Friday, October 29, 2010
Tales of domestic violence aren't "tragic"-- they're the result of bad criminal justice, family court policies (Federal Way, Washington)
Then we hear the proposed solutions from the "experts"--and the so-called solutions have little to NOTHING to do with the case studies that were just described.
Take the case of the mother, her twin sister, and the 2-year-old son. The mom had been making every effort to escape from her abuser boyfriend, the father of her child. She had filed multiple times for orders of protection, had moved several times (six times in a single month!). UNNAMED DAD continued to hunt her down like an animal. In fact, he even uses a custody "battle" to further harrass and torment the mother--and keep her tied to the area.
Eventually, he breaks into her home for the final time. Scoops up his 2-year-old son and places the little boy's hands on Daddy's gun (talk about psychological torture...).
The Daddy shoots the mom in the head. Then he shoot her sister, the boy's aunt. Both are apparently killed almost instantly. And then when the little boy tries to escape the scene. Daddy shoots him too--but the boy survives. Extremely traumatized, but alive.
How was this "tragedy" able to happen? How could have it have been prevented?
1) Multiple orders of protection should not have been necessary. The first time Daddy violated one, he should have been jailed. No bail. In fact, the first time Daddy committed assault he should have been jailed with no bail. Then Mom wouldn't have had to do all the scurring and frantic moving.
2) Daddies with documented histories of domestic violence should not be allowed to use child custody as a way to further harrass, control, and threaten the mother. It only adds to the mother's anxiety, adds to her personal danger, and effectively prevents her from leaving the area.
Now did the "experts" propose these solutions? No. They talk about how victims return to the abuser out of "fear." Did this happen in the case cited here? Not at all. As the boy's surviving grandmother tells it, this wasn't a factor at all. The murdered mother was certainly afraid--but that was because the cops wouldn't lock up the abuser and protect her and her family! And where was the problem with "education" or "awareness"? I don't see an "education" or "awareness" problem here.
It's not rocket science, people.
Lock up criminals and they won't be able to further torment their victims. And certainly don't allow them to use the family courts to torment their victims with all these "custody" issues.
Tragic tales of domestic violence: Mother grieves twin daughters; abuser breaks the cycle
By JACINDA HOWARD
Federal Way Mirror Reporter
Oct 28 2010, 6:02 PM · UPDATED
Sarah Warmbo grew up in a loving atmosphere free of violence.
She was close to her family, especially her twin sister, Charity. Shortly before high school graduation, she began dating a man. Not long after, she gave birth to a baby boy. Like most people, Sarah experienced both wonderful and awful times in life.
Her story is one that reaches deep and touches each person who hears it. For this reason, Sarah's mom, Priscilla Warmbo, tells it frequently. She tells it because Sarah is unable to.
Sarah and Charity Warmbo were both murdered, victims of domestic violence, 13 years ago.
Warmbo and Phil White, a domestic violence victim and perpetrator, shared their stories Tuesday at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way to increase awareness of domestic violence. The first half of the presentation mirrored a domestic violence victims panel. Abusers often attend a panel as part of sentencing. The second half of the event was a question and answer session with court, law and research professionals in the domestic violence field.
‘Daddy pow-powed mommy’
With a steady voice and photos in hand, Warmbo told her story. On June 13, 1997, Sarah and Charity Warmbo, ages 22, were found slain in their home. Sarah was desperately trying to escape an abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend and son's father at the time. She was in a custody dispute regarding their 2-year-old son. She had filed multiple protection orders against the man and moved six times in a single month. Each time, Sarah's ex-boyfriend found her.
That day he broke into the twins' home through his son's window. He scooped up his toddler, placed the boy's hands on the cold metal of a gun, and went to find Sarah. He shot her in the head. He then shot her twin sister. When his child tried to flee the scene, he shot at him too, Priscilla Warmbo said.
Warmbo arrived at her daughters' home that morning not knowing they had been killed. Ambulances and police greeted her. So did her grandson.
"Daddy pow-powed mommy. Daddy pow-powed Charity. Daddy pow-powed me," the youngster kept repeating.
Despite counseling, neither Warmbo nor her grandson has fully recovered from the horrific event.
"It's been a real journey, not an easy one," said Warmbo, who lives on the Key Peninsula.
White shed light on the roots of a domestic violence problem that started at an early age and progressed into adulthood. Domestic violence is a crime of power and control, he said. It is not rare for a victim to become a perpetrator.
White grew up in a Montana home bubbling over with abuse. His father abandoned the family when White was months old, causing the lot to move in with grandma. There, White was subjected to abuse from nearly every adult member of his family. His mother yelled, screamed and hit the children as well as her new husband. White's stepfather did the same. Shoes, broom handles, fists and harsh words were used to inflict pain. Even grandma took part. She was particularly fond of her crocheting needle.
"When it goes into your body, it hurts," said White, a Tacoma resident. "When it comes out, it hurts even worse because it takes a chunk of meat with it."
Growing up in an atmosphere of violence, White thought it was normal behavior. As an adult, he married, had two children and became an abuser. He yelled and screamed at his family. He repeated some of the same behaviors he witnessed as a child.
"We don't learn on our own; we learn from someone else," White said. "We are taught domestic violence."
White is a different man now. He chooses love, patience and understanding over control and violence.
Domestic violence appears in all communities. Its impacts are far-reaching. In 2008, 30 percent of Federal Way's non-traffic criminal filings were domestic violence related, Judge David Larson said. In King County, one in three homicides are linked to domestic violence, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said. In Washington state, more than 7,000 cases per year involve a child who is being abused or who is exposed to domestic violence, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna said.
The matter is difficult to understand and put an end to. Victims, out of fear, often return to their abusers. Many refuse to testify against their abuser in court. Judges, police and others struggle to understand the cycle of abuse and how it can be stopped, said Barbara Madsen, Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice.
At the state level, resources must be dedicated. The criminal justice system must be strengthened. Awareness must be increased, McKenna said. Education and prevention are essential, the experts said. But it will take more than just the work of state players.
"You have to have a coordinated community response," Madsen said.
Domestic violence resources
• Valley Cities Counseling and Consultation: (253) 939-4055; www.valleycities.org.
• Domestic Abuse Women's Network: (425) 656-4305; 24-hour crisis line, (425) 656-7867; 33525 Pacific Highway South, Suite A in Federal Way; www.dawnonline.org.
• Korean Women's Association: (253) 946-1995; www.kwaoutreach.org; 31218 Pacific Highway S., Suite A, Federal Way.
• YWCA of Seattle King County: (425) 226-1266; www.ywcaworks.org; 1010 S. 2nd St., Renton.
• City of Federal Way: domestic violence victim's court liaison: (253) 835-2563; www.cityoffederalway.com/Page.aspx?page=391.
Federal Way Mirror Reporter Jacinda Howard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 925-5565.
Dad arrested in death of 10-week-old son (Lafayette, Colorado)
Notice that once again, the "shaken baby" label doesn't even begin to do justice to the abuse that clearly went on here.
Lafayette father arrested in baby's death
Police: Joaquin Campos, 21, suspected of causing 10-week-old's fatal injuries
By Vanessa Miller Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 10/28/2010 10:19:53 PM MDT
The father of a Lafayette infant who died last week after suffering multiple injuries -- including broken bones and brain hemorrhaging -- was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death.
Lafayette police have been investigating the death of 10-week-old Lyon Campos since he was rushed to the hospital Oct. 18 after his father, Joaquin Campos, said he fell down the stairs while holding the baby. Lyon died the night of Oct. 20, and officers said Campos was cooperating with the investigation until Thursday.
Lafayette police received information Thursday that Campos, 21, was talking about fleeing the area, said Cmdr. Gene McCausey, so officers went to his home at 1927 Lydia Drive to arrest him on a warrant out of Commerce City and talk to him more about their child abuse investigation.
"We explained to him that he was under arrest, and he flipped out," McCausey said. "He physically fought with officers and was taken into custody with minor injuries."
