The Genocide of Battered Mothers and their Children

Archive for the ‘domestic law’ Category

AMBER ELKINS: Another ‘missing’ mom involved in Custody Dispute

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm

She was supposed to be in Court at 9 am on Monday involving custody of her 9 month old daughter.

Amplify’d from www.click2houston.com
HOUSTON —
Update:

Amber Elkins Last Seen Sunday; Vehicle Found Abandoned Tuesday

HOUSTON — Texas EquuSearch was in Humble, looking for a woman who has been missing for several days and who may be the victim of foul play.

Read more at www.click2houston.com

Amplify’d from www.click2houston.com
HOUSTON — Authorities in Harris County said they have arrested the boyfriend of a missing area woman.The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said 31-year-old James David Clarke was charged with murder in the case of 20-year-old Amber Chantel Elkins, who was last seen July 24.

Investigators said Elkins was the victim of foul play and has not been located.

Detectives said Elkins’ vehicle, a dark green 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer with Georgia license plates, was found abandoned in a vacant business parking lot in the 13900 block of Homestead Road, just north of Greens Bayou, about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The front passenger window was broken out and a substantial amount of blood was found inside the vehicle, investigators said.

Elkins’ mother, Shani Kilpatrick, said her daughter would never go a day without letting someone know where she was. Kilpatrick said her phone rang at 3:30 a.m. Sunday, but she missed the call because she was sleeping. When she woke up later that morning, she realized it was her daughter, so she called her back.

“I called her back and a guy answered. I asked where Amber was, and he hung up,” said Kilpatrick. “She would only call me at 3:30 in the morning if something was wrong. That’s why I know something was wrong.”

Kilpatrick also said Elkins was due in court on Monday for a custody hearing regarding her 9-month-old daughter, who is staying with relatives.

“I don’t think it looks good,” Kilpatrick said. “I’m trying to keep the faith. I don’t want to say that she’s gone. I just know that she can’t call me.”

Frank Ferrata is the father of Elkins’ daughter, Ava. He said it’s heartbreaking because the baby is too young to understand what’s going on.

“Ava says ‘Mama’ all the time, and it breaks my heart,” he said.

Ferrata said he and Elkins were living in Midway, Texas, together, but recently she moved back to the Houston area. He called her a kind, loving person and said they just want to know what happened to her.

Elkins’ father, Mike Elkins, flew in Friday night from Atlanta. He said he felt helpless being so far away and wanted to come to Texas to help search for his daughter. But he admitted the evidence doesn’t look good, and now the family is fearing the worst.

“I feel in my heart that my daughter’s gone. I’ve accepted that. I just want to find her,” said Mike Elkins. “My daughter had a heart of gold. She would do anything for anybody.”

About 70 volunteers scoured more than 150 acres looking for signs of Amber Elkins.

“We’re not going to sugarcoat anything. This looks bad,” Texas EquuSearch Founder Tim Miller said. “We’re going to hold on to that tiny miracle, but the reality is we’ve got a big problem here. We got a 20-year-old that’s got to be found.”

Amber Elkins is white, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall with black hair and brown eyes. She has two stars tattooed on her wrist and the word “ACE” tattooed on an ankle.

Anyone with information regarding Amber Elkins’ disappearance is asked to call the HCSO Homicide Unit at 713-967-5810, or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Clark is being held at the Harris County jail.

Previous Stories:

Read more at www.click2houston.com

I am the Mother of Rikki Dombrowski. Sham in Shawnee County (Topeka, Kansas)

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm

(a forward from Claudine Dombrowski)

Sham in Shawnee County (Topeka, Kansas)

I am the Mother of Rikki Dombrowski. I am denied any contact with her by a 8x Criminally Convicted Batterer HAL RICHARDSON. She lives in hell with the ‘perp’. I did NOT abandon you Rikki, I want to be with you. Don’t give up baby. I love you!-xoxo, mom

 

I Love you Rikki Dombrowski- my daughter. Don’t Give up baby!

Two years ago my mother died- Rikki’s granny. Her father would NOT let Rikki go to funeral.

I made this video for three generations  that have and are enduring  abuse by Hal Richardson. With the help of the local CourtWhores, M. Jill Dykes, Rene M. Netherton, Judge David Debenham, Don and Jason Hoffman

Rikki’s father had me found in contempt for the video- Sentence: 30 days in jail and $1500.00 fine, for posting it on line so that Rikki could see it.

