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Archive for the ‘Fatal Assumptions’ Category

(Yet another) Court-enabled infanticide on court-ordered visitation

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You want to know why I call the DV Restraining order process “certifiably insane?”   Whether granted, or NOT granted?  Here’s why.

  • Local News in Victorville, CA

Pinon Hills man plans murder of infant son, suicide on Facebook

Comments 55 | Recommend 8

February 01, 2010 11:19 PM

In a chilling letter posted on Facebook for anyone to see, Stephen Garcia, 25, of Pinon Hills appears to detail how he planned his suicide and the murder of his 9-month-old son.


Thinking that it is going to help us is grasping at straws.  Instead, make a safety plan.

However, this mother had a choice of possibly going to jail for contempt if she decided to disobey a court order that overrode her mother’s instincts.

“I led everyone on my side of the family to believe I wouldn’t of done this because I did not want them to know…” the letter reads. “I had been thinking about doing this for months.”

 In other words, the guy was deceitful, deceiving even his own family.  However, the mother of his son, who apparently knew him more “intimately” saw the danger, and tried to stop it.  She tried with the usual tools that women in this position are given:  Seek a restraining order.

She didn’t even GET one, because there had been no prior criminal record..  Therefore, he could not have possibly been a danger.  Sure…

The post may help San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Homicide investigators piece together what led to the Sunday morning tragedy, when Garcia took his infant son during a court-ordered visitation, drove to a dirt road in Twin Peaks and ended both of their lives.
In the letter posted to his Facebook profile, Garcia claimed the deaths were an attempt to save his son from a difficult life — and to punish the baby’s mother, Katie Tagle, for refusing to come back to him.
“Our deaths are a lot for her,” the post continues. “It will have to suffice as her punishment. But that is not the reason I did it. It was the only way we could be happy without Katie. I did this out of love for our son, to protect him and myself.”
Saved letters, text messages and massive files containing e-mails and other correspondence give a glimpse into Garcia’s obsession, cursing Tagle and her family in some posts and asking her to return to him in others.
Court documents tell more of the story, with Tagle filing a request for a domestic violence restraining order on Dec. 11, 2009. On Jan. 12 that order was denied, as it was found Garcia was not a “threat to petitioner or the minor child.”
A search of his criminal record showed no history of domestic violence, battery or similar offenses in San Bernardino County. However, in one of a slew of other online letters attributed to Garcia, it states, “I’m sorry for hurting you. I’m sorry for hitting you. I’m sorry I made the wrong choices.”
On Jan. 17, shortly after the final visit with Judge David Mazurek, Garcia joined a Facebook group called “Organ Donor.”
In the days leading up to the murder-suicide, Garcia posted a half-dozen videos and dozens of photos of Wyatt with cryptic captions such as, “Please, it’s not too late.”
On his MySpace page, his mood over the last week was listed as “tested,” “bummed” and “scared,” with “one more day :(” his final post.
Hours before officials got a call Saturday night that Wyatt was missing and Garcia had threatened to kill him, he made his final online post: “We love you all.”
The suicide note was posted on Garcia’s Facebook profile Sunday, about eight hours after Hesperia Sheriff’s deputies found the bodies in Garcia’s car. It appears Garcia left directions for someone to post the letter and make it public for everyone to see.
The lengthy post also reads as a will, with directions for how to distribute his possessions and personal notes to family members and friends. It also states that Garcia left a signed letter in his truck, confessing to the killings and explaining why he did them.
Though Garcia mentions using a gun, investigators have not released information on how he killed Wyatt and himself, stating only that they both died from “traumatic injuries.”
Anyone who may have information about this case is asked to call Detective Ryan Ford or Sgt. Frank Montanez at the Sheriff’s Homicide Detail at (909) 387-3589 or call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.

Brooke Edwards and Natasha Lindstrom contributed to this report.

Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.

Here’s the SFGate Report on this:

SoCal man mentioned son’s killing on Facebook

 Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(02-02) 09:04 PST HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) —

 A newspaper says a San Bernardino County man who killed his 9-month-old son and himself left a Facebook message saying he did it out of love.Sheriff’s officials say 25-year-old Stephen Garcia of Pinon Hills was on a court-ordered visit with his son Sunday when he drove to a dirt road in Twin Peaks, killed the boy and committed suicide.

The Daily Press in Victorville says Garcia left a message on his Facebook profile about eight hours after his body was found. The note, apparently posted on his behalf by someone else, says Garcia had been thinking of the crime for months and wanted to punish the baby’s mother for leaving him.

Garcia says the deaths are the only way he and his son can be happy without her and says he did it out of love to protect the boy.

Information from: Daily Press, www.vvdailypress.com (the first article, above).

He did it for “love.”  Some kind of love….

Here’s a fellow-blogger’s reaction. 


And a site worth spending time on. . . . 

See the heartbreaking MySpace page that belongs to the father and the bizzare RIP on it.
Judge J. David Mazurek needs to held accountable on this, and charged as an accomplice in this murder.  This needs to happen to every judge that allows abusers to take children, and then hurt or murder them.  Maybe then judges will start taking domestic violence seriously.  Thanks to the father’s rights advocates and their “false allegations” drivel, they have turned America’s judges into a bunch of pussies who absolutely have no clue.  Just get the child to the father….doesn’t matter if he is violent or not.  It is time to stop listening to the mantra from these groups and start taking these violent guys seriously, and start putting judges in prison that don’t.

We Moms are NOT de-sensitized to this insane callousness to who lives, or who’s going to die.  But if a Mom goes to jail in protest, what good is that to her children?  If she doesn’t go, then the risk goes to the children.  And/or her, and/or innocent bystanders, in some cases.

THIS overentitled, disillusioned, and unable to have a vital purpose in life other than punishing the mother of his child (how perverted is THAT?) was only 25.  Bet he attended a public school system, possibly in this great state.  Did he do college too?  If so, to what point?  Whether or not, there is clearly an attitude problem, a spiritual problem, and a moral problem.  I don’t think the millions upon millions (literally) going to the California Healthy Marriage Coalition are going to stop troubles this entrenched.  This guy was narcissistic, period.  And to a point, he was a product of a system that encourages — and does not DIScourage — this.  It’s a system where women have to fight uphill to get away from ground zero in their own lives.

I wonder how well we (well, people) are also reading characters before having babies.  Makes you think, right?

BUT: Apparently the courts are, and clearly the judges are callous.  Or, they are bound by the requirement to keep an ongoing stream of unwilling clients to their cronies.  Excuse me, colleagues

Well, no, I don’t think the judges are not clueless, and they are not pussies, I believe.  They just don’t care!  Why?  What’s at stake if they do? . . . .   An entire system.

A bribe perverts justice.   I’m not accusing this particular judge of taking a bribe, but the court docket below tells clearly that they passed the buck to family court because there were custody and visitation orders.  That’s how it goes. 

And family court was SET UP from the start, at least per some sites (CANOW.org family law page, NAFCJ.net, and some others) to be abuser-friendly, and father-friendly (despite allegations to the contrary). 

It was just business as usual.  And if you want “business as usual” to change, friends, you have to change who is paying for the “business as usual,” and in the bottom line, this is the taxpayers.   The Dept. of HHS in combo with some DOJ (Office of Violence Against Women) sources are conferencing together, educating together, declaring together, but the ONE thing they are NOT doing is confronting t he mandated mediation or custody evaluation where there’s conflict.  And that “required outcome” model of the court process.

The judge is not going to be charged as an accomplice to murder.  With luck, and persistence, he MIGHT be held accountable if this becomes a pattern.  The people most highly motivated to do this are probably already victims of the court system, and are still in the process of trying to stay housed, alive, and their kids alive also. 

However, what we MIGHT do for the next batch of innocent young mothers who show up thinking that family court is something you can walk into, and then also walk OUT of with a restraining order, is warn them


HERE’s the Docket:

12/11/2009  – She requests ex parte DV restraining order. 

12/15/2009 8:29 AM DEPT. M3 EX-PARTE MOTION RE: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Minutes Pre-D Complete



WOW, lots of “Tagles” in this jurisdiction.  This appears to be Katie Tagle in a previous relationship, or another Katie Tagle.  In this one, she was charged with domestic violence.

Either way, the KNEE-JERK reaction of the court is to:

1.  Consolidate with a family law (dissolution, I guess case).

2.  Make a really STUPID order as to where violence has been alleged.  THIS one has a daughter, “Dakota” and they are to alternate every other DAY, and — of course — go to mediation, or else. 

Here:  2007 DOCKET, different couple (or at least, father)….

Action:   (Choose)04/04/2007 – EX-PARTE HEARING RE:TEMPORAR…04/03/2007 – EX-PARTE HEARING RE:TEMPORAR…
04/03/2007 – 8:29 AM DEPT. M2


 {{NOTE:  THis “consolidation” is where the issue of the DV gets basically lost, and is intentional.  It happened to me.  …  This consolidation action violates due process for at least one of the parties, but is routine…}}HEARINGS: 
OF THE COURT.   THINK:  IF violence truly occurred, the Court just buried discussion of it, and made SURE that the child IS going to be in the full, unmonitored (not that I’m thinking monitoring makes a difference) custody of the abusive parent.    
THE PARTIES ARE ORDERED TO REPORT ON 04/11/07, AT 08:00 TO FAMILY COURT SERVICES AND TO COOPERATE FULLY WITH THE FAMILY COURT SERVICES COUNSELORS DURING ALL STAGES OF THE MEDIATION/EVALUATION   {{Do you GET this yet?  The racket is going through mediation and evaluation and counseling.  Yes, I said “racket.”  See “Access/Visitation funding” which was thinly veiled way to get more fathers (although it says “noncustodial PARENTS, in practice, and even the language frequently slips into saying, FATHERS) more time with their children.  I have blogged on this earlier..} 
04/09/07 AT 3PM.  

It might be that she filed for divorce, and he quickly filed for DV.  I don’t know without further research.

Here’s the minutes of the order, the next day.  As you can see, the court called the DV “mutual combat” (Sure, right….) and ordered them to a “Strengthening Families Class.”

Here it is.  We are talking, now 2 YEARS (almost) before another infant son died:

04/04/2007 – 8:29 AM DEPT. M3




There are “Strengthening Families” programs across the nation.  A search found one from San Bernadino, UTAH (not this case, obviously), but this is probably typical of how it’s organized and got started:

(see original link, above for visuals.  This is, naturally, an “Evidence-based” practice.  The evidence in the Tagle case, out of San Bernadino, CAL is still that something ain’t getting that job done.  ….  No matter, the court-ordered parenting classes continue…)

The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a parenting and family skills training program that consists of 14 consecutive weekly skill-building sessions. Parents and children work separately in training sessions and then participate together in a session practicing the skills they learned earlier. Two booster sessions are used at 6 months to 1 year after the primary course. Children’s skills training sessions concentrate on setting goals, dealing with stress and emotions, communication skills, responsible behavior, and how to deal with peer pressure. Topics in the parental section include setting rules, nurturing, monitoring compliance, and applying appropriate discipline.

SFP was developed and tested in 1983 with 6- to 12-year-old children of parents in substance abuse treatment. Since then, culturally modified versions and age-adapted versions (for 3- to 5-, 10- to 14-, and 13- to 17-year-olds) with new manuals have been evaluated and found effective for families with diverse backgrounds: African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, American Indian, Australian, and Canadian.


Goal / Mission The goals of this program are to improve parenting skills and children’s behaviors and decrease conduct disorders; to improve children’s social competencies; and to improve family attachment, harmony, communication, and organization.
Results / Accomplishments SFP has been evaluated at least 18 times on Federal grants and at least 150 times on State grants by independent evaluators. {{I question HOW independent…}}The original National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) study involved a true pretest, posttest, and follow-up experimental design with random assignment of families to one of four experimental groups: 1) parent training only, 2) parent training plus children’s skills training, 3) the complete SFP including the family component, and 4) no treatment besides substance abuse treatment for parents.

SFP was then culturally adapted and evaluated with five Center for Substance Abuse Prevention High-Risk Youth Program grants by independent evaluators using statistical control group designs that involved quasi-experimental, pretest, posttest, and 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month follow-ups. Recently, SFP was compared with a popular school-based aggression prevention program (I Can Problem Solve) and found highly effective (effect sizes = .45 to 1.38), employing a true experimental pretest–posttest, 12-month, and 24-month follow-up design in two Utah school districts. A NIDA four-group randomized clinical trial with about 800 primarily African-American families in the Washington, DC, area also found good results.

Categories Social Environment / Family Structure
Social Environment / Children’s Social Environment

WHICH (to me) JUST GOES TO PROVE, THERE’S NO “FREE” LUNCH.  YOU GO TO A NONPROFIT (POSSIBLY FUNDED B Y THE US GOV’T OR A STATE, OR BOTH) OR THE GOV’T (VIA AN AGENCY) FOR HELP — OR FOR THAT MATTER, ENROLL A CHILD IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL FOR EDUCATION– AND YOUR CHILDREN, AND PROBABLY YOU, will, (read my lips), will BE “AT RISK” of becoming the subject of a demonstration, or randomized trial of some behavioral management theory. 

in this case, Ms. Tagle went to a judge seeking protection for her (new) infant son, and lost.  Again, I do not know that this is the same Tagle.  Possibly, possibly not.  Different man, though.  Last names not changed.  Was this a rebound relationship?


