The Genocide of Battered Mothers and their Children

Posts Tagged ‘police’

Girl, 5, On 911 Call: ‘My Daddy Shot My Mommy’ Child In DCF Custody After Double Murder-Suicide

In domestic law on September 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm
Amplify’d from www.local10.com
MIAMI — A judge is now deciding where a 5-year-old girl should go after witnessing the killings of her mother and her grandmother in their Sunrise home Sunday, as police release the emergency calls for help from the shootings.

Police believe Marcus Trotman fatally shot his wife, Danielle, 30, and her mother, Linda Scudera, 56, on Sunday at a home in the 4000 block of Del Rio Way before killing himself.

Listen:

UNCUT: Sunrise 911 Call

The 30-year-old woman’s 5-year-old daughter, Angelique, witnessed the shootings, ran next door and called 911 with the help of a neighbor.

“It was a shoot and then my daddy shot my mommy and then he shoot my grandma, and now my daddy’s dead. My grandma’s dead,” the child told a 911 dispatcher.

“Is she injured in any way?” the dispatcher asked the neighbor.

“No. I am just praying to God that she was watching TV and it’s not true,” the neighbor said.

“Where did he shoot Mommy?” the dispatcher asked the child.

“On the ear,” the girl said.

“On her ear? And where is she now?” the neighbor asked the child.

“She was shot on the ear?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes. My grandma’s dead and my daddy’s dead,” the girl said. “Please.”

“I’m trying to find mommy’s number,” the neighbor said.

“I told you they’re dead,” the girl said.

In court Tuesday, Angelique was the focus of a hearing. A man at the hearing claimed he is her biological father and agreed to a DNA test.

Meanwhile, she will be taken from a family friend and placed in a foster home until the Department of Children and Families can determine the best place for her to stay permanently.

Watch:

Little Girl Cries For Help After Murder-Suicide

The man whose gun sources said was used by Trotman, local celebrity Lazaro Mendez, also known as D.J. Laz from Power 96, issued a statement via a publicist Tuesday. The statement said:

“Lazaro Mendez is deeply shocked and saddened by the events that transpired over the weekend. We ask that the media respect Lazaro Mendez and his family’s privacy during this time. He will take the next few days to grieve and will at all times be helpful to police investigators. His condolences go out to all of the victims of this tragedy and their families. Thank you for your support and concern during this difficult time.”


Sources told Local 10
that Trotman had been staying with Mendez while separated from his wife.

Local 10 has learned that Mendez reported the gun stolen after hearing what happened and realizing the weapon was missing. Mendez told investigators he does not know how Trotman got the gun out of its case.

Read more at www.local10.com

 

Oakdale deaths are double murder, suicide

In domestic law on September 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm

The couple’s children will live with memory of bloody scene all their lives, a trauma expert says.

Amplify’d from www.startribune.com

The shooting scene at the blue split-level house, which involved two parents and a babysitter, left other victims as well. A 6-year-old girl returning home from school Thursday found the bodies and ran screaming into the street with blood on her hands. She and her two brothers, ages 3 and 8, were left orphaned.

“When I heard the child found the bodies it really did break my heart,” said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, who expects the county might be asked to help with foster care. “I don’t know what it would be like walking in to see your mom and dad dead. That’s something that child will never get out of her head, ever.”

The dead were identified as Cintia Guadalupe Ornelas Bustos, 28; Jaime Anival Almaras Velasquez, 32, and babysitter Angela Uscanga Gonzalez, 43.

Police declined to say who was responsible for the shooting because the investigation is not complete. But the medical examiner’s office has determined that Velasquez committed suicide, said officer Michelle Stark.

A handgun and spent ammunition were found inside the house on the 7000 block of 13th Street.

Stark said that “the crime appears to have been entirely contained inside the residence” and that police weren’t looking for additional suspects “at this time.”

It was Oakdale’s first homicide since 2007, when 17-year-old Nicole Beecroft stabbed her newborn baby to death. She is serving life in prison. The only other homicide there in the past 25 years was in 1986 when Gloria Oursland, 49, was found beaten to death.

Oscar Amparan, a pastor who counseled the Oakdale couple, said Thursday that Velasquez was “a little violent” and had previous problems with alcohol.

Bustos and Velasquez had three children together but the legal status of their relationship hasn’t been confirmed, Stark said.

