for release from prison in spite of the pregnancy.
Bail was set at a little more than $1 million for each defendant. Hart's attorney, Steven Shapiro, called that "outrageously high," considering the fact that it is believed Hart was at work when the fatal injuries were incurred.
Shapiro was adamant that the current charges are "absurd" because, he said, being aware that his girlfriend caused some bruising on the girl was not reason enough to believe she'd end up dead. He asked that bail be reduced to $10,000.
"There is an enormous leap between him knowing the child was abused to being criminally charged in that child's death," Shapiro said. "I don't believe there's a factual, legal basis for a murder charge. The allegations are about bruising and failure to protect."
Shapiro said the girl had never suffered serious injuries prior to her death and the state Division of Child and Family Services had never been called to the home, which are the kinds of events that would have alerted Hart to the extent of the violence.
But prosecutor Cristina Ortega said that while Hart may not have been home the day Vanessa was killed, he was culpable in the "pattern of physical abuse" that preceded the girl's death. Ortega said Hart was the one who often directed Vanessa's discipline and that he once bought makeup when Navarro said it was needed to cover the girl's bruises.
Third District Judge Ann Boyden ruled that Hart poses a "significant danger" to the community and faces charges indicative of very violent behavior, leading her to reduce the bail to $700,000.
Hart will have a preliminary hearing July 7. Navarro has a scheduling conference slated for Nov. 9.
Mom who objected to visitation with convicted rapist dad released from solitary confinement (Brooklyn, New York)
I hope Brooklyn Family Court Judge Robin Sheares continues to catch hell from the public for her thoroughly unprofessional behavior and this outrageous miscarriage of justice.
"Unusual" Case of Mom, Rapist Dad and Visitation Rights
After what Office of Court Administration spokesman David Bookstaver called a "highly unusual" incarceration, a Brooklyn mom has been freed from Rikers. She was originally thrown in on June 10th for refusing to let her 9-year-old son visit his father, a convicted rapist, in prison.
The father, 31, was convicted in 2003 of raping three women in Phoenix and is serving 27 years in an Arizona state prison. A court order mandated that his son, Seon Jones, have twice-a-year visits with his father, and mother Sukhwant Herb originally agreed to the visitation rights in September. However, she later changed her mind. She told the Daily News, "I don't want my son in that environment, seeing the prisoners in jumpers, and the slamming of gates, the noise. My son is 9, and it's horrible, horrific." Brooklyn Family Court Judge Robin Sheares had Herb arrested for the violation, and sent her to Rikers for 50 days.
Bookstaver, the court spokesman, says she was arrested because she missed five court appearances, and that she "was given numerous opportunities to answer simple questions to avoid incarceration." She reportedly could not provide proof of where her son was attending school. But Herb says Sheares was unrelenting, saying "I don't believe you" when she explained she wanted to move to Ohio with her children and fiance Dwayne Waithe. But now, after 18 days in solitary confinement, Sheares changed his mind and ordered her release.
After hearing of the sentencing, High Court officials were reportedly shocked at Sheares' decision to lock up Herb without a chance to post bail. Herb's lawyer, Dale Frederick, said, "No bail in a case like this is really shocking. My client has not been charged with a crime, has never been charged with a crime—and even felons get bail." The judge also made some questionable comments during the sentencing, saying, "Shame, shame, shame, you see how shameful she [Herb] is. She's gonna get arrested and her kids are not gonna know where she is." Sheares released Herb into her lawyer's custody yesterday. There is no word on how her son handled his mother's imprisonment.
By Jaya Saxena in News on June 29, 2010 3:02 PM
"Frustrated" dad awaits sentencing for assault of 7-week-old daughter (Rochester, Washington)
Rochester Father Awaits Sentencing On Child Assault
( ROCHESTER ) – A sentencing judge is awaiting a Rochester father after pleading guilty to two counts of third degree assault of a child. Jacob L. Jennings was arrested last March after his 7-week old daughter was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital suffering a broken arm and leg. At the time of his arrest, police say the 19 year old admitted to causing the injuries after becoming frustrated. The Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says his lack of criminal activity means he’ll face up to 90 days in jail when he’s sentenced next month.
Dad jailed after stuffing 4-month-old son in freezer (Reno, Nevada)
Nevada man jailed after stuffing 4-month-old son in freezer
By Dave Porter
(AXcess News) Reno - Las Vegas police arrested the father of a four-month-old boy who had been stuffed into the family's freezer after having his skull and ribs broken. Amazingly, the toddler is still alive.
The man, Randy Thomsen, is being held in Clark County jail and is slated to appear in court Wednesday.
Police records show Thomsen had struck the four-month old boy repeatedly, crushing in the back of the toddler's skull before stuffing the then-lifeless boy's body into the family's freezer.
The child's mother took the boy to the hospital, telling authorities he'd fallen from a couch, but the toddler's five-year-old sister gave a different account, saying she saw Thomsen beat the child and stuff him into the freezer.
The mother was not charged.
When Child Custody Laws Lack Common Sense, Does "The System" Itself Become a Form of Child Abuse? (Orange, California)
When Child Custody Laws Lack Common Sense, Does “The System” Itself Become A Form Of Child Abuse?
June 30, 2010 by Editor
SheBlogs has been contacted by this organization and asked to share their release with our bloggers. They encourage all bloggers who agree with their cause to blog about Vanessa and her mother’s struggle to keep her, as well as encouraging your readers to share their thoughts with the involved courts by reading for further detail below and visiting http://www.operationvanessa.com/.
Single, Middle-Class Southern California Mom on Verge of Losing Adoptive Daughter to Foster Care and Possibly Convicted Felon Birth Father in Ohio
ORANGE, Calif. (June 22, 2010) – - A two-year-old little girl named Vanessa will likely be torn from her home this week in Orange County, CA from the only mother and loving family she has ever known because the courts in California and Ohio have recklessly decided that, until her adoption is finalized, she should be placed in foster care in Ohio. Vanessa’s human and civil rights are being violated, and the resulting attachment disorder that is almost guaranteed to follow this tragic separation will be a life-long, disabling and cruel punishment for an adorable, innocent toddler who will end up in the foster care system, a system that is severely broken and will likely ruin this child’s life.
“After careful observation of Vanessa’s attachment to Stacey as her mother, it would be incredibly disruptive and cruel to remove Vanessa from her home, even on a temporary basis,” said Arla S. Wallace, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who has specialized in Reactive Attachment Disorder for over 25 years and studied with London’s Dr. John Bowlby, who first recognized and named the disorder. “To do so would most certainly create the conditions in which Reactive Attachment Disorder is known to develop, a serious disorder from which she would most likely never recover.”
How did the system become so broken?
The Ohio Court does this despite the fact that Vanessa was placed for adoption at birth with Stacey D. (a small business owner from Southern California). Although the California Court has ruled that it has jurisdiction over the adoption it has been unwilling to hear the case because the Ohio Court only sees the case as a child custody case in which children are the property of their biological parents. . Since birth, little Vanessa has lived in Southern California, safe and happy with the only mother she has known and an extended family of loving grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Vanessa’s adoptive mother desired to have a child. After many years and multiple medical treatments, her desire to have a baby was not to become a reality. Stacey’s wish for a child was fulfilled when Vanessa was born in Dayton, Ohio, and Stacey became Vanessa’s guardian when the baby was just 24 hours old. Vanessa’s birth mother signed a document under penalty of perjury stating that she did not know who the birth father was. But one showed up at the hospital, which DNA tests later confirmed, was the biological father. The birth mother had told the biological father she was keeping the baby, but told Stacey she was giving the baby to her.