Campos was booked into the Boulder County Jail on suspicion of charges including resisting arrest and second-degree assault on a police officer, McCausey said. After investigators interviewed Campos at the jail, they recommended a separate set of charges in connection with his son's death, including knowing and reckless child abuse resulting in death.
The department also is recommending that charges of child abuse and domestic violence be filed in connection with an earlier incident that his wife reported, McCausey said.
Campos suffered bruises during Thursday's arrest, and no officers were hurt, McCausey said.
"He had been cooperating with us, and that's why we didn't arrest him earlier," he said.
Lafayette police first responded to a 911 call at the Lydia Drive home about 7:22 a.m. Oct. 18 after Campos said he fell down the stairs while holding the baby. Lyon was taken to Exempla Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, where he was treated and released.
Police were called back to the same address at 7:48 p.m. on a report that the infant was not breathing. He was taken back to Exempla, then airlifted to Children's Hospital in Aurora, where he later died.
McCausey said Lyon didn't have any significant injuries when he went to the hospital in the morning, and investigators suspect Campos did something to cause the fatal injuries to the child during the day.
"From the injuries to the baby, clearly something happened other than falling down the steps," McCausey said.
The infant had broken ribs, broken femurs in both legs and hemorrhaging in the brain when he was brought to the hospital the second time, according to McCausey.
"There were typical shaken-baby-type injuries," he said. "He had internal head injuries."
Campos was the one who called authorities both times, and the child's mother was not at home that day, McCausey said.
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said his office hasn't yet decided what charges to file against Campos based on the police recommendations.
"I think there is probable cause to take him into custody on the issues related to his child's death," Garnett said. "We will carefully review the evidence developed in the investigation and make a determination which charges to actually file Friday or early next week."
Read more: Lafayette father arrested in baby's death - Boulder Daily Camera http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_16462634#ixzz13ljDJoDU
Custodial dad, girlfriend due in court; 9-year-old daughter's body found in crawl space (Monument, Colorado)
Sims is a CUSTODIAL DAD who managed to strip the mom of custody back in New Jersey--despite child abuse investigations and a warrant for a weapons violation in that state. Dad then relocated to Colorado--and how he managed to do that with so many custodial mothers required to get moveaway permission these days should be an investigation in and of itself. Once again, child protective services was called to the home and screwed up. See our previous posts on this case for more detail.
This post describes the mother back in New Jersey finally having a funeral for her daughter:
This post includes links to previous posts:
Here's the timeline I constructed for this case, just so you as a Dastardly reader know the real background:
1) October 2007: The mother loses custody in classic scam, where she isn't even informed of the court dates. This is typically seen in family courts (like New Jersey's) with well-earned reputations for corruption.
2) As noted in the article below, after Mom loses custody, she never sees her daughter again. This is very often seen with abusive fathers with a lot of coercive control issues, especially when there is a corrupt court backing them up.
3) Dad receives and maintains custody in New Jersey despite a weapons warrant and an ongoing abuse investigation. In fact, New Jersey child protection authorities file a neglect and dependency case against the girl's custodial father, investigating whether he was physically and emotionally abusing her. In fact, they "claim" that they were in the process of taking the girl away from her father when he moved.
4) But if child protection was in the process of taking child custody away from Dad, why was he able to move to Colorado with no apparent moveway objections from the courts? And the evidence shows that Dad did NOT make a run for it. Why? Because the New Jersey New Jersey officials notified El Paso County, Colorado about their abuse investigation. So they obviously knew where he had gone. El Paso County Department of Human Services does not act on these allegations.
5) October 2008: After neighbors make complaints, an El Paso County Department of Human Services child protection worker goes to the house and interviews two children there. The girl told the worker she isn't supposed to talk about them and an older boy (the gal pal's kid) also says nothing.The complaint is deemed “inconclusive” and El Paso County officials do not open a case. In other words, the girl's apparent fear and evasiveness are either overlooked or deliberately ignored. The El Paso authorities never follow up.
6) Neighbors say that when girl seemingly disappeared, they ask her custodial dad/gal pal what happened and were told that she had gone back to New Jersey to live with an aunt.
7) March 2009: The custodial dad and his gal pal leave Colorado for California.
8) March 14, 2009 - Dec. 9, 2009: Custodial dad, gal pal, gal pal's son, stay at Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. Infant boy born while they are there. No sign of the girl and family never mentions a girl. Gal pal makes odd comment to staff: “I don’t think I’ve been able to appreciate that I have a new baby because of a situation that I’m in.” Mission helps subsidize an affordable housing apartment for the family. But custodial dad and gal pal leave town, leaving the children with "a friend" and "disappear." Unidentified "family members" later pick up the kids.”
8) May 14, 2010: Remains of young girl found in crawl space of Colorado home formerly occupied by custodial father, gal pal, children. El Paso County Sheriff's Department says that custodial dad, gal pal are not "suspects." However, New Jersey authorities say they have sent detectives to California, but can't find Dad or the gal pal.
9) July 2010: Sims and the gal pal tell a Colorado TV station that they just "found" the girl dead in the shower. So naturally, like any loving caretakers would have done under the same circumstances, they dumped her body in the crawl space of their home (er, had a "basement burial").
10) July 2010: After 2-month search, Sims arrested in Nevada.
11) August 2010: Colorado authorities suggest that this poor child may be been buried in the crawl space while still alive.
SUNRISE: Parents of girl found dead in home due in court
9-year-old's body found in crawl space
October 29, 2010 7:16 AM
A preliminary hearing is scheduled at 9 a.m. Friday for the couple charged in the death of a 9-year-old girl found buried in the crawl space of a Monument home.
Prosecutors will outline their evidence against Monique Lynch and Hanif Sims during the hearing before 4th Judicial District Judge G. David Miller.
Lynch is accused of first-degree murder in the death of Genesis Sims. Hanif Sims, the girl's father, is accused of child abuse resulting in death plus concealing a body and tampering with evidence.
Read more: http://www.gazette.com/articles/girl-107132-monument-sims.html#ixzz13lTTIbOe
Dad pleads guilty to assaulting 2-month-old son; sentenced to 11 years in prison (Olympia, Washington)
How nice it would be if American moms had paid maternity leaves. And abuser deadbeat "babysitting" dads would get a job for once.
Father sentenced to 11 years for assaulting infant son
• Published October 29, 2010
OLYMPIA – A judge sentenced an Olympia man to 11 years and eight months in prison Thursday for throwing his infant son on the ground in July because he would not stop crying, according to court papers.
Shane Dean Olsen, 19, had pleaded guilty to first-degree assault of a child, second-degree assault of a child and one count of first-degree criminal mistreatment.
According to court papers:
Olsen’s 2-month-old son was taken to Capital Medical Center in July because he was having trouble breathing. The child was transferred by helicopter to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma with life-threatening injuries.
The boy’s injuries occurred while Olsen was watching him at the home of his girlfriend’s sister, where the family had been staying. The child’s mother said she was at work for less than five hours on the morning of July 6, and when she returned, she discovered that the boy was having trouble breathing.
Doctors at Mary Bridge told investigators that the baby suffered large skull fractures to the left side of his skull, and multiple rib fractures, a lacerated liver and a broken neck. The baby underwent two blood transfusions because of internal injuries and was on a respirator.
A doctor told investigators that part of the boy’s brain was dead and he would never “interact with his environment.”
The boy, who was born in May, also had partially healed fractures to his ribs and leg, which is a possible indicator of earlier abuse, doctors told investigators.
A doctor told investigators that the boy’s injuries showed that he was slammed against something and punched in the head at least twice.
According to the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Olsen gave several explanations of the boy’s injuries when he was interviewed in July, at first saying that they were caused by accidental falls and bumps. According to court papers, his most recent explanation before his arrest was that he became frustrated and threw his son to the floor and then to the couch from four or five feet away because the boy would not stop crying.
According to Olsen’s felony judgment and sentence signed by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Paula Casey, Olsen may not have contact with his son for the rest of his life, and may not have contact with any minors without approval from the state Department of Corrections. Olsen also must undergo anger management, according to his judgment and sentence.
