Friday, May 1, 2015

Dad with history of domestic violence, custody and child support disputes stabs to death 13-month-old daughter, her mother (Eastpointe, Michigan)

Dad is identified as CURTIS HAMPTON, JR. The fact that Daddy had a history of domestic violence AND child custody/child support disputes with other women should have been an absolute red flag.

Slain Eastpointe woman was stabbed 14 times, daughter once

By Norb Franz, The Macomb Daily Posted: 04/30/15, 11:24 AM EDT | Updated: 2 hrs ago

An Eastpointe woman found dead in her home in February had been stabbed 14 times, while her 13-month-old daughter whose body was on a pillow placed on the 29-year-old mother died of a single stab wound that pierced her heart and a lung, according to testimony Thursday in court.

The bodies of Monique Rakowski, 29, and her daughter Carmon were found Feb. 12 in a bathroom of their home in the 23700 block of Normandy Street. Rakowski’s ex-boyfriend and father of the little girl, Curtis Hampton Jr., is charged in the slayings. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing in 38th District Court, Judge Carl Gerds III ordered Hampton, 30, to stand trial on murder and other charges.

Forensic pathologist Mary Pietrangelo of the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office testified the Eastpointe woman suffered stab wounds to her breasts, her right arm and back, and blunt force trauma to her neck, chest and skull.

The bodies were discovered by Rakowski’s father. Michael Rakowski went to the home, located in the Nine Mile Road-Gratiot Avenue area, at the request of his wife because she had not her from their daughter. From the witness stand, he gave this account: After he entered the house, he called out, but nobody responded.

The bathroom door was locked, so he checked other rooms, which were unoccupied. Saying he would not have been comfortable leaving with the bathroom unchecked, he broke through the door and made the gruesome discovery. Monique was lying on her back, with nickels placed over her eyes. Little Carmon was on her back on the pillow with a pacifier in her mouth.

“I took the pacifier out of her mouth and tried to breath some life into her,” the father and grandfather said. “I could tell it was way too late.”

He then dialed 911.

The next day, Feb. 13, Hampton turned himself in the Dearborn Police Department. Claiming he had been stabbed, he was transported to Oakwood Hospital where he was treated for approximately one hour.

During a more than three-hour interview at the Eastpointe Police Department, Detective Joseph Madonia said Hampton claimed that he told Monique Rakowski there was a warrant for his arrest and that she became angry that he’d be going to jail and leaving her behind. Hampton said he tried to cuddle with her one last time in bed but she kicked him, said Madonia, who headed the Eastpointe police investigation into the double slaying.

The detective said Hampton alleged that she grabbed a knife and hit him first. “He stated she removed the knife from his chest and went to stab him again and missed, and struck Carmon,” Madonia said during questioning by Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Therese Tobin. Hampton told investigators the fight spilled from the bedroom into a hallway and to the bedroom. Madonia said Hampton claimed he and Rakowski had a conversation as she sat on the bathroom room while he was on the toilet. Hampton admitted that he stabbed Rakowski, the detective said.

“He said he had two knives, one in each hand. He said he used both,” Madonia said.

Hampton cleaned off the knives and fled the house hours later, police said.

Hampton’s mother testified that she received a troubling text message from the cellphone that she had given to him to use. Anita Hampton said he drove to the apartment complex where she resides and that he gave her a bag containing clothes and the phone.

Details of the lengthy text message were not revealed in court. However, Anita Hampton said she was worried about him, so she phoned her daughter. Then she spoke with him a second time.

“After the conversation, he did go to the Dearborn Police Department and turn himself in,” the suspect’s mother added.

Defense attorney Timothy Barkovic argued that police failed to adequately consider whether Hampton may have acted in self-defense. Barkovic unsuccessfully tried to convince Judge Gerds to have Hampton’s statement to police suppressed.

Barkovic declared in court that he did not have any defense witnesses for Thursday’s probable-cause hearing. Moments later, Hampton muttered that he wanted to take the stand, but the judge denied the request.

In deciding whether prosecutors provided sufficient evidence for Curtis Hampton to stand trial, Gerds scoffed at Hampton’s version of events as told by Madonia.

“He’s come up with a story so absurd, I’m not sure it’s evidence at all,” the judge said before ordering Hampton to stand trial on one count of first-degree murder, two counts of felony murder and single counts of first-degree child abuse and attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Hampton remains in custody at the Macomb County Jail without bond.

If convicted of any of the murder charges, Hampton would receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole.

Even before the altercation that left Rakowski and Carmon dead, Hampton and Rakowski had a violent relationship.

Last July, he was arrested and charged with domestic violence second offense/aggravated assault, district court records show. That charge is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both. At the time, Gerds ordered Hampton to not contact Rakowski and stay at least 1,000 feet from the Normandy street residence.

Last August, Hampton pleaded no contest, which is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes. Judge Gerds sentenced him to 12 months of probation, fines and costs totaling $1,490, set other restrictions and lifted the no-contact order, court records show.

Hampton has two older children from different mothers. In January, he wrote a letter to Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Tracey Yokich, requesting parenting time to spend more time with both boys despite what he considered stormy relationships with both mothers. In the letter, Hampton acknowledged a previous domestic violence charge but told the judge that he was confident had controlled his temper after attending court-ordered anger management counseling.

A few weeks before the slayings of Monique Rakowski and Carmon, a bench warrant for Hampton’s arrest had been issued for arrearage on child support payments involving one of his sons, according to Circuit Court records.