Oh yes, the 2009 docket, in reverse chronologic order.  No dissolution in this one:

    Viewed Date Action Text Disposition Image
    01/26/2010 FEE PAYMENT Not Applicable
    01/26/2010 FEE PAYMENT Not Applicable
    01/12/2010 9:00 AM DEPT. M3 OSC RE: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FILED BY KATIE TAGLE – Minutes Pre-D Complete
    01/08/2010 DECLARATION OF KATIE M TAGLE FILED Not Applicable
    12/15/2009 8:29 AM DEPT. M3 EX-PARTE MOTION RE: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Minutes Pre-D Complete


Action:   (Choose)02/01/2010 – ORDER FOR TRANSCRIPT02/01/2010 – ORDER FOR TRANSCRIPT01/26/2010 – FEE PAYMENT01/26/2010 – FEE PAYMENT01/12/2010 – OSC RE: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FI…12/15/2009 – EX-PARTE MOTION RE: DOMESTIC…
12/15/2009 – 8:29 AM DEPT. M3




For those unfamiliar with the process, let me narrate:

  • She asks for ex parte protection (12/11/09) which starts a process, and gives the respondent time to go get an attorney, which he does.  The request for protection stands, it’s just not ex parte — a requirement which is for safety purposes, because of potential for retaliation.
  • 12/15/09 the OSC for EX PARTE (immediate, without telling the other party) protection is apparently denied and the request for protection is continued to 01/11/10.  NOTE:  Christmas seasons, holiday seasons, can be very dangerous for the parties when there’s been a breakup; as it highlights “family” and a family is breaking apart…
  • On 01/05/10 the man, who by now has an attorney (WONDER WHO PAID FOR HIM…  ACCESS / Vistation FUNDING?), Mr. Lund, and files an answer.
  • The parties exchange income and expense reports (if family law is going to make some money off this, it’s important to know which side has the money…. If not, they’ll be sent quickly through mediation, not evaluations….).
  • On 01/07-08/10 the woman files and serves (by mail) a supplemental declaration to the man’s attorney, properly (Proof of service).
  • On 01/11/10, the man’s attorney QUITS.  (not enough money in it for him?  Or, the case has already been, basically, decided).
  • On 01/12/10, the OCS for a normal domestic violence protection order occurs, as follows:

01/12/2010 – 9:00 AM DEPT. M3

  • This (civil, I presume) venue tosses the ball back to the FAMILY law venue, and reminds them to be good little girls and boys, and go to Family Court Services.
  • 01/26/2010 (LAST week, folks), something regarding fees is filed.
  • 01/30/2010 — Father kills son on court-ordered visitation, and then himself.  (NOT ON DOCKET).
  • 01/31/2010 — Sheriff’s Dept. reports to press (see top of post):

01-31, 18:38 PST HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) —

Authorities in San Bernardino County say a 25-year-old father and his 9-month-old son have died in what investigators believe is a murder-suicide.  A sheriff’s news release says deputies found Stephen Garcia and son Wyatt Garcia dead in a vehicle on a rural dirt road in the Twin Peaks area early Sunday.
The release says the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station had received a report Saturday night that Garcia took his son during a court-ordered visitation and threatened to kill the child and himself.  The department did not say how the pair died, only that they “sustained traumatic injuries.”  The county coroner will conduct an autopsy on both father and son this week.
Stephen Garcia was from the Pinon (pin-YONE) Hills area and his son was from Yucca Valley.

  • 02/01/2010 Someone requests a Court Transcript.

I had not meant to spend so long on this case, After all, EVERY WEEK, even in my own Golden State, it seems someone ground up by this system, dies.  If not a child also.  I can’t keep up.

But it does illustrate the futility of (I think– make your own decision, and this is NOT legal advice) seeking a civil restraining order, versus criminal, versus, better yet, some kind of safety plan.  Then again, for women with kids leaving abuse in the family law, there does not appear to be any safety.  Congressmen (Danny Davis was active in a case) will help fathers haul kids back from overseas (China, Brazil, come to mind recently), but good luck getting yours back from your own state, or a next door state.  

And again, a word to the wse — not that it’s an excuse — but cool it on the rebound relationships, if this was one.

AND — whoever posted on Facebook, and whoever SAW what was posted on facebook (i.e., a cry to have his threats taken seriously, as they should’ve been), YOU are responsible if you knew this couple, and did nothing.  Sorry, but you are. 

AND all of us need to get on the stick about this family law system.  The AFCC and all their experts that PROFIT from these situations leading to, basically, more deaths, is convening in February — this month.  Do research, people!  It’s not rocket science, just an investment of time!

I think that if marriage, and relationships are continuing to be this dangerous to have, and leave, it is a testament to the strength of testosterone (and other hormones) that people continue to engage in sex, let alone ongoing relationships.  Good grief!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A task force or a committee is not going to stop this stuff.  A good audit, ongoing, by someone with courage (and other source of income) MIGHT make a dent….

Wish I had time to say more, but I don’t.


Women at War.. They fight, bleed, save lives, sometimes lose their own, get raped & assaulted (incl. by their own), have PTSD, and get misdiagnosed. Sound like DV yet?

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This is so well written, NYT page A-1 and then 2-page spread with diagrams on pages 20-21, and I felt sensitively also, it almost feels wrong to pick a part to quote.  . . . . I’m posting it because, face  it, women can be tough, and they {{oops, “we”}} often do jobs outside their job description — alongside men.  [[They raise Presidents…]]

They also suffer post-traumatic stress like men (a related issue to ours here, obviously), and obviously they bleed too, and die.  And save lives.

G.I. Jane Stealthily Breaks the Combat Barrier
August 16, 2009

New York Times

by Lizette Alvarez

Regarding Iraq:

We literally could not have fought this war without women” said Dr. Nagl, who is now president of the Center for a New American Security, a military research institution in Washington.

Of the two million Americans who have fought in these wars since 23001, more than 200,000 of them, or 11 percent, have been women.

Like men, some women have come home bearing the mental and physical scars of boms and bullets, loss and killing.  Women who are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars, appear to suffer rates of post-traumatic stress disorder comparable to those of men, a recent study showed. . . . . . . .

More than anything, it is seeing women under fire that has changed attitudes.


Other things that women at war do is sometimes get pregnant, and sent home.  THAT’s changing the face of things.  They also get raped, sometimes by their fellow-soldiers.  (I personally know of two women vets who experienced this).

This quiet change has not come seamlessly — and it has altered military culture on the battlefield in ways large and small. Women need separate bunks and bathrooms.

 They face sexual discrimination and rape, and counselors and rape kits are now common in war zones. Commanders also confront a new reality: that soldiers have sex, and some will be evacuated because they are pregnant.

Nonetheless, as soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, women have done nearly as much in battle as their male counterparts: patrolled streets with machine guns, served as gunners on vehicles, disposed of explosives, and driven trucks down bomb-ridden roads. They have proved indispensable in their ability to interact with and search Iraqi and Afghan women for weapons, a job men cannot do for cultural reasons. The Marine Corps has created revolving units — “lionesses” — dedicated to just this task.

A small number of women have even conducted raids, engaging the enemy directly in total disregard of existing policies.


AND, second, THIS article,

Women’s scars of War.”

Female veterans face heightened problems upon return home.

By Jessica Yadegaran, Bay Area News Group…

Well, it won’t load today.  But search that title, January 17, 2010.

When Retired Army Staff Sgt. June Moss returned from Iraq, she had to explain to her children why she coudln’t hug them.  Anty embrace longer than two seconds made her skin feel like it was on fire.  . . . .

Moss, then 32, was misdiagnosed with anxiety and depression.  She suffered for years until a doctor finally told her she had post-traumatic stress disorder, a common reaction to military combat.  Moss says that had she been a man, the diagnosis might have been swifter. 

“They probably thought, “Oh, you’re a woman.  You must have depression.”


When imagining a struggling war veteran, it’s likely few people picture a young woman such as Moss, who was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. But women make up 15 percent of active-duty military members, and the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that by the end of 2020, women will represent 10 percent of the nation’s veteran population.

And though military and congressional policy says women can’t participate in direct ground combat, women carry guns, and use them. They drive Humvees hit by improvised explosive devices. They interrogate, and witness bloodshed. But for women, there is a major difference. They come home to a society that for the most part doesn’t understand — or accept — that they’re serving in the line of fire.

As a result, the feelings of isolation can be even more overwhelming, especially since a woman is often one of few in her unit, says Natara Garovoy, program director of the Women’s Prevention, Outreach and Education Center for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

Fear of assault

Complicating matters, some female soldiers live in fear of being attacked by one of their own. In 2008, the VA reported that one in five women screened for military sexual trauma had been sexually harassed or assaulted by a fellow soldier.

WHERE is the safe place, at this point?  We’re talking, daily life…  This indeed does start to sound like domestic violence at home, for civilians…

Moss did little alone, whether it was burning confidential papers or taking out the trash. But she still feared for her safety, especially at night. “You already feared for your life,” Moss says, “but the thought of a soldier attacking another soldier?”

The mother of two spent eight months in 2003 as a light-wheel vehicle mechanic with the Third Infantry Division. As she drove through bustling marketplaces, often under aerial or ground fire, she clutched the steering wheel, scanning for suicide bombers. To get through those drives, she prayed.

“I was calling to God really heavily,” Moss says. “I was scared for my life every day, not knowing if I was going to come home to my children and what loss they would have to bear. So I just had to have my wits about me and believe in my training.

Back at the base, Moss struggled with her identity. She was a soldier, wife to a soldier (her now ex-husband, who was also in the Army), her family’s primary caregiver and a mechanic. Still, she tried to blend in, especially since she was the only woman in her unit. She cut her hair short. She wore boxer shorts and big T-shirts to hide her figure. She tried to be overly tough and stand up for herself, she says, particularly when male soldiers made off-color remarks or unwanted gestures.

“You just have to know when to say, ‘Stop. I don’t appreciate that,’ ” Moss says.

Reconciling identity is among the biggest issues Tia Christopher sees in her work with female veterans. As the women veterans coordinator for Swords to Plowshares’ Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Project, Christopher helps homeless and low-income women obtain medical care, housing and job training upon returning from war.

“So many of my female clients who were in Iraq put up with things, even injuries, because they don’t want to be that girl (who complains),” she says. “They soldier on and silently bear that burden. But you can lose a certain amount of your femininity.”


Friends, visitors — without diminishing what these women are doing, their guts, and their issues, I have to say there are some parallels in quality (if not degree?) with leaving abuse, and then going into a court system which requires the feminine submissive pose “or else” at some level; you just can’t get along….      

OR, having PTSD from BOTH the former violence, the risk to one’s kids (specially after custody switch and bait) and THEN being stuck in front of people who don’t understand you really ARE in the line of fire, and characterized, in print, according to a standard that doesn’t take into account one’s need to keep children and self alive.

I certainly can identify with swiftly changing identity. . I reFUSE to let others identify me, as much as possible, and I try not to settle into a routine persona, either, left over from former days. 

Add to this, sometimes:  Often it’s an entire career or lifestyle change as well. . . . Talk about multi-tasking!!  Domestic violence alone can lead to homelessness and death, IN it, or LEAVING it, and is a prime cause of poverty (this has been studied).  If not, the years in the family law system will help that along some….

And yet, consider:  Almost the entirety of the family law system is just that:  characterization of the parties, and their kids, and the interrelationships– particularly psychological.  That’s what it’s about.  NOT “saving lives,” but Designing Families.  (And, lining some pocketbooks, I still assert, of those who do the labeling, and decide who’s naughty & who’s nice…   for a price…)

The tactics used on women in abuse, and in POW situations have been compared, and have similarities.  And similar effects too.  You do not come out the same.  Stronger, with time, let’s hope, but NOT the same.

And it’s not a paying job, either, leaving abuse….

See also “Legal Abuse Syndrome” (Karen Huffer) who has studied this impact of the family law system on our psyches. . . .   And self-appointedfool.org.

Also see:  http://www.womenofthemilitary.com/ (I haven’t yet, but:

Kate Hoit, a female soldier, comes home from Iraq, discovers that America has a distorted view of women in the military, and makes a documentary to tell the truth of what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s military.  


Well, I think those are two good articles (& one documentary, I’m sure), and well worth a read

The NYT, I hear, is going to start charging for access to the on-line site, so better sooner than later.


A man shot a woman in the head (another day, another “dispute,” another death)

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Marlon King, 45, told his acquaintances that he was going to kill himself and the woman, said Officer Jeff Thomason, a police spokesman.
On Friday afternoon, a resident on the 2500 block of 67th Avenue in East Oakland, near the Eastmont Mall, got a text message from a neighbor in a nearby house that “a suicide was imminent” there, Thomason said.

Upon arriving at the house at 2:49 p.m., officers found King critically wounded and a 46-year-old woman dead. The Alameda County coroner identified her as Aprile Moore of Oakland.
Thomason said he did not have specifics on whether King was unemployed.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/23/BAE11BML80.DTL#ixzz0dTeS8RKY
> > >

  • Man informed relatives, friends of intended murder-suicide
    By Harry Harris
    Oakland Tribune
    Posted: 01/23/2010 09:23:24 AM PST
    Updated: 01/23/2010 09:33:21 AM PST

OAKLAND — A man who fatally shot his girlfriend Friday afternoon then wounded himself was upset over losing his job earlier in the day and had called and texted friends and relatives about his intended actions, police said Saturday.

Police identified the dead woman as Aprile Moore, 46. In critical condition Saturday morning with a gunshot to the head was Marlon King, 45, who police said had been involved in a relationship with Moore at least three years.