Doctors have told prosecutors that it is uncertain whether Olsen’s son will ever be able to breathe on his own, court papers state.
Read more: http://www.theolympian.com/2010/10/28/1419459/father-sentenced-to-11-years-for.html#ixzz13lPbVTeA
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Dad arrested on suspicion of abusing 5-week-old daughter (Hoquiam, Washington)
Hoquiam Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Abusing 5-Week-Old Baby
Posted: 11:15 am PDT October 28, 2010
Updated: 11:37 am PDT October 28, 2010
HOQUIAM, Wash. -- A 24-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after admitting that he picked up his 5-week-old child by the neck and by the front of her clothing, Hoquiam police said.
Child Protective Services called police to a hospital near Hoquiam on Wednesday when they noticed injuries to the girl, police said. Police were told the girl had suffered bruising to an elbow, a hip, the abdomen and neck. The girl also had a cut lip, police said.
The girl’s 20-year-old mother told police that she took her daughter to the doctor after she noticed the bruising. The mother later said she had seen the baby’s father pick the girl up by the back of her neck or by pulling her up by grasping the front of her clothing, police said. The mother also said she thought the father would strike the girl on the back much harder than necessary when burping her, police said.
The father admitted to picking the child up by the neck and the front of the shirt, police said. He was booked into Grays Harbor County Jail on charges of third-degree assault of a child.
The baby did not appear to have life-threatening injuries, but was taken to Grays Harbor Community Hospital for further examination because of her age, police said. She was transferred to Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma for a more specific pediatric examination and to make sure she didn’t have any internal injuries, police said.
CPS was given temporary custody of the girl pending the outcome of the medical exam and further investigation by CPS and the Hoquiam police, police said.
Dad arrested after shooting 8-year-old son repeatedly with BB gun (Tuscaloosa County, Alabama)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT.
Man arrested after shooting son repeatedly with BB gun
Posted: Oct 28, 2010 2:04 PM CDT
Updated: Oct 28, 2010 2:04 PM CDT
TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) – A man has been arrested after authorities say he shot his 8-year-old son multiple times in the buttocks with a BB gun.
The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office says the abuse was discovered by the child's counselor at Lakeview Elementary School when the child mentioned it. Reportedly, the child has several marks on his buttocks and thighs and some of the BB's had broken the skin.
The child's father, 28-year-old Lewis Terrance Brown, has been charged with torture and willful abuse of a child.
DASTARDLY DADS FROM THE ARCHIVES (New York, New York - 1908)
This particular article explains the "struggle" at Grand Central Station (eluded to in the post that follows) in a little more detail. Even one hundred years later, we can really feel this 11-year-old boy's panic and fear as he realizes that he's going to be returned to his custodial father, HENRY RUSSELL DROWNE, after running away from boarding school and contacting his mother. It's as if this boy were defending his very life. It really is heart wrenching--despite the sometimes flippant tone of the Times reporter. If anything, this article makes it very clear what a bullying jerk this father really was.
Notice that just six weeks after getting legal guardianship, this father had shipped this boy off to boarding school in Massachusetts and cut off all communication between the child and his mother. Not surprisingly, he didn't even have the courtesy of informing her of his decision before hand. Just like today, this custodial dad was obviously more interested in hurting the mother than raising a child.
Unfortunately, lawyers, judges, and the courts still collaborate with abusive dads to separate mothers and children in this way. And yet we still have children and mothers who resist.
I for one have nothing but admiration for this boy's tenacity in making his escape and trying to get free. And what a helluva great adventure story.
From the New York Times, February 12, 1908.
STRUGGLE OVER BOY STIRS GRAND CENTRAL
Separated Parents of Russell Drowne, School Runaway, War Over Him in Crowd.
CHILD CLINGS TO MOTHER.
But Father, with the Court Back of Him, Wins--Boy Forced Into Cab and Taken Away.
Another exciting chapter was added yesterday afternoon to the volume of troubles which Mr. and Mrs. Henry Russell Drowne, formerly of 145 West Thirty-sixth street, have had over the custody of their 11-year-old Russell.
Since the couple has separated the boy has been given to the custody of his father. For a time yesterday's meeting was so lively that it looked as if it would not stop short of an encounter with the father, mother, boy, and a lawyer as principals.
The trouble occurred in the Grand Central station in the presence of hundreds of hurrying passengers. Just as Mrs. Drowne came through the gate from a New Haven train with the boy she was startled by a strange man stepping forward and latching him by the arm.
"I want this boy," said this man, attempting to pull him away from Mrs. Drowne. There was a short, sharp struggle in which the mother came off victor chiefly because little Russell valiantly fought off the man and clung desparately to his mother's protective arms.
At that moment, Mr. Drowne ran up to the group and demanded that Mrs. Drowne instantly surrender the boy to him. Hurrying passengers halted, and within a brief two minutes the four figures were in the centre of a throng.
"This is no place to create a scene," said Mrs. Drowne, "but at any cost I am determined to protect my boy."
At the suggestion of several station guards and gatemen the controversy was stopped temporarily, and Mrs. Drowne, with the boy still clinging to her, led the way to the women's room in the station. When the father and the man accompanying him were halted the controversy was renewed.
"If you will call a cab so that Russell may be properly protected, I will surrender him to you," Mrs. Drowne finally told the father.
Boy Fought Desperately.
"A car is plenty good enough for him," was the response.
But in the end Mrs. Drowne was triumphant and the party went outside. There the boy struggled and fought with a vigor beyond his years to escape his father. With fire in his eyes he struck out right and left and kicked and shouted vigorously. One of his fists landed on the lawyer's face and sent his glasses flying.
At that the struggling boy was picked up bodily and dumped in the cab. An instant later Drowne and his lawyer were in with him. The door slammed and the cab was driven away rapidly to the Drowne home in West Thirty-sixth street.
Mrs. Drowne was bringing the boy back from Natick, Mass. About six weeks ago Mr. Drowne was appointed legal guardian for the boy. Mrs. Drowne did not object seriously to this arrangement, so long as little Russell was kept at the father's home in Thirty-sixth street and she was permitted to see him at regular intervals.
Mrs. Drowne says that the boy was suffering from valvular trouble of the heart, and the family physician had advised that he be kept as quiet as possible and that she had so advised Mr. Drowne. But about two weeks ago, Mr. Drowne, without saying anything to the mother, sent the boy off to a boarding school at Newton, Mass. Mrs. Drowne says the boy was not allowed to communicate with her after that.
Little Russell became homesick and decided to run away from the school. During the last few days he braved many hardships to get back to New York and his mother.
Only two days after he reached the school he made a determined effort to run away, but was caught by one of the professors and taken back and his father notified. Drowne directed that a close watch be kept on the boy.
On Monday afternoon while all of the boys were coasting on a hill near the school, Russell saw his chance to escape. With Harold Harper of Boston, a chum, he coasted down the long hill, and then together they cut away and ran. They were gone for an hour before they were missed.
Runaways Trudged On.
The boys trudged along the railroad track toward New York. Finally the darkness came on, and they looked for some place to sleep. Cold and hungry, they spied a farmhouse at last and went up to it. They begged for food and permission to sleep in the barn. They were turned away without even a scrap of bread. They returned to the track again and plodded along pluckily until they saw the lights of a village in the distance. This gave them renewed courage, and they hurried on. Arriving at the village they found it was Natick, Mass., seventeen miles from where they had started. The first house they found had an inviting light, and it proved to be a telephone station. They told their troubles to the man in charge and asked his assistance.
"If you will only telephone to my mamma in New York she will pay for your trouble," said little Russell. The man shared his supper with them while he heard the account of their runaway. He called Mrs. Drowne on the long-distance telephone, and she directed that the boys be sent to a hotel and properly cared for.
"As soon as I got off the telephone message I knew that my boy wanted me, and I hastened to him," said Mrs. Drowne last night. "I hastened to the Grand Central Station, where I caught a midnight train for Framington and took a trolley for Natick. Russell and his friend were waiting for me. Poor boys! There was no hotel in the town, and they were compelled to sleep with their clothes on on a bench in the room where the telephone operator was, and they were pretty well worn out.