To this day I do not know if she ever has. They say- they will not let me see my child because they do not want her to know how abusive her father is- "that’s not in her best interest’.– insanity huh? Nope. Family Court in Topeka, Kansas

Bitter Custody Battle in Murder of Bellingham Mother

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Police in Bellingham now believe the shot that killed a young mother was fired by the woman’s estranged husband and not his girlfriend, who left a voicemail murder confession for police before attempting to kill herself.

Amplify’d from www.kirotv.com
BELLINGHAM, Washington — Police in Bellingham now believe the shot that killed a young mother was fired by the woman’s estranged husband and not his girlfriend, who left a voicemail murder confession for police before attempting to kill herself.

Kara Buchanan and Keayn Dunya are charged in the shooting death of Kirston Dunya two weeks ago at Kriston Dunya’s Bellingham apartment. KIRO 7 heard Tuesday, for the first time, tapes of Buchanan’s voicemail confession. Despite the confession, court documents indicate it was Keayn Dunya who fired the shot.

“Hello, Detective Leighton; this is Kara Buchanan, Keayn Dunya’s girlfriend,” the minute-and-a-half-long message begins. “I wanted to let you know that it was me. I thought I could do it. I thought I could keep my family, but the guilt got to me.”



WATCH IT: Friends Gather To Remember Slain Bellingham Woman

Buchanan said she wore latex gloves when she shot Kriston Dunya. She said she did it for Keayn Dunna, she said, who was locked in a bitter custody battle with Kriston Dunya for the couple’s 7-year-old son.

“I burned the evidence behind my camper,” she says in the message.

She’s clear and coherent, but her voice starts to break as her confession turns to a suicide message to her family.

“Jesus Christ; hopefully by the time you read this I’ll be dead,” she says in the message. “Do me a favor and tell my children that they’re old enough to get along without me, whereas Kai isn’t old enough to get along without his dad.”

Officers heard the message and later found Buchanan on a Freeland beach. She had slit her wrists and was bleeding so badly she needed surgery.

Police believe Buchanan’s confession may have been an attempt to cover up Keayn Dunya’s involvement and keep him out of trouble. Police said that prior to Buchanan’s confession they were “nowhere close to having an arrest.”

Buchanan was treated at a hospital and taken to jail last week. Keayn Dunya was arrested a day later. Both are charged with murder.

Authorities Now Believe Estranged Husband Of Bellingham Woman Fired Fatal Shot

Read more at www.kirotv.com

 

Investigators: Father of missing Morenci boys looked up how to break a neck

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm
Amplify’d from www.detnews.com

The father of three missing Morenci children last seen around Thanksgiving pleaded no contest this morning to criminal charges of unlawful imprisonment, but not before the judge revealed his conflicting, chilling statements to investigators.

Whether the plea deal with Lenawee County Prosecutor Jonathan Poer will lead to an explanation of what happened to Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton, then ages 9, 7 and 5, is unclear.

John Skelton, who has been jailed on a multimillion dollar bond since his arrest shortly after Thanksgiving at an Ohio hospital where he was receiving treatment for an alleged suicide attempt, entered pleas today before Lenawee County Circuit Judge Margaret Noe.

He pleaded no contest, meaning he accepts criminal responsibility for three counts of unlawful imprisonment. Other charges, including the felony crime of kidnapping, will be dropped by the prosecutor when Skelton is sentenced. Sentencing is set for the morning of Sept. 15. The crime carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years. Kidnapping can result in up to a life sentence.

Morenci Police could issue a statement later today. Poer’s staff has said he will make no public statement on the case.

The judge read into the court’s record today from several investigative reports, saying Skelton’s story about his sons’ disappearance had changed several times. Noe said he once told investigators he had planned to commit suicide and took the boys away so they weren’t there when he did.

“That story changed, however,” Noe said in court.

She also said he told others he wrapped each boy in a blanket, gave each a stuffed animal and placed them in his van. And, Noe said he had told yet others, “They will hibernate until they graduate,” according to a WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) video recording of the judge’s comments in court today.

Noe said Skelton told others about dreams or nightmares in which he saw the boys and their belongings in or behind a Dumpster. She said he made drawings and told about leaving the boys in a park and an abandoned schoolhouse.

Noe also said investigators found that a week before the boys’ disappearance, Skelton had searched online for how to break a neck.

As Noe read the charges, the boys’ mother, Tanya Zuvers, quietly sobbed, according to videotape of the court proceeding.

