Monday, August 9, 2010

11-year-old accused in custodial father's death (Independence, Missouri)

Interesting how this article manages to tiptoe around the big elephant in this story. Given that DAVID PAUL CHAMP is clearly an abusive and neglectful father with a criminal record, why was this little boy placed in his custody when the mother is still alive and living out of state? Who made that decision? The parents? Or the courts? Who says daddies can't get custody? This @$$wipe did. And except for a small minority of children who are sociopathic, the research shows that the vast majority of children who kill their fathers are severely abused.

11-year-old accused in father’s death
The Kansas City Star
Breaking News

In the working-class neighborhood of pickup trucks and barking dogs, Independence police told the boy to sit down on the sidewalk steps in front of his house.

A neighbor, watching across the street as police cars and an ambulance pulled up Monday afternoon, thought the 11-year-old looked hot. She took him a glass of ice water.

He looked up, shaking. Tears ran down his dirty face.

Inside the ramshackle house at 1016 S. Woodland Ave., the boy’s father, David Paul Champ, 52, a scrap dealer known for rough talk and causing heartache, lay wounded from a gunshot. He later died.

Jackson County Juvenile Court authorities charged the boy, who was set to start middle school this month, with second-degree murder. He is one of the youngest ever to face such a charge in Jackson County.

On Friday, “Faye,” the neighbor who took the boy water, and others described the boy’s father as pushy, a hothead and a loner, a single dad who tried to care for his son but didn’t know how.

She asked that her last name not be used.

“He was a troubled soul just trying to hang on,” said another woman who used to baby-sit the dead man when he was a boy. “Things weren’t good over there.”

Some of that is documented on the home’s front door. After the shooting, the Independence Health Department posted a warning for people to stay out, saying the house had mold, raw sewage, dangerous wiring and holes in the floor.

Beginning in 2004, the Health Department’s code compliance website showed complaints and investigations related to vehicles being abandoned on the property, as well as trash and building maintenance issues.

In the backyard, two trucks sat Friday with hoods raised. Cats scurried about. On the sideboard of one truck, Champ had written the names of two men with a warning that they were “stalkers and intimidators of children.”

That’s how he was, neighbors said.

“But I know that boy loved him,” the baby sitter said.

Faye agreed: “He was always saying his dad was going to do this or get him that.”

The boy’s mother reportedly lived out of state.

He is in the custody of juvenile officials, who declined to comment Friday. Independence police Capt. John Cato said the department would have no further comment.

According to the Missouri Department of Corrections, Champ had done three stints in prison, including a five-year stretch in the 1970s for assault with an intent to kill and auto theft.

An ex-wife — not the mother of the boy — said Champ also did time in federal prison for a weapons charge.

“A sawed-off shotgun — he took it on our honeymoon,” Mona Ravenscroft, who lives three houses away, said Friday.

Champ had been a good carpenter, she said.

“But then he fell off an 18-foot roof and broke both arms,” she said. “He couldn’t pound a hammer after that, so be became a scrapper.”

But he could never become a good father, no matter what he did, she said.

“That boy was never happy,” she said. “But when you think about what all was going on over there, how could he be?

“He never really had a chance.”

The Star’s Michael Mansur contributed to this report. To reach Donald Bradley, call 816-234-4182 or send e-mail to

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