Killer Dads: Fathers who ended their children's lives in situations involving child custody, visitation, and/or child support
Father: LENSLEY MARTIN JR.
Victim(s): Lensley Martin III (6 months)
Date of Death: September 2011
Father initially charged with murder. Child’s death occurred three days after mother filed paternity suit to collect child support, with child's death taking place during father's visitation. In April 2013, father pleaded no contest to manslaughter and was sentenced to 4-15 years in prison.
* Father: JARROD ELLIOT
Victim(s): Ava Jones (1 year)
Date of Death: November 2013
News accounts are not clear, but it appears father had shared custody at the time of his daughter's death. Father has not been charged as autopsy reportedly "inconclusive" though DHS has admitted that "neglect" may have played a part in baby's death. As of May 2014, father fighting to retain custody of surviving 3-year-old son, though mother believes the father is responsible for daughter's death, that her death has not been investigated properly, and that past allegations of abuse against the father were not properly investigated either. In June 2014, reported that father had history of domestic violence, had denied paternity of dead child before pursuing custody, and had succeeded in securing visitation. Judge not named. No additional updates as of October 2014.
Father: BRIAN KEITH ROBERTS
Victim(s): Nehemiah Dodd (2 years)
Date of Death: January 2014
Father charged with felony murder in May 2014. Had just obtained custody of son in December 2013, after Mom arrested for drug possession. The Office of Child Ombudsman, a state watchdog agency, has opened up an investigation into how the Department of Human Services handled the case. Dad pled guilty to 2nd-degree murder in January 2015.
Father: RODRICK DANZLER
Victim(s): Kamrie Deann Heeren-Danzler (12 years), mother Jennifer Heeren-Danzler, 5 others
Date of Death: July 2011
Ex-convict father with extensive criminal history went on shooting spree ending in suicide. Father reputedly angry about child custody/visitation matters, that “estranged” wife had taken daughter for three days and not returned her.
Father: JOHN SKELTON
Victim(s): Andrew Skelton (9 years), Alexander Skelton (7 years), Tanner Skelton (5 years)
Date of Death: Presumably around November 2010
Children were presumably killed during court-ordered visitation. Father has reported many stories—that he left them with a woman, that he left them with a mysterious “organization.” However, police strongly suspect the children were murdered. No bodies have been found. In September 2011, father sentenced to 10-15 years for unlawful imprisonment.
Father: JEFF WOLFENBARGER
Victim(s): Lily Furneaux-Wolfenbarger (2 years)
Date of Death: November 2010
Parents “shared” custody. Stepmother “suspected” in girl’s death and was later convicted.
Father: SEAN PHILLIPS
Victim(s): Katherine "Baby Kate" Phillips (4 months)
Date of Death: Presumably July 2011
Father took off with infant daughter, and baby has been "missing" since. Father finally charged with murder in 2014, after sending the mother a letter in 2012 in which he confessed to killing the baby. Father allegedly feared court-ordered paternity test and potential child support obligations. Murder charges dropped in September 2014, after father inexplicably acquired powerful group of attorneys/politicians behind him.
*Father: OLIVER BRAMAN
Victim(s): Elaine Kaczor-Braman (stepmother), Nicholas Braman (9 years)
Date of Death: October 2007
Custodial father with history of domestic violence, child abuse killed second wife, son in murder-suicide. Mother had reclaimed custody of older sons after they ran away. Father pleaded guilty to abusing the older boys, but failed to show up for sentencing. CPS, however, refused to remove youngest son. In July 2010, protective mother filed federal suit against child protective services. But in 2012, 2013 all the suits were dismissed.
Father: DARYNE GAILEY
Victim(s): Charlie (7 months)
Date of Death: November 2014
Father killed infant daughter during what was supposed to be supervised visitation by the paternal grandmother. Infant's mother had expired order of protection, which suggests a history of domestic violence.
Father: JOHN KELLY
Victim(s): unnamed infant (13 weeks)
Date of Death: February 2010
Infant died during unsupervised visitation.
Father: SALVATOR FLORES
Victim(s): Sandra Flores (10 years)
Date of Death: August 2010
Girl died after suffering convulsions in the home of her custodial father. Father had history of complaints with CPS, and girl had previously been removed from the home. As of October 2014, there has been no media update on this case.
Ottawa and Chippewa Indian Reservation
Father: STEVEN DEUMAN
Victim(s): Evelynne Deuman (15 weeks)
Date of Death: August 2011
In September 2012, father found guilty of murdering his infant daughter while raping her. Father did not live with mother, so it appears rape/murder was facilitated by some sort of custody/visitation arrangement. Faces mandatory life in prison without parole.
St. Clair County
*Father: JOE GALVAN
Victim(s): Prhaze Galvan (3 years)
Date of Death: January 2010
Child died of blunt force trauma in home of custodial father, stepmother. Both face murder charges. In August 2010, father convicted of murder and torture, and later sentenced to life in prison. Later ombudsman report refuses to clarify why father with history of domestic violence, child abuse, and criminal behavior had been granted custody, and how he was able to retain it.
Father: ANDREW MAISON
Victim(s): Mackenzie Maison (5 years)
Date of Death: May 2015
Custodial dad, step found guilty of 1st-degree murder in January 2016.
*Father: STEVEN NICHOLSON
Victim(s): Ella Grace Stafford (15 months), Jonathan Sanderlin (13 months)
Date of Death: October 2010
Father had full custody of son, “partial” custody of daughter. Both children lived with him. Charged with felony murder in the scalding/drowning deaths of the two children. Appears mother of son lost custody when accused of “kidnapping” for refusing contact/visitation. Father had history of domestic violence, drug/alcohol abuse. Dad convicted of 1st-degree murder, sentenced to life in prison in May 2011.
Father: UNNAMED DAD
Victim(s): Kamarion Lewis (2 years)
Date of Death: May 2011
One week after father granted custody because of mother’s alleged abuse, son drowned in father’s home. As of October 2014, there is no media update as to the outcome of this case.
Father: D'ANDRE LANE
Victim(s): Bianca Jones (2 years)
Date of Death: December 2011
During father's visitation time, father reported that daughter was the victim of carjacking. Daughter never recovered. Father charged with felony murder. Found guilty in December 2012, faces life in prison. Conviction upheld in November 2014. Father had previous criminal history, and ex-wife who filed order of protection for father's threats against 2-year-old son.