The birth father has four other children (none of which he has custody of), a child endangerment charge on his record, and has been imprisoned for domestic violence, once pulling the birth mother around the house SO hard by the hair that the police found bloody clumps of hair all over the floor when they arrived. The Ohio Court sees the case as a foster care case in which it has to choose between the birth parents or a foster or other relative placement. While the foster care system is no place for this child, placement with her birth father might even be worse.
When Stacey filed a petition of adoption for Vanessa on July 1, 2008, all she wanted was to give Vanessa the love, security and stable, supportive family network that she herself enjoyed. Since then, Stacey has been engaged in stressful and expensive (to the point of nearly wiping out all her income and potentially losing her home) litigation with the birth father, a convicted felon who resides in Ohio and whose legal fees are being paid by the State of Ohio and the State of California.
Stacey (a Caucasian single mother) is being challenged by the birth father, who is of African-American descent (toddler Vanessa is of bi-racial background while Stacey’s extended family includes children and marriages of bi-racial background as well).
“I ask all decent people from both California and Ohio to help me in this cause, not only to ensure Vanessa stays permanently with the only loving family she has ever known, but to bring situations like this to the attention of the public for all adoptive parents who are fighting a fight like this,” said Stacey. “I’m frightened for my daughter and have cried endlessly at the thought of her being taken away from me and placed with complete strangers – how would you feel? In this instance the law has lost its common sense and regard for human decency . . . children are not a commodity that you put in a warehouse until a decision is made as to where to place them!”
Stacey states that even though this case has been gut wrenching, the decision to adopt Vanessa is still the best decision she has ever made in her life and plans to commit the rest of her life to adoption reform, making it easier, faster and more affordable so that no one suffers needlessly the way she and her daughter have.
To help little Vanessa remain in California with her mother and family, please send your thoughts to the California and Ohio courts. Information can be found on www.operationvanessa.com.
# # #
Twitter: Utilize hashtag #SaveVanessa in any tweets
Read more: http://www.sheblogs.org/2010/06/when-child-custody-laws-lack-common-sense-does-the-system-itself-become-a-form-of-child-abuse/#ixzz0sMVLkrDv
Yet ANOTHER custodial dad charged with 2nd-degree murder in the death of his 2-month-old son (Chesterfield County, Virginia)
The courts have got to start thinking about what happens when fathers get custody of infants. As much as we'd like to be politically correct about these things, there are not a lot of men, especially adolescent males, who are capable of doing infant care. Check out the research studies. Shaken baby syndrome is overwhelmingly committed by fathers, followed by boyfriends and stepdads. And a disproportionately high number of these fathers are young.
Chesterfield teen charged in death of infant son
By MARK BOWES TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Published: June 30, 2010
Chesterfield, Va. --
A 17-year-old Chesterfield County father has been charged with fatally injuring his 2-month-old son by shaking the infant last week while the two were alone.
Brandon L. Parker, who lived with his son, Elijah Parker, at Brandon's parents' home in the 4000 block of Clipper Bay Drive, was charged Monday with second-degree murder -- six days after authorities say the child suffered injuries consistent with shaken-baby syndrome.
Elijah died Saturday at VCU Medical Center, authorities said.
Brandon Parker made an appearance yesterday in Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court via closed-circuit television from the county's juvenile-detention center, where he is being held.
Substitute Judge Robert D. Laney denied the teenager's bid to be released to the custody of his parents pending his Aug. 5 preliminary hearing, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney B.J. McGee said.
A reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch was not permitted to attend the hearing and was denied an opportunity to address the court. The judge closed the hearing on a motion from defense lawyer Kevin Purnell, Parker's court-appointed attorney.
Generally, Virginia law permits public access to juvenile proceedings involving criminal defendants age 14 or older who are charged with felony-level crimes.
Police yesterday said they received a call June 22 at 11:45 p.m. about an infant not breathing at the Parker home.
Paramedics took the child to a local hospital, and he was transferred later to VCU Medical Center, where he died Saturday. Doctors told police the child died of injuries suffered as a result of shaken-baby syndrome.
The infant's cause of death has not yet been released.
After yesterday's hearing, McGee said Chesterfield police Detective Jody Burton testified that Brandon initially told investigators he had picked up the child and that the infant went limp.
Burton also testified that Brandon was alone with his son during the time that authorities believe the baby was injured fatally, the prosecutor said.
Later during the course of the investigation, Brandon acknowledged to investigators he had shaken the baby "a little bit," Burton testified, according to McGee.
McGee said the child, born April 6, lived with Brandon and the teenager's parents. The infant's mother does not live with the family, and it was not known yesterday what level of involvement she had with her child.
Custodial dad convicted of voluntary manslaughter in death of 6-week-old son (Stafford County, Virginia)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT: How and why did the mother lose custody of a newborn to a father like this? Why isn't the fact that this baby must have had a mother acknowleged in the slightest? As far as I'm concerned, reporter Tom Jackman basically dances around the big elephant in the room, and never manages to ask--much less answer--the real questions.
Father gets 6 years in baby's death
A Stafford County man who pleaded guilty to shaking his 6-week-old son to death has been sentenced to six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
Baby Marcus Andre lived in Stafford with his father, Jason W. Andre, who called 911 on June 29, 2009, to report his son was having trouble breathing. Marcus was flown to the pediatric intensive care unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where prosecutors said he had suffered severe brain injury and was "brain dead upon arrival."
Marcus had brain hemorrhages and retinal hemorrhages, key indicators of shaken baby syndrome, Stafford Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Eric L. Olsen said. He also had rib fractures from a week or two earlier, bruises on his right shoulder and buttocks, a flattening on his head and a spinal cord injury, Olsen said.
When police searched Andre's home, they found a gun and the beginnings of a marijuana growing operation. He was indicted in August on charges of murder, malicious wounding and child neglect. In March, Andre pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter as well as child abuse and possession of a firearm by a felon.
At Andre's sentencing Monday in Stafford Circuit Court, Judge Charles Sharp sentenced Andre to 20 total years in prison, but suspended 14 of those years, court records show. He imposed the maximum 10-year sentence for manslaughter, but suspended six of those years. He imposed a five-year sentence for possession of a gun, and suspended three of those years. He imposed a five-year sentence for child abuse and suspended all of that time.
-- Tom Jackman
Mom testifies at murder trial of custodial dad, step (Kimball Township, Michigan)
Galvan trial: Prhaze's mom testifies she lived in fear of Joe Galvan
By LIZ SHEPARD
• June 30, 2010
Cassandra Lovett said her relationship with Joe Galvan was filled with abuse and fear.
She said she called police when he pushed his finger into her eye and tried to take away their daughter, Prhaze Galvan.
Lovett testified Tuesday during the jury trial of Joe and Jennifer Galvan. The trial is in its third week.
The Kimball Township couple is charged with felony murder, torture and first-degree child abuse in the Jan. 15 death of 3-year-old Prhaze Galvan.
Police visits were a regular occurrence at the apartments she shared with Galvan, Lovett said.
Family members and friends often called officers because of the way he treated her, she said.
"Every time he smacked me, there was always a mark," she said.
Lovett said the daughter she had with Joe Galvan, Prhaze, was her "baby girl."
Lovett said she lied to police officers at times while she was dating Joe Galvan, to keep him from going to jail.
"So I wouldn't get it worse when he got out of jail," she said.
Lovett wasn't the sole target of Galvan's abuse, she testified.
