Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Dad with history of DV who murdered two daughters during custody/visitation to be executed (Dallas, Texas)

The mental illness plea is nothing but a red herring. This is a classic coercive control murder. Daddy with an extensive history of domestic violence (against at least two women that we are told of) "losing control" so he murders two children to "punish" the mother.

And yet, a father with this history was still granted custody/visitation rights with two young girls. That's what's insane.

Children are abused by definition when they are forced to live in a home where the mother, their caretaker, is beaten up and verbally abused on a regular basis.

That the father had reportedly never physically abused the children up to this point is irrelevant. That is not uncommon. But kids are never safe with a violent narcissist who sees other humans--especially women and children--as mere objects he can use and dispose of as he sees fit. Clearly, the kids were simply collateral damage in his efforts to further abuse/control their mother.

Dad is identified as JOHN BATTAGLIA.

See the Killer Dads and Custody List for Texas.

People sometimes ask why the data is not easily broken down by year. Here's an example. These murders took place in 2001, before this blog/project was started. A news account about the crime didn't come into any of my news feeds until 15 years had passed.

'I'm too delusional to die': Accountant who killed his two daughters, nine and six, while his ex-wife listened on the phone makes last-ditch plea to avoid execution
TODAY John David Battaglia, 60, killed daughters Faith and Liberty in 2001
He is appealing for more time to prove he is mentally incompetent
The murders came after his ex-wife reported he was harassing her
Was arrested at a tattoo parlor, getting two roses to remember his girls
Battaglia is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday in Huntsville

ByAnneta Konstantinides For Dailymail.comand
Associated Press
Published: 12:19 EST, 29 March 2016 | Updated: 23:58 EST, 29 March 2016

A Texas accountant who is set to die by lethal injection for killing his two young daughters while his ex-wife was listening on the phone has appealed for a stay of execution.

John Battaglia, 60, was arrested in May 2001 for fatally shooting daughters Faith, nine, and Liberty, six, at his Dallas apartment after calling their mother, Mary Jean Pearle.

Battaglia is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday. He is appealing the US Supreme Court and the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals for more time to prove he is mentally incompetent.

Attorney Gregory Gardner, who is petitioning to represent Battaglia, claims he is delusional and should be entitled to a reprieve so he can get a fair hearing to determine his psychological state.

'The Supreme Court has ruled that since before our country was founded, society does not tolerate the execution of the insane,' Gardner told NBC News.

Battaglia said he didn't feel like he killed his daughters, whom he referred to as his 'best little friends', during an interview with the Dallas Morning News in 2014.

'I am a little bit in the blank about what happened,' he said, adding that he had photos of his girls displayed on the walls of his prison cell.

Battaglia is also petitioning for a new attorney. Gardner argued that his court-appointed lawyer abandoned Battaglia after the US Supreme Court refused to review his case in January.

At the time of the shootings, Battaglia was on probation for a Christmas 1999 attack on Pearle, who he beat up in front of his daughters. The couple divorced in 2000.

Battaglia violated his probation the following year with a threatening phone call to Pearle in which he called her names and swore at her.

Pearle reported the incident and Battaglia learned on May 2, 2001 that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

That night was meant to be his last visit with his daughters, before he surrendered.

Pearle soon received a message from her mother that one her girls wanted to speak to her.

When Pearle called them, Battaglia put her on speakerphone and told Faith to ask her mother: 'Why do you want Daddy to go to jail?'

That's when Pearle heard her daughter cry out: 'No, Daddy, please don't, don't do it.'

Pearle yelled into the phone for the girls to run and heard gunshots, followed by Battaglia telling her: 'Merry f****** Christmas'.

Evidence showed Faith had been shot three times, and Liberty five. A semiautomatic pistol found near the kitchen door was among more than a dozen firearms recovered from Battaglia's apartment.

Battaglia went to a bar with a girlfriend following the shootings, and then to a tattoo parlor. He was inked with two large roses on his left arm, meant to represent his daughters.

When he walked outside, it took four officers to subdue and arrest him at 2am. A fully loaded revolver was found in his truck.

It was later discovered that Battaglia had recorded one last message to his daughters.

'Goodnight my little babies,' he said. 'I hope you're resting in a different place. I love you, and I wish that you had nothing to do with your mother.'

'She was evil and vicious and stupid. I love you dearly.'

Battaglia's trial attorneys called no witnesses during the guilt-innocence portion of his capital murder trial in 2002, and a Dallas County jury deliberated only 19 minutes before convicting him.

During the punishment phase, jurors heard defense testimony that Battaglia's bipolar disorder and other mental illness issues should convince them that a life prison sentence would be appropriate. They did not agree.

'To think a father could just gun down his little girls, it was just unbelievable,' Howard Blackmon, the lead prosecutor in the case, recalled last week.

'It was such a compelling case for the death penalty.'

The Texas Attorney General's Office argued there is no evidence in his prison medical file that suggests Battaglia is 'mentally ill, delusional, divorced from reality, on psychiatric medication, or otherwise does not comprehend his imminent execution'.

'His last-minute appeal amounts to a fishing expedition,' said Erich Dryden, an assistant Texas attorney general. 'The Court should deny his request.'

Pearle revealed that Battaglia had a history of physical abuse, both against her and his ex-wife.

'He did tell me before we married that he had gotten into an argument and hit his ex-wife,' Pearle told ABC News in 2002.

'He didn't tell me that he'd broken her nose.'

Pearle endured nine years of marriage littered with Battaglia's verbal abuse and short temper, where he would call her names and go on tirades that could last for 20 minutes.

But not once, she said, did he ever lay a hand on their daughters.

'He never spanked the children. He never raised his voice to the children. He never grabbed their arm,' she said. 'He did nothing but was loving to them.'