The youngest boy reportedly was inside the house when the shootings occurred, while the older boy was outside when his sister discovered the bodies. Police responded at 4:12 p.m.

Brady Hartman, a teenager who lives about four houses away, said he was outside when he saw the girl run out of the house sobbing and screaming, “Mommy, daddy dead! Mommy, daddy dead.” His mother, Julie Hartman, tried to console the little girl.

“She is going to have a lot of trauma,” Julie Hartman said. “She went in there. She had blood on her hands.”

As police took the three children away, the 3-year-old boy could be heard saying over and over, “momma dead, momma dead,” Hartman said. “He was in there alone.”

The violence shook the congregation at Iglesia Apostolica De La Fe En Cristo Jesus in Minneapolis, which Bustos and Gonzalez attended for seven years. The church at 1534 E. 24th St. is small — just 21 pews in all. Maps of Guatemala and Mexico grace the back walls.

The children currently are staying with relatives.

Read more at www.startribune.com

 

Make My Case Count! Jessica Gonzales v. USA – IACHR Final Report

In domestic law on August 27, 2011 at 2:31 am

International Commission Finds United States Denied Justice to Domestic Violence Survivor
Jessica Gonzales v. USA – IACHR Final Report http://www.aclu.org/womens-rights/jessica-gonzales-v-usa-iachr-final-report

International Commission Finds United States Denied Justice to Domestic Violence Survivor http://www.aclu.org/womens-rights/international-commission-finds-united-states-denied-justice-domestic-violence-survivor

Amplify’d from www.aclu.org

My name is Jessica Lenahan and I am a survivor of domestic violence and an advocate for battered women and children. Six years ago, I turned to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an international tribunal responsible for promoting and protecting human rights throughout the Americas, because the justice system in the United States had abandoned me. Today, IACHR issued a landmark decision in my case that found that the United States violated my human rights and those of my three children, Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie.

In 1999, my estranged husband, Simon Gonzales, kidnapped Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie in violation of a domestic violence restraining order I had obtained against him. I repeatedly contacted and pled with the Castle Rock Police in Colorado for assistance, but they refused to act. Instead, over a 10-hour period, the police responded to a fire-lane violation, looked for a lost dog and took a two-hour dinner break. Late that night, Simon arrived at the police station and opened fire. He was killed and the bodies of my three girls were found in the back of his truck. No investigation ever took place to determine the cause, time and place of my children’s death.

I sued the town of Castle Rock for failing to enforce the restraining order I held against my husband. My case went all the way to the Supreme Court, but they ruled that the enforcement of a restraining order wasn’t mandatory under Colorado law.

I felt utterly abandoned, but I wasn’t done fighting. Instead I turned to IACHR.

In a decision released today, the commission found that the U.S. is failing in its legal obligation to protect women and children from domestic violence, and makes clear that the U.S. government has a duty to protect domestic violence victims by taking steps to ensure their safety, including the enforcement of restraining orders. It also requires that the U.S. examine how it fails domestic violence victims and ensure that victims of domestic violence receive adequate protection from their abusers.

But this decision isn’t just about me.

In the United States, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year, and every day more than three women are killed by their intimate partners. These statistics reveal that domestic violence amounts to nothing less than an epidemic and the failure of police to enforce the law directly contributes to this epidemic. A 911 call to the police must mean something and the police can’t ignore multiple emergency calls throughout the course of the night as they did in my case.

I did everything I was supposed to do on that fateful night to protect and save my daughters. I even would have tried to rescue them myself had I known the police would do nothing to find them or to enforce my restraining order. We respect our laws because we believe they embody our government’s commitment to protecting our lives and the lives of our children. Unfortunately, I had to lose everything to realize that we are often not guaranteed basic protections from our government unless we demand them.

The IACHR decision can stimulate necessary changes in U.S. law and policy, if the U.S. government takes IACHR’s assessment of law enforcement’s failings seriously and implements its recommendations.

I hope my case will serve as an important precedent that other women can rely on when they find themselves in a similar situation where the police refuse to enforce a restraining order. I urge you to rely on it to speak out on the issue of domestic violence and to make sure that our government hears you.

You can learn more about the IACHR report, as well as my case and the process that led to my petition to the IACHR, here, here and here.

Read more at www.aclu.org

 

Phoenix police: 8-year-old witnesses mother’s death

In domestic law on August 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm
Amplify’d from www.azcentral.com

An 8-year-old boy was most likely a witness to a murder-suicide Sunday night that took the life of his mother, according to Phoenix Police Department.