"Russell was overjoyed to see me, and I could see that he had suffered greatly. I talked to him and got him as quiet as possible, then suggested that I take him back to the school, but he insisted on coming to New York with me and I finally gave in. The little Harper boy wanted to come too, but of course, I would not let him. So I telephoned his father in Boston to come get him, which he did, and I put Russell on the train and brought him to New York.
Counsel for Drowne in Newark yesterday made application to Vice Chancellor Stevens to vacate the bond which the father gave some time ago to produce his son in court whenever he might be wanted, the understanding that his mother should be able to see her child at stated intervals. About six weeks ago, however, Drowne got an order from Judge Thomas, in the Surrogates Court here, placing the boy in his custody, and he seeks to be relieved of his responsibility to the New Jersey Court. The case will be argued in Newark in two weeks.
DASTARDLY DADS FROM THE ARCHIVES (New York, New York - 1909)
HENRY RUSSELL DROWNE, who was a well-to-do merchant, then decided to bring an action for divorce in 1908, after 19 years of marriage. (We know that Drowne was rich, because his 1934 obituary mentions that he was "widely known as a collector of coins, paintings, antiques, and Americana.") Their son, who must have been conceived after the South Dakota "divorce," was then about 10 years of age.
Daddy got custody--and then promptly shipped the child off to boarding school in Newton, Massachusetts. The timing certainly suggests that getting rid of the boy and keeping him from his mother was the main motivation here. Certainly sounds like a cruel and controlling move to me. No wonder the mother had been so desperate all those years before. At this point, the father doesn't even have the final decree of divorce.
Anyway, after "chafing under the restrictions there" (translation: after chafing under the abusive conditions in a turn-of-the century New England boarding school while simultaneously grieving for the loss of his mother), the boy runs away. The boy manages to make telephone contact with his mother, who makes an all-night trip to come get him. The mother, who is obviously trying to follow the oppressive rules of the court, then contacts the father to meet them at Grand Central Station in New York. Daddy shows up alright--with his attorney. When the boy realized that he was going to be forcefully separated from his mother once more, he fought back. He even managed to land a few punches squarely on the attorney's face. This level of resistance certainly suggests that the boy's aversion was very high--most likely because of abuse in the father's home.
However, the Times tells us that "peace was restored" and that "the quartet drove away."
I sincerely doubt that peace was restored at any rate. Daddy's final divorce decree affirmed his custody of the boy. This is one of those stories where you wonder what eventually happened to this boy and his mother.
Have things really changed that much in 100 years? You tell me.
From the New York Times, May 16, 1909.
DIVORCE FOR DROWNE AND CUSTODY OF CHILD
Dakota Decree Obtained by Wife of Woolen Merchant Declared Invalid.
BOY A SCHOOL RUNAWAY
Mother Brought Him to This City and Boy Made a Scene When Surrendered to His Father.
Supreme Court Justice Gerard signed the final decree of divorce yesterday in favor of Henry Russell Drowne of the firm of Mann & Drowne, woolen merchants at 61 Leonard Street, who lives at 147 West Thirty-Sixth Street, in his action against Louisa Forsythe Drowne. The father gets the custody of htier son, 11 years old.
The Drownes were married on July 3, 1889, and in 1896 Mrs. Drowne left her husband and went to South Dakota, where she got a divorce, which was held invalid in this State. About May last year Mr. Drowne brought an action for divorce and got an interlocutory decree. He obtained custody of the boy, and subsequently placed him in a school at Newton, Mass. Chafing under the restrictions there, the boy, with a companion, ran away, having decided to get back to New York. The youngsters' trip ended at a farm near Natick, not many miles from Newton. The Drowne boy told the farmer that he was trying to get to New York, and that if would telephone to his mother she was sure to come and get him.
This was done and after an all-night trip Mrs. Drowne reached her son. She telephoned to her husband in Boston to meet them at the Grand Central Station here, and Mr. Drowne and his counsel were one hand when the train came in. When the boy learned that he was to be separated from his mother a lively scene took place. He fought his father and the attorney, landed several times on the latter's face, and sent his glasses flying. The scrimmage was witnessed by a large number of people, but peace was restored and the quartet drove away.
Pounding, screaming, crying: a child's recollections of an abusive father (Oregon)
Harris: Pounding, screaming and crying
In my opinion In these eyes
By Tyree Harris Columnist
Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010
Updated: Thursday, October 28, 2010 02:10
Editor's note: Because of the nature of his story, the subject wished to withhold his real name.
Twenty-year-old David Coleman doesn't even dream normally. At night he succumbs to the pounding, screaming and crying that became the soundtrack of his childhood.
Some nights he sees his father beating his brother.
Some nights he sees his father choking his mother.
Other nights he'll watch his father sexually assault his sister.
Whatever he sees, he wakes up from it all knowing that these visions aren't just sick and twisted thoughts - they're memories.
Coleman can vividly recall the first time he saw is mother being beat by his dad. He doesn't remember what for, but he knows she was beat so badly, she was incoherent.
"It was like she was comatose for hours," Coleman said.
When they tried to get her attention, she just lay there like she was dead.
Coleman was just 3 years old when this happened.
Beatings became such a common event, he grew numb to them.
"We didn't have anything normal to compare it to," Coleman said. "It was all we knew."
By the time he was 4 years old, the abuse carried over to him and his siblings.
"It started off as discipline and then it started growing into just violence," Coleman said.
He spent all of his childhood being punched for leaving a glass on the table, kicked for not cleaning his room, having his hair pulled for asking for something and being thrown around - for no reason at all.
There was no limit to the pain; the abuse would go on for hours into the night.
Coleman's mom was unemployed and his father was a drug abusing, gang-related hustler. The father of eight children, his dad learned to beat his family from his father, and his father learned that from his father. It's practically genetic.
"(My father's) childhood was way worse than mine," Coleman said.
For years, Coleman and his family would be victims of abuse. His mother couldn't report his father to officials because if she did, she knew she would probably never live to see another day.
They were walking on eggshells. Anything they did could've earned them a three-hour beating.
But one night forced his mother to finally step up to the father: the night she found out he was sexually abusing her daughter.
That was her breaking point. She reported the father, the kids gave reports and the dad was arrested.
Everything appeared to be working against him, but after a five-minute conversation with him from jail, the mother scrambled to repeal her accusations and denied the children's reports.
Coleman can only imagine what his dad said to threaten his mother into canceling that case.
After spending several months in a shelter, his father got out of jail and they were forced to reside with him yet again in a small trailer.
They knew the repercussions would be heavy. His father punched his mother while she was breast feeding his baby brother. Coleman was thrown across the trailer and his uncle had to keep his father from bashing his mother's face in with a large camera.
In the father's eyes, the family betrayed him. So he grew more relentless than ever. His anger was especially unleashed on Coleman's half-brother. Because he was not the full sibling of the other kids, the dad instantly alienated him from everyone and made all the other children beat him up.
If the kids refused to beat him up, they would be beat. If the kids lost a fight to the half brother, they would be beat.
The father abused the half-brother worse than anyone else, both physically and psychologically. Not only was he beat, but he was unable to go outside, play or even ask to go to the bathroom.
The years of abuse left his brother with a loss of control of his bladder, a broken ankle and epilepsy.
He had to start wearing a helmet; half of his brain was dead.
Because his father had to call the ambulance one night after Coleman's half-brother was abused, the state found out about it and arrested the father for child neglect and abuse. He was supposed to serve 16 years, but they reduced it to 13 because of "good behavior." He will be out in 2013.
All the kids were dispatched into the foster care system and Coleman eventually got into a decent enough household to get him into the University. Today he is a psychology major hoping to go into law.
Twenty-year-old David Coleman is doing what he can to escape his past, but every time he falls asleep, he is once again that same helpless 3-year-old, watching his mother take the beating of her life.
Dad charged with abusing 2-year-old daughter (South Charleston, West Virginia)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT.