{{WHY does this not read, “about three years” or “only three years”?  That’s a very short time to already have a domestic violence record with calls to police…}}Police said they were told King was separated from his wife.

{{Was the fact that he was violent towards his new girlfriend a “casual” or a “causal” factor in why he separated?  Does losing his wife give him the right to assault a new romance?  Did she get tired of his abuse, so he moved on?  We don’t know, do we….  Were there kids??}}

The shootings happened about 2:29 p.m. Friday at a house where King and Moore lived at in the 2500 block of 67th Avenue.
Sgt. Mike Gantt said King was depressed about losing his warehouse job at a Hayward company earlier Friday. It was not confirmed if he was fired or laid off.

{{Lose a job, shoot a woman??}}

Gantt said King had called and texted relatives and friends that he was planning to kill himself and possibly harm others.

{{So much for “relatives and friends,” including their ability to prevent DV homicide, know how to save a woman, convince her to flee, or what not.  It sounds to me like women have to get smarter somehow, and more discriminating about their men..}}But before police were summoned to the house Gantt said King fatally shot Moore in a bedroom before turning the gun on himself. Moore was pronounced dead at the scene.

{{Police cannot be everywhere, and it should be understood that they can’t always get somewhere in time.}}

Police also said the Moore and King had a history of domestic problems and that officers had been at the house several times in the past.\


My Commentary:

**According to this account, Moore appears to have been a girlfriend he moved in with (or vice versa) in the process of leaving a former wife.  I wonder why his last wife was a “former” wife. …  His new, non-marital relationship had “domestic problems” ***  2nd (ff). WOMEN, WAKE UP!! 

{{I can’t speak for 2010, but I can speak for the 1990s.  Officers didn’t give me domestic violence literature, recommend I press charges, tell me I had anyRIGHT to press charges, or offer to take the man who’d just been assaulting me out of the house. Therefore, the assaults continued until I struggled my way to a nonprofit (I think) agency that told me how to file a CIVIL restraining order with kickout, which was not respected in court.  We were then funneled right to mediation, and the local friendly mediator promptly — VERY promptly — virtually undid said restraining order. . . . PERHAPS there was a better route to safety for all of us? Yet no pastor, friend, or relative was any smarter in the 1990s than they appear to be still, locally, in the 2000s. 

I guess women are just going to have to develop some smarts themselves, including being a LOT more careful about a man that has an ex-wife…  Sorry guys, but it makes sense to me… Perhaps they are just using you for (whatever is involved in a relationship}}

MORE on this incident:

OAKLAND, Calif. — An Oakland man who allegedly shot and killed a woman before turning the gun on himself is in critical condition Friday night, a police spokesman said.

Oakland police went to a home in the 2500 block of 67th Avenue at about 2:50 p.m. to conduct a welfare check after being called by a concerned neighbor, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. The neighbor had received a text message from one of the home’s occupants, saying a “suicide was imminent,” Thomason said.

{{a man of his word, at least…}}

Officers found Marlon King, 45, and a 46-year-old woman both suffering gunshot wounds in a bedroom. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene and King was listed in critical condition at a local hospital, Thomason said.
Homicide investigators believed King shot and killed the woman before turning the gun on himself, according to Thomason, who said King had been depressed about his employment status. King had allegedly notified friends and family of his intentions to take his own life as well as that of the female victim, Thomason said.
He did not immediately release the relationship between King and the victim.
Anyone with information regarding the case was encouraged to call Oakland police homicide detectives at (510) 238-3821.


{{note:  I am not going to take valuable internet time to straighten out these links:  a similar google on your part might call up similar results).

yet more of the same thing:
Woman dead, man in hospital after apparent murder/suicide attempt …

A woman is dead and a man is in a Toronto hospital after an apparent murder, then a suicide attempt yesterday afternoon. No names have been.
www.midlandfreepress.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e… – 3 hours ago – Cached

Man, woman dead in murder-suicide | ajc.com
Jan 4, 2010 … Two people are dead after an apparent murder-suicide Sunday night in southwest Atlanta. The incident began about 9:30 p.
www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/man-woman-dead-in-266343.html – Cached

KYW Newsradio 1060 Philadelphia – Woman Hospitalized After …
Jan 23, 2010 … Woman Hospitalized After Domestic Murder-Suicide Attempt. by KYW’s Al Novack. One person is dead and a second person is clinging to life …
www.kyw1060.com/…Woman…Murder-Suicide…/6180532 – 7 hours ago – Cached
Geary man dead, wife wounded in murder-suicide attempt | NewsOK.com
Jan 18, 2010 … GEARY — A Geary woman is in the hospital and her husband is dead in what investigators are calling a murder-suicide attempt.
newsok.com/geary…dead…murder-suicide-attempt/…/3432906?… – Cached

Man and Woman Dead From Murder-Suicide at 7-11

Identified Created by Kimberlee Sakamoto on 1/4/2010 7:26:00 AM …



Circular Reasoning – 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (with your kids)

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A Quick Post (not mine, except intro & comments)

summarizing the situation fairly well:


On reading this post, pretty accurate, I thought of “50 ways to leave your lover,” by (if you don’t know this, you probably were born after the VAWA act passed the first time) Simon & Garfunkel.

Which I’d like to rededicate to women attempting to do so, once they realize what “love” is and is not.  Switch the gender, the song applies; and act on it sooner, rather than later.  I guess — pray, carry Mace, and suggest you also enroll in law school ASAP, you’ll need it

she said it’s really not my habit to intrude
furtermore i hope my meaning won’t be lost or misconstrued
but i’ll repeat my self, at the risk of being crude
there must be 50 ways to leave your lover

just slip out the back, Jack
make a new plan, Stan
don’t need to be coy, Roy
just get yourself free
hop on the bus, Gus
don’t need to discuss much
just drop off the key, Lee
and get yourself free.

she said it grieves me so to see you in such pain
i wish there was something i could do to make you smile again
i said, i appreciate that,
and would you please explain about the 50 ways.

she said, why don’t we both just sleep on it tonight
and i believe that in the morning you’ll begin to see the light
and then she kissed me and i realized she probably was right
there must be 50 ways to leave your lover
50 ways to leave your lover…


If children are involved, realize that Big Brother has a different plan for them, and you, as well.  See below:

[[my comments in brackets, otherwise it’s quote.  Quote ends at the line of ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]’s..]]

Note: Cross posted from Battered Mothers Rights – A Human Rights Issue.


Randi James is a brilliant writer- her site is replete with information from the top to bottom -thx you Randi James!   http://www.randijames.com/

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The System Sends Mixed Messages to Abuse Victims

Do you stay, or do you leave?

If you haven’t been a victim of abuse, or a victim of the legal system, you may not be able to understand why this is even posed as a question.

Of course you should leave!

I mean, who deserves to get beat up and/or sexually assaulted in their own home…regularly…or even occasionally. Even as careful as you could try to be to make sure everything is perfect, so as not to anger your abuser, SOMETHING always sets him off…sooner or later. He is a time bomb. You are his target.

What does it mean to be a target?

When you are a target, all of your abuser’s anger is directed toward you, specifically. Typically, he doesn’t pull the same shit towards those who he considers his equals, or more powerful than he. This is about power. He needs you like capitalism needs slaves. He uses you so that he can feel better about his shortcomings. He doesn’t know how to feel good without you.

But he is a good father. He doesn’t beat the kids.

You’re right. Good fathers don’t beat their kids…But nor do they beat up on women to whom they are temporarily, or permanently committed. Getting beat in front of your children doesn’t exactly send the kids a good message. In fact, they are put in limbo because your kids will either

A) Side with your abuser because he is more powerful and gets what he wants, or

B) Side with you in attempt to protect you…But let me break that down a little more

1) In protecting you, your children become targets, and the moment will come when they take blows for you

2) In choosing to side with you or not, your children will mimic the behaviors they have seen and normalize them.

Is this what you want?

I hope not because if some outsider reports what is going on in your household, CPS will come knocking and your kids may be gone before you ever get a chance to ask questions. You will be charged with neglect, endangering your children, or failure to protect.


Because everyone on the outside thinks you should have just left. You are themother. If you didn’t leave, you must be an accessory to the abuse.

What mother allows her children to get abused?

And what mother lets her children watch as she gets abused?

You must be a bad mother. You don’t deserve to have children. If you’re lucky, maybe your relatives will do you a favor and step in and raise your children for you. If not, foster care will do a great job…because it is indeed a job when they are getting paid.

Maybe you have a chance though, if you would just leave.

That seems like the best idea. Leave.


Are you going to tell your abuser in advance, or are you going to sneak out in the middle of the night?

Remember, he needs you…is he going to agree to all of this?

Who the fuck do you think you are leaving him, and taking his children?

He owns you. He’s paying the bills. He’s the reason you can stay home and take care of his children.

[[Comment:  Not all the time.  Wasn’t true in my case…  Many times they are financially dependent on you as well…]]

If you go, you have reason to be fearful. Get a lawyer and a restraining order. But, back up a little. The lawyer says, if you take out a restraining order, in the near future, the judge in family court could use it against you. He (the judge and your abuser) may say this was part of your vindictive scheme to get the kids and the money and the house and the car. Restraining orders don’t prevent you from being harmed though anyway, because you still have to rely on law enforcement to act.

Get the restraining order anyway.

You’ll have record of what you tried to do, in case the news opts to report it upon your “tragic” death. But you can’t put the kids on the restraining order…Silly woman! You know fathers have rights!

In fact they have so many rights that if your abuser happens to get locked up, Responsible Fatherhood money will ensure that he has the means to transition back into his caretaking, father-role (don’t roll your eyes, we know you were doing the caretaking, but you’re not important and this is politics).

Go ahead and report the entire history of abuse.

You do have pictures, right? You mean to tell me in all these years that you have been getting assaulted, you weren’t taking pictures of your injuries and saving them in a secret location?

Did you at least tell the doctor? Is there anything in your medical record?

Where are your vaginal tears, bruises, scars?

In talking to police without evidence (or with it), your case will seem suspicious. It will be your word, against your abuser’s. Your local DA will be hesitant to take the case…well, hesitant is an overstatement because he may not even acknowledge you. DA’s only take cases they can win. DA’s aren’t interested in intrafamilial abuse reports in the midst of divorce

[[No matter what the local DA’s office website declares, it’s often true.]]

You have bad timing. You should have reported this before you were trying to separate. Oh, whoops, I forgot, they would have charged you, too!

Maybe you can work things out peacefully without involving the court.

[[Yeah, that’s the general philosophy behind sending such cases, involving kids, to mediation…  Just “work it out.”]]

When was the last time you worked things out “peacefully” with an abuser?

In good conscience, you allow your abuser to continue to have a relationship with the children he didn’t abuse, well, directly abuse (or at least you think so). I don’t know if you are really doing him a favor, or rather doing as the court would order you to do so, because you do know that the court will order you to do it, right (askMs. Leichtenberg and also ask the Paul family…family, because Monica Paul happens to be deceased)? Father’s rights.

I know, I know. Yes, you have been abused, but now, yes, yes, you will be court ordered to continue to have a relationship with your abuser because kids deserve both parents. If you try to resist, they will call in the child custody evaluators and Guardians ad Litem and they will say things you would never imagine…because you ARE crazy, aren’t you?

What mother would keep a father away from his children?

[[I didn’t, because doing so would’ve been to violate a standing custody order, ordering visitation.  Consequence?  I lost contact  with my kids.  To this date!  He continued to violate without impunity thereafter.]]

You know your abuser best.  

[[Yeah, right.  Everyone knows that only the ‘experts’ know what they’re talking about when it comes to abuse.  ‘Experts” prefer to talk with each other in their language, out of the earshot of the traumatized folk.  It’s cleaner and less personally disturbing/challenging.   People suffering PTSD often skip around in chronology, speak or write associatively, and can ge derailed on particularly frightening topics.  It takes a lot to overcome that. . . . . . . So, in one sense, this is understandable, because after long enough living with “lethality assessments” and threats, after actual physical assualts and the very high stakes of child custody, plus retaliation for reporting, some women can sound more garbled than they really are.  In reality to even stay alive, or emotionally somewhat intact, through significant abuse, esp. years of it, takes keeping track of more things that the average middle manager can, I’d be, in a rapidly changing economy.  We have literal lives at stake, let alone livelihoods.  Let alone the normal multi-tasking that often goes with being a mother, let alone a working mother with small kids who are growing up watching your abuse.  We also are highly motivated to stay alive, knowing that if we don’t who is likely to get custody of our offspring — either the abuser, or someone who enabled it, such as a close, nonreporting, non-intervening relative.  Or CPS, for which money changes hands…]] 

You know that when he makes threats, he can carry them through. You know if you don’t meet his demands, you and your children will suffer. But if you try to protect yourself and the children, you risk losing custody to your abuser. And why would you want to put your kids in that situation? They don’t want to live with him and if they do live with him, you already know how their lives will turn out. They will be like lost souls.

Sacrifice yourself…like Jesus Christ. Maybe you were put on earth to suffer for the sins of others.

You were supposed to be omniscient–to know that this man you chose would end up being an abuser.

You were supposed to be omnipresentto know that this man would abuse your children while you were away at work, or school, or while he was away with the kids.

You were supposed to be omnipotent–to protect yourself and your children and to be able to hide and simultaneously remain visible, and to be able to leave your abuser, but let him remain in your life.

How do you want to die?

[[Seems to me I blogged on this long ago — title about unacceptable choices for women.]]

What do you want the news to say about you when you are murdered?

That you were nice? No, they won’t say that! The neighbors and other members of the community will say how nice your abuser was. He was a family man. He played with the kids in the yard.