Regarding the charges to which Skelton pleaded guilty, Noe said, “He forcibly restricted their movement, forcibly confined each of his children so as to interfere with their liberty without their consent or without lawful authority.”

Skelton has steadfastly claimed the boys are alive and in the hands of an organization — the United Foster Outreach and Underground Sanctuary — that he claimed keeps children safe. Investigators have said the organization doesn’t exist.

Skelton has told authorities he took his sons in the midst of a messy divorce from their mother to protect them from sexual abuse. Zuvers has served prison time and is on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry because of a sexual relationship in 1998 with a 14-year-old neighbor boy. She has denied abusing her children. She took her maiden name this summer after being granted a divorce from Skelton.

Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks has said he believes John Skelton killed the boys, and three months after a search of expansive farm fields surrounding the Michigan and Ohio border town turned up no clues, Weeks declared the missing person investigation was switched to a murder investigation.

Read more at www.detnews.com

 

In a jealous rage– he has confessed to the brutal slayings of Vonetta Haynes-Reyes and her two sons

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm

In his statement, the man told homicide investigators he killed Vonetta, 31, in a jealous rage and also brutally attacked her sons because they knew him.

Amplify’d from www.newsday.co.tt
A 24-year-old man has confessed to the brutal slayings of Vonetta Haynes-Reyes and her two sons, Malik, eight, and Makasi, five, police sources disclosed yesterday.
The man was arrested at his home in La Horquetta, at about 7 pm, on Wednesday, hours after the mother and her children were laid to rest, side by side, at the Industry Public Cemetery, D’Abadie.

In his statement, the man told homicide investigators he killed Vonetta, 31, in a jealous rage and also brutally attacked her sons because they knew him.

The murder suspect claimed he had been in a relationship with Vonetta for a few months earlier this year. They had known each other for several years before they began dating, police reported.

However, Vonetta broke off the relationship, which the man confessed he could not accept.

When she told him she was not in love with him, he became jealous.

“I loved her dearly,” the man reportedly told investigators.

He gave police details of the murders which occurred at Vonetta’s home at Plumbago Avenue, La Horquetta, early last Thursday morning.

The man told police he waited outside Vonetta’s home on Wednesday night and was there when she arrived at about midnight.

She let him in the house and they began to quarrel. He had been calling her all day on Wednesday, which police were able to verify through Vonetta’s phone records.

The man and Vonetta began to struggle when she told him to leave the house and he stabbed her once in the neck.

Her sons ran into her bedroom when they heard her screams, the man said.

He took Makasi to his bedroom and slit his throat. He did the same to Malik in his bedroom.

The suspect told police he could not leave the boys alive because they could identify him.

Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson last night confirmed a suspect had been arrested and investigators will approach Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard for directions on the case.

“The arrest of the suspect is a major breakthrough in the probe and I want to commend all the officers who worked round-the-clock under the supervision of Snr Supt Donald Denoon,” Richardson told Newsday. Denoon is the head of the Homicide Bureau.

The suspect was detained at the Arouca Police Station.During their investigation, police obtained phone records and other evidence which they said linked the suspect to Vonetta.

Investigators said they are close to finding the weapon used in the killings.

The suspect’s fingerprints have reportedly been found on Vonetta’s car, which was found abandoned in Carapo on Thursday night, hours after the three bodies were found in La Horquetta.

The car is now at Camp Cumuto, where SAUTT officers have been carrying out tests.

Police believe the suspect took the car to make it appear as though the murders were connected to a robbery. However, nothing was stolen from the house, leading investigators to believe the killer knew the victims.

Earlier in the investigations, police questioned a 20-year-old man, who alerted them to the bodies when he saw one of Vonetta’s sons on the floor when he went to her home on Thursday afternoon.

Vonetta had visited the 20-year-old man in Chaguanas the day before. Her sons had spent that Wednesday with their father Selvon Reyes at his home in Oropoune Gardens, Piarco. She picked them up at about 8 pm, before heading to her home in La Horquetta where they were later killed.

A relative had also been briefly questioned about the killings.

Vonetta’s mother Joyce Haynes told Newsday yesterday that she was not aware a man was in custody in connection with the three murders, but added she was awaiting word from the police on the status of the investigation.

Read more at www.newsday.co.tt

 

Father suspected of major crimes against 8-year-old daughter

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Are we ‘getting-it” yet? Because mothers and children are sure ‘getting-it’.