Father Arrested on Child Abuse Charges
Posted Thursday, October 28, 2010 ; 11:04 AM
SOUTH CHARLESTON -- A South Charleston man is facing child abuse charges for allegedly hitting his 2-year old little girl. South Charleston police arrested Evan Swain on Wednesday.
Police said Swain admitted to hitting his daughter on her head, throwing a plastic bottle at her and striking her thigh.
The incident allegedly took place at a home on Rosemont Avenue in South Charleston.
Swain is in the South Central Regional Jail.
Dad who left kids alone in car for two days while drinking to be sentenced; partying took place during weekend visitation (Jackson, Michigan)
If you check out our post from April, you'll see that LaBo didn't just leave those kids alone "for hours" while he went out drinking. It was for TWO WHOLE DAYS. During which time, these children were NOT FED. And this was during Daddy's scheduled weekend visitation time.
Which of course begs the question: Since this Daddy apparently had two previous DUIs as well as a "series of misdeanors," who thought it was a good idea to award him with weekend visitation? More importantly, will this "incident" get swept under the rug by the authorities, so that daddy's weekend party/child visitation time continues unimpeded?
Given a lot of the cases I've been seeing out of Michigan lately, it wouldn't surprise me.
ed: 7:31 AM Oct 28, 2010
Dad Who Left Boys Alone to be Sentenced
Richard LaBo will learn his fate Thursday.
Reporter: News 10
The Jackson father who left his two small sons alone in a car for hours while he got drunk will learn his fate Thursday.
Judge John McBain will sentence Richard LaBo Thursday.
LaBo was convicted on two counts of second degree child abuse last month, after leaving his four- and six-year-old sons alone in an unlocked car while he and his brother got drunk inside a bowling alley in Summit Township.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Dad sentenced for beating 9-year-old daughter over homework (Eagle Mountain, Utah)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT.
Father sentenced for beating daughter over homework
By stephen hunt
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Oct 27, 2010 02:18PM
Updated 1 minute ago Updated Oct 27, 2010 03:56PM
A 40-year-old Eagle Mountain man who beat his 9-year-old daughter with a belt for failing to turn in her homework at school was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail.
As part of Robert Tuttle’s sentence, 4th District Judge Claudia Laycock gave him the option of doing 240 hours of community service or participate in the work diversion program in lieu of jail time.
Tuttle, 40, was initially charged in 4th District Court with second-degree felony child abuse for the Feb. 28 attack.
He pleaded guilty to a lesser count of class A misdemeanor child abuse.
He struck his daughter with a belt at least 10 times, leaving a number of bruises and welts on her body, according to police, who said the girl did not require medical treatment. When the girl’s 10-year-old sister attempted to intervene, the father reportedly took a swing at her, just missing her head. When interviewed by Utah County deputies, Tuttle purportedly defended using a belt as a form of discipline.
As part of a 36-month probation, Laycock ordered Tuttle to pay a $1,173 fine and obtain a mental health evaluation.
Drunken dad tosses 5-year-old daughter into the air--then fails to catch her, causing head injuries (Midland, Michigan)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT.
Man allegedly drops daughter, charged with abuse
by Dan Armstrong
Posted: 26 mins ago
A Midland father faces child abuse charges after allegedly dropping his little girl at the Midland County Fair, causing head injuries.
Police say 27-year-old Miles Luft threw his 5-year-old daughter in the air and dropped her.
Police say Luft had been drinking.
Prosecutors charged him with 3rd degree child abuse.
There's a plea deal expected November 19th.
This isn't his first time in trouble.
He plead to felonious assault to a 2008 charge.
Luft has been at the Midland County Jail since the August 17th incident.
NBC25 is told the girl is okay.
Dad pleads guilty to assaulting infant daughter (Port Stephens, NSW, Australia)
Port Stephens dad in court for breaking baby girl's leg
27 Oct, 2010 01:50 PM
A Port Stephens man who twisted his baby daughter's limbs during "brain snaps" that eventually led to the girl suffering a fracture in one of her legs will be sentenced tomorrow.
The father, who cannot be identified, faced a sentencing hearing in Newcastle Local Court this afternoon.
He has pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and one count of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.
The court heard that the father no longer has contact with his child.
The child is not expected to suffer any long-term difficulties, a statement of facts said.
Custodial dad accused of murdering 5-year-old son pleads guilty; death penalty "off the table" (Phoenix, Arizona)
Oh, but you don't see anything in the article below about Campbell being custodial? This is typical, I'm afraid. As these guys finally wind their way through the courts and finally get convicted, the fact that some judge some place gave the homicidal father custody of the murdered child gets, well, erased. After a while, the fact that the murder involved a custodial father just disappears from the public consciousness. Wouldn't want some Arizona judge to be embarrassed by his or her pro-daddy incompetence now, would we? But here at Dastardly Dads, we like to embarrass incompetent judges who value fathers rights over the safety of children. So let's refresh your memory of this case.
Here's a quote from a June 2009 article on this case:
"Court documents show a judge awarded Campbell sole custody of his son last summer. Three months ago, the boy's natural mother filed to get that change. She was asking the court to give her sole custody."
Here's the link in case you want to check it out for yourself:
So who was the judge? You tell me. I suspect he or she is not to eager to take credit for this decision right now. But you needn't stay up worrying about the judge at night. I can assure you that these idiots are almost never held accountable.
Father accused of murdering 5-year-old pleads guilty, death penalty off the table
by Catherine Holland
Posted on October 27, 2010 at 7:44 AM
Updated today at 8:36 AM
PHOENIX -- A Phoenix father accused of killing his 5-year-old son has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.
Nashawn Campbell, 39, will be sentenced next month. As part of his plea agreement, he will not face the death penalty.
According to police, Campbell, 39, slit his little boy's throat and then tried to kill himself in June 2009.
It happened at the family's home in the area of 15th and Fillmore streets in Phoenix.
Campbell's sister is the one who found Campbell and his son, Troy, in a back bedroom. Both of their throats had been slashed. Troy was already dead.
According to court paperwork, Campbell's sister told investigators that he "had been depressed about losing his job." She also told police that Campbell had threatened to "'end it all and take Troy with him."
That court paperwork also shows that while in the hospital, Campbell told the officer guarding him, "You should have let me die."
Neighbors who talked to 3TV shortly after Troy's murder and Campbell's attempted suicide were stunned.
"It's pretty disturbing, to tell you the truth, that somebody could do that to a child," Thomas Watson said. "I don't know what was going through his mind to make him want to do that to a child and then do that to himself."
Dad on trial for killing mom, 2-year-old son--just 3 weeks after he got a postive paternity test (Mobile, Alabama)
And then you see cases involving dads like MICHAEL WOOLF. This moron got a positive paternity test showing that his wife's child was "his." But that didn't stop him from "allegedly" shooting to death his wife and their 2-year-old son--three weeks after he got his results.
Paternity tester says capital murder suspect Michael Woolf was 'nervous, confused'
Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 11:37 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 11:54 AM
Katherine Sayre, Press-Register
MOBILE, Alabama -- An employee of a biomedical center in Mobile testified this morning that Michael Woolf arrived at the office upset and confused over paternity test results he'd received 3 weeks earlier.
"He was kind of nervous, confused, and I was shocked he had pulled up," said Jacqueline Dukes, the office manager. "I couldn't figure out why he would be back."
It was March 3, 2008, the day before Woolf shot to death his wife Angel Woolf and 2-year-old son Ayden, prosecutors say.
Michael Woolf took the paternity test in February 2008 after learning that his wife possibly had an affair, but the results showed -- with more than 99 percent certainty -- that Woolf was the boy's father with more than 99 percent certainty, according to testimony.
Today is the third day of testimony in Woolf's trial. He faces 2 counts of capital murder, punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.
Prosecutors argue that Woolf had grown obsessed with whether Ayden was his biological son, despite the positive test results.
"He was just worried about other people saying things about the paternity of the child, questioning the paternity," Dukes testified. "I was telling him, 'Don't worry about it. You have our results. You know what they say, and we've explained that to you.'"
Dukes said Woolf made her nervous, and she decided to keep him in the front area rather than take him to an office in the back.