Lovett's oldest son by another man was then just a toddler. She said Joe Galvan verbally and physically abused the child.
Lovett said Galvan would tell her son, "you're a faggot just like your dad ... you're a bastard."
She said that, when she tried to stand up for her son, Joe Galvan would choke her or grab her by the arm.
Lovett said while she lived in Missouri with Joe Galvan and his parents, she came home from work one day to find her oldest son injured.
She said Galvan told her the boy walked behind him while Galvan worked out and was hit with a 20-pound weight.
She said she eventually moved back to Port Huron and took Joe Galvan back as a boyfriend when he said the relationship between them would be different.
One night when she came home from work, she found a mark around her son's neck, she said.
"Joe said the blanket must have wrapped around his neck while he was sleeping," Lovett said.
She said Joe Galvan treated Prhaze -- who was a year younger than her oldest son -- differently and rarely spanked her.
She said the two ended their relationship in June 2007. They did not marry.
Lovett said she signed over her parental rights to Joe Galvan because he told her she would still be able to see her daughter and they had been trying to iron out a custody arrangement in the courts for two years.
Nicole Phillips said she saw bruises and other marks on Lovett and her son while Lovett was dating Joe Galvan.
Phillips, who said she considers Lovett a sister, began to cry as she testified that, at one point in the relationship, Lovett called her, screaming hysterically, to come pick up her son.
"Her voice was cracking, she was screaming in the phone. ... She said he was going to ... kill her and she was worried about her and (her son) and please please come over," Phillips testified.
Phillips said she called Child Protective Services, police and her father about the marks she saw on Lovett and her son.
Lovett's mother, Linda Villerot, also testified Tuesday. Senior Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Keyes requested the court's permission to have Villerot picked up at her home Tuesday morning because she had not responded to a subpoena.
Villerot testified she has been living with Joe Galvan's brother for the past four years. She said she never saw Joe Galvan physically abuse her grandson.
Villerot said after Joe and Jennifer Galvan gained custody of Prhaze, she was not allowed to see her.
She said she would have called authorities if she saw bruises on the girl.
"I would never have let her go back to that house," Villerot said.
As she left the courtroom, Villerot was crying.
Several other witnesses also were called to the stand Tuesday, including a forensic scientist who said she found vomit on several clothing items taken from the Galvans' house.
Testimony is to continue at 9 a.m. today.
Dad "accidentally" shoots and kills 11-year-old daughter just one day into his summer visitation (Carteret County, North Carolina)
Hat tip to Annie.
Child Shot and Killed by Father's Gun
By Shantel Middleton
Published: June 29, 2010
Updated: June 29, 2010 - 7:21 PM
CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. - An 11-year-old girl is dead after an apparent accidental shooting.
It happened just after five on Monday afternoon. According to the Carteret County Sheriff's Office, 35-year-old Michael Lee Wyne II called to report that he accidentally shot his daughter.
Deputies and EMS arrived on the scene a short time later. The child was pronounced dead on the scene.
The Sheriff's investigation found that at the time of the shooting the father was apparently "clearing" out his 20-gauge shotgun. According to Deputies, it was at that time the shotgun fired. A bullet from the gun hit the victim.
Both of Wynne's daughters, the 11-year-old victim and a 12-year-old, had just arrived from Arkansas on Sunday. The case is still under investigation by the Sheriff's Office. No charges have been filed at this time.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Stepdad held on $3M bail in death of 5-year-old girl (Hoodsport, Washington)
Originally published Monday, June 28, 2010 at 7:35 PM
Stepfather held on $3M bail in death of child, 5
The stepfather of a 5-year-old girl who died after her throat was slashed with a knife has been ordered held on $3 million bail.
The Associated Press
HOODSPORT, Wash. —
The stepfather of a 5-year-old girl who died after her throat was slashed with a knife has been ordered held on $3 million bail.
A Mason County Superior Court judge on Monday found probable cause to hold 29-year-old Peter James Wilson. The Abbotsford, British Columbia, man was jailed for investigation of first-degree murder.
Mason County sheriff's Chief Deputy Dean Byrd identified the little girl as Clare L. Shelswell.
According to a probable cause statement, Wilson and his wife were arguing about child discipline Sunday evening at a Hoodsport, Wash., house near Lake Cushman. He reportedly told his wife that he would "take care of it."
Authorities say Wilson took the girl downstairs and his wife ran after them when she heard screaming. Court documents say she found her daughter in a pool of blood.
Wilson told sheriff's detectives he has bipolar disorder and was taking medication.
The family was visiting from Abbotsford.
Dad arrested for drunken assault on wife, children (Saipan, China)
Tinian firefighter is arrested for domestic violence, child abuse
By Ferdie de la Torre
Police arrested on Monday a Tinian firefighter who allegedly beat up his wife and their two children several times.
Brent Harold Borja, 32, also allegedly used a Tinian Fire pickup truck while intoxicated to follow his wife and pick up their children.
Borja was brought to the Saipan Superior Court yesterday afternoon for an initial appearance on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault and battery, kidnapping, two counts of child abuse, interfering with a domestic violence report, violating an order for protection, two counts of disturbing the peace, contempt, and two counts of misuse of government vehicle.
Borja's bail was set at $40,000 cash.
Detective Barbara K. Arend stated in her report that Borja's wife called Tinian police for assistance on June 10.
The wife told police that Borja slapped her and choked her on April 30 while she was inside a car. Upon reaching their house, Borja pulled her hair, choked, then locked her in the room.
On May 28, Borja, while drunk, allegedly beat up the victim, then took their children aboard a Fire pickup truck. Arend said the victim told police she did not immediately file a complaint because he would watch her until all her bruises were healed.
Borja allegedly told his wife no one would believe her because he works at DPS.
The wife said Borja also beat her up on Saipan in October last year while she was pregnant.
Two of their three children told police that they saw their father beating up their mother several times. The two said their father also beats them up using any objects and shouts at them and their mother.
Superior Court associate judge Ramona V. Manglona had issued on March 29, 2010, a protection order barring Borja from having direct or indirect contact with his wife.
Dad charged with 1st-degree murder in death of 11-week-old daughter; baby died from abusive head trauma (Boise, Idaho)
Boise Father Accused of Killing Daughter
Posted: Jun 28, 2010 9:09 PM CDT
Updated: Jun 29, 2010 10:45 AM CDT
Boise, Idaho -- A man accused of murdering his infant daughter will be held in jail without bond, a judge ruled Monday.
Jeffery Baker, 50, of Boise is charged with 1st-degree murder. He was in court Monday for his arraignment.
Police say Baker's 11-week-old daughter's severe injury was a result of abusive head trauma, also known as "shaken baby syndrome."
Baker's next court appearance is slated for July.
Stay-at-home dad on trial for aggravated child abuse (Morgan County, Alabama)
So really, what we have here is Mom trying to manage her job and the homefront at the same time, and a useless sponger who can't manage minimal infant care (don't injure the baby) to save his life. We need to get these guys off their duffs and into jobs where they contribute, even if it's breaking rocks. Better for these guys to break rocks than baby's skulls, I figure.
Shaken baby trial gets under way in Morgan
By Sheryl Marsh
Lauren Cunningham told a jury that when she left for work Jan. 5, 2008, her child was fine, but when she returned home that night the 4-month-old infant’s eyes were rolling.
Cunningham testified during Timothy O’Neal Brooks’ trial Monday in Morgan County Circuit Court.
Brooks is the child’s father and is charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse involving severe injuries to the infant. The child is now 2 years old.