Amplify’d from www.bakersfield.com

A seven-hour standoff ended Thursday with the arrest of the father of a girl who vanished from her home in the middle of the night a day earlier and mysteriously resurfaced hours later across town.

Ray Salvador Coriell, 29, was arrested on a warrant for kidnapping with the act of rape; kidnapping with the intent to rape; intercourse with a child under 10 years old; and attempted murder, according to Kern County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ray Pruitt.
Coriell’s bail has been set at $1 million.

On Thursday afternoon, sheriff’s deputies were summoned to the central Bakersfield home from which the 8-year-old girl had disappeared a day earlier because Coriell was inside and believed to be despondent and armed, officials said. He had sent a text message to the child’s stepmother that said he was contemplating hurting himself, said Kern County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Dan Leper.

That prompted law enforcement to surround the home at the corner of Loch Lomond Drive and Cleveland Way. Crisis negotiators tried for hours to coax Coriell out as hoards of deputies outside the residence stood by. A warrant for Coriell’s arrest was obtained a little after 6 p.m. He voluntarily emerged from the home about 7 p.m.

Authorities said a secondary crime scene is at a field east of Morning Drive, close to where the girl was found.

The daughter had been reported missing early Wednesday morning, but her recovery later that day did not allay the fears of a community stunned and shaken by her disappearance.

Law enforcement initially wouldn’t say publicly how the girl vanished or where she was during the period when she was missing, leading to widespread fear that a stranger had abducted her.

Then midday Thursday — her 8th birthday — her neighborhood was rocked by yet another shock.

SWAT team members, Sheriff Donny Youngblood and other law enforcement officers descended on the home to deal with the distraught father, and part of the street was evacuated.

Other people were in the home when deputies arrived, and they were evacuated, too. They told authorities that weapons were in the house.

“A concern at this point is for his safety,” sheriff’s spokesman Pruitt said at the time. Sheriff’s officials said then that the father was not a suspect in the girl’s disappearance, but later that evening they accused him of kidnapping and raping his own daughter.

The Californian identified the girl in early reports of her disappearance when law enforcement sought the public’s help in finding her. She is no longer being named because of the assault allegations.

The girl and her stepmother were at Kern Medical Center, where the child was taken after she was found Wednesday, and are under guard for their own protection, Pruitt said. A “hold” has been placed on the girl, meaning if she were ready to leave the hospital, deputies would be involved in deciding where she would go next.

The child’s stepmother received the text message at 12:11 p.m., she told deputies.
A crisis negotiation team and mental health officials tried to reach the father and SWAT teams arrived at about 4 p.m.

After the father’s arrest, neighbors expressed surprise and disgust.

Stella Gonzales, who lives behind the family’s high-walled backyard, said she didn’t think someone could have made it into the house without the dogs creating a racket.

Gonzales’ brother-in-law, Dickie Holman, said that when Coriell approached him to say Coriell’s daughter was missing, “he didn’t shed no tears,” and he didn’t seem distraught.

“I lost my son for 15 minutes and my neighbor told me I looked like a madwoman,” said Flora Hull, another neighborhood resident.

Her husband, Terry Hull, said he often saw the girl’s stepmother picking her up from school when Hull picked up his own son. But, he said, “we didn’t see him very often.”

On Wednesday, relatives told authorities they discovered the girl missing at about 3:45 a.m.
She was found hours later, nine miles away across town, and authorities wouldn’t say exactly what happened or how she got there.

Adrian and Candice Sandoval, who live next door to the family, said the girl’s paternal grandmother knocked on their door shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday asking if they had seen her.

“She was hysterical,” Adrian Sandoval said.

He told the grandmother he hadn’t seen the little girl and immediately woke up his wife and checked on their own three children.

“My oldest daughter is in a back bedroom, so I was terrified,” Candice Sandoval said.

After relatives called 911, sheriff’s deputies swarmed the neighborhood, conducting a search on foot and by air near the home.

The child turned up at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday in the 9400 block of Eucalyptus Drive, east of Mount Vernon Avenue and south of Niles Street. The girl’s maternal grandfather said Thursday that he and his wife were deeply traumatized by the ordeal.

Authorities asked them not to discuss details of the case, but the grandfather said he wondered how anyone could have gotten inside the house to take the child, noting that the family has a fence and two large dogs that would make intrusion difficult.