As he walked out the door, Dukes testified, Woolf said "just pray for me."
The defense says Woolf accidentally shot his son, then in a "heat of passion" moment, shot his wife, which would constitute the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Testimony is continuing today in Mobile County Circuit Judge Joseph Johnston's courtroom.
Crime victims--including protective mother who lost child custody to the abuser dad--speak out at town meeting (Chevy Chase, Maryland)
Crime Victims Share All at Town Hall Meeting
They were victims further victimized by the very agency meant to protect them, said many at the Montgomery and Prince George's Counties meeting.
By Teke Wiggin
In an emotional town hall meeting Tuesday night, crime victims who live in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties told their stories to a wide array of government agency representatives. The crimes themselves were despicable. But there was something else to their stories which was almost equally so: the egregious mistreatment or neglect they received from the government.
In tender voices which sometimes collapsed into heaving sobs, speakers recounted cases of government ineptitude including medical misdiagnoses, police insensitivity, and judicial cruelty. Speakers included the father of a gang-raped daughter and a domestic abuse victim who lost custody of her children to her abuser. Members of the panel included representatives from both counties' police departments, the State's Attorney's Office, Division of Parole and Probation, Sex Offender Registry, and the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.
The meeting was the fourth of a series of others meant to gather feedback from victims who feel marginalized by the justice system, said Patty Mochel, the communications manager of the Governor's office of Crime Control and Prevention. Mochel will use the content of the meetings to draft a report which will be used to identify shortcomings in various departments. "It's to set ourselves up for the next legislative session to find out where there are gaps that we didn't realize or how our best intentions have maybe fallen short," she said.
The accounts of the different speakers certainly shed light on such gaps. Several speakers told stories that revealed hasty decision-making among medical workers.
One of the first speakers said her daughter, who was declared dead on arrival one night, was quickly judged by EMTs and hospital doctors as having died from a drug overdose. The mother said they based this conclusion on the fact that her daughter was very pale. But what the mother knew and had such a hard time getting across to medical professionals, she said, was that her daughter had just an unusually white skin tone. Only due to her dogged persistence, she said, was a thorough autopsy conducted – one which definitively ruled out drugs. Doctors later concluded her daughter had been murdered.
Like so many others at the meeting, the speaker called for an establishment of more concrete protocol for agencies to follow. In this case she urged authorities to "rule the fact that a crime is out before ruling the obvious."
Another speaker, the father of a rape victim, also expressed a desire for firmer procedure when diagnosing victims. He told the story of his daughter's rape and the obstacles they faced in their fight to win justice.
He said he originally found his daughter at night after a party in the street whispering for her former abusers to desist. He rushed her to the hospital. That's when "our nightmare began," he said.
Nurses and doctors quickly ruled out rape, mostly on account of the fact that her clothes were on, he said. But conscious of his daughter's words from before, he insisted on a more thorough examination. Ultimately, he reached a rape crisis center worker who came and quickly confirmed what he had suspected: his daughter had indeed been brutally raped. Later, it was revealed that three of her classmates had fed her jungle juice at a party until she couldn't stand at which point they proceeded to rape her, he said.
But their difficulties didn't end there. Legal incongruities followed.
Though they admitted to first-degree rape, the three perpetrators were ultimately released, and worst of all, said the father, allowed to attend the school where his daughter was still a student. The judge had been outlandishly lenient, he said, and was apparently convinced that the victim had brought the crime upon herself. According to the father, the judge talked about his daughter's virginity in court. The judge "totally degraded my family and totally degraded the victim," he said.
And the justice system hadn't only failed his family, said the father. It had also failed the perpetrators: They are now in prison.
"They didn't understand what they did was horrible and wrong … there was no consequences," he said. "There was no rehabilitation. Now they're in the adult system."
A later speaker explored what she says is another recurrent judicial shortcoming: unfair treatment of abused mothers and their custody rights. She said fathers convicted of domestic abuse are often still allowed to spend unrestricted time with their children. "Courts are allowing absolutely free access of the abuser to the child," she said.
She said sometimes abused mothers even lose custody of their children to their abusers if abusers put themselves to the task of trying to convince the court that the mother is mentally unstable. The mother might go to court trying to protect her children from their father only to lose them to him, she said. Her conclusion on the state of matters was grim.
"If you think that you're going to go into court and help your child, you have a better chance of losing custody to that abuser," she said.
She said the legal system needs government workers who specialize in child development to operate in an advisory role in such cases.
At the end of the meeting Herman Ingram, division chief of the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, said he was deeply grateful the speakers had shared their stories with the panel.
"I can assure you what we heard tonight will go right up the ladder and go right to the governor," he said.
Dad accused of killing 3-month-old son (Porterville, California)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT.
Porterville Father Arrested For Infant's Death
Posted: Oct 27, 2010 11:00 AM CDT
A Porterville father is behind bar, accused of killing his 3-month-old son.
The infant was taken to Children's Hospital of Central California back on September 23rd, after he was found at his home to be not breathing.
Doctors determined the child had head injuries consistent with abuse.
The boy was kept on life support until October 14th, when he succumbed to his injuries. An autopsy later showed the infant had suffered injuries which were non-accidental.
On Tuesday, the child's father, Joseph Ulloa, was arrested for the his death. He has been booked into the Tulare County Jail, and is being held on $ 1 million bail.
Porterville Police say the case remains under investigation, and are urging anyone with information to call the Porterville Police Department's Investigations Unit at
(559) 782-7400 or (559) 782-7421.
Stay with KMPH and KMPH.com as we continue to follow this story.
Dad held in rape of 11-year-old daughter (Palmdale, California)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT.
Palmdale man held in rape of 11-year-old daughter
The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010 - 7:18 am
PALMDALE, Calif. -- A Palmdale man has been arrested on suspicion of raping his 11-year-old daughter.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says 33-year-old Christopher Martinez was arrested Tuesday. He remains jailed Wednesday on $4 million bail.
Authorities say they began investigating Martinez in August after the girl reported that her father repeatedly had raped her over the past two years in their home and at a rented Antelope Valley motel room.
He was charged last month with five felony .
Judge Robert Jonker: Mom has "high hill to climb" in lawsuit against CPS workers who left boy in home of killer custodial dad (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
We've posted several times on this case before. But the incompetence and bumbling and back scratching never stops. I fail to see the "high hill" in this case. Seems pretty much like a stroll in the park to me. But of course, all the people at CPS who indulged this abuser custodial dad--who ultimately murdered his 9-year-old son--must be protected at all cost from any accountability for their actions. Is that why JUDGE ROBERT JONKER is solemnly evoking a "high hill" of proof in this case where no such thing exists? Why the hell is Judge Jonker shielding these idiots anyway?
Let's recap some of the details.
This mother ended her marriage to killer custodial dad ELMER BRAMAN back to 2000, after years of physical and mental abuse. But like a lot of abuser dads, Braman decided to use ongoing custody "battles" as a way to further torment the mother. By 2005, the mother was forced to hand her three sons over to the father (I have yet to see that Judge's name. Any of you judicial geniuses want to take credit?)
Daddy got custody despite the following history of complaints investigated--and denied--by CPS, beginning in 1998:
• The father abused the children, and struck one so hard blood vessels broke in the child's nose.
• The father threatened to kill the youngest son, who feared his father. The father and his live-in girlfriend pulled out the children's teeth before they were ready to come out on their own.
• The father threw one of the older sons off the porch and kicked him because the boy could not find his glasses.
• The father, believing that the same older son was afraid of the dark, left him miles away at night to find his way home. He did the same with other older son. The boys told CPS workers they were beaten on their bare bottoms, and pliers were put on their fingers
In 2006, the father was investigated for molesting a child. During that investigation, authorities learned the boys were disciplined with a cattle prod.
However, CPS denied that the children were being abused or neglected--though they completely failed to investigate, collect evidence, or reach a disposition on the allegation that the father used a cattle prod on his children.
The three boys were still living with their father in August 2007, when the older boys called their mother and said they were running away because of the cattle prod abuse. The mother called CPS workers in Saginaw, but was threatened with arrest for kidnapping if she picked them up.