When police responded to a call that came in Sunday night, officers found a woman who was apparently shot by her boyfriend.

The man in his 20s then turned the gun on himself. The shooting occurred at an apartment home near 61st Avenue and Thomas Road. It appears that the couple was arguing before the incident, but investigators don’t know the reason.

The boy, who was not physically injured, was being cared for by the Fire Department’s Crisis Response Team.

Read more at www.azcentral.com

 

FATHER accused of drowning his two children on the first day of school is in police custody

In domestic law on August 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

The bodies of boys, ages 3 and 5, were found in Naim Rasool Muhammad’s car at East Ledbetter and Singing Hills Drive.

Amplify’d from www.msnbc.msn.com

At 12:40 p.m., a 911 caller said her son had drowned her
grandchildren. The caller told the fire department she had the
children with her and was waiting for paramedics, according to
officials.

Paramedics arrived and transported the children to Children’s
Medical Center in Dallas, where they were pronounced dead.

Deputy Chief Craig Miller said Monday afternoon that
investigators believe the children, 3-year-old Elijah Mohammed,
and 5-year-old Naim Mohammed, were drowned. The children were
found in the back of a silver station wagon.

Investigators are trying to determine where the children were
killed.

“We [were] hoping for them to start school today and be with the
rest of the kids and enjoy life, but someone ended their life
shortly,” said Gabrielle Armstead, the children’s aunt.

Naim Muhammad, 32, was detained in the 6500 block of Lazy River
Drive a few blocks from Singing Hills and Ledbetter after a foot
pursuit and struggle with police. He was arrested in a creek bed
near his home.

Muhammad has been charged with two counts of capital murder.

Police identified the children as Elijah and Naim Mohammed, but
the father’s name is listed as Muhammad in court and jail
records.

He was booked into Dallas County Jail at 6:51 p.m. Miller said
Muhammad is cooperating with the investigation.

Police said Monday afternoon that Muhammad abducted the children
and their mother while she was walking them to school at about
7:15 a.m. The mother was able to escape, police said.

The mother told police he had made threats against her and their
children. She and Muhammad have three children, police said.

“I knew he was troubled, but I didn’t expect him to hurt his own
kids,” Armstead said.

The children’s mother and Muhammad had recently separated. The
mother and the children were living with her parents in Southeast
Dallas.

Witnesses said Muhammad tried to break into their home later in
the morning. A shattered window could be seen at the house.

The couple’s 1-year-old son was not home at the time.

The child is in the care of Child Protective Services. Relatives
said the children’s mother feels as if she has lost all of her
children.

Police said they are working with Child Protective Services to
determine if there was any history of abuse.

“He did yell a lot and use the kids as a target, so he took the
thing that was closest to her, and that was her boys,” Armstead
said.

Relatives said the family got together on Saturday for a cookout
to celebrate the children going to school. Muhammad and the
children’s mother got into an argument, and he was asked to
leave, the family said.

On Monday morning, Muhammad was wanted by police on suspicion of
abducting two children while walking from their home on Terrell
Street in South Dallas to Frazier Elementary School a few blocks
away. The Dallas Independent School District confirms the
children were enrolled, but said they never made it to class
Monday.

On Monday morning, Muhammad was wanted by police on suspicion of
abducting two children while walking from their home on Terrell
Street in South Dallas to Frazier Elementary School a few blocks
away. The Dallas Independent School District confirms the
children were enrolled, but said they never made it to class
Monday.

Police said the woman and her children were not at a school when
they were taken.

The mother jumped out of the car in the 100 block of Camp Wisdom
Road an d flagged down a Dallas County constable, who called
Dallas police.

The constable did not chase Muhammad. She only served court
papers, did not have red lights or a siren and is trained not to
chase anyone.

Muhammad’s photo, right, was taken in February of this year. He
has prior convictions for possession of marijuana, burglary of a
vehicle, theft by check and aggravated assault with a deadly
weapon.

Muhammad is being held in the Dallas County Jail on $2 million
bail.

Investigators said there was no legal reason the father could not
have his children and were working to confirm that he made
threats to the mother and the children before the children’s
bodies were found.

Miller said Monday afternoon that officers knew they were looking
for the children’s father. Officers were following every lead and
did not have enough information to justify an Amber Alert, police
said.

