Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dad murders teen daughter, wife; why wasn't this guy locked up? (Phoenix, Arixona)

All of this account is devoted to describing this family. Let's take a different tack.

Law enforcement and the courts totally screwed up, and they are not being held accountable.

It is utterly ridiculous for people to express "shock" at this event--this is what the father had consistently threatened to do. Which was kill the family! Why shouldn't he be taken at his word?

When Mom put off getting out for twenty years, nobody thought there was a good reason for that? Apparently not. We hear crap about "deep-rooted problems" in the "marriage." There were not "deep-rooted problems" in the "marriage." This is just blather that avoids naming the agent. There was a viciously violent father, and a mother who could not find a way to get out of this situation alive. And her fears turned out to be totally correct. Law enforcement did zero to help her. So this POS slaughters three people while the cops apparently listened in from the police station.

If Mom was assigned a time to get her belongings out of the home, then why didn't the police accompany her? You're going to hope a piece of paper (order of protection) keeps him away, a guy with this history? You're going to take his word that he got rid of his guns?

And how did he know when the mother was picking up her belongings? Who told him? Nobody thought this guy might act on the tip? Or they just didn't give a sh**? This is, at minimum, enabling an abuser.

And why wasn't this guy locked up as long as he was making death threats? If Mom had been a male judge or elected official, she would have got a 24 hour guard. But when it's "just a woman," there is no interest. That is just pure misogyny.

This crime was preventable. If only the police hadn't been so busy coddling Daddy and refusing to provide any useful services to the mother.

Dad is identified as MICHAEL SANDERS.

Slain family feared erratic, violent father

Phoenix man who killed family had terrorized them
Slayings put domestic abuse help in spotlight

By D.S. Woodfill The Arizona Republic |

Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:40 PM

Carol Sanders’ fear of her estranged husband, Michael, was strong enough that she had recently taken to hiding her car in the garage of a family friend’s out of concerns that Michael would stalk her down and use one of the weapons he was known to carry, according to family friends and neighbors.

Instead, the two met in a deadly encounter at the couple’s northeast Phoenix home on Tuesday afternoon where Michael shot his 14-year-old daughter, Audra; his 49-year-old brother-in-law, Tom Fitzpatrick; and Carol before setting her body on fire in the backyard, according to police.

Michael Sanders, a part-time security guard, then walked down an alley near the couple’s home and took his own life, police said.

Carol had gone to the home with Audra and Fitzpatrick on Tuesday afternoon in a pre-determined time frame so she could collect her belongings without Michael being present, according to police.

Investigators are still trying to determine whether Michael ambushed his family at the home near 51st Street and Thunderbird Road that they had shared since shortly after their 1998 marriage.

Friends, neighbors and court documents all pointed on Wednesday to deep-rooted problems in the marriage and Carol’s palpable fear of her husband, but the violent end still came as a shock to many.

“He said he was going to do it. ... He warned her (Carol),” a family friend said. “The guy was berserk. He carried guns and knives, and the wife (stayed) because she didn’t know how to get out of it all these years. She finally got up enough nerve about two months ago to leave him.”

Court records portray a picture of a man who was erratic and prone to violent outbursts.

He once drove Carol and Audra into the desert, forced them to the ground and threatened them with a gun, according to court records.

“It all ends now,” Michael told his terrified wife and daughter as they cowered on the ground, according to a restraining-order petition filed by the woman in October.

The incident started with an argument between Michael and his daughter during a family outing to Lake Pleasant.

On another occasion, he raged at his wife because she purchased some fish at the grocery store and forgot it in the car while running other errands, according to court documents. When she arrived at home, Michael screamed expletives at her, threw the remaining groceries around the house and punched several holes in the wall of the family’s garage.

Later, he told his wife that she had “30 days” to get money from her mother to pay off the home or he’d “burn it down with me inside.”

Officers first started receiving calls about 4 p.m. Tuesday with reports of shots being fired in the residential neighborhood southeast of Tatum Boulevard and Thunderbird Road, police Sgt. Trent Crump said.

Police dispatchers could hear gunshots in the background while the neighbors were on the phone, Crump said.

When they arrived, they found Carol’s body on fire in the backyard. Audra’s body was in the home, and Tom’s body was found in the front yard. Michael’s body was in a nearby alley.

Investigators believe Michael forced his way into the home as his wife was removing belongings with Audra and her brother, police said. Under the terms of the restraining order, he was not supposed to be at the home while Carol was collecting her things, said Leslie Satterlee, Carol’s attorney.

“He wasn’t supposed to be around,” Saterlee said. “He wasn’t supposed to have guns. He stated in open court he didn’t have any guns.”

Satterlee began to cry when she recalled learning about the killings on the news Tuesday night.

“Shock, disbelief, anger, sadness,” she said. “I mean, I went through it all. I literally didn’t sleep last night.”

Satterlee said she had represented Carol in the divorce proceedings for about a month.

“She loved her daughter,” she said. “It was very, very obvious.”

Audra was an eighth-grader at Desert Shadows Middle School near 60th Street and Sweetwater Avenue, said Marty Macurak, a district spokesman. She joined the Paradise Valley School District when she was in sixth grade and attended the elementary school next door, Desert Shadows Elementary.

Macurak said the principal at the middle school was going to each class Audra was enrolled in and explaining the situation to the students. A “care and concern team” was available for students, staff and parents if anyone was in need of counseling.

Gregg Woodnick, whose law firm took Carol’s case, said it is important that Audra’s memory isn’t lost in the media coverage of the tragedy.

Woodnick said Audra was a creative child. She enjoyed creative writing and poetry.

Others said she was in school plays and was a talented singer.

“There’s a lot of tragedy here, but that’s obviously the biggest part of it,” Woodnick said. “She’s real people and a real kid (with) a real future.”

Kim Cooper is the parent of an eighth-grader at the school who knew Audra.

“She was a very bright girl and very mature,” Cooper said.

Carol had a master’s in social work and worked for 25 years for the state’s Medicaid agency, said Monica Higuera Coury, assistant director at the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.

Higuera Coury said Carol specialized in case-management services to tribal members.

“Carol approached her work with great compassion, skill and commitment,” Higuera Coury said. “The AHCCCS family is deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Words cannot express how greatly she will be missed.”