He described his granddaughter as outgoing, smart and serious. “She’s loving, a really good girl,” he said. “She’s never run away before, and never had a problem with telling stories, no matter how much trouble she’s in.”

The grandfather hadn’t been able to see his granddaughter as of Thursday morning, he added.

He said he and his wife raised the girl until she moved in with her father at the age of 4. There is no ugly custody battle between the child’s parents, he said.

Mario Martinez, who said he found the child Wednesday, said she had injuries including a black eye that was nearly swollen shut and a bruised elbow.

Sheriff’s deputies have not confirmed that Martinez found the girl, but they did say Thursday night that the girl “displayed signs of trauma.”

Martinez said Thursday that he was raking his employer’s lawn when the girl wandered into the driveway Wednesday morning. He said she was thirsty, so he emptied his bottle of Brisk iced tea and filled it with water for her. She drank most of the bottle.

The child said she didn’t know where her mom was, and she couldn’t remember how she got from her home in central Bakersfield to the neighborhood of Martinez’s employer in east Bakersfield, a distance of about nine miles.

“She looked nervous, but also really tired,” Martinez said.

The girl was dressed in a pink shirt and pink pajama pants, he said. She was very dirty, especially on her face and hands.

Martinez’s employer, veterinarian Dr. Lynn Reno, said he was at work at the time but Martinez filled him in on what had happened. He added that Martinez didn’t have a cell phone on him and asked a neighbor to call police.

Nick Miranda lives on the same block as the surrounded house. He said deputies came to his door Thursday and told him to leave. He decided to take his daughter and his fiancee and leave in their SUV.

“I’m getting my kid out of here,” Miranda said. “I’m not sticking around to find out what happens.”

Roman Aragon lives on Castro Lane, a block over from Loch Lomond. He said his 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son were scared to sleep alone Wednesday night. They’re afraid.

The family ended up sleeping in the living room together. Aragon said his son propped a chair against the front door, and also placed a jar of marbles in front of it so the family would hear the noise if someone tried to get in.

“It’s scary,” Aragon said.

sheriff_cc_1.JPG

Casey Christie / The Californian

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood talks with fellow deputies at Loch Lomond Drive and Cleveland Way Thursday afternoon. Deputies cordoned off the area and evacuated nearby residents during a standoff near the home from which an 8-year-old girl went missing Wednesday. She was found several hours later nine miles from home.

sheriff_cc_2.JPG

Casey Christie / The Californian

Kern County Sheriff’s deputies work on a standoff at Loch Lomond Drive and Cleveland Way Thursday afternoon. Sheriff’s deputies cordoned off the area and evacuated residents near the home from which an 8-year-old girl went missing on Wednesday and was later found nine miles from her home.

Standoff1web_jb.JPG

Jaclyn Borowski / The Californian

After a nearly seven-hour standoff with deputies that began early Thursday afternoon, Kern County deputies put a handcuffed Ray Coriell into a squad car.

Read more at www.bakersfield.com

 

KANSAS CITY, MO – FATHER faces murder charges for slaying of mother, daughter

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm
Amplify’d from www.kctv5.com
KANSAS CITY, MO

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a mother and daughter found dead in their home Thursday morning.

The family has confirmed for KCTV5 that Jackie Riley, 55, and her daughter Naushay Riley, 36, are the names of the two women found dead. Naushay Riley’s ex boyfriend killed her in front of her two young sons, according to police and family members.

Rufus Young, 3519 Norton Ave., was charged Thursday with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of first-degree child endangerment, according to online court records.

Young was not in custody as of Thursday afternoon.

According to court documents, Young is considered a “danger to the community,” and the judge in the case will not set bond once he is in custody.

Melvin Roberson, the ex-husband of Jackie and Naushay’s father, acknowledged there were problems between his daughter and the suspect. He said Young called his sister to tell her that he killed the women.

“He said, ‘Go over there and get your family. I just killed them and I’m going to kill you next.’ It still hasn’t set in. It’s still a dream,” said Roberson.

According to police, Naushay Riley’s 9- and 2-year-old sons are safe with other family members.

Police say they received the call to come to the residence about 1:45 a.m. Thursday.

In the meantime, the family is pleading for Young to turn himself in.

Naushay was employed at the Kansas City Health Department as a social worker. In 2009, she was promoted to the role of public health specialist and worked with the Children with Special Healthcare Needs program.

She was working toward her master’s degree.

The health department says she was a valued and loved colleague and friend whose life was tragically taken.