Dallas police said the children’s bodies were found before they
could issue the Amber Alert they were planning on announcing at 1
p.m.

He was arrested in February on suspicion of punching the
children’s mother. According to the police report, Muhammad
grabbed their then 4-year-old son and left with him.

Read more at www.msnbc.msn.com

 

Bodies Of Gunman, Mother-In-Law Believed To Be In Burned Home

In domestic law on August 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Police found the body of an infant girl believed to be 14-month-old Rhilee Collier in a truck belonging to her father, Kevin Collier. Collier’s wife recently filed for divorce.
Man Suspected Of Shooting Officer Jared Slocum Also Killed Baby, Mother-In-Law

Amplify’d from www.10news.com
Two bodies were found Monday inside a burned San Diego County home, and investigators believe the deceased are a woman and her son-in-law, who is accused of shooting and critically wounding an El Cajon police officer and killing his own daughter.
Police found the body of an infant girl believed to be 14-month-old Rhilee Collier in a truck belonging to her father, Kevin Collier. Kevin Collier is accused of torching an El Cajon-area home after, relatives assert, he killed his daughter and his mother-in-law, Beverli Rakov. Collier was identified by police as the man who shot El Cajon Police Officer Jared Slocum, a four-year veteran of the force.
According to El Cajon police, investigators found a body in the front portion of the fire-damaged house in the 1000 block of Prince Street. A second body was discovered in the rear of the home, and investigators said the bodies are believed to be Collier and Rakov. The Medical Examiner’s Office has not officially confirmed the identities of the bodies found in the home.

Investigators learned Collier sent text messages to family members saying that he killed his mother-in-law and his daughter and then started the fire at the home.

A family friend said Collier’s wife, who is safe, recently filed for divorce.

According to divorce paperwork obtained by 10News that was filed August 17, Alyssa Collier cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for asking for a divorce from Kevin Collier. She was asking for sole custody of their daughter.

The couple married in January 2010 and filed for legal separation in July.

In the documents, Alyssa Collier stated she was the primary caregiver and stayed at home, while Kevin Collier worked long hours.

According to the court documents, Alyssa said Kevin “is a good dad, but spends very little time with Rhilee.”

She also wrote they have a “nice standard of living” and asked for spousal support.

In the divorce documents, Collier’s wife asked for $2,000 a month in child support, writing: “I need help transitioning to a more stable life style.”

10News learned Collier and his wife also ran a dog breeding business. The Big Dogs website is filled with pictures of the couple with their Mastiffs.

There were no allegations of abuse and the exact reason for their failed marriage is unclear.

10News found what appears to be the Facebook page of Alyssa Collier. While a family friend told 10News Alyssa Collier used to work at Cheetah’s strip club in San Diego, her latest job listing on Facebook is “full-time wife and mom.” Her job description says “I plan to sit on my butt and take all my ex’s money.”

Friends told 10News that Kevin Collier may have manipulated the Facebook page.

On Monday, a spokesman for Cheetah’s told 10News Alyssa Rakov (Collier) hasn’t worked for the nightclub for more than a year and a half. The club declined to comment on Sunday’s incident.

10News learned both Collier’s brother and father filed restraining orders against him in 2003.

Collier’s brother filed first and wrote: Kevin “slapped me as hard as he could.”

Two days later, Collier’s father followed, filing because Kevin started harassing him.

His father wrote: Kevin “called on my cell phone and was very angry and used a lot of profanity … Kevin came to my house and I had to call the sheriff’s to escort him off the property.”

“He seemed cool at first, the first time,” said a Collier acquaintance, who did not want to be identified. “The second time, he wasn’t so cool.”

According to Collier’s bankruptcy record, he earned more than $40,000 a month at a Miramar strip mall where he met the acquaintance.

The source described Collier as a hot-headed man who warned people to keep him away from alcohol.

It isn’t clear what Collier did at the mall, but his former office is now a strip club.

The acquaintance said Collier was only in the mall for three months and told 10News he saw Collier angry once.

“He just freaked out, like a super hot head,” he said. “He just instantly exploded.”

On Sunday, the violence erupted after two El Cajon police officers responded shortly after 5 p.m. to a caller who said he saw a man with a gun who had started a fire, El Cajon police Lt. Mark Coit said. Slocum, one of the responding officers, was hit by gunfire that came from the house, he said.