Cunningham said she and Brooks lived together in an apartment in Decatur and she worked as a server at a local restaurant. She said Brooks was unemployed, and he kept their infant son at home. The day of the alleged abuse, Cunningham said she got ready so she could play with the baby before reporting for work at 11 a.m. She said she worked a double shift and called Brooks three times to check on the baby. Brooks, she said, told her that the baby was a little fussy but fine otherwise.
Cunnigham said when she got home between 10:27 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. she found Brooks sleeping on a sofa and the baby’s car seat was beside him on the floor. She said she went into their bedroom to check on the baby in his crib, and the child was lying on his back with his arms outstretched above his head and his breathing was labored.
Cunningham said she called Brooks into the room and told him to listen to the funny noise the baby was making. She said she could not get the baby to wake up so she ran to a neighbor’s home and called 911.
Assistant District Attorney Stacy Adams told the jury during his opening statement that evidence would show that Brooks violently assaulted the child.
Defense Attorney Paul Holland said evidence would show that Brooks did not hurt the baby.
“We believe the evidence is going to show something far different,” said Holland.
Testimony continues Tuesday in Circuit Judge Sherrie Paler’s courtroom.
Dad pleads not guilty in stabbing deaths of baby, baby's mom (Bath, New York)
Dad pleads not guilty to killing baby, baby's mom in Bath
Jennifer Kingsley • Elmira Star-Gazette • June 29, 2010
BATH — Bryan Ashline pleaded not guilty to the Father's Day killings of his estranged girlfriend and their infant son during a brief appearance yesterday afternoon in Bath Village Court.
Ashline, 23, of Watervliet, Albany County, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of Trieste R. Clayton, 25, and their 3-month-old son, Xavier Michael Ashline.
His case will now move to the grand jury process in Steuben County and he will not have to reappear in court until then, unless new charges are filed.
Ashline, whose court appearance lasted less than five minutes, made eye contact with one person during the hearing: Clayton's mother, Cynthia Watson.
"He never showed any kind of remorse whatsoever," Watson said. "He's a monster."
The bodies of Clayton and Xavier Michael were found the night of June 20 in the kitchen of Clayton's home on Mount View Road West in Bath.
Clayton had been stabbed in the back and neck, and her infant son had been stabbed in the chest, according to the felony complaint.
Ashline and Clayton were involved in a domestic incident in Watervliet in August 2009. Clayton was pregnant with Xavier at the time.
As a result, Ashline was charged with third-degree assault and Watervliet City Court issued an order of protection against him on behalf of Clayton.
Clayton, a 2003 graduate of Haverling High School in Bath and a 2006 graduate of Alfred University, returned to her hometown after that incident.
Xavier was born March 6 at Corning Hospital. He was named after Clayton's stepfather, Scott Xavier Watson, Scott Watson said.
After the killings, Ashline fled in a 2010 Chevrolet Impala sedan that was equipped with an OnStar vehicle security system, police said. He was taken into custody shortly after 5 a.m. June 21 when uniformed state troopers, guided by the tracking system, found Ashline asleep in the vehicle.
He continues to be held in the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Cynthia Watson vowed to attend every court appearance connected to the case.
"I want him to see my daughter's face and the face of my grandson at every hearing," she said. "I think it's unbelievable (that he pleaded not guilty). I saw what he did. ... I'm going to remind him constantly and send him pictures of them."
Dad charged with murdering 3-month-old son (Eugene, Oregon)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT: Where is Mom?
Eugene man charged with murder in son's death
June 29, 2010 07:11 am
A 22-year-old Eugene man has been charged with murder in the death of his 3-month-old son.
The Register-Guard newspaper reports Derek Ean Jackson was charged in Lane County Circuit Court Monday.
Deputy district attorney Bob Lane says a review of the case resulted in the more serious charge of murder after evidence showed the baby died as a result of being assaulted.
Jackson called 9-1-1 on June 19 to report that his son Ryder needed medical help. The boy died three days later and investigators concluded the father was responsible.
Information from: The Register-Guard,http://www.registerguard.com
Dad in jail for putting baby's mouth on smoking bong (Grapevine, Texas)
Police: Grapevine man put baby's mouth on smoking bong
Posted Tuesday, Jun. 29, 2010
By DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR.
A 20-year-old Grapevine man was in jail Tuesday after police say he took a few puffs from a bong and then placed his 13-month-old son’s mouth on it.
The toddler’s mother also was behind bars on a charge that she was in the room and didn’t do anything to stop it, Grapevine police said Tuesday.
The man, who police did not identify, was in the Grapevine Jail on suspicion of endangering a child and possession of marijuana.
The 19-year-old mother charged with endangering a child.
Police planned to release their names after their arraignments Tuesday morning.
Grapevine police received a call about 10:30 p.m. Monday about a narcotics problem at an apartment in the 2000 block of Grayson Drive in Grapevine.
When authorities arrived, a patrol officer observed a bong near an apartment window, according to Grapevine police reports. A bong is a filtration device for smoking, generally marijuana, authorities said
Several people were in the apartment including the Grapevine man and the mother, police said.
"He admitted to smoking marijuana," Grapevine police Lt. Todd Dearing said Tuesday. "He wouldn't say anything about the bong and his son."
But a witness told police that the man was sitting on his bed with his son on his lap. At some point, the man took a few puffs from the bong and then placed his son's mouth on it, according to what the witness told police.
The man also let his son play with a bowl of marijuana, police said.
The boy’s mother was in the bedroom at the time, police said.
After police interviewed the father, the toddler was checked by officers and appeared to be in good health, police said. Officials with Child Protective Services were contacted about the case, police said.
The toddler was placed in the custody of his paternal grandmother, police said.
DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR., 817-390-7763
Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/06/29/2300833/police-grapevine-man-put-babys.html#ixzz0sG3dGhHE
Dad arrested in death of 4-month-old daughter (Campo, California)
Campo Man Arrested in Death of Baby Girl
Reported by: San Diego 6 News Team
Last Update: 7:59 am
CAMPO - A young father is under arrest for the death of his four-month-old baby.
San Diego County Sheriff's investigators say 21-year-old Luis Alberto Duran was arrested Monday for the death of his baby girl.
Paramedics were called to Duran's home Friday on Campo Truck Trail in Campo after reporting the infant was not breathing.
The county medical examiner later determined the baby showed signs of unexplained trauma that didn't match up with what investigators were told by the family.
Duran is jailed, charged with one count of assault resulting in the death of a child.
Baby has permanent, lifelong disablities from Dad's abuse, but Dad still allowed to see his son "regularly" (Adelaide, Australia)
Baby's life destroyed by shaking, court told
By Candice Marcus
Updated Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:16pm AEST
A baby who suffered brain damage after being shaken by his father will need full-time special care for the rest of his life, the Adelaide District Court has heard.
Philip Edward Clarke, 28, of Ingle Farm was found guilty by a jury of criminal neglect.
In sentencing submissions, the prosecution said it was unclear how the three-month-old baby sustained the injury.
The court heard it may have been due to violent shaking or the baby having been thrown with force onto a soft surface - or both.
In a statement read to the court, the child's mother said Clarke had destroyed her son's life.
"[Clarke] has ruined two lives, mine and my son's," the court heard.
The mother said she would never be able to see the boy grow up normally.
"William will never be able to have a normal life. He will not be able to go to a normal school or high school because of the damage to his brain.
"He will need a carer to look after him at all times."
Clarke's lawyer said his client still saw his son regularly and the mother did not.
Sentencing submissions will continue next month after an adjournment allows time for a psychological report on Clarke to be prepared.