She picked up her two older sons anyway, and brought them to Saginaw. At that point, Mom had been denied contact with the boys for two years. The next day, the boys told CPS workers about the use of a cattle prod. Daddy did not deny the abuse, and was arrested by Montcalm County sheriff's deputies. A CPS worker in Montcalm actually confirmed in an e-mail that there had been no investigation.
Shortly thereafter, Daddy pleaded guilty to abusing both teenage sons with a cattle prod, was convicted, and was facing jail time.
Just one problem: the 9-year-old son was still in Daddy's custody.
Then Daddy decided not to show up for sentencing. The mother continued to beg CPS to do something about getting the youngest boy out of his father's home. Naturally, they did nothing.
And then in October 2007, Daddy murdered the boy and the new step, before offing himself.
So show me where that "high hill" of proof is again?
Judge says mother has 'high hill to climb' in lawsuit against state workers who did not remove son from father's home before murder-suicide
Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 9:05 AM
John Agar The Grand Rapids Press
GRAND RAPIDS -- Despite warnings that 9-year-old Nicholas "Elmer" Braman faced danger in his father's care, Children's Protective Services did not seek his removal.
But an attorney for the state said Tuesday that CPS workers' actions were not the cause of the boy's death when he, his father, Elmer Braman, and stepmother, Elaine Kaczor-Braman, died in an October 2007 murder-suicide at their Montcalm County home.
"The individual workers didn't do anything that put the decedent at any greater risk of harm than he was already in," Assistant Attorney General Mark Donnelly argued in U.S. District Court.
The boy's mother, Rebecca Jasinski of Saginaw, filed a lawsuit that faulted CPS workers who kept Elmer Braman in his father's home, even after the father was convicted of abusing two older sons. A month before the deaths, an assistant prosecutor, Misty Davis, told CPS that the father "literally 'shocked' his older boys with a cattle prod repeatedly. ... In my opinion, there is no justification for the youngest boy to remain in the care of this man."
District Judge Robert Jonker refused Donnelly's request to dismiss the lawsuit, but said the allegations could be difficult to prove.
"I think it's a really difficult case as a matter of law," he said. "The plaintiffs, in my view, have a high hill to climb here."
He said protective services workers, in "very volatile and difficult real-life situations," have to be able to make tough calls -- even make mistakes -- without having the threat of a lawsuit over them. But, he noted, it is hard to ignore the "terrible outcome."
Donnelly said CPS worker Sheri Tyler, who did not believe the boy to be at risk with his dad, was not required by law to file a petition for jurisdiction of the boy. Even if she filed a petition, it would be up to a judge whether to decline or accept jurisdiction, and then, the law does not require the child to be removed, Donnelly argued.
He also said the case should be dismissed because defendants have qualified immunity.
Attorney Gregory Wix, representing the victim's mother, said CPS should have known the boy was at higher risk after the father was convicted of abuse, and awaiting a jail term. The death, he said, exposed "a crack in the system, a hole in the system."
The Office of Children's Ombudsman said Montcalm County CPS should have acted "at the earliest point it became aware of Mr. Braman's egregious acts of abuse ... ."
E-mail the author of this story: email@example.com
Mom, four children slaughtered; with 34 police calls, why was killer walking around? (West Palm Beach, Florida)
And now five people--a mother and four children--are dead. Mowed down by gun fire.
As my friend Annie says, "What is needed to stop this are laws that put abusers behind bars. Thirty-four calls to the cops and this guy was still allowed to kill, this is a total lack of concern for violence against women and children."
Hat tip to Annie.
http://www.sfltimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5498&Itemid=199Family in murder-suicide seek comfort in faith
Written by DAPHNE TAYLOR
By the grace of God.
That’s how relatives of Natasha Whyte-Dell say they plan to get through the horrific nightmare that befell the family just over a week ago in which she and four of her children were killed by her estranged husband.
Lydia Smith, of West Palm Beach, speaking for the family, said they’re doing the best they can as they prepare for the funerals of the five who died.
In the early morning hours of Sept. 27, police said, Patrick Alexander Dell, 41, stormed into the house of his estranged wife, shot and killed her and four of her children and turned the gun on himself. Another child, Ryan Barnett, 16, was shot but survived and was released from the hospital last weekend. He is now with his biological father, Michael Barnett.
Dell’s biological children with Whyte-Dell – Natasha Precious Dell, 3, and Patrick Alexander Dell Jr., 1, were unharmed and are in the custody of relatives.
The deceased include Whyte-Dell; Bryan Barnett, 14; Diane Barnett, 13; Javon Nelson, 11; and Daniel Barnett, 10. The children attended Palm Beach County schools.
Smith said she has known them all their lives.
“I remember vividly when each of them was born,” she said, adding that she watched them develop into great kids. “They were all such respectful children, and manageable. You would not believe how respectable they all are. Their mom raised them that way.”
Two of the children wanted to be doctors, one wanted to be a lawyer, and the only girl wanted to be a Registered Nurse like her mother.
Family members friends and teachers will remember them in a memorial service Friday.
Ryan, who suffered a gunshot wound to the neck, turned 16 just days after the tragedy, spending his birthday recovering in the hospital. Smith said he did manage to smile on his birthday and he was talking. Visitors didn’t focus on the tragedy; instead, they tried to bring him a slight measure of joy to mark the occasion.
Dr. Joseph Lee, principal at William T. Dwyer High School where Ryan is an honors student with a 3.5 GPA, took him gifts.
“He was in good spirits, pretty upbeat and doing the best he can,” Lee said. The school is organizing fund-raisers to make sure he is able to go to college, he said.
“It’s easy to take a downward turn after something so tragic occurs,” said Lee. “So we want to make sure he is able to continue his education. That’s our focus. But he is going to need some emotional and mental support. He knows that I’m there for support.”
Smith said the family has been receiving such support from relatives and friends and the wider community. Some Jamaican and wider Caribbean organizations have formed an alliance to help the family with counseling and financial support. The alliance also intends to host forums on domestic violence.
Smith said education on this issue is crucial because if people were more aware of how and when to step in when they witness a domestic violence situation, perhaps this family’s lives could have been spared. She said she has seen news reports that at least 34 calls were from Whyte-Dell’s house to police.
Police say Whyte-Dell obtained a restraining order against Dell but friends say he stalked her anyway.
“There are so many signs. And this is a lesson for so many people,” said Smith. “Love doesn’t have to hurt. Love isn’t supposed to hurt.”
The funeral is something they all have to face but it will be with great difficulty, she said.
“I’m not looking forward to the weekend. This was unimaginable.” she said.
Smith said the family is not involved in the planning of the funeral for Dell.
A memorial service for Whyte-Dell and her four children will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Palm Beach Gardens High School, 4245 Holly Drive, Palm Beach Gardens. A viewing will be held from 5 to 6 p.m.
Funeral services will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at Christ Fellowship Church, 5343 Northlake Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens.
A trust fund has been established for the surviving children. Those wishing to donate are asked to do so to The Natasha Whyte Memorial Family Trust, c/o delancyhill Trust Account, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2750, Miami, FL 33131.
For wiring funds: send donations to FEI:651133134, SABADELL UNITED BANK, 1751 W. 19th
St., Hialeah, FL 33012, ABA #067009646, FOR CREDIT TO: Account Name: delancyhill, P.A. (c/o Natasha Whyte Memorial Family Trust), Account Number: 0065052824.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Dad accused in fatal beating of 2-month-old daughter (Bakersfield, California)
Man Accused Of Killing 2-Month-Old Daughter
Father Accused Of Fatally Beating Daughter
POSTED: 3:41 pm PDT October 25, 2010
UPDATED: 4:57 pm PDT October 25, 2010
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A 2-month-old girl has died and investigators said her father may have caused the damage that resulted in her death.
Kern County Sheriff's Department deputies were sent to a home in the 900 block of Feliz Drive around 8:25 p.m. on Oct. 11, in regards to a medical aid call involving an unresponsive 2-month-old baby.