The other officer, identified as Officer Tim McFarland, pulled Slocum to safety, Coit said. Slocum, a 28-year-old married father of two young children, was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery and was listed in critical but stable condition.

After the shooting, the fire surged out of control and firefighters with police protection and aid from a water-dropping helicopter put it out at about 7 p.m., Heartland Fire spokesman Sonny Saghera said.

Several homes in the area were evacuated and eastbound Interstate 8 was shut down while the fire burned. The freeway was reopened after about 90 minutes.

A SWAT team surrounded the house for much of Sunday night, but turned the scene over to detectives when they determined it was safe, Coit said.

After the burning house was doused by firefighters on the ground and in the air, a police SWAT team entered and found a body near the front door.

Witness Dave Lembcke said he saw everything from the moment Kevin Collier pulled up to the home in a truck.

“He pulled out a gun and he didn’t run across the street but he walked real fast,” he said.

Moments later, Lembcke said he saw Collier return to the truck.

“He went back to his truck,” Lembcke said. “He got something else and it didn’t look like a gun but it was something kind of shaped like one and went back in.”

Officers from San Diego, National City and Chula Vista, and deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department were also at the scene to assist.

Neighbor Pam Gatar who lives about a block from the scene said she was outside when she heard officers exchange fire with the suspect.

“We were walking towards the corner, and we start hearing gunshots, and we don’t understand why,” Gatar said. “There had to have been at least 15, 20 shots fired. Then we saw the police.”

Richard Ogunsalu, who lives in the same complex as Gatar, was in the shower when he heard sirens and ran outside to see police everywhere and the house burning.

“I saw about 30 police cars, it was like martial law in the streets, man,” Ogunsalu said. “There was black roaring smoke in the sky, it was crazy, it just kept coming up. It was like a movie man, it was surreal.”

Ogunsalu said he saw a pedestrian praying over the downed officer.

“There’s some good people out here,” he said.

10News learned someone posted a Craigslist ad on Friday for an “Everything must go” yard sale at the same home on Prince Street.

The ad read: “Everything you need for your kitchen and more. Name your own price. I just want the stuff gone.”

10News confirmed with one neighbor that there have been yard sales at the home over the last couple of weekends, including one on Saturday.

It’s unclear who posted the ad or whether it has anything to do with Sunday’s incident.

One family friend told 10News he is in shock over what has happened.

“We’ve known them longer than we’ve known anybody,” said friend Jarrad McCarthy. “A few days ago, I guess they were having problems.”

McCarthy said the family was afraid something like this would happen.

“[They’ve] been worried about this for some time,” he said. “They’ve been expressing concerns to a lot of people for a while and nothing happened.”

Read more at www.10news.com

 

Fallston Child Psychologist Guilty of Sexually Abusing Girls

In domestic law on August 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

We MUST get Rid of these ‘witch-DoKtoRs’ Psychiatry is a fraud and a set up for crimes against others.

Amplify’d from belair.patch.com

David Wayne Schrumpf, a Whiteford resident, pleaded guilty Monday in Harford County District Court.

A Fallston child psychologist pleaded guilty Monday to three charges related to sexually abusing three girls he had treated, according to a release from the Harford County State’s Attorney’s office.

David Wayne Schrumpf, 55, of the 4400 block of Prospect Road in Whiteford, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 31 for one count of child sex abuse and two counts of second-degree assault of girls ages 7, 9 and 10.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Schrumpf must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, voluntarily surrender his psychology license and agree not to seek a license as a child psychologist in a jurisdiction in which he lives. He will undergo sex offender treatment and is prohibited from contacting anyone younger than 18.

The state is seeking a six-year jail sentence, according to the release.

The case was investigated by the Harford County Child Advocacy Center, with assistance from the Harford County Department of Social Services, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police.

See more at belair.patch.com

 

International human rights group takes up case of kids murdered by father; mom’s restraining order ignored by police (Castle Rock, Colorado)

In domestic law on August 18, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Those with long memories may remember this case. Dad SIMON GONZALEZ murdered his three young daughters back in 1999. The mother had already secured a restraining order against her ex-husband, but the police refused to enforce it. Daddy was later killed by the police when he fired gunshots through the police department’s window. The mother’s attempts to get justice in the U.S. have been unsuccessful. Now the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has published its merits report on this case–and it is scathing.