Dad charged with killing 2-month-old son (Chesterfield County, Virginia)
17-year-old Chesterfield father charged with killing infant son
By Staff Reports Times-Dispatch
Published: June 29, 2010
A 17-year-old Chesterfield County father has been charged with murder in the death of his infant son.
The teen, whose identify was being withheld by police because of his age, was arrested and charged Monday, county police said.
At about 11:45 p.m. on June 22, police and emergency medical crews responded to call of an infant not breathing at a home in the 4000 block of Clipper Bay Drive, authorities said. The 2-month-old baby was taken to an area hospital and later transferred to VCU Medical Center, where he died of injuries he suffered as a result of shaken-baby syndrome, police said.
The teen is being held in the Chesterfield Juvenile Detention Center pending a hearing in Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
-- Mark Bowes
Dad accused of beating 5-month-old son faces hearing (Penn Hills, Pennsylvania)
Jun 28, 2010 4:33 pm US/Eastern
Local Father Accused Of Beating Baby Faces Hearing
PENN HILLS (KDKA)
Today's hearing for a local father who is accused of beating his five-month-old son was postponed.
Prosecutors said they needed more time to prepare their case.
Police say Jesse Claus, 22, was watching the little boy while the child's mother was at a job interview last week.
According to officials, Claus allegedly lost his temper and began beating the boy, bruising the baby's face and neck.
Doctors at Children's Hospital say the child suffered bleeding on his brain and there was also evidence of past injuries.
Judge: Dad convicted of raping 13-year-old girl can still have "contact" with 11-year-old daughter (Cowlitz County, Washington)
Here's the deal in a nutshell. Would you send your 11-year-old daughter for a visit? Didn't think so. What ever happened to common sense and reasonable standards?
Superior Court Judge Jim Stoner needs a serious reality check. If felons can't vote, can't walk around free in society because they have violated the public trust, then why is it their "rights" as fathers are suddently sacred? Maybe Daddy should have considered all this BEFORE he raped a child. But no, why should he? He gets all his rights no matter what the f*** he does. Disgusting.
Ex-Longview man convicted of raping teen can see his daughter, judge rules
Story Discussion By Tony Lystra / The Daily News Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 5:15 pm
A Cowlitz County judge ruled Thursday that a former Longview man convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl can have contact with his daughter after the state Court of Appeals demanded clarification on the matter earlier this year.
The Washington State Court of Appeals said in January that the Cowlitz County Prosecutor's office had not established whether Chad Anthony Lehman, who pleaded guilty to second-degree rape of a child in 2003, poses a danger to his daughter, who now is around 11 years old.
On Thursday, Cowlitz County Deputy Prosecutor David Phelan told the court a counselor involved with the case recommended that Lehman, 36, be allowed to see his daughter and that the prosecutor's office would not stand in Lehman's way.
Superior Court Judge Jim Stonier ruled that Lehman can see his daughter, but cannot have contact with other minor girls.
Lehman, who was recently released from prison and now lives in Everett, attended Tuesday's hearing but didn't comment. His attorney, Bruce Hanify of the Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense, called the ruling "a good outcome."
It will be up to the Department of Corrections, which is in charge of Lehman's community custody, to determine whether the visits with his daughter will be supervised, Hanify said. Hanify said Lehman's daughter lives with her mother, who is not married to Lehman.
The Department of Corrections had allowed Lehman's daughter to see him in prison in 2003 and 2004, but the agency stopped the visits without explanation, according to court documents. The conditions of Lehman's community custody restrict him from contact with girls under the age of 18, according to court documents.
Lehman appealed, and the appeals court sent the matter back to Cowlitz County.
Lehman's victim told police Lehman attacked her in 2003 while she was helping him move out of his house in the 3100 block of Hemlock Street. The girl said he locked her in the garage, raped her repeatedly, forced her to smoke methamphetamine and threatened to harm her if she told anyone.
Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis said it varies from case to case whether courts take away convicted sex offenders' rights to see their children.
Boy found asleep in pickup while dad visits strip club (Guthrie, Oklahoma)
Guthrie boy found asleep in pickup while dad visits strip club, Valley Brook police say
A Guthrie father is charged with child neglect and cocaine possession after mother finds child alone in pickup, according to police reports.
BY NOLAN CLAY Oklahoman
Published: June 29, 2010
A Guthrie man has been charged with child neglect for allegedly leaving his 5-year-old son alone in his pickup while he drank beer in a strip club.
Gary Dean Madison II, 34, also is charged with cocaine possession.
Guthrie boy found asleep in pickup while dad visits strip club, Valley Brook police say The father had been inside Fancy's, a Valley Brook strip club, for more than two hours the evening of May 25, a Valley Brook police officer reported.
His son, Coal Mountain Madison, was not harmed. The father had left the pickup running and the air conditioning on, the officer reported.
He told the officer, "Coal was asleep, and I thought it would be OK to go in there and have a beer,” according to the report.
The boy was found by his mother, Toby Madison. She said she had not been able to make contact with Gary Madison or their son "for quite some time” so she drove around until she found his 2007 Ford pickup in Fancy's parking lot, the officer reported.
The officer reported the father said he had locked the key inside the pickup. The mother eventually was able to get the boy to wake up and unlock the door.
The father told police he didn't know how long he'd been inside Fancy's. He told the officer, "I didn't finish my pitcher of beer. … I am feeling a little bit of a buzz,” according to the officer's report.
The officer said he determined how long Gary Madison was inside the club from the club's video surveillance.
The father admitted what he did was wrong and that he has a drinking problem, the officer also reported. The father said, "I don't know how long you can leave a child by themselves, if you can leave them at all,” according to the report.
The two-county felony charge was filed Friday in Oklahoma County District Court. Gary Madison was released on bail from the Oklahoma County jail May. He couldn't be reached for comment.
Read more: http://newsok.com/boy-5-found-in-truck-at-strip-club/article/3472129?custom_click=lead_story_title#ixzz0sFeYN1zA
Babysitting dad charged with child endangerment after driving drunk with 7-year-old son (Reno, Nevada)
Reno father faces child endangerment charges
Staff report • June 27, 2010
A Reno father was arrested Sunday on suspicion of child endangerment and driving drunk with his 7-year-old son in the pickup.
Reno police said Salvador Cervantes, 33, nearly struck a patrol car and ran several red lights and was found unconscious in his apartment after 4:30 p.m. Police said he had left his son at Yori Park before he drove home.
Cervantes was supposed to be watching his 10-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son while his wife was at work, Sgt. Rob VanDiest said in a news release.
Police booked Cervantes into Washoe County Jail on suspicion of two counts of child endangerment, a third offense in seven years of driving under the influence and possession of less than an once of marijuana found in the apartment.
Dad charged with seriously injuring 2-month-old daughter (Massillon, Ohio)
Massillon dad charged with injuring infant girl
By Doug Staley
IndeOnline.com staff writer
Posted Jun 28, 2010 @ 11:01 PM
MASSILLON — Police arrested a Massillon man accused of seriously injuring his 2-month-old daughter, according to detective Bobby Grizzard.
Christopher Garza, 20, of 217 Chestnut Ave. NE, was charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony; two counts of endangering children, a third-degree felony; and one count of domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor, according to Massillon Municipal Court records. He was arrested Monday.
Garza admitted to causing multiple fractures to Hazel Garza, court records show.
“He made some admissions but we did not believe that it told us an accurate picture of what took place,” Grizzard said.