“Nashua was dedicated to making Kansas City a better place to live,” Rex Archer, director of the Health Department, said in a news release. “It is a great family loss, a great loss to our public health family and the community. We offer our sincerest condolences to the family. Our hearts and thoughts are with the children Naushay leaves behind.”

Family members say Young terrorized Naushay Riley after the two broke up.

“It’s been a back and forth with this guy,” said her uncle, Robert Hauer.

Roberson said on Wednesday night that he had asked his sister to call police when Young pulled a knife on his daughter. Hours later, the two women were dead.

“I know these domestic things can turn into more than it should be, which happened tonight,” he said.

Read more at www.kctv5.com

 

Murder charge for father after 7-year-old’s death Son fatally injured after domestic incident

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm
Amplify’d from www.theprovince.com

Brent Allen Warren appeared in court Thursday afternoon on one count of first-degree murder stemming from a domestic incident early Wednesday morning that saw his son fatally injured.

Warren will remain in custody until his next court appearance on Aug. 8. The court has ordered a publication ban on the case.

Mounties say they were called to the family home in the 2600-block South Alder Street in Campbell River’s quiet Willow Point neighbourhood at around 2: 30 a.m. Wednesday to assist paramedics.

Officers arrived to find the boy severely injured. He died in hospital just after 3 a.m.

According to RCMP spokesman Sgt. Craig Massey, two other people, including Warren, were taken to hospital to be treated for injuries.

Other details – including the boy’s injuries – are being withheld by investigators.

A spokesperson for B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth – a government agency that may investigate a child’s injury or death if the child or child’s family “was receiving a reviewable service” – said the agency does not expect to get involved in the case.

The South Alder Street home remained blocked off Thursday as forensic investigators combed the area for evidence.

Massey said he expected a “lengthy” investigation into the boy’s death.

Read more at www.theprovince.com

 

FATHER Skelton’s plea deal leaves door open for murder charge in his SONS disappearance

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Why doesnt main stream media crucify this FATHER?

Amplify’d from www.freep.com

A Morenci man is headed to prison in the disappearance of his three young sons after entering into a surprise plea deal Thursday.

John Skelton pleaded no contest to charges of unlawful imprisonment, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Under a plea deal, charges of kidnapping — punishable by up to life in prison — were dismissed.

Some legal experts say prosecutors’ decision to strike a deal is a prudent one, especially if murder charges could be on the horizon. If the case had gone to trial and Skelton — whose young sons Andrew, Alexander and Tanner have been missing since late November — had been acquitted of some or all of the charges, it could have been detrimental to any future case if the boys are found, dead or alive, experts say.

In a joint statement Thursday, the Lenawee County prosecutor and Morenci police chief said the plea deal doesn’t interfere with the ongoing investigation.

“We believe the plea agreement in this case represents what a jury would likely have concluded based upon the facts and evidence as currently developed,” the statement said.

Experts: Plea deal gives officials more time to build a case against Skelton

Prosecutors struck a plea deal with a Morenci father Thursday in the disappearance of his three young sons, but that agreement doesn’t preclude murder charges.

Legal experts say it was a prudent decision — by allowing John Skelton to plead no contest to unlawful imprisonment charges, he’ll be sent to prison as law enforcement officials continue to build a murder case against him.

The Lenawee County prosecutor and Morenci police chief said in a statement Thursday that the agreement reflected what they believe a jury would have ultimately concluded. Under the plea deal, kidnapping and parental kidnapping charges were dropped.

The plea deal in this case comes in the wake of the national headline-grabbing case against Casey Anthony, the Florida woman acquitted of murder charges in the death of her 2-year-old daughter.

One expert said the Skelton case may have been even more difficult to prosecute than the Anthony case because the girl’s body was found. Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton — ages 9, 7 and 5, respectively — disappeared while in the custody of their father over Thanksgiving. They haven’t been seen since.

Wayne State University Law professor Peter Henning said it’s difficult to say how an acquittal or conviction, particularly on the kidnapping charges, would have impacted any future charges against Skelton. Now, he said, the prosecutor won’t have to worry about that as the homicide investigation continues.

“You live to fight another day,” Henning said. “That’s not a bad approach here.”

During the hearing Thursday, Lenawee County Circuit Judge Margaret M.S. Noe read aloud from police reports.

Some of the details were familiar.