The next IACHR Petition is the Mothers Day Petition filed May 11, 2007
http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/info/custody-abuse/legal-documents/petition-to-inter-american-commission-on-human-rights

exhaustive investigation into systemic failures that took place related to the enforcement of Jessica Lenahan’s protection order, to reinforce through legislative measures the mandatory character of the protection orders and other precautionary measures to protect women from imminent acts of violence, and to create effective implementation mechanisms, among others.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

omplaints presented by Jessica Lenahan before the death of her daughters. The State also failed to investigate the circumstances of their deaths once their bodies were found. Consequently, their mother and their family live with this uncertainty, and the law enforcement officers in charge of implementing the law have not been held accountable for failing to comply with their responsibilities.



The Commission
encourages the United States to comply with the recommendations contained in the Merits Report, which include to conduct a serious, impartial and exhaustive investigation into systemic failures that took place related to the enforcement of Jessica Lenahan’s protection order, to reinforce through legislative measures the mandatory character of the protection orders and other precautionary measures to protect women from imminent acts of violence, and to create effective implementation mechanisms, among others.



A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

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The Commission established that the State did not duly investigate the com
which he was fatally wounded and killed. The deceased bodies of the three girls were found in his truck.

The restraining order was the only means available to Jessica Lenahan at the state level to protect herself and her children in a context of domestic violence, and the police did not effectively enforce it. The state apparatus was not duly organized, coordinated, and ready to protect these victims from domestic violence by adequately and effectively implementing the restraining order. These failures to protect constituted a form of discrimination in violation of the American Declaration, since they took place in a context where there has been a historical problem with the enforcement of protection orders; a problem that has disproportionately affected women since they constitute the majority of the restraining order holders.

ock Police Department during the evening of June 22, 1999 and the morning of June 23, 1999. In each of her telephone calls and discussions with the police agents, she requested efforts to locate her daughters and she informed them that she possessed a protection order against Simon Gonzales. Her contacts were met with a police response that was fragmented, uncoordinated and unprepared, and it did not respect the terms of the restraining order. That morning, Simon Gonzales drove his pick-up truck to the Castle Rock Police Department and fired shots through the window. There was an exchange of gunfire with officers from the station in the course of
Washington, DC, August 17, 2011 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) made public today its merits report on Case No. 12.626, Jessica Lenahan (formerly Jessica Gonzales), United States, related to the duties of the State to respond to situations of domestic violence with diligent protection measures.

Jessica Lenahan, a victim of domestic violence along with her daughters Leslie, Katheryn and Rebecca Gonzales, ages 7, 8 and 10, obtained a restraining order against her ex-husband from the Colorado Courts in May 21, 1999. Not knowing the whereabouts of her daughters, Jessica Lenahan had eight contacts with the Castle

IACHR PUBLISHES REPORT ON CASE JESSICA LENAHAN OF THE UNITED STATES
PRESS RELEASE

IACHR PUBLISHES REPORT ON CASE JESSICA LENAHAN OF THE UNITED STATES

Washington, DC, August 17, 2011 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) made public today its merits report on Case No. 12.626, Jessica Lenahan (formerly Jessica Gonzales), United States, related to the duties of the State to respond to situations of domestic violence with diligent protection measures.



Jessica Lenahan, a victim of domestic violence along with her daughters Leslie, Katheryn and Rebecca Gonzales, ages 7, 8 and 10, obtained a restraining order against her ex-husband from the Colorado Courts in May 21, 1999. Not knowing the whereabouts of her daughters, Jessica Lenahan had eight contacts with the Castle
Rock Police Department during the evening of June 22, 1999 and the morning of June 23, 1999. In each of her telephone calls and discussions with the police agents, she requested efforts to locate her daughters and she informed them that she possessed a protection order against Simon Gonzales. Her contacts were met with a police response that was fragmented, uncoordinated and unprepared, and it did not respect the terms of the restraining order. That morning, Simon Gonzales drove his pick-up truck to the Castle Rock Police Department and fired shots through the window. There was an exchange of gunfire with officers from the station in the course of which he was fatally wounded and killed. The deceased bodies of the three girls were found in his truck.



The restraining order was the only means available to Jessica Lenahan at the state level to protect herself and her children in a context of domestic violence, and the police did not effectively enforce it. The state apparatus was not duly organized, coordinated, and ready to protect these victims from domestic violence by adequately and effectively implementing the restraining order. These failures to protect constituted a form of discrimination in violation of the American Declaration, since they took place in a context where there has been a
historical problem with the enforcement of protection orders; a problem that has disproportionately affected women since they constitute the majority of the restraining order holders.