Grizzard said police built their case with some of the “limited information” supplied by Garza, as well as medical evidence submitted from Akron Children’s Hospital.
The infant suffered fractures to her feet, legs and ribs, and bruises to the left side of her face and back, according to court records. The child underwent surgery at Akron Children’s Hospital last week. On Monday, a night nursing supervisor said Garza was not listed as a patient.
The Stark County Department of Job and Family Services was awarded emergency temporary custody of the child at a hearing last Friday.
A complaint filed last week in Family Court indicated the infant underwent surgery for the injuries to her extremities and additional operations could be needed. Doctors believe the injuries occurred over a period of time, noting some fractures were in “various stages of healing.”
Grizzard said the abuse occurred more than a week before the child was taken to the hospital.
The child was admitted to the hospital June 23 after Garza and his live-in girlfriend scheduled an appointment with her pediatrician for treatment of an ongoing fever. The doctor advised the parents to take the infant to the hospital.
According to court records, Garza and the child’s mother had another child who died of SIDS while the couple lived in Florida. The father reportedly was investigated by Florida officials following the child’s death. The family relocated to Ohio two months ago.
Monday, June 28, 2010
DASTARDLY DADS FROM THE ARCHIVES (Locust Grove, Georgia - 2006)
Jan 2, 5:30 AM EST
Police: Man kills children, then himself
LOCUST GROVE, Ga. (AP) -- A man and his three children were found dead after a standoff in an apparent murder-suicide, police said.
A woman called police from a neighbor's house Sunday and said her husband had beaten her with a gun and that he was in their house with their three children, a 4-year-old girl and boys ages 8 and 12.
She also said he had threatened to kill himself and his family, authorities said.
When police arrived, the man went back into the house and barricaded himself in, Henry County Police Sgt. Palmerin Thomas said.
Police spent about four hours trying to get the man to surrender but were not successful. SWAT members were called to the scene and used a robot to knock down the door and go inside.
Police, who had not released the identity of the victims Sunday, said they had been called to the home in the past because of domestic disputes.
Police, who had not released the identity of the victims Sunday, said they had been called to the home in the past because of domestic disputes.
Dad sentenced to life for murder, neglect of disabled 14-year-old son (Fayette County, West Virginia)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT: Is this a single father? Where's Mom?
Father sentenced to life in son's death
Posted: Jun 23, 2010 10:35 AM CDT
Fayette County, W.Va. (WVVA) – A Fayette County father charged for murdering his own son was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
In May, a jury found Henry Clay Jenkins, 36, guilty of murder and neglect of his 14-year-old son, Christian Jenkins.
The teen suffered from cystic fibrosis, a respiratory disease, and in November of 2008, Jenkins gave his son oxycodone, which doctors say led to Christian's death.
Just before Judge Paul Blake asked Jenkins to rise for his sentencing, he told the father there is a higher power he will have to answer to one day for murdering his son; the courtroom would not be the last place where he would be held responsible.
Jenkins was then sentenced to life in prison. The jury did place mercy on the sentence, typically meaning after serving a minimum of 15 years, the individual may be eligible for parole.
However, Jenkins was also convicted of child neglect resulting in death, sentencing him to an additional three to 15 years.
Judge Blake ordered both sentences run consecutively. Jenkins will serve at least 18 years in prison before being eligible for parole, giving a feeling of justice to the family members of the deceased teen.
"I had decided that I was going to be satisfied with whatever happened," said Christian's grandmother, Patricia Paruscio. "But this right here…the bible says a life for a life, and the judge saw that, and he gave the father life too."
Emotions ran high outside the courtroom as the family grieved the loss of a beloved child, but took comfort in knowing Henry Jenkins would never again hurt his son.
"He never was what you call a father," says Paruscio. "I take that word back."
Strip club dad convicted in assault of child's mother (Wellington, New Zealand)
We've posted on this case before.
Strip club father convicted of assault
By MICHAEL FORBES - The Dominion Post
Last updated 05:00 29/06/2010
The man who left his baby unsupervised outside a Wellington strip club has admitted assaulting the child's mother, after previously wanting to argue the charge.
Wayne Ricardo Schwamm, 42, of Palmerston North, pleaded guilty to assaulting Ashley Chai this year.
But he changed his mind when he appeared for sentence on June 1 – worried that a conviction would prevent him winning custody of his 20-month-old son. He asked Judge Grant Fraser to vacate the guilty plea.
In Palmerston North District Court yesterday, Schwamm had another change of heart and opted to stick with the guilty plea. Judge Fraser previously indicated that Schwamm would be convicted and discharged if he completed eight relationship counselling sessions with Ms Chai.
Schwamm said he had not completed the counselling because the incident outside the strip club – for which he pleaded guilty to leaving a child under 14 without reasonable supervision and was fined $200 – meant he was not allowed to associate with her.
Schwamm was remanded on bail till September 30 to allow him time to complete an anger management course.
The police summary of facts said Schwamm hit Ms Chai in anger, after she allowed the baby to stand up in his high-chair while being fed.
Schwamm told Ms Chai she had ignored his instructions and hit her once, very hard, on her left upper arm with a closed fist, the summary said.
He pleaded guilty on April 19 to leaving his son unsupervised.
He went to Splash Club in Courtenay Place, Wellington, about 3am on April 13 to pick up a stripper friend but, when she was unable to finish work, he waited inside, rather than returning to the car.
A passer-by noticed his young son locked in the back seat and called police.
It is understood the child was unattended for about 40 minutes
Mum's efforts to keep killer dad behind bars labeled "vitriolic" by the press: why? (Port Lincoln, Australia)
Last Updated: June 29, 2010
Mum's plea to keep baby's killer in jail
By Nigel Hunt From: Sunday Mail (SA) June 27, 2010 7:24AM
THE South Australian mother of a nine-month-old baby boy killed by his father with a tomahawk in 1995 has mounted a vitriolic Facebook campaign to try to stop him being released from prison on parole.
Port Lincoln woman Valerie Staunton is urging people to lobby Premier Mike Rann to reject her former partner, Mervyn Keith Hull's, bid for freedom - even though the Parole Board is yet to recommend it.
Ms Staunton's Facebook Cause page has gathered more than 6400 members, and supporters have written and emailed letters to Mr Rann's office, that of Correctional Services Minister Tom Koutsantonis and the Parole Board urging Hull's continued incarceration.
Hull, now 46, pleaded guilty in 1996 to the murder of his son Cameron, on Eyre Peninsula. The Supreme Court was told Hull had attempted to kill both himself and Cameron by carbon monoxide poisoning in his car, but this had failed. He said he then did not want his son to suffer and so struck him in the head and neck with a tomahawk to kill him.
The court was told Hull had an acrimonious relationship with Ms Staunton, and the incident occurred during an access visit while Hull was suffering severe depression. He feared his future access was under threat after not returning Cameron by an arranged deadline.
Hull was sentenced to life in prison with a nine-year non-parole period.
The Full Court extended that to 14 years on appeal. This expired last August and he has now applied for parole.
Ms Staunton yesterday said she felt Hull had not spent enough time in prison and she feared "for my safety and the safety of my children".
"He might be behaving in prison but if you put him back into society he may not handle the pressure, which has been proven in the past," she said.
"He would react and I would be a target because he blamed me for what he did; he did it to hurt me, to punish me.
"Murderers should serve life in prison, he should die and he should rot in prison. He should serve his life sentence and there should be no parole."
Parole Board chairwoman Frances Nelson, QC, yesterday said while the board had considered Hull's case, no recommendation had yet been sent to Executive Council.