Everyone will be so shocked and sad that this happened. No one knew that you and your children were getting your asses kicked on a regular.

Your family may’ve thought you were crazy, or a bad mom, so they may’ve distanced themselves from you a long time ago. In fact, they may have ADORED your abuser.

Your children’s friends will not come forward. They are children–either they won’t tell anyway, or their parents won’t let them.

You know who else might know? The teachers. But teachers are so busy disciplining and teaching to the test…and besides, it’s too late for them to come forward now.

You see what you get for pretending and ignoring and trying to keep the family together? No credit.

Maybe the media will pull your court record and note that you tried to get a restraining order, but you didn’t show up. More than likely, they will relay gossip about how you were having an affair and how you were always provoking your abuser. Because violence is mutual. Girls hit, too.

Didn’t you know in advance that he was easily provoked? You should have checked his criminal record, or asked his ex.

Maybe your children will die, too. But everyone will talk about how tragic it was andhow innocent they are. They, not you, because you had to have done something to make a nice guy want to kill you.

Or maybe you wanted to be killed, because who stays with an abuser anyway?

See Also: Carl Brizzi: Prosecuting Battered Women

Indiana’s Bench

The Paradox of Recusal

Minnesota Supreme Court Allows Judge Timothy Blakely to Profit from His Fraudulent Earnings

In Texas and Florida–Court Ordered Exortion

Pennsylvania, Corruption, and Children, Just Like Florida

How Judges Set Up A System to Rig Cases for Fathers

Technorati Tags: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Note: Cross posted from Battered Mothers Rights – A Human Rights Issue.



Joseph and Melissa Shook had been separated and a final mediation hearing for their divorce was scheduled for the 26th – two days after her disappearance.

Meanwhile, her van was located at the Alva residence, allegedly abandoned with the keys in the ashtray. 

The case was then turned over to detectives with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit.

Air, K-9 and ground searches were coordinated with family and friends in attempts to locate Melissa over the following . . .[fill in the details… they tend to blur, one family after another…]

On July 29, Shook’s body was found in a shallow grave, just four blocks from the Fitch Avenue residence. 

Her hands were tied behind her back with approximately 10 feet of rope and her mouth was covered in duct tape. 

AND, obviously:

Wednesday, a local hardware store employee was contacted and verified the sale of a red handled shovel and approximately ten feet of rope. 

Thursday, an employee positively identified Joseph Shook as the person who purchased the items.

Around 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, 32-year-old Joseph Shook was located at local restaurant and taken into custody. 

He has been charged with second degree murder. 

Thursday evening Amy Davies, spokeswoman for Melissa Shook’s family said, “The family is relieved an arrest has been made, that justice has been served, and the family now has some closure.”

Davies said now the family’s main concentration is providing care for Shook’s three children.

Her parents knew something was funky about those text messages declaring she was going to break up with a boyfriend.  Her coworker heard her ask who wanted some lunch brought back, after dropping off child(ren) to the father….

On Wednesday, Melissa Shook’s mother took the stand to talk about texts message she received, supposedly from her daughter, the day she disappeared.

One said she and her boyfriend, Justin Castagner, were through.

Smith thought that was odd since she’d spoken to Melissa just a few hours earlier and there was no mention of any problems.

Castagner testified Tuesday that the couple had made plans for that night and she left him a note in his lunchbox that said, “I love you.”

Melissa’s father, Gary Esckilsen, also testified Melissa was happy with Castagner.

Melissa’s parents said she had a strong relationship with Castagner and texts saying she was going somewhere to get herself help didn’t make sense. They knew something was wrong.

A co-worker of Melissa Shook testified as well, saying he got a call from her when she was on her way to drop the baby off at Joe Shook’s home.

He said she asked if anyone in the office wanted her to bring back lunch – and never heard from her again.


Just to reiterate my point:  Mediation, frequent exchanges ordered.  Was there prior domestic violence?  WHY did she leave?  Was the risk known?  Should ALL women separating — not just ones experiencing abuse as the reason for separation — be afraid?

Or, should they learn to be cautious, period, and should the family law venue stop advising them to “just get along” for the sake of the kids, without regard to this possibility…

Was money a factor?  Who knows…:


January 2009 – Akron, Ohio

Police say emotional distress led man to kill estranged wife

Mother’s death, impending divorce, lack of medication are factors in Lakemore killing 

By Phil Trexler
Beacon Journal staff writer

Published on Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 

LAKEMORE: His mother had died unexpectedly, he avoided the pills that helped combat his depression, and just this week, his wife left him. 

Daniel Tice’s emotions boiled over Thursday afternoon when his wife, Brandi, came to pick up their three children, a day after announcing her intention to divorce. 

Brandi Tice, 28, would never leave the Lakemore house. She died of a single gunshot wound to the head — a rifle shot that police say was fired by her estranged husband. 

About seven hours later, after keeping SWAT officers at bay with his 4-year-old son by his side, Daniel Tice was shot by police, struck by a 9 mm bullet that miraculously bounced off his forehead, sparing his life. 

Tice, 32, was to undergo surgery Friday for a fractured skull. He is expected to recover and be charged with murder. 

Daniel Tice admitted in conversations to family, friends and police that he killed his wife of eight years, shooting her once in the head with a .22-caliber rifle, police said. 

He blamed infidelity and divorce. 

”[Brandi Tice] told me before she
was wanting to leave him and I said be careful because of his mom dying, [Daniel] was bomb,” family friend Janice Wood told police in a taped call. ”I was afraid something would happen.’ 

Wood, a close friend of Tice’s late mother Diana, told police that Daniel Tice called her after the shooting. Around the same time, police were surrounding his home. 

”He said he killed his wife,” Wood said. ”He thought everybody was against him or hated him . . . he said, ‘I’m not coming out [of the house]. They’re going to have to kill me.’ ” 

Daniel Tice made a series of phone calls that afternoon, including one to a sister who came to the Tices’ ranch-style home on Martha Avenue shortly after 3 p.m., saw Brandi Tice’s body on the living room floor and fled outside. 

Tice’s brother-in-law struggled for the rifle outside the home, but the towering Daniel Tice won out, and retreated back inside. 

At one point, Tice stood guard by a window with his rifle in one hand and his son, Noah, in the other, police said. 

Shortly afterward, Tice’s daughters, Faith, 8, and Grace, 7, exited their school bus and were met by police, who rushed the girls away before they could go inside their home. 

Stressful standoff

For the next seven-plus hours, police took over Martha Avenue, trying to coax Tice into surrendering and hoping to avoid more bloodshed. Lakemore Mayor Michael Kolomichuk gave the order to use deadly force on Daniel Tice, if necessary. 

A small army of SWAT officers, talking by phone to Tice, crept closer over several hours — from the street, to the front door, to the living room and eventually to the basement stairs, where Tice paced below with his son. 

The silence was sometimes unnerving to police, who feared little Noah was dead. As the night dragged, they hadn’t heard from the child and Tice was talking to police in past tense about how much he loved his son. 

”We were worried that he had done something to Noah because he wouldn’t let us talk to the child,” Police Chief Kenneth Ray said. 

Police eventually disconnected a land line into the Tice home and with the help of prosecutors, they cut off Tice’s cell phone. Negotiators then moved inside the house to bring Tice a cell phone. 

By then, Tice had moved to the cover of the basement, at times hiding under the staircase. Metro SWAT members tossed a miniature camera to the basement, which gave them insights into Tice’s location. 

Around 10:40 p.m., SWAT snipers from the top of the steps could see Tice and his rifle leaning against a wall out of reach. They fired two nonlethal bean bags, hoping to knock him to the floor. The bean bags didn’t faze Tice, who then made a move for his rifle, police said. 

A sniper tried to fire his AR-15 assault rifle, but the trigger jammed. A second SWAT sniper twice fired his MP5 assault rifle. One shot missed; another struck Tice’s forehead, penetrating to the bone and bouncing off. 

Suspect interviewed

Police interviewed Daniel Tice at Akron City Hospital shortly after he was shot. 

”He confessed, that’s all he did,” Chief Ray said. ”He didn’t give a reason. He just said he did it.” 

Noah was reunited with his sisters. The children are staying with Brandi Tice’s mother, Sandra Fox, 53, in Green. 

”She was a good mother, she loved her kids so much,” said Brandi Tice’s uncle, Randy Renard. 

The Tices spent Christmas with Renard and other family members at Sandra Fox’s home. The get-together came four days after Daniel Tice’s mother died. 

Daniel Tice, who family said suffers from bipolar disorder, said little on Christmas Day. Family and police said Tice stopped taking his medication, which contributed to his erratic behavior. 

”They brought the kids over for Christmas and I already heard what he was going through with his mother,” Renard said. ”He come over and he didn’t talk for four hours. He just sat in the chair with a stare.” 

On Wednesday, Brandi Tice told her husband she wanted a divorce and was taking the children, Renard said. Police said the couple had a history of domestic squabbles, some of which ended with Daniel Tice’s arrest. 

Daniel Tice also told friends that his wife was carrying on an affair with one of his relatives. The couple married in 2000. 

On Thursday afternoon, Brandi Tice arrived at the Martha Avenue home, planning to take her daughters with her as they exited their school bus. 

Brandi Tice worked the past four years with Community Caregivers, a Hartville home health care provider. She visited three or four patients every day, helping them with health needs. 

Terry Smith, the company’s director, said Brandi Tice grew close with her patients, whom she would visit for more than two hours a day, passing the time sharing stories and proudly showing pictures of her children. 

She hoped one day to be a nurse to better provide for her family, he said. The company has set up a fund at all Huntington bank branches to help the Tice children. 

”Brandi was somebody who had been through some bumps in the road, some hard knocks,” Smith said. ”Yet she was someone who gave so much even though she had so little herself.” 

Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or ptrexler@thebeaconjournal.com.

LAKEMORE: His mother had died unexpectedly, he avoided the pills that helped combat his depression, and just this week, his wife left him.

 Daniel Tice’s emotions boiled over Thursday afternoon when his wife, Brandi, came to pick up their three children, a day after announcing her intention to divorce.
Brandi Tice, 28, would never leave the Lakemore house. She died of a single gunshot wound to the head ? a rifle shot that police say was fired by her estranged husband.
About seven (Akron Beacon Journal (OH), 1079 words.)


June 2009 — Autenreith – Pennsylvania:

Police rescued a 9-year-old boy who had been kidnapped by his father as a fatal gun battle broke out between the man and state troopers.

After arguing with his estranged wife during a custody exchange, Daniel Autenrieth kidnapped his son at gunpoint, then led police on a 40-mile high-speed chase that ended with a crash and an exchange of gunfire, state police commissioner Col. Frank Pawlowski said. Autenrieth and a state trooper were killed.

“I can’t begin to describe the hurt and sorrow being experienced by the Pennsylvania state police,” Pawlowski told a somber news conference at the Swiftwater barracks, the trooper’s home base. “What happened yesterday is nothing short of an American tragedy.”


September, 2009 (Labor Day) Minnesota:

Minn. officer reportedly killed with own gun (see video)

Holidays — family times for some — can be trouble hotspots for others.

Veteran North St. Paul police officer Richard Crittenden apparently was shot dead with his own gun during a violent struggle with a man who lunged at his estranged wife and the slain officer with a burning towel or rag.

He died saving someone else,” said a law enforcement source of Crittenden. The source, familiar with the ongoing investigation, offered the first detailed description of Monday morning’s chaotic scene.

Crittenden reportedly pushed the woman out of harm’s way but in the process left himself vulnerable for the man to ambush him, grab his handgun and shoot him, the source said.

A Maplewood police officer was slightly wounded but shot the suspect dead during an exchange of gunfire moments later inside the North St. Paul apartment in the 2200 block of Skillman Avenue.

The scenario, based on preliminary witness accounts from the injured female officer and the estranged wife, remains to be confirmed and is the subject of an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

But the setting pieced together so far by investigative sources shed light on the likely circumstances that led to the first shooting death of a police officer in the line of duty in North St. Paul’s 122-year history.

Investigators on Tuesday released little official information about the details surrounding the Labor Day shootings — including the names of the injured officer and slain suspect, who was identified by his estranged wife as Devon Dockery.

But reams of court papers released Tuesday on Dockery’s numerous run-ins with the law show a violent and troubled man.

Devon is a ticking time bomb ready to explode,” his estranged wife, Stacey Terry, wrote in filing for one of four orders of protection against him.

What would she know?  Is she an “expert”??  However, she got those protection orders. . . . . .

October 23, 2009 Atlanta, Georgia, Strube-Allen

(Isn’t this DV awareness month?)

Child of woman killed at Target in custody battle

Mother-in Law charged! 

In April, a toddler sat in the backseat as someone shot and killed his mother, Heather Allen Strube.  She had just gotten him from her estranged husband, his father, and hadn’t buckled her child  into his car seat yet.

Moments after Steven Strube left the Target parking lot on Scene Highway, his estranged wife was approached by a person wearing a black wig that looked like a mop. As Heather tried to get into her SUV, the disguised person shot her. Investigators found Carson holding his mother’s cellphone. His mom turned 25 years old just six days before her death on April 26.

Carson, who turned 2-years-old last month, has been in the care of Heather’s parents — Buddy and Mary Allen.

Family Photo A family snapshot from 2008 shows Heather Allen Strube, left, with son Carson. On April 26, Strube was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Snellville Target moments after a custody exchange.