The Commission established that the State did not duly investigate the complaints presented by Jessica Lenahan before the death of her daughters. The State also failed to investigate the circumstances of their deaths once their bodies were found. Consequently, their mother and their family live with this uncertainty, and the law enforcement officers in charge of implementing the law have not been held accountable for failing to comply with their responsibilities.



The Commission
encourages the United States to comply with the recommendations contained in the Merits Report, which include to conduct a serious, impartial and exhaustive investigation into systemic failures that took place related to the enforcement of Jessica Lenahan’s protection order, to reinforce through legislative measures the mandatory character of the protection orders and other precautionary measures to protect women from imminent acts of violence, and to create effective implementation mechanisms, among others.



A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.









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N° 92/11

Read more at dastardlydads.blogspot.com

 

‘Easygoing’ Man kills his wife, twin teenage Daughters, then himself

In domestic law on August 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Such a ‘easy-going’ nice guy.

Amplify’d from www.hometownannapolis.com

Stunned residents of a Brooklyn Park community are left wondering what caused an apparently easygoing neighbor to kill his wife and her twin teenagers and then himself Sunday morning.

Police were called about 9 a.m. by the mother of Kelly Thompson, a resident of 607 Wood St. in Brooklyn Park. She told police she had received a disturbing text message from her son, and went with another relative to the house. They waited there for police to arrive.

While police spoke with the woman outside the two-story row house, they heard a single gunshot fired inside.

Officers entered the home and discovered Thompson, 33, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, said police spokesman Lt. J.D. Batten Jr. Police also discovered the bodies of a woman and two teenagers.

Batten said it appeared Thompson had shot the other three and then himself. All four lived at the home.

Police identified the victims as Thompson’s wife, Nina Thompson, 34, and her 15-year-old twins, a daughter and son from a previous relationship, Taishawn Pugh and Treshawn Pugh.

Neighbors said Nina Thompson was a nurse. Her children would have been sophomores this fall at North County High School.

Grief counselors are available at the school for students and teachers, schools spokesman Bob Mosier said.

Officers cordoned off Wood Street between Patrick Henry Drive and Fourth Street after the shooting as homicide detectives worked the scene.

Thomas Slade lives across an alley behind the home where the shootings took place. He used to work on motorcycles with Thompson.

“He never seemed like the kind of guy who would do something like this,” Slade said.

Thompson was a truck driver and had just started a new job, Slade said.

“I just can’t believe all this happened,” he said.

Kevin Fullerton lives across the street from the victims’ home and said he used to talk to Thompson regularly. Thompson would stop by on birthdays or Christmas Eve, or just to say hello, Fullerton said.

“If he knew you, he would go out of his way to say hi to you,” Fullerton said.

Thompson had just visited Saturday night and said he planned to buy a new motorcycle on Sunday, Fullerton said.

Fullerton heard the gunshot that police say Thompson used to take his own life.

He described the family as “really nice people” and said the teenagers were “very respectful.” He and the rest of his neighbors were in shock yesterday afternoon.

“We’re all taking it pretty hard,” he said.

The deaths of Thompson and her two children bring the number of homicides in the county this year to eight.

Read more at www.hometownannapolis.com

 

‘If You Leave Me I Will Kill You’

In domestic law on August 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm
Amplify’d from www.charlotteobserver.com

Last October, Rebecca Robertson and her boyfriend were arguing in their garage, relatives said, when she came out and told him: I’m leaving you.

The couple had known each other for more than a decade and had a daughter together. They had planned to marry.

As they argued into the early morning, Robertson went into their northeast Charlotte home for a cigarette, and her boyfriend, Barry Leake, followed.

“What you going to do?” Robertson asked him, according to a relative at the home. “Kill me in front of my kids?”

The Domestic Violence Advocacy Council marched in response to the killing last month of Ebony Taylor, Charlotte’s most recent domestic homicide. Davie Hinshaw – dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

On the sofa, Robertson’s three children and their three young cousins slept.

Leake turned and shot his 31-year-old girlfriend. As the horrified children ran screaming into the street, Robertson, 39, shot himself. By the time police arrived, both were dead.

Robertson’s death illustrates the danger women often face when they decide to leave abusive partners – a danger highlighted in a new Mecklenburg report: “If You Leave Me I Will Kill You.”