She said Hull had not caused any problems while in jail and "appreciated almost immediately the gravity of what he had done". "It is a burden that he also has to carry," she said. Ms Nelson said the campaign against Hull's release was "unusual in its intensity" and she had never witnessed "a campaign of this magnitude".
"I understand she is the mother of a small child who was killed, and I can totally empathise with her loss and grief," she said.
"But her approach to the case is a very subjective one, and that is the reason we have independent judges because they have no emotional involvement and they apply a sentence which is not motivated by subjective feelings.
"I would think the wider community, if they had regard to all of the circumstances, would have a balanced view."
Ms Nelson would not comment when asked about the board's recommendation in this case.
Mom jailed for keeping son from visiting convicted rapist dad in prison (Brooklyn, New York)
Brooklyn Family Court Judge Robin Sheares has a lot to answer for.
Brooklyn mom Sukhwant Herb jailed for 50 days for keeping son from visiting rapist dad
BY William Sherman
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Sunday, June 27th 2010, 4:00 AM
A Brooklyn mom has been tossed in jail because she refused to send her 9-year-old son to an Arizona prison to visit his father, a serial rapist locked away for decades.
Sukhwant Herb is serving 50 days on Rikers Island - in solitary confinement, she says - because she ignored a court order mandating twice-a-year prison visits for her son Seon.
She agreed to the visitation deal with representatives of the boy's father in September, her lawyer said.
Then she changed her mind.
"I don't want my son in that environment, seeing the prisoners in jumpers, and the slamming of gates, the noise. My son is 9, and it's horrible, horrific," Herb told the News in a phone call. "I'm locked here in a room, locked in 23 hours a day, with a TV.
"I turn [the TV] on just to hear another voice. The first time they took me outside for some fresh air was after 13 days in jail and that was for only one hour."
The 29-year-old mom from East New York can have visitors and make some phone calls.
But she doesn't want her son visiting her, either. "Not in this environment," she said.
Brooklyn Family Court Judge Robin Sheares shipped Herb off to Rikers on June 10 after having her arrested on a warrant.
The judge declined to comment.
David Bookstaver, spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration, said Herb was jailed because she missed five court appearances.
She had ample opportunity to try and modify the visitation order and is a flight risk, he said.
The circumstances of Herb's incarceration "are highly unusual," Bookstaver acknowledged, "but warranted."
Bookstaver said Herb "was given numerous opportunities to answer simple questions to avoid incarceration, but was uncooperative, could not produce proof of where she'd been, or where her son was attending school."
Herb's version of the hearing is quite different.
"I kept telling the judge where I was living, that I had a house in Ohio and was planning to move there with my son. But [the judge] kept screaming at me, 'I don't believe you, I don't care. I don't believe you.'"
Herb, who said she worked with a financial services firm dealing with foreclosures, is planning a move to Cambridge, Ohio, with her son and a 6-month-old daughter she has with her fiance, Dwayne Waithe, of Jamaica, Queens. The boy is living with Waithe while Herb is in jail.
Waithe said he was willing to put up his home, his trucking business and his bank account for Herb's bail, but was shot down.
"Even killers get bail," Waithe said. "This is unbelievable."
Herb conceded she made many mistakes in her dealings with Sheares. "It was a poor decision not to hire a lawyer earlier and fight all this in court," she said. "Still, this is wrong."
She recently hired a lawyer, Dale Frederick.
"It is not in the best interest of any child to incarcerate his mother for refusing to allow that child to go to a penitentiary, particularly where the father is a convicted serial rapist," Frederick said.
The father of Herb's son, Seon Jonas, 31, was convicted in 2003 of raping three women in Phoenix and is serving 27 years in an Arizona state prison.
Herb said she and Jonas, who met 11 years ago in New York, were living together in Phoenix when the rapes took place. Two of Jonas' victims were teenagers, she added.
"I had no idea of his secret life, that he did that," she said. "He was a kind man, was never abusive to me when we were living together."
After Jonas was imprisoned, Herb came back to Brooklyn with her son and moved in with her mother. The boy has not seen has father since at least the beginning of 2009.
"I am just devastated by this," said her mother, Gloria Herb.
Herb's aunt, Shelly Alexander, visited Herb last week and said, "She was just crying all the time.
"You sit across the table from the prisoner and right next to us was a woman who was a murderer.
"My niece made bad choices, but that doesn't make her a bad woman. June 30 is her birthday and she's going to spend it in jail."
It's unclear what will happen after she serves her sentence.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2010/06/27/2010-06-27_jailed_for_her_son_50_days_for_keeping_him_from_visiting_his_rapist_dad.html#ixzz0sARMshLN
Police: Dad slashed throat of 5-year-old daughter, killing her (Hoodsport, Washington)
Man suspected in knife-attack death of daughter
by KYLE MOORE and TERESA YUAN / KING 5 News
Posted on June 28, 2010 at 6:19 AM
Updated today at 7:08 AM
HOODSPORT, Wash. -- A five-year-old girl is dead after sheriff's deputies say her father slashed her throat while vacationing at Lake Cushman in Mason County Sunday evening.
"I've been in the business for 37 years. This is probably one of the most horrific incidents I've been involved with," said Chief Deputy Dean Byrd, Mason County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities say the family was vacationing from British Columbia and had only been at Lake Cushman for a couple of days.
Dispatchers received a 911 call from someone at the house around 6:30 p.m.
Deputies say initially the information was a bit confusing. The first call came in as someone was accidentally hurt. Then changed it to an 18-year-old was cut with a knife.
But then on route to the scene, deputies received information that a father allegedly cut his young daughter.
When deputies arrived they found a 29-year-old father on the front steps. Inside they found a 5-year-old girl whose throat had been slashed.
According to investigators, the father became upset with his daughter and took the knife to her neck.
Authorities say the father then notified the rest of the family of his actions.
"Our emergency response workers as well as our officers are pretty upset about this. Anytime a child's life is taken it's just horrific. Our sympathy goes out to the family," said Chief Deputy Byrd.
Authorities say the father did cooperate with police. He's being held at the Mason County jail for investigation of murder.
KING 5 has learned other members of the family, including the girl's mother, were in the house at the time of the incident and were not hurt. A chaplain was called in to help.
Authorities have not released the name of the victim or the father.
Dad arranges for mom to be drugged and dumped in Pakistan, then files for divorce, custody of 2-month-old son (England)
Mother stranded in Pakistan
27 June 2010
In the news at the moment the Family Division of the High Court ruled last week that the mother of a British baby boy was deliberately stranded in Pakistan by her husband and his relatives.
The child now lives with his father and family in the north of England. The court was told that the father had grown bored of his wife after two years of marriage and and wanted to keep the son. Mrs Justice Hogg urged the Home Office to allow the mother, Aqila, now 20 years old, back into the country after she was drugged and flown to Pakistan , and left outside her parents home, without any documents. Aqila does not speak English.
This was apparently following a row between the spouses. The husband obtained divorce papers from a priest within 48 hours of the row. He also claims he sent her passport, ID card, and divorce papers to the British High Commission. They were never seen.
The baby boy was two months old and Aqila alleged that from the start of the marriage the mother had been bullied by the father and his relatives. In turn the father alleges that Aqila was very demanding and unreasonable.
In her judgment, Mrs Justice Mary Hogg said:
I do not accept that the grandfather knew nothing about it. He was fully aware that the marriage was failing and deeply involved in the plan to take her there and leave her stranded from her baby. Grandmother was aware of the plan, too... This was a callous way of behaving towards a new young mother and her very young baby. This is sadly not the first case of deliberate separation of a mother from her child. This is emotionally harmful to the child... it is abhorrent. It is selfish and cruel behaviour by those who do it."