Little Carson Luke Strube is now thriving in the care of his maternal grandparents. But his other grandmother, Joanna Renea Hayes, was charged this week with killing his mother, her daughter-in-law.

Hayes in jail facing charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Carson’s father, Steven Strube, is also in jail, following a probation violation from a 2008 conviction (for what??)

Hayes is now behind bars following her murder indictment on Wednesday. Police believe she is the one who donned a disguise and killed her daughter-in-law.

Sometimes it turns into a virtual tribal warfare, with in-laws and relatives involved….

November 30, 2009 (this one, barely cold…), New Jersey:

Police Search For Motive In Fatal N.J. Shooting

Paterson Father Allegedly Shot Estranged Wife, 2 Children

Jay Dow

PATERSON, N.J. (CBS) ―Police are still trying to figure out what triggered Edelmiro Gonzalez to go on a shooting spree, killing his seven-year-old son, and injuring his wife and other son. They are recovering at St. Joseph’s hospital.

Police were looking for a motive Sunday in a triple shooting that left one boy dead, and his mother and brother fighting for their lives.

Detectives in Paterson said Edelmiro Gonzalez opened fire Saturday morning on his estranged wife and two young children.

“I don’t know how anybody could do something like that,” said resident Angie Rolon.

Investigators said 31-year old Johanna Gonzalez, who had been separated from her husband since September and had a restraining order against him, was in the process of dropping off their two sons at her mother’s apartment on Broadway. That’s when the 54-year-old father allegedly walked up to their vehicle, armed with two handguns.

“Her estranged husband came up to the vehicle, shot several times into the vehicle, at which time her two sons, Adrian and Eldryn exited the vehicle,” said Det Lt. Ray Humphrey.

Police said

Gonzalez actually then chased down his 7-year old son and shot him in the neck near the rear of the apartment building.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
However, the ordeal didn’t end there. Police said Gonzalez went back to the street and chased down his estranged wife. That’s when off-duty Paterson Detective Lt. Washington Griffen, a 19-year veteran who was at a nearby McDonald’s drive-through with his son saw what was happening and intervened.

“He hollered out to the suspect, advised him he was a police officer, and to drop the weapon. There was an exchange of gunfire, and the suspect was shot twice,” Humphrey said.

Edelmiro Gonzalez died later at an area hospital. His elder son Edryn and the child’s mother Johanna remained in critical condition.

November 2009, Oregon?

Gunman kills estranged wife at Tualatin lab, injures two, kills self

By Bill Oram, The Oregonian

November 10, 2009, 8:49PM

TUALATIN — By late afternoon Tuesday, a lone state trooper guarded the front of a drug-testing clinic where a man with a rifle opened fire, killing his estranged wife and injuring two of her co-workers.

The gunman fired multiple shots inside Legacy MetroLab-Tualatin shortly before noon, said Tualatin Police Chief Kent Barker.   

The shooter was found dead at the scene, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Barker said.

The dead woman was identified as Teresa Beiser, 36, of Gladstone.

A week ago, she filed for divorce from her husband of 15 years, Robert Beiser, 39, who worked as a car appraiser for Property Damage Appraisers in Lake Oswego and as an independent contractor for The Oregonian.

They had two children, a 14-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son.

 That was “Beiser”.  Here is “Reiser”, July 2009 he admits guilt in exchange for plea-bargain.  Murder happened during an exchange of children.

Hans Reiser Admits to Murdering Nina Reiser, Pleads to Reduced Murder Sentence

Full story: Associated Content

Hans Reiser was sentenced to 15-years-to-life Friday in an Oakland, California, courtroom for the murder of Nina Reiser. Many believe that the sentence was too lenient, that prosecutors should have given Reiser more time on his sentence. Besides, Hans Reiser was convicted in April — and
convicted without the body of Nine Reiser. But Hans Reiser, a brilliant Linux guru, had held onto one piece of information about Nine Reiser throughout his trial, a trial throughout which he maintained his innocence. Hans Reiser knew where Nina Reiser was buried.

According to Wired, Hans Reiser led authorities to Nine Reiser’s body Monday in exchange for his prison sentence being reduced from a 25-years-to-life charge to 15-years-to-life charge. Prosecutors offered him the deal with the added stipulation that he waived his right to appeal the conviction. He had buried his wife just a short way from the house where he lived with his mother.

According to his confession, which was part of the plea deal, Hans Reiser killed his wife, Nina, on the afternoon of September 3, 2006. She had dropped off the couple’s two children for the Labor Day weekend. The two were going through a bitter divorce.

FYI:  All I googled was “estranged wife exchange of children”


Did you enable any of these events?  I bet you’d say, Heck NO!

But, wait again (US residents) — do you pay taxes?  Well then, perhaps you did….

The Trap Door They Don’t Tell Divorcing Mothers, or separating-from-abuse partners about — almost ANYwhere…

Forcing the Connection through “Access Visitation Funding” and social policy closing the exit door.

Taxpayer funds enabling these events, sometimes, through federal grants to encourage contact with noncustodial “parents” (Dads).

Meanwhile, nationwide HHS-funded “Access/Visitation” funding encourages more, and more frequent, contact between children and noncustodial parent (if male), and advertises this through child support services (“OCSE”):


These services are offered at no cost to OCSS clients and include the following:

  • Coordination of visitations or parenting time
  • Mediation between the parents (non-legal, non-binding)
  • Written parenting plans
  • Group parenting education
  • Counseling on access issues 

Funding for all of these projects comes from grants from the Administration for Children and Families


What is access and visitation?Mississippi’s Access and Visitation Program (MAV-P) is designed for noncustodial parents to have access to visit their children as specified in a court order or divorce decree

[[HUH?  The court order or decree ALREADY specifies this, so why do we need this program?]]

Assistance with voluntary agreements for visitation schedules is provided to parents who do not have a court order. 

 NOTE: Participation without a court order is strictly voluntary.  Both parents must agree to be involved.    

What are the goals for MAV-P?The ultimate goal is to afford services that improve the quality of life for separated families by providing noncustodial parents opportunities to participate in their children’s growth and development

[[If it didn’t have a noble-sounding goal like this, it might not have passed Congress or anywhere else.  Who wants to vote for, after-all, exchange-related gunshots, stabbings, and officers/bystanders-down headlines?  But if you read details of many of these articles above, it’s in there

“Improve the quality of life.”  How does this resemble “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness”  eh? Come here.  We have federal grants to improve the quality of your life.  TRUST US…]]

Other goals include:

  • Encouraging family agreements through mediation; 
  • Providing parent education plans to enhance parenting skills;
  • Furnishing a safe, neutral facility for visitation, as needed;  i.e., [pushing Supervised Visitation]
  • Promoting compliance to the noncustodial parent’s court ordered support obligations;  [[Translation:  reducing support obligations in hope to bribe the other parent to better comply.  This is called “helping.” ]]
  • Aiding custodial parents in honoring court ordered visitations; and

Women are regularly jailed when they fail to comply with court ORDERS.  Recently, a 14 yr old young man in Michigan was jailed himself, briefly, for refusing to comply.  So what is this a sort of persuasive pleading session, or brainwashing?  The legal process provides for a contempt process.  When custodial parents are women, this is often enforced, regardless of consequences.  When they are men, a different standard seems to apply.

  • Working with fatherhood mentors and coaches through a Fragile Families Initiative Program.

Now WHY doesn’t that surprise me?

What are the benefits of the program?  The program benefits include: 

  • BOTH parents being involved in the development stages of the child’s life. 
  • BOTH parents providing emotional, medical, psychological and financial support. 
  • BOTH parents sharing in the child’s character and core values development.
  • BOTH parents agreeing on scheduling and time-sharing.

Potential side-effects, where an overentitled abuser,  a man off (or on) medication for depression, or someone not in control of his emotions is involved — death.  That’s a potential “benefit” in certain contexts.  But let’s not talk about that in THIS setting, OK?

Who is eligible to participate in MAV-P?Individuals interested in participating in MAV-P are not required to have a child support case or affiliation with the Mississippi Department of Human Services.  Paternity must be established for all cases.  Participants seeking assistance with supervised visitation must have a verified court order or divorce decree.  Finally, the custodial and noncustodial parents must agree on scheduled mediation, parent education, unsupervised or supervised visitations, as needed.     

(EVER tried to “agree” with an overentitled abuser?  See Randi’s article, above….)

What services are provided in MAV-P?

  • MEDIATION includes MAV-P staff working with both parents to develop a peaceful resolution to visitation disputes.  This process is a face-to-face interview and/or telephone sessions.
  • SUPERVISED VISITATION is scheduled for parents with legally established visitation directed by a court order or divorce decree.
  • EDUCATION is offered through parenting classes which address the basic needs of the child, money and stress management, child abuse, co-parenting and the concerns of the parents for their child(ren)’s well-being.

 Take time for THIS link: a “wiki-leak” an “mit” site.  I’m OUT of time for today….

There is some evidence that indicates that among fathers who visit their children,

fathers who do not pay their child support are more likely to have frequent contact with

their children (many on a daily basis) than fathers who pay their child support.

fathers’ rights groups would argue that spending time with one’s children (especially on

a daily basis) should be counted in terms of reducing that father’s financial obligation.

More generally, advocates of increasing parental responsibility would argue that it

is now time for the federal government to focus more attention on the “non-financial”

benefits associated with preserving the connection between noncustodial parents and their

children. Many policymakers and analysts maintain that a distinction must be made

between men who are “dead broke” and those who are “deadbeats.” They argue that the

federal government should help dead broke noncustodial fathers meet both their financial and emotional obligations to their children and vigorously enforce CSE laws against deadbeat parents.

  +/- $1/million/state/year for Access/Visitation grants (ongoing) can’t be all wrong, despite headlines, and despite reality of the consequences of frequent exchanges, more time, with resistant disgruntled fathers..

I may take up that document in a later post; it illustrates the system involved in these issues.

Randi, good writing, thank you –I find it pretty darn close to the reality.

Decisively Addressing Dangerous Conduct

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Maybe we’d be much better off if cops — who understand life-threatening situations — ran family law, rather than psychologists and mental health professionals (oh yes, and mediators, evaluators, and organizations where all these get together).  Maybe not — but I enjoyed the common sense in this article below.

Too bad it’s not applied when a family law case is involved.  Rather, the real “danger” is fatherlessness, for which a whole profession has been spawned (like that reference?  🙂  ), Supervised Visitation.  This facet is also handy for chastising protective parents, and is also a field for futher federal funding of how-to conferences (in addition to the existing parent education, and so forth).

Disclaimer:  I am posting fast, due to reduced internet access, and more stuff to do in the limited hours (kind of like family law, right?).  My purpose is only illustration and to provoke some thought.

Thank you, retired police officer Steve Gray.  May as much common sense start — SOMEday — to be used in “domestic disputes” throughout the land.

Right now, when dangerous or illegal behavior shows up in the context of divorce and in family courts, the opposite tactic and policy is being intentionally! used:  Rather than removing the catalyst [parent who engaged in illegal behavior]– the policy is to force repeated and  stressful contact with the catalyst (where abuse or violence has ALREADY occurred) and then sell services — and/or drugs? — to  force the unwilling party/parent to conform to this treatment, on the philosophy that a person’s biology and family role is more important than his character, or humanity.

Readers Forum: BART officer acted properly, but the Times didn’t

By Steve Gray
Guest Commentary Posted: 11/28/2009 12:01:00 AM PST

As s gratefully retired police lieutenant and enduring Times subscriber, your editorial chastising the BART officer for the arrest of the “bombastic” rider left me with one lasting impression: I’m glad the Times is not in charge of recruitment and training of cops.

Officers understand that discussion with an obviously belligerent provocative suspect, in a confined space, with the possibility of retaliation from persons either hostile to or allied with the suspect, only exposes the officer and others to unnecessary risk.

The principal rule in any hostile arrest situation is to remove the catalyst — which the officer did. Had the officer waited to act, the possibility of escalation would increase exponentially.

Add into consideration that the officer was alone, was likely afraid himself, and had no idea whether the suspect was armed, makes The Times editorial posture not only specious but dangerous.

Officers are aware that any arrest situation exposes them to acute risk. During my career three of my fellow officers were disarmed and shot with their own firearms. One of those officers, Sgt. Jim Rutledge of the Berkeley Police Department, was fatally wounded. The suspect in that case later shot and killed a child hostage.

Cops must carefully weigh and measure not only the risk to themselves, but as in the BART situation, the risk to multiple passengers as well. A passive response may result in a riotous or retaliatory situation; an aggressive response may do the same. Either choice may minimize the risk to bystanders, but escalate the risk to the officer and/or suspect.

It is axiomatic that there is no singular manner in which a cop should respond. Each situation is fluid. The principal rule is that police officers should decisively address dangerous conduct, which is exactly what the officer in the BART incident did.

I found it ironic that the same day the Times published the article critical of the BART officer, it also published an article naming two Bay Area cities as among the nation’s most dangerous. The juxtaposition of these two seemingly different articles supports a syllogism that police have long understood: Police confidence and community safety are directly correlated. If officers sense that a community supports criminal conduct, they will passively respond to calls for help.

That is why the Times editorial is not only myopic, but dangerous. If officers get intimidated and feel they don’t have community support in addressing lawlessness, they will conform to community standards and adjust their responses accordingly. Before responding assertively to calls for help from our wives, parents and children, officers will first be wondering “how will this affect me.” That should be a frightening prospect.

This is not an endorsement of police misconduct. Officers are — and should be — held to extremely high standards. Scrutiny and transparency are very important, and there is historical evidence of police misconduct that justifies such scrutiny.