In three of four cases that a local task force reviewed for that report, victims heard some version of that threat before their husbands or boyfriends killed them.

The Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Fatality Prevention and Protection Review Team is a pilot project created by the state in 2009 to identify gaps in services and promote communication among agencies that investigate and intervene in domestic violence. The goal: Prevent domestic violence-related deaths. Mecklenburg County is the only one in the state that has such a review team.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police respond to about 35,000 calls about domestic violence each year, according to the report.

“Our numbers are disturbingly high,” said retired District Judge Jane Harper, who heads the team. “There’s a disconnect between the innovative programming and the consistently high numbers.”

‘I’ll kill you with this’

Last year, nine people died in intimate partner killings in the county, according to the Mecklenburg Women’s Commission. So far this year, two have died. Each year since 2002, Mecklenburg has led the state in domestic violence homicides.

The fatality review team is prohibited from naming people involved in the homicides they reviewed, but the report finds common factors in each.

In all four cases, the victims were women and their abusers men.

One victim died of a gunshot wound, two were strangled and the other died from blunt force head trauma.

In two of the cases, the suspect committed suicide immediately after the killing.

At least three of the four killers had previously made death threats to their victims. One man showed his victim a gun and told her, “I’ll kill you with this,” according to the report.

Finally, friends, family or co-workers knew about the violence or threats leading up to each killing.

“Some … expressed their concern to the victim and encouraged her to leave her abuser,” the report said. “But not one person reported the abuse to law enforcement.”

Other findings:

None of the women ever sought a domestic violence protective order against their abusers, even though one of the men had been charged with violence against the woman he later killed.

Only one woman was in contact with a domestic violence service provider, and apparently none ever told health care providers about their abuse, including one woman who made several trips to the emergency room.

Nowhere to turn

A domestic violence survivor on the review team recalled her own violent three-year marriage. When she was eight months pregnant, her husband kicked her in the stomach and pushed her down a flight of stairs.

It’s wasn’t until later that she found the courage to leave. She remembered hearing her young son scream as his father broke down a door during an argument.

“No, I’m not having this,” she told herself. “I’m going to end up going down the stairs again.”

As she reviewed the homicides for the report, she thought back to her own abuse. She could feel the women’s frustration and pain.

“They didn’t know where to turn.”

The team’s report includes recommendations for police, the courts, health care professionals, local domestic violence agencies and even friends and family who suspect a loved one is being abused.

The report encourages prosecutors to have convicted abusers ordered to complete batterer intervention treatment programs.

The team found that primary care providers and obstetric and gynecological offices should screen for domestic violence, as well as emergency room staff.

Signs of strangulation

Angie Alexander, the forensic program coordinator at Carolinas Medical Center, said every female age 12 and older who comes to the hospital’s emergency room is screened for domestic violence, regardless of the reason for her visit. Men are also screened if their injuries appear suspicious.

The report said doctors and nurses should make it clear to victims when injuries must be reported to police – such as injuries caused by a weapon or those that cause grave bodily harm. Victims fearing reprisal might not reveal how they were hurt if they believe it will be reported to police.

Many of the report’s recommendations were for police, who the team found had insufficient training to handle the high volume of domestic violence calls they receive.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department requires 12 hours of domestic violence training for recruits and two hours more every other year.

But the report said that’s not enough. It suggests additional training and strategies including:

Temporarily seizing weapons in a home where violence has occurred.

Staying with a victim until her safety is reasonably assured.

Identifying signs of strangulation – a common means of attack that often leaves little physical evidence.

A death prevented?

Police in some areas of Charlotte are experimenting with new efforts to combat domestic violence homicides.

Talk of making changes in three of the police department’s 13 divisions began last year after the murder-suicide involving Rebecca Robertson.

A victim of domestic violence is 70 percent more likely to be injured or killed when she is leaving her abuser, said Amanda Wilson, United Family Services’ director of strategic initiatives and advocacy.

If Robertson had established a relationship with police maybe she would have called to let an officer know she was leaving her boyfriend, said Capt. Gregg Collins, commander of CMPD’s Freedom Division.

“We might have prevented that one,” Collins said.

To read the full report, visit charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/CommunitySupportServices/WomensCommission/AboutUs/Outreach/Pages/DVFRT.aspx

Read more at www.charlotteobserver.com

 

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