When deputies arrived, they said they found 25-year-old Serjio Luevano holding his child in the front yard of the home.
Kern County fire personnel were at the home and were able to escort Luevano inside the home and administered medical aid to the child.
Deputies said the 2-month-old child, Kiera Luevano, was not breathing and was taken to Kern Medical Center for emergency treatment. She was later airlifted to Children's Hospital Central California.
Kiera was treated at the children's hospital for non-accidental trauma with severe bleeding to the brain, deputies said. On Oct. 15, Kiera died as a result of her injuries, according to the KCSD coroner.
On Oct. 18, an autopsy was performed by the KCSD and the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head and the manner of death was determined to be homicide.
After further investigation, detectives said Kiera's injuries were caused by the actions taken by her father.
On Monday, Serjio Luevano was arrested by Kern County sheriff’s detectives on charges of murder and assault resulting in death.
He was booked into the Kern County Jail and is currently being held without bail.
Drunk dad leaves 4-year-old son in minivan while he goes to the movies--apparently during visitation (St. Paul, Minnesota)
In reality, Mom didn't even know Dad was going to the movies.
This is one of those few occasions where you see the father actually held accountable for his behavior, with the child protected from further neglect. So kudos to the authorities for actually doing the right thing.
South St. Paul dad who left boy, 4, in car to do time
Child found in minivan parked in cinema lot's fire lane
By Maricella Miranda
Updated: 10/25/2010 11:20:18 PM CDT
A South St. Paul father will serve 180 days in jail for leaving his 4-year-old son in a minivan while at the movies, a judge ordered Monday.
Dominick Damond Miller, 32, pleaded guilty in Dakota County District Court to one count of gross misdemeanor neglect of a child, according to court records.
Judge Timothy McManus also ordered Miller to serve two years' probation with several conditions, including no contact with his son and no unsupervised contact with children. Miller will receive 25 days credit for time served in jail.
"I'm pleased to see that Mr. Miller took responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty today," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said after Monday's ruling. He added that Miller's behavior was "very disturbing." "Fortunately, it didn't result in any serious injuries to his child."
Miller was not charged with a felony because the child did not suffer serious injuries, Backstrom said earlier. If Miller successfully completes probation, the charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor.
On the evening of Oct. 1, an employee at an Inver Grove Heights theater spotted the child in a van that was parked in a fire lane in front of the theater, the complaint said.
The child told police his dad said to stay in the car while he went in to watch a movie, the complaint said. The boy said his father's name was Dominick but that he didn't know his or his parents' last name, phone number or address.
While police were investigating, officers found a man, later identified as Miller, trying to steal a minivan in the parking lot. Miller had urinated in his pants, police reported. Police reported Miller smelled strongly of alcohol. He told police his wife had dropped him and his son off at the theater to watch a movie. Miller is not married.
Police put the child in the care of his mother, who lives in St. Paul. She told police she did not know Miller was taking the boy to the movies. The parents are not in a relationship.
Maricella Miranda can be reached at 651-228-5421.
Dad found unconscious with 2-year-old son arrested (St. Paul, Minnesota)
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT.
Father found unconscious with son arrested
Associated Press - October 26, 2010 7:24 AM ET
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Police say a St. Paul father found passed out in his vehicle with his 2-year-old son buckled in his car seat is facing possible child endangerment charges and driving while intoxicated.
Officers say they found the man unconscious with the car in drive and his foot on the brake the morning of Oct. 22.
Police say they had to smash a window to reach the child. Officers say they found drug paraphernalia in the car. KSTP-TV says the 21-year-old father was taken to Regions Hospital for a blood alcohol test.
Information from: KSTP-TV, http://www.kstp.com
Mom flees with son to Canada because of sexual abuse concerns; SHE could be serving 2 years in prison (Isle of Man)
This case involves an UNNAMED DAD who was apparently never married to the child's mother, but was still able to get visitation when the baby was only 6 months old. And because this mother dared to exert her right to freedom of movement, dared to protect her child from sexual abuse, the Canadian cops busted in and took the screaming child. A "social worker" flew him back to Britain. And all this engineered by "safeguarding professionals" who are intent on labeling this child a liar and not considering his abuse claims as serious enough to warrant intervention. In fact--typically of hired gun shrinks--the mother is the one who is now labeled "emotionally abusive" for showing normal, protective maternal behavior. The same behavior any normal human mother would show under the same circumstances. Or any normal primate or mamallian mother for that matter. For doing what any normal mother would do, this mom could get two years in prison.
A question: do you think the system gets this much in a huff over deposed dictators, known torturers and human rights violators who flee to other countries to avoid prosecution? Obviously not. What are the priorities here? You tell me.
And who is acting in a truly abusive fashion here? Looking at the evidence, who has done the most to traumatize this child? It's clearly all these "professionals"--acting as proxies for the father. But hardly anybody in the mainstream media has the courage to call them out on their actual deeds.
Mother claims she fled with son to Canada because of 'abuse fears'
A mother abducted her own son and took him to Canada over fears he was being abused by his father, a court heard.
By Nigel Bunyan
Published: 7:30AM BST 26 Oct 2010
The woman fled with the seven year-old boy on the day before social services were due to recommend that he be taken into care.
She returned three months later and told police she had no option but to carry out the “crime” if she was to protect her only child.
By then the boy had been seized by the Canadian authorities and flown back to Britain with a social worker.
At the Courts of Justice in Douglas, Isle of Man, his mother invoked the rarely-used defence of necessity as she pleaded not guilty to a charge of abducting her own child.
Her solicitor and supporters on the island fear that if convicted she faces a prison term of up to two years.
The prosecution alleges that the abduction could only have been justified had her son faced the threat of either death or serious injury.
Their case is that she took her son out of Britain simply to avoid an interim care order that she feared would be put in place 24 hours later. In doing so she breached the court order of a High Court judge.
The mother, known only as Miss A to protect her son’s identity, sat silently in the dock as the seven jurors listened to the statement she handed to detectives upon her return to the island in October last year.
The document detailed her fears of sexual abuse against her son and concluded with a recollection of her son’s reaction when Canadian police officers arrived at their door.
She wrote: “He was screaming ‘Please don’t send me back to Daddy – he hurts me’.”
The court heard how her son, known as Boy A, had long been the subject of disputes between his parents about access.
When he was six months old a county court granted parental rights to his father, but the following year his mother secured the consent of her ex-partner to take him to the Isle of Man.
The father continued to have access to his son, but late in 2007, Miss A wrote to her GP to express concerns about his behaviour.
The jury heard that the “landscape” of the case was totally changed in January 2008, when Miss A told a social worker about a conversation she allegedly had with her son.
She claimed the child had told her his father had taken off his pants, cuddled him, and then exposed himself.
The boy was interviewed in a police video suite, and said beforehand that “he did not want to see his Daddy, that he did not like him and that he had not been told to say that by his Mummy or Grandad.”
During the interview, the child said the most that had happened was touching on the side of the buttocks and detectives decided that no criminal proceedings should be brought.
But his mother said after the police interview, her son had told her he had been sexually assaulted.
The case proceeded to the Family Court and in January 2009, Deemster Corlett made a “finding of fact” that the allegations of sexual abuse by the father were unproved.
Safeguarding professionals began to express concerns about the impact of the situation on Boy A and he was put on the child protection register.
Four months later a clinical psychologist alleged the child was suffering “emotional abusive treatment” at the hands of his mother and her family.
An interim care order was applied for that would put the child with temporary foster parents, but when his mother’s lawyer was served with the application in June she was taken ill and had to go to hospital.
The following day Deemster Corlett made an order banning the child’s removal from the island.
Miss A’s confinement in hospital meant the application could not be served upon her until she attended a case meeting on June 25.
In the meantime she bought plane tickets for them both and flew to Canada with her son the next day.
The mother said she had only intended to take him on a relaxing holiday, but when they reached Canada he loved it so much she decided to buy a holiday home there.
“Throughout the time we were in Canada I believed and I still believe that I had done nothing wrong.”
The case continues.