However, I believe that the Times has a responsibility to carefully evaluate and measure what appears on the editorial pages. That includes approaching an issue from different perspectives.

What is chronically missing is any substantive discussion of the consequences of governmental agencies being dissuaded from doing their duty. That represents corruption of a different type, but corruption nonetheless. The Times has a journalistic responsibility to meticulously consider editorial content, and clearly understand the impact of such editorials.

I think it is important to note that the officer involved in the BART incident was injured representing the interests of the persons on the train being victimized by the offender’s behavior. I only hope that other cops continue to do their job protecting us and are not dissuaded or intimidated from doing so by editorials or a political minority posing as a political majority.

It was refreshing that the BART passengers, recognizing the propriety of the officer’s actions, applauded when the offender was removed. Your editor should be applauding as well.

[[Gray was a police officer for 31 years in Berkeley, Hayward and Mountain View and he retired as a lieutenant. He is a resident of Martinez.]]

Well-written!  Let’ s not be “Mypioc” and “Dangerous” when dealing with dangerous situations.  Clear and present danger is  NOT  “lack of resources in Family Law” (see last post) but spousal batterers, and that’s per a law on the books, California legislature.  Cops understand that

Courts, I believe, also do, but apparently simply have a different agenda. 

Again, people talk about what’s important to them.  So why are these all these “court” organizations and professionals focusing on lack of finances, when the mothers involved have stayed focused on safety — their own, and their children? 

Perhaps if they squandered less of the federal grants with “Required Outcomes” of custody matters, there’d be less financial pressure on the parents, and fewer family wipeouts. 

Again, just think about it.

Written by Let's Get Honest

November 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Oconomowoc, not Oconto, Wisconsin. Quiz for my readers…

with 2 comments

OK, skim through the articles below — I did.  And here are a few questions.

(1) Was this a “family” matter?  If so, how many states (and countries) are involved, to date?

(2) The little boy involved was 4 years old (and now his Mom is dead and father in jail, on $2 million bail).  He was in a fatherless home. To correct this situation, his father (allegedly) hired someone ELSE to kill her so he could get custody (since the courts weren’t about to fork over the kid),  solving the “noncustodial parent” issue, and so forth. 

My question is, whose mug shot isn’t up here? 

Three arrested in Smith murder

Posted: Nov. 19, 2009 

Justin Patrick Welch, suspected of killing Kimberly Smith of Oconomowoc in October, was taken into custody at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday by Mexican authorities as he tried to cross the border into California. Authorities were notified because he was driving a stolen Jeep Patriot.
Also taken into custody yesterday at the Mexican border, at 1:10 p.m., was  Jack E. Johnson, 65.  He formerly resided in Waukesha and has close ties to Darren Wold, who was also arrested last night at his residence in Texas without incident. Wold is the father of Smith’s 4-year-old son Jackson.
Johnson and Welch are being held in the San Diego County Jail on $2 million bail. Johnson is being held for party to first-degree intentional homicide, Welch for first-degree intentional homicide. Wold is being held in Lubbock, Texas, also on $2 million bail on the charge of party to first-degree intentional homicide.
Police say it appears at this time that Wold conspired with his lifelong friend Johnson to have Smith murdered in an attempt to get custody of their son.
All three are awaiting extradition to Wisconsin.


3 arrested in Oconomowoc slaying; plot to gain child’s custody alleged By Mike Johnson of the Journal Sentinel Updated: Nov. 19, 2009 1:31 p.m.

Waukesha — Kimberly Smith was murdered in her Oconomowoc home Oct. 1 as part of a plot for her ex-boyfriend to get custody of their 4-year-old son, authorities said Thursday in announcing the arrests of the ex-boyfriend and two other men on homicide charges. Darren Wold, 41, the ex-boyfriend, is accused of conspiring with a longtime friend, Jack E. Johnson, 65, formerly of Waukesha, to kill Smith, and Justin Patrick Welch, 26, of French Camp, Calif., is accused of traveling to Wisconsin and stabbing her to death, Chief David Beguhn said during a news conference at the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities on Oct. 27 had identified Welch as a suspect in the homicide after his DNA was found on a knife and latex/vinyl-type gloves recovered in a sewer drain near Smith’s home in the 300 block of S. Maple St., according to court records. An arrest warrant was issued for Welch that charged him with first-degree intentional homicide. At the time, police said Welch might be driving a Jeep Patriot that was reported stolen in California. Investigators launched a nationwide manhunt for Welch, and through their investigation, connected him to Johnson, of Obrero Rosarito, Mexico, Beguhn said. Authorities placed an alert with U.S. Customs and Border Protection asking that they be notified if Johnson attempted to cross the border. Johnson was taken into custody about 1:10 p.m. Wednesday as he attempted to enter the United States. About 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Welch was arrested by Mexican authorities after a brief vehicle pursuit near Rosarito, Mexico. Police were attempting to stop the Patriot because it was stolen, Beguhn said. Welch was turned over to U.S. authorities. Both Welch and Johnson are being held in the San Diego (Calif.) County Jail. Johnson is charged with party to first-degree intentional homicide. Wold was arrested Wednesday night at his Lubbock, Texas, home. He is being held in jail there on a charge of party to first-degree intentional homicide. All three men are being held on $2 million bail. Smith, 39, was found dead about 9:30 a.m. Oct. 1 in her home in the 300 block of S. Maple St. Her hands were bound and she had been stabbed a number of times, court records state. Her 4-year-old son, Jackson, was home at the time of the slaying but did not witness the killing. Smith’s current boyfriend, who lived with her and Jackson, found Smith’s body in the living room and called 911. The boyfriend said he had left for work about 6 a.m. and returned after learning that Smith didn’t show up at her job, according to Beguhn. Welch’s ties to Wisconsin are not known, and investigators do not know if Smith knew him. Smith’s relatives told investigators that they do not know Welch.


Oconomowoc investigators get break in murder of Kimberly Smith

Bob Moore FOX 6 Reporter

October 27, 2009

WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE – Oconomowoc investigators get their first and only break in in the murder of Kimberly Smith. Smith was found dead on October 1st. Tuesday morning, a Waukesha County judge issued an arrest warrant for a California man, Justin Welch.

Police collected evidence from an Oconomowoc home on the morning of October 1st. Last Friday, a DNA analysis of several items matched the DNA of 26-year-old Justin Welch.

Welch is now the focus of a nationwide manhunt. The Waukesha County arrest warrant is for first degree intentional homicide. He’s suspected of killing Kim Smith. Welch is wanted in California on a felony, no-bail warrant for a parole violation.

Police are now trying to determine the connection between Welch and Wisconsin. They suspect Welch and Smith may have connected on the internet.

If you have any information about where authorities might fight Welch, you’re urged to call the Oconomowoc Police at 262-567-4401 or the Waukesha Co. Sheriff’s Dept. at 262-446-5070.


Kim Smith remembered for big smile, thoughtfulness

Oconomowoc murder victim identified

By Katherine Michalets and Jeff Rumage Freeman Staff

Oct 3, 2009

. . .

According to a news release, Smith was found dead in the living room of her residence at 334 S. Maple St. The police department was notified by dispatch at 9:32 a.m., and officers and rescue personnel arrived on the scene within two minutes. 

    Oconomowoc Police Chief David Beguhn said the boyfriend that she lived with left for work at 6 a.m. When he called her at the Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services where she works, he was told she had not come in, so he returned home to find her dead body, Beguhn said.

    Police believe the murder took place sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

    Smith was also living with her son, who was unharmed by the event. After the murder, the young boy underwent a forensic interview at a specialty care center in Waukesha. Based on those interviews, it did not appear the young boy witnessed the event, Beguhn said. The boy is staying with his grandmother, he said.

    Online court records show Smith was involved in a yearlong custody battle with the father of the boy. Beguhn said police contacted the man Thursday, and he was in Texas, where he lives.

Police File Four Sealed Search Warrants In Oconomowoc Homicide Case

No Arrests Have Been Made

POSTED: 6:50 pm CDT October 6, 2009
UPDATED: 10:47 am CDT October 7, 2009



  • These are the ages involved:

26, 4, 65, 41, 39

  • These are the geographies (state/country):

Wisconsin, California, Texas, Mexico

  • These are the last names, not including the boy:  Welch, Wold, Johnson, Smith, Beguhn

Question1:  Who’s who?

Match age to state to last name — quick now…  can you keep them straight?

Question 2: How many generations, so far, has this one event affected?

(answer — apparently, four.  youngster, 20 yr old, 40yr olds, 65 yr old.)

Question 3:

  • Did anyone (article) mention domestic violence yet?  Want to place a bet whether there was or was not such a criminal record?  (I’m thinking, probably not).  Would a restraining order have helped her somehow?  Was she aware of her danger (lethality assessments)?    (Note:  3rd party involved, bound hand and feet, she maybe didn’t have her first cup of coffee or get out the door to work yet).  Was she in an  unsafe place?  YES:  Her home, after a custody battle.

Question(s) 4: 

  • What was Dad doing in Texas?  Did having Dad in Texas make anyone safer?

Question(s) 5ff:

  • Did fast response by police, or a live-in boyfriend make her any safer?  No, she’s dead.  But his fast response helped probably catch the killer.
  • Did her expertise in Health &Human Services make her any more alert to the danger?  (Apparently not).


Do I have time to analyze this one? 

Answer:  no.

Instinctive response  (no wrong answer):

What word comes to your mind in regards this case?  Summarize/label it…. Answer must be in 3 words or less.

You know what word comes to mine?  In light of the:  Wisconsin/California/Texas/Mexico connection, plus a 4 year old boy and willingness to KILL to get custody….  what a dedicated father. . . .

Child-trafficking.  But maybe that’s just me.

Sure, it’d have been better if they’d had a better marriage, or married, or stayed married.  But suppose there had been a mismatch, and there had been violence — should she have kept herself and her son around for more?

What about that shared parenting theme?  Wasn’t Dad interested, or wasn’t he allowed?  It’s dangerous pissing off a Dad these days, apparently….  Maybe that’s part of the formula with this fatherlessness thing.  It’s countercultural, it’s not accepted culturally, and that can get REAL sticky with cultures (or religions) that place themselves above the law.  Or individuals.


Here’s another excerpt from (I think) first article link, above.  Catch the drift?

Long-running dispute

Smith was entangled in a custody dispute with Wold, and the proceedings were favoring her.

Question:  Which one of my posts handles the hazards of actually winning in court? 

Court records show that Smith and Wold, who previously lived together in Germantown and in Pennsylvania, have been fighting for more than two years in Washington County Circuit Court over custody of the boy.

As these things can go, that ain’t ‘squat.’  Look at the Oconto County, WI case.  There are ways to keep it going, and going, and going. . . .

In July, Wold was ordered to spend 60 days in jail after being held in contempt of court, but the jail time was to be imposed only if he failed to follow certain conditions for a year, records show.

He had lied about where he was living and failed to make court-ordered payments.

LYING, in court especially, about where one is living is a character indicator.  Courts ought to wake up.  Guess this was a family court…

QUICK now, before you’ve thought about this, one there are others.  I can’t keep up, myself…

So Many Valuable Lessons from the “Giles Amicus Brief” (2005)

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(1) . . . BUT FIRST, let me (have some fun) present(ing) the DILEMMA of FAMILY LAW & CUSTODY in the face of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:


CHILD CUSTODY, supposedly:

1. Safety & Welfare: The court’s “primary concern” is to assure the child’s health, safety and welfare. This codified policy is a companion to the Legislature’s express finding and declaration that “the perpetration of child abuse or domestic violence in a household where a child resides is detrimental to the child.” [Ca Fam § 3020(a) (emphasis added); see also Ca Fam § 3044]

(KINDof sounds like California Penal Code 273, spousal batterers are a clear and present danger to the physical and mental health of the citizens {{including LITTLE ones??}} of the state of California.  And so what is done about this?  The old 1-2-3.  

  • 1.  Restraining order, in one venue or another.  Possibly a night, or more, in jail (often not, but sometimes it happens), or in egregious circumstances, maybe even anger management classes. . . . . 
  • 2.  IF all are alive, when restraining order is about to expire, and kids exist, THIS is where family law can come in.  Alternate plan – it can come in right away, in other cases.  BOOM!  There goes safety and separation.
  • 3.  Thus it remains, until another “event’ happens, either a child-stealing, a custody-switch (with supervised visitation for the former PROTECTIVE parent, often a mother).  Or 18th birthdays.  Or (ad lib…).

IN THE INTERIM, spice it up with child support orders (and attempts to enforce them), parenting education, and a heavy dose of therapeutic jurisprudence.  

2. “Frequent and continuing contact” with both parents and shared parenting: ((??)) Further, an appropriate custody/visitation award must take into account the codified policy “to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship, and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy” . . .except where the contact would not be in the child’s best interest pursuant to Ca Fam § 3011 [Ca Fam § 3020(b) (emphasis added)]


WOW, that “joint” stuff is what took me out from actually having a post-separation LIFE, of any significant duration at any significant endeavor.  The most years I ever got it up to was four in a row, one job, but the dynamic is this:  SEPARATION WITH SUCCESS FOR (the nonviolent spouse) == ESCALATION TO CAUSE FAILURE (from the enabled abuser)– ever tried to “share parenting” after domestic violence?  Or during it, for that matter?  During it, it was my job.  PERIOD.  Along with a whole lot of other non-paying jobs, including doormat and punching bag, wife, lover (when he was in the mood) and erstwhile Mom.  And bringing home the bacon.    After it, it was his, PERIOD.  Or the other closest male in the family.  I just was to take the remote control orders.  I protested, I lost custody.  Not even legally.  So be it.  Thank you, Mia Patria, fatherhood movement, engaging fathers, fatherlessness crisis, and faith institutions.  . . . . . 