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office was aware of this case, as was the UK Border Agency and the British High Commission. It was most unfortunate that she was not given permission to come in for this hearing... I make an urgent plea to the immigration authorities that this mother is able to enter this country for the purpose of the welfare hearing.
The court was told that Aqila needed to be let into the country to attend a welfare hearing about her son, but the UK authorities had been unwilling to let Aqila in.
Aqila came to live in England on a spousal visa, valid until December 2010. She and her husband, who was her legal sponsor, needed to fulfil certain immigration procedures for her to stay here indefinitely. Aqila has a new Pakistani passport but the British High Commission has refused to supply her with a duplicate spousal visa which would allow her to fight this case in person.
The UK Border Agency commented in response to Mrs Justice Hogg:
We will consider the judge's comments in this case. Anyone with a child custody case before the UK courts can apply to enter the country for the hearing.
The solicitor acting for Aqila has dealt with over 50 cases and has highlighted a hidden abuse of overseas women who marry UK men. It is hoped the ruling will help these women.
Tim Mount is a trainee solicitor, contactable at email@example.com
Dad arrested, charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse (Maryville, Maryland)
Maryville man arrested on child abuse charges
By Mark Boxley
Originally published: June 26. 2010 3:01AM
Last modified: June 26. 2010 12:22AM
Members of the Wales Avenue community stopped a father from seriously injuring his two young children when they stepped in and removed them and restrained him during a violent altercation, police said Friday.
Mark Aaron Chung, 30, Wales Avenue, Maryville, was charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse in the case, which allegedly started when a neighbor heard someone screaming nearby.
“(The neighbor) advised that just before our arrival, they heard someone yelling, ‘Help me! Help me! Help me!’” said Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp Friday.
When the neighbor responded to the calls for assistance, she allegedly saw Chung holding his 4-year-old daughter off the ground and against the wall by her neck, Crisp said.
“(The neighbor) intervened and was able to get the child away from Chung,” he said.
At that point, Chung then grabbed his 4-month-old child — who was being held by his wife — and allegedly dangled the child by its ankles “as he and his wife struggled over the child,” Crisp said. “The child's head struck the door on more than one occasion.”
Chung's wife was reportedly able to finally get the child away from him and it was at that point that neighbors tackled him and held him until officers arrived at the scene. Chung was allegedly yelling that he was “going to kill his wife and children” when authorities arrived, Crisp said.
Officers escorted Chung to the ground level of the apartment complex where the incident took place, and reported that the man “was highly agitated” and had to be continually restrained.
The entire incident took place the evening of June 15, and after Chung was taken into custody he was taken to Blount Memorial Hospital for evaluation. He was charged with the counts of aggravated child abuse on Thursday.
Chung was being held in lieu of bonds totaling $200,000 pending a 9 a.m. June 29 hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court.
Dad gets 30 to life in infant daughter's sexual assault, murder (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Dad gets 30 to life in daughter's killing
Larry Hertz • Poughkeepsie Journal • June 26, 2010
A shattered family watched in Dutchess County Court as a father was sent to prison for sexually assaulting and murdering his 3-month-old daughter.
As the baby's mother, Robin Petty Tate, sobbed in her mother's arms in the gallery of the courtroom, 29-year-old William Tate Jr., his arms shackled at his sides, stared straight ahead as County Court Judge Thomas J. Dolan sentenced him to 30 years to life behind bars.
Wassaic man admits sex abuse, murder of infant daughter
"Your job as a father was to love and protect this child," Dolan told William Tate Jr. "Nobody has words to describe what you have done."
The judge then paused and pointed a finger at the defendant.
"When you go to sleep every night in prison, I want you to remember that little girl, what she was and what she could have been," he said.
Dolan then sentenced William Tate Jr. to 25 years to life, the maximum allowed by law for second-degree murder, and an additional five years on a charge of aggravated sexual abuse. The sentence means he will not be eligible for parole until at least 2040.
William Tate Jr. entered guilty pleas to the two crimes June 17. He acknowledged he had caused the death of his daughter, Reese Tate, by sexually abusing her and inflicting head injuries. The baby was fatally injured at the family's home on Willow Lane in Wassaic on the night of Feb. 3. She was pronounced dead early on Feb. 4 at Sharon (Conn.) Hospital.
William Tate Jr.'s eyes blinked several times as he watched his wife walk unsteadily to the front of the third-floor courtroom of the county courthouse to address the court.
Robin Tate sobbed between sentences as she read a two-page, typewritten statement, but she gathered herself and continued, looking directly at her husband several times.
She told him Oct. 20, 2009 — "the day my beautiful Reesie Doll came into my life" — had been the happiest day of her life.
"I remember the words I spoke when they first laid her on my belly: 'She's beautiful. I'm so glad we didn't have an ugly baby,' " she said, causing many in the courtroom to smile.
"Now I wake up each morning and realize I can never again go into her room to wake her. The pain in my heart is limitless," she said. "Reese was my world and now she is my angel."
Glancing again at her husband, she continued: "How, if there is a God or higher power, how could they let something like this happen to my innocent child? I try to take comfort in the fact that God has a plan and if in fact there is a God, may he have no mercy on William's soul."
William Tate Jr., dressed in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, looked at Dolan as he spoke about what he had done.
"Your honor," he said, "the day my daughter was born, when I first held her, I told her that I wouldn't let anything happen to her. My heart is broken that I am the reason she is gone. I will never be able to forgive myself, nor should I, for the pain I have caused my extended family — my wife, her parents, her brother ... I can't describe how sorry I am.
"I loved my daughter very much and would do anything to take her place," he said.
Earlier in the proceedings, William Tate Jr.'s mother-in-law and father-in-law, Carmen and Bruce Petty, tried to read prepared statements but both began to cry uncontrollably within a few minutes. The rest of their statements were read by Senior Assistant District Attorney Marjorie Smith, who prosecuted the case.
"Billy, you may have to spend a long stretch of your life in prison, and God knows you deserve to," Bruce Petty told his son-in-law before he began to cry. "But believe me that while you are being sentenced today, some of us, your family and friends, have already had a life sentence imposed on us. Because of your cowardly act of selfishness, Robin, my baby girl, is sentenced to life without her baby girl."
Carmen Petty was able to read only one paragraph of her statement before she sobbed and fell into Smith's arms.
"I've lost interest in just about everything I used to enjoy, like gardening," she said. "Now the only gardening things I do have to do with my beautiful granddaughter, Reese, her memorial garden at home."
Then the one-page statement she was holding shook as she began to sob.
"When I think of what Billy did, I can't understand it," she said, then handed the statement to Smith and walked back to her seat in the first row of the courtroom gallery.
Smith, who called the case the most horrific she had ever handled in nearly 30 years as a prosecutor, said it was particularly baffling because William Tate Jr. had no history of doing anything wrong.
"He comes from what appears to be a good and decent intact nuclear family. ... His school and work records are those of a normal person. … The complete lack of behavioral indicators makes this situation even more disturbing," the prosecutor said.
Smith said she had been distressed to read comments from anonymous people on news blogs "who would blame Robin for contributing to her daughter's death."
"In the most clear and unequivocal language I can use, I can tell the court and anyone else who cares to listen that the thorough investigation has uncovered not a shred or iota of proof or evidence that Robin has been other than a good and decent mother who loved her daughter Reese more than life itself," the prosecutor said.