Skelton has told the news media, including the Free Press, that he gave his sons to members of an underground sanctuary group and doesn’t know where they are. Skelton has said his children wouldn’t be returned as long as he’s in jail and as long as his ex-wife, Tanya Zuvers, has custody.

Skelton, who has said he does not want his sons in the custody of their mother, has said that he couldn’t get the boys back from the people harboring them until he is released from jail. New details also emerged Thursday.

Noe said Skelton told investigators at one point that he wrapped each son in a blanket, gave each a stuffed animal, placed them in his van and drove them away.

Noe said Skelton reportedly took his sons’ winter coats and toothbrushes to his aunt’s home and told her he didn’t need them anymore. Noe said Internet records show Skelton searched for information on how to break a neck about one week before the children went missing.

Noe said Skelton reportedly told investigators: “The children will hibernate until they graduate.”

A jury, one expert said, may have found it difficult to convict Skelton on certain charges based on the circumstantial evidence.

“I wonder about the decision to plead him guilty here, rather than roll the dice on the part of the defense,” said criminal defense attorney David Griem, a former state and federal prosecutor.

Skelton’s attorney, John Glaser, declined to comment Thursday about his decision to take the plea agreement.

On the unlawful imprisonment charges, Skelton could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. He is to be sentenced Sept. 15.

If he had been convicted of kidnapping, Skelton could have faced life in prison.

But he also could have been acquitted.

Asked why the deal was made, Lenawee County Prosecutor Jonathan Poer said: “We had full conversations with the law enforcement and the family.”

John Freeman, a defense attorney and former federal prosecutor based in Troy, said the prosecutor has now left the door open to charges that could lead to a mandatory life sentence.

He speculates that if prosecutors thought they could prove murder, they would not be satisfied with a 15-year-sentence — so they may have concluded that the strongest evidence they have is on the charge he pleaded to.

“They simply don’t want to run the risk of letting somebody, who they believe may be responsible for the death of three young children, they just don’t want to see him walk,” Freeman said.

Poer’s office and Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks released a joint statement, saying the plea agreement does not interfere with the ongoing investigation.

“We consider this just one more step toward everyone’s goal of fully resolving this case,” it reads.

A spokeswoman for the family of the boys’ mother released a statement saying the family supports the decisions made by law enforcement.

“There is a sense of discouragement that John will not receive the sentence we believe he deserves,” it reads. “However, our focus is still on Andrew, Alexander and Tanner, and this will not be over until the boys are home. We are grateful for the support of everyone and ask for your continued prayers.”

Tanner Skelton
Alexander Skelton
Andrew Skelton

See more at www.freep.com

 

The Murder of Motherhood

In domestic law on July 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Motherhood- Don’t replace her.

Amplify’d from ncmbts.blogspot.com

Maternalism What is Maternalism? Are the voices of mothers who identify with the liberation of mothers and the rights of their children. There was a past emergence of Maternalism in feminist history in the nineteenth century, however it is not consistent to today’s issues that continue to undermine her rights and values.

We believe that the act of giving birth has been extremely undervalued in today’s society much as a result of patriarchy but also due to the lack of representation of mothers voices in women’s rights organizations. We note that the eight hour day was inclusive of workers rights, but failed to acknowledge the labor of mothers towards raising future generations.

In the last twenty years, our rights have declined further with this acknowledgement as our children have grown to become the property of the state and men. We have the right to work from home, have flexible hours so that our care and work is balanced to eight hour days. We demand that employers provide the technology and opportunities to do so.

We have the exclusive right to be prioritized to be the exclusive candidates that have existing or possible opportunities to do so. We believe that joint parenting and shared parenting that is forced under the state of law upon dissolution of marriage undermines our rights to:

  • Consent to the renamed marriage contract.
  • Continue our natural primary care giving relationship with our children.
  • Make decisions for the welfare of our children
  • Obtain protection of family Freedom of movement
  • Love our children without scrutiny of the deep bond we place with our children
  • Raise our children
  • Be appreciated for the lives we bore onto this earth.
  • Whilst the status of women has improved, the status of mothers has declined that our representation in the media of mothers is poor and discriminatory. We believe that both forced and persuasive adoption is a degradation of women equivalent to prostitution and laws against this abdominal crime need to be enforced.

    We believe that threats to take our children for objecting to medical practices that are harmful is an exploitation of mothers and undermines her ability to intuitively know what is best to raise her children as she has done hundreds of years prior to the introduction of medical treatment.

    Read more at ncmbts.blogspot.com

     

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