(God, I miss those girls!)


(2) . . . Criminal v Family Law — from STOP FAMILY VIOLENCE website:


Creating Justice Through Balance: Integrating Domestic Violence

Juvenile and Family Court Journal, September 1, 2003

The core values underpinning family law—particularly as it addresses child custody and visitation—too often are at odds with the safety needs of victims of domestic violence. Family law, which has developed {{ACCORDING TO THIS SOURCE — and, I HAPPEN TO DIFFER PERSONALLY–FAMILY LAW historically had promoters, founders, etc.}} as a mechanism for defining, recognizing, establishing, reordering, or supporting the familial and intimate relationships that people have with one another, is frequently inadequate to address domestic violence. In contrast, the specialized domestic violence law provisions operating within family law function under rationales and theories distinct from those underlying family law. {{And are one weak-assed response to them, too!}} The inherent substantive tensions that arise when the two bodies of law are simultaneously implemented can result in conflicting court orders, unsafe interventions, and inappropriate remedies for survivors of domestic violence.


    Custodians of Abuse

    Boston Phoenix, January 9, 2003

    Nearly 25 experts in custody litigation involving child-abuse claims were interviewed for this article. All had the same three complaints about family court — regardless of which state’s court system they were familiar with: – Family courts do not rely on criminal investigators to examine child-abuse claims. They rely on family advocates called guardians ad litem (GALs) – psychologists, social workers or lawyers who lack expertise{{AND/OR INTEREST….}} in investigating child sexual abuse. – Normal courtroom checks and balances don’t exist in family court. Unlike in criminal and civil court, there are no juries, plaintifs often lack legal representation, hence judges can act without scrutiny. Often judges act in ways that violate basic rights of due process. – Gender bias and traditional stereotypes of how women and men parent children continue to prevail in family court. As a result, while conventional wisdom has it that mothers almost always fare well in family court, statistics show otherwise.  More


The above shows some of the dilemma — 2 languages, 2 approaches, 2 different sets of expectations, goals, and most importantly — standard of evidence when it comes to DV.  Yet one family can be experiencing behavior that is appropriately addressed in criminal, yet attempts made to handle it in family.  In general, no can do — I say.  

(3) . . .Giles Amicus Brief, 2005

At the end of the LAST post, I have a segment from a well-known — if you track these things — “Giles Amicus Brief.”  I explained why posting it, and gave a sample with highlighting of sentences, and a few comments, as to how it goes with domestic violence.  

Well, now I’m pasting the whole dang thing in here.  I believe that those who are literate, and able to visually sort legal cites from common English sentences will get a heads-up on what the criminal sector is saying about the crime of domestic violence:  the laws, the District Attorney folk, and those who help prosecute.  The word “prosecute” applies to the criminal sector.  The word “mediate/reconcile/educate (etc.) belongs to the family law sector.  Get used to both of them!  (Some couples experiencing violence never even made it to the criminal prosecution point — I’m one of those, and it was a shame, and a factor of the many enablers and public inability to put a NAME to the CRIME.  Or to accept that it had happened.  We’re talking California, and we’re talking turn of this century — not turn of the LAST century.  Backlash, denial, residual misogyny, or suppressed misogyny just waiting to spring into action, I don’t know.  But it’s unfortunate for the children.  And everyone else.

This brief will, perhaps, provide a backdrop of wonder and amazement at the trouble the family law sector has in “explicating domestic violence in the context of custody” and holding conference about who hits whom more.  Meanwhile, officers responding to a call, I’d bet, bring their guns AND if they have them, bulletproof vests.  That’s an indicator, OK? Sure,  it was a quarrel, a dispute, but any officer is still going to go in armed and protected….

Moreover, some officers — like some PEOPLE —  are also privately batterers.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it, and hope whoever responds to the call, isn’t….


Moreover, I find it incredible that, given the amount of domestic violence that’s STILL prevalent, obviously (see headlines), the criminal people who are putting SO much efffort, and funding, into prosecutions (at least so I hear — I haven’t seen too much personally, though I hear it occurs.  Typically where one hears it occurred is after another headline — see other pages in my blog) — how can they possibly fail to realize what is going on in the family law system, which is closer to THIS:



(and after which you and yours may feel & look more like THIS than not…..)

(To protect the innocent, I have NO relationship to any of sources of the images, and only utilized Google Image Search to find them).

(I’m assuming readers would prefer NOT to have 1,000 of my words, when 3 images would get the job done just as well).



For readers who have a high tolerance (or desire) to seek out the statements of the argument, and the ability to not be dissuaded by formatting of legal cites and extensive references, if that language is an unfamiliar one.  Go for the words you DO understand, and assemble the concepts.  There’s a lot of data in here. . . . 

(Excerpt from the end):

Arguably, some victims may refuse to assist in their batterers’ prosecutions due to factors that the batterer does not cause, including love and the hope that the batterer will change.  Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving the Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997) TA \l “Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving the Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997)” \s “Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving tThe Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. EOImmigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997)” \c 3 However, even in these circumstances, trial courts may determine that the batterer caused the victim’s unavailability by preying on the victim’s emotions and promising to change.  


{{Also it will discuss factors of initimdation and fears of reprisal, and whether or not the batterer caused these in intention to silence a witness or as a factor of what domestic violence simply is . . . . . The case, GILES, is where he was (I believe, but can’t affirm) protesting hearsay evidence that yes, he was the murderer — and his rights to confront his accuser were supposedly compromised, in that she was dead.  Talk about a fine point — but an important, Sixth Amendment one.  Yes, this is a vital issue, and this is how it sometimes plays out in the trial courts.


 Tom Lininger, an assistant professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, conducted a survey of more than sixty prosecutors’ offices in California, Washington, and Oregon regarding Crawford’s impact on domestic violence prosecutions.  The survey included responses from 23 counties in California (which collectively included eighty-eight percent of California’s population).  Several courts have recently cited Lininger’s domestic violence research findings, including the Ninth Circuit Court of AppealsSee United States v. Hall, 419 F.3d 980 (9th Cir. 2005) TA \s “United States v. Hall, No. 04-50193, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 17148, at *21 n.6419 F.3d 980, 988 n.6 (9th Cir.  Aug. 15, 2005)” .

“Crawford” will be explained in the Amicus…..


Why “Giles,” My friends?  


This came up when I searched “clear and present danger” of spousal batterers.  While the purpose of this Amicus Brief is to discuss the Crawford rule, as applied to a man accused of a DV murder who protested (using, I believe, that “Crawford rule” that his 6th amendment rights (to confront his accuser in court) ruled out the admissibility of statements from (either 911 calls, or prior statements), it’s KIND OF IRRELEVANT in that he had, allegedly, killed her.  They are saying, if he is allowed to call on this rule (and a narrow interpretation of it), that provides a profit from wrongdoing (a.k.a., case in point, femicide). . . . 

To  non-attorney on-lookers it may seem pretty fine-tuned argument, given a homicide happened.  But what about right to defense?


My purposes in pasting it here are a little different:

  •  Sample of legal argument (not a motion, but a legal reasoning process) in which almost every assertion is cited.  
  • The attorney for the groups filing (who are listed at the end), is Nancy K.D. Lemon, Esq., at UC Berkeley.  She is pre-emininent in DV law, and in training others in applying it, AND future attorneys.  So you are reading the work of a person very informed in the field of Domestic Violence.  
  • IT ACKNOWLEDGES THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM (couldn’t tell, again, from most family law proceedings….)

The dilemma of families stuck in the one system, yet dealing — systemically — with problems that fall clearly by evidence and definition within the crimnal — is serious.  They can be like flies in amber.  Their squeaks will not be heard in one venue, where if properly addressed (and that’s a big IF) in the other, someone would be in jail.  The public needs to understand this!  It’s a public problem affecting public bottom lines, and draining the one economy and putting the drained funds into the hands of those who run certain systems. . . . . 


For readers who can deal with a level of discomfort, if legal language is new to you, and go for the plain English language, if the “cites” are too burdensome, there is a lot of valuable information in this brief, filed in December 2005.  For those who can handle the cites also (unfortunately, because my source didn’t transmit the active links, it seems some of the fine-print cites show up in duplicate or triplicate — oh well, just look for the next complete English SENTENCE) — they have significance, quoting some of the major “players” (organizations, nonprofits, published works) in the DV field.  

As should be obvious, by now, to readers, I am speaking from the perspective of still dealing with the impact of years of DV upon my life as a single woman and mother, and in recent years, the added drama of becoming noncustodial in an egregiously illegal and trauma-producing manner.  And without further recourse to reverse the bad ruling.  This document explains SOME of why what may seem like the obvious thing to do, safety was a factor all round in doing it, as well as finances, as well as legal know-how.  

A previous, better-highlit version (of this 25 page brief!) was not saved last night, and so what you see is what you get.  You are on your own in this one, but I trust that the experience will help those who can navigate the rapids of a legal brief.  At the end, (if it’s new), consider yourself a little drenched, but let’s hope slightly different for the experience.

Also, for women or others in need of writing their own, it shows the level of detailed reasoning, and SUPPORTING EACH POINT, that should be involved when filing anything on your behalf.  Don’t let sloppy stuff go on the record.  

The word count in the brief (it says towards the bottom) is 7,000+ exempting certain cites.  The word count in this post, now, is 10,850.  Have a nice day!  Please COMMENT if this was helpful, or not — thanks.





Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Respondent in People v. Giles



The Rule of Forfeiture by Wrongdoing (“the Rule”) extinguishes a defendant’s Sixth Amendment confrontation right where the defendant procured the witness’s unavailability, regardless of the defendant’s intent.  


Crawford v. Washington does not require courts to exclude a victim’s relevant statements where the defendant himself has guaranteed that the victim cannot testify in court.  Crawford states that a defendant can forfeit his Sixth Amendment confrontation rights through his own wrongdoing.  A defendant will profit from his wrongdoing when, regardless of intent, the defendant procures a witness’s unavailability and the court suppresses the witness’s testimony as a result.  Should the court adopt the defendant’s flawed understanding of the Rule, abusers who have harmed or terrorized their victims to the point where they are no longer willing or able to testify will be acquitted much more often than previously.  Since neither the Sixth Amendment nor Crawford requires this result, this Court should not suppress the deceased victim’s statements in this case. 

The Rule applies equally where the defendant procured the victim’s unavailability by killing the victim or by instilling fear of reprisals.  Unavailability often results where, in absence of a direct threat, the batterer has abused the victim to the extent that the victim reasonably fears retaliation.  Batterers should be held responsible for causing the victim’s unavailability where a victim fails to assist the prosecution based on a reasonable fear of retaliation.  

Restricting the Rule to cases where the defendant intended to procure the victim’s unavailability would have a deleterious effect on domestic violence prosecutions.  Many batterers cause their victims’ unavailability without intending to silence the victim’s testimony at some future trial.  Rather, a desire to control the victim motivates a batterer’s abusive behavior.  Furthermore, a victim’s statements regarding prior abuse or threats are often the only means of establishing the batterer’s motive, identity, and propensity to abuse.  For example, since domestic violence homicide is often the result of an escalating series of battering incidents, the trier of fact must be able to hear evidence of prior abusive incidents in order to establish the defendant’s motive in killing the victim.  

The California Legislature has recognized the need to admit previous acts of abuse in domestic violence cases and California courts have traditionally admitted this evidence in the form of previous prosecutions, previous convictions, and eyewitness testimony.  However, many batterers successfully terrorize and sequester their victims so that the victims do not file charges and so that there are no eyewitnesses to abusive acts.  The defendant’s flawed understanding of the Rule would give batterers an incentive to further abuse and isolate their victims in order to prevent the justice system from intervening.  


In order to ensure the continued viability of domestic violence prosecutions and support the Legislature’s efforts to combat the domestic violence epidemic, judges must be allowed to determine that a batterer who causes a witness’s unavailability through murder or by instilling fear of reprisals has forfeited his right to confront the victim.  This Court should affirm the decision of the court of appeal.      





The Rule of Forfeiture is based on the equitable principle that the accused should not profit from his wrongdoing.  See Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 158-59 (1879) TA \l “See Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879)” \s “See Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 158-59 (1879)” \c 1  (If a witness is absent because of the accused’s wrongful procurement, “he cannot complain if competent evidence is admitted to supply the place of that which he has kept away”; “The [forfeiture] rule has its foundation in the maxim that no one shall be permitted to take advantage of his own wrong.”); Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 62, 124 S. Ct. 1354, 1370 (2004) TA \l “Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 124 S. Ct. 1354 (2004)” \s “Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 62, 124 S. Ct. 1354, 1370 (2004)” \c 1  (“[T]he rule of forfeiture by wrongdoing (which we accept) extinguishes confrontation claims on essentially equitable grounds.”).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

A wrongdoer would profit from his wrongdoing whether or not he intended to procure the witness’s unavailability because, in either case, the accused’s wrongdoing prevents the victim from testifying at trial.    

The Rule applies where the wrongdoing consists of intimidation or other means to keep a witness from providing adverse testimony.  See generally Reynolds, 98 U.S. at 160 (admitting testimony of a witness from a prior trial because the defendant refused to reveal her location to a process server). See also State v. Wright, 701 N.W.2d 802, 814 (Minn. 2005) TA \l “State v. Wright, 701 N.W.2d 802 (Minn. 2005)” \s “State v. Wright, 701 N.W.2d 802, 814 (Minn., 2005)” \c 1  (“We agree with amici curiae that perpetrators of domestic violence frequently intimidate their victims with the goal of preventing those victims from testifying against them.  Thus, a forfeiture by wrongdoing analysis is particularly suitable for cases involving domestic violence.”).


However, a defendant would equally benefit from his wrongdoing if, after the batterer caused the victim’s unavailability, the court failed to admit the victim’s testimony  At least two courts have held that the Rule applies to a defendant who caused, without specifically intending to do so, the witness’s unavailability at trial.  The Kansas Supreme Court held that “[Where] the trial court determines as a threshold matter that that the reason the victim cannot testify at trial is that the accused murdered her [,] [the] accused should be deemed to have forfeited the confrontation right.”  State v. Meeks, 88 P.3d at 794.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that, in contravention of the Rule, a defendant would benefit from his own wrongdoing if a court excluded a victim’s testimony after the defendant procured the witness’s unavailability by killing her.  United States v. Emery, 186 F.3d 921 (8th Cir. 1999) TA \l “United States v. Emery, 186 F.3d 921 (8th Cir. 1999)” \s “United States v. Emery, 186 F.3d 921 (8th Cir. 1999)” \c 1



Domestic Violence Assaults And Homicides Are Tragically Frequent 


For at least the past fifteen years, California law enforcement has annually received between 180,000 and 250,000 domestic violence calls for assistance.  California Attorney General’s Office, Domestic Violence-Related Calls for Assistance, 1986-2003 TA \ \c 3 , available at http://caag.state.ca.us/cjsc/publications/candd/cd03/tabs/57.pdf; see also  TA \l “Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005)”  (“There are hundreds of thousands of persons in this state who are regularly beaten.”); Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey 38 (U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Nat’l Inst. Of Justice No. 183781, 2000) TA \l “Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey 38 (U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Nat’l Inst. Of Justice No. 183781, 2000)” \s “Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey 38 (U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Nat’l Inst. Of Justice No. (Nov. 2” \c 3  (indicating that about 1.5 million women and 834,700 men are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year), available at http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/183781.pdf.  In 1998, California law enforcement agencies made 56,892 arrests in domestic violence cases.  Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Report on Arrests for Domestic Violence in California, 1998, Vol. 1, No. 3, at 4 (1999) TA \l “Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Report on Arrests for Domestic Violence in California, 1998, Vol. 1, No. 3 (1999)” \s “Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Report on Arrests for Domestic Violence in California, 1998, Criminal Justice Statistics Center Report Series, Vol.ume 1, No.umber 3, at 4 (1999)” \c 3 , available at http://caag.state.ca.us/cjsc/publications/misc/dv98.pdfFurthermore, the California Legislature has acknowledged that domestic violence is “the single most unreported crime in the state.” Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005) TA \s “Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005)” .    

Far too often, an escalating series of abusive incidents leads to homicideSee Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005) TA \s “Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005)”  (“[In many cases] acts of domestic violence lead to the death of one of the involved parties.”); People v. Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th 1603, 1606 (1995) TA \l “People v. Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th 1603 (1995)” \s “People v. Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th 1603,at 1606 (1995)” \c 1  (“We again confront a situation that, unfortunately, is becoming all too common, domestic violence culminating in murder.”).  Nationwide, an average of three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.  Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Subcommittee on Crime, Correction & Victims’ Rights, Ten Years of Extraordinary Progress: The Violence Against Women Act 30 (2004) TA \l “Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Subcommittee on Crime, Correction & Victims’ Rights, Ten Years of Extraordinary Progress: The Violence Against Women Act (2004)” \s “Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Subcommittee on Crime, Correction & Victims’ Rights, Ten Years of Extraordinary Progress: The Violence Against Women Act 30 (2004)” \c 3 , available at http://biden.senate.gov/documents/VAWA_Report.pdf.  In California, the Criminal Justice Statistics Center reported that there were 187 domestic violence homicides in 2003.  Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Review of Domestic Violence Statistics 1993-2003 TA \l “Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Review of Domestic Violence Statistics 1993-2003” \s “Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Review of Domestic Violence Statistics 1993-2003” \c 3 ,   HYPERLINK http://caag.state.ca.us/cjsc/publications/misc/dvsr/rpt.pdf.         





The Nature Of Domestic Violence Makes It Likely That A Batterer Will Cause A Victim Witness’s Unavailability Through His Behavior That, While Not Necessarily Intended To Silence The Victim’s Testimony At Trial, Instills A Reasonable Fear Of Reprisal In The Victim 


Domestic violence victims frequently fail to assist in their batterer’s prosecutions.  This decision is often based on the victim’s fear of reprisal, including fear of violent and severe non-violent acts.  These fears are reasonable even in absence of a direct threat because they are based on the witness’s intimate knowledge of the batterer’s behavior.  Batterers may therefore cause a witness’s unavailability either by directly threatening the victim or by instilling fears of reprisal.  In response to this common evidentiary problem in domestic violence cases, trial courts must be allowed to determine whether the batterer caused the victim’s unavailability by instilling a fear of violent or severe non-violent retaliation, thereby forfeiting the defendant’s right to confront the victim at trial.


This Court has recognized that domestic violence victims are more prone than other crime victims to refuse to cooperate after initially providing information to law enforcement.  See  TA \l “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892 (2004)” \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)” \c 1 People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004) TA \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)”  (citing expert witness testimony regarding the “tendency of domestic violence victims to recant previous allegations of abuse as part of the particular behavior patterns commonly observed in abusive relationships”).  In fact, a recent study indicates that between eighty to ninety percent of domestic violence victims recant their accusations or refuse to cooperate with prosecutors.  Davis v. State, 169 S.W.3d 660, 671 (Tex. App. 2005) TA \l “Davis v. State, 169 S.W.3d 660 (Tex. App. 2005)” \s “Davis v. State, 169 S.W.3d 660, 671 (Tex. App. 2005)” \c 1  (citing Tom Lininger, Evidentiary Issues in Federal Prosecutions of Violence Against Women, 36 Ind. L. Rev. 687, 709 n.76 (2003) TA \l “Tom Lininger, Evidentiary Issues in Federal Prosecutions of Violence Against Women, 36 Ind. L. Rev. 687 (2003)” \s “Tom Lininger, Evidentiary Issues in Federal Prosecutions of Violence Against Women, 36 Ind. L. Rev. 687, 709 n.76 (2003)” \c 3 ). 

Domestic violence victims may fail to assist in their batterers’ prosecutions because their batterers have specifically threatened them with reprisal.  Alana Bowman, A Matter of Justice: Overcoming Juror Bias in Prosecutions of Batterers Through Expert Witness Testimony of The Common Experiences of Battered Women, 2 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Women’s Stud. 219, 248 (1992) TA \l “Alana Bowman, A Matter of Justice: Overcoming Juror Bias in Prosecutions of Batterers Through Expert Witness Testimony of The Common Experiences of Battered Women, 2 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Women’s Stud. 219 (1992)” \s “Alana Bowman, A Matter of Justice: Overcoming Juror Bias in Prosecutions of Batterers Through Expert Witness Testimony of The Common Experiences of Battered Women, 2 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Women’s Stud. 219, 248 (1992)” \c 3 .  According to a recent study, batterers threaten retaliatory violence in nearly half of all prosecutions.  Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response 183 (3d ed. 2003) TA \l “Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response (3d ed. 2003)” \s “Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response 183 (3d ed. 2003)” \c 3 ; see also Cal. Pen. Code § 136.2 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code§ 136.2 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code (2005) § 136.2 (West 2005)” \c 2  (directing courts to identify domestic violence cases so that they may issue various orders on their own motions, including protective orders, that will keep defendants from intimidating or dissuading their victims). 

However, based on their intimate knowledge of the batterer’s behavior, many victims reasonably anticipate retaliation even without a direct threat and consequently do not assist the prosecutionSee United States v. Hall, 419 F.3d 980, 988 n.6 (9th Cir. 2005) TA \l “United States v. Hall, 419 F.3d 980, (9th Cir. 2005)” \s “United States v. Hall, No. 04-50193, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 17148, at *21 n.6419 F.3d 980, 988 n.6 (9th Cir.  Aug. 15, 2005)” \c 1  (“The difficulty of securing the testimony of domestic violence victims . . . against their batterers is well recognized.”) (citing Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005) TA \l “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747 (2005)” \s “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005)” \c 3 ); Buzawa & Buzawa, supra, at 183 TA \s “Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response 183 (3d ed. 2003)”  (noting that despite increased societal attention to domestic violence, the rate of prosecution is still limited by victims’ inability to cooperate with prosecution).      

The Ninth Circuit recently acknowledged that the source of domestic violence is “power and control [that] pervades the entire relationship” so that “the battered woman’s fear, vigilance, or perception that she has few options may persist…even when the abusive partner appears to be peaceful and calm.”  Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003) TA \l “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824 (9th Cir. 2003)” \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” \c 1  (citing Mary Ann Dutton, Understanding Women’s Responses to Domestic Violence: A Redefinition of Battered Woman Syndrome,  HYPERLINK “http://www.lexis.com/research/buttonTFLink 21 Hofstra L. Rev. 1191, 1208 (1993) TA \l “Mary Ann Dutton, Understanding Women’s Responses to Domestic Violence: A Redefinition of Battered Woman Syndrome, 21 Hofstra L. Rev. 1191 (1993)” \s “Mary Ann Dutton, Understanding Women’s Responses to Domestic Violence: A Redefinition of Battered Woman Syndrome, 21 Hofstra L. Rev. 1191, 1208 (1993)” \c 3 ).  This Court also described this pattern in People v. Brown, noting that “even if there has been no other episode of violence, the victim may change her mind about prosecuting the abuser and may recant her previous statements.” 33 Cal. 4th at 907 TA \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)” .  


Furthermore, the California Legislature has defined domestic violence to include violent and various non-violent acts, supporting the proposition that victims may reasonably fear many forms of reprisal.  Specifically, the California Evidence Code states that domestic violence is “physical or sexual abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment that results in physical harm, pain, or mental suffering, the deprivation of care by a caregiver, or other deprivation by a custodian or provider of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.”  See Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005)” \c 2  (following the meaning of domestic violence set forth in  TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005) \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005)” \c 2 Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005) TA \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005)” ). Additionally, the California Family Code defines abuse as causing bodily injury, sexually abusing a person, or placing a person in “reasonable apprehension of serious bodily harm to that person or to another” and, further, it provides that a victim may obtain a restraining order to protect against the batterer’s non-violent reprisals, such as “stalking, threatening,…harassing, telephoning,…[or] destroying personal property.” Cal. Fam. Code §§ 6203, 6320 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Fam. Code § 6203 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Fam. Code §§ 6203, 6320 (West 2005)” \c 2 .     


Most commonly, a victim reasonably anticipates a physical assault, including sexual assault or even death, if the victim attempts to end a battering relationship and assist in the batterer’s prosecution.  In fact, victims are at the highest risk of severe abuse or death when they challenge the batterer’s control in their attempts to leave.  Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 837 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” ; see also Martha R. Mahoney, Victimization or Oppression? Women’s Lives, Violence, and Agency, in The Public Nature of Private Violence 59, 79 (Martha Albertson Fineman & Roxanne Mykitiuk eds., 1994) TA \l “Martha R. Mahoney, Victimization or Oppression? Women’s Lives, Violence, and Agency, in The Public Nature of Private Violence (Martha Albertson Fineman & Roxanne Mykitiuk eds., 1994)” \s “Martha R. Mahoney, Victimization or Oppression? Women’s Lives, Violence, and Agency, in The Public Nature Of Private Violence 59, 79 (Martha Albertson Fineman & Roxanne Mykitiuk eds., 1994)” \c 3  (describing the phenomenon of “separation assault” in domestic violence relationships and finding that the majority of domestic violence homicides occur upon separation).  


Victims may also reasonably fear serious, non-violent reprisals.  For example, a victim may fear that the batterer will abduct or injure the couple’s children.  See Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 125 S. Ct. 2796, 2800-2802 (2005) TA \l “See Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 125 S. Ct. 2796 (2005)” \s “See TownCity of Castle Rock v. Gonzalesz, 125 S. Ct. 2796, 2800-2802 (2005)” \c 1  (describing incident in which batterer violated his wife’s restraining order against him, abducted his three children, and murdered them.); see also Maureen Sheeran & Scott Hampton, Supervised Visitation in Cases of Domestic Violence, 50(2) Juv. & Fam. Ct. J. 13, 13-21 (1999) TA \l “Maureen Sheeran & Scott Hampton, Supervised Visitation in Cases of Domestic Violence, 50(2) Juv. & Fam. Ct. J. 13 (1999)” \s “Maureen Sheeran & Scott Hampton, Supervised Visitation in Cases of Domestic Violence, 50(2) Juv.enile &and Fam.ily Ct. J.ournal 13, 13-21 (1999)” \c 3  (citing research that establishes a definitive link between parental child abduction and domestic violence).  In fact, twenty-five percent of batterers directly threaten to kidnap the couple’s children if the victim pursues legal action. Buzawa & Buzawa, supra, at 183.  


Additionally, because many victims depend upon the batterer for financial support, they may reasonably fear financial ruin or homelessness if they assist the prosecution.  A batterer’s control of the victim’s access to money and employment is common in domestic violence situations.  Diane R. Follingstad et al., The Role of Emotional Abuse in Physically Abusive Relationships, 5 J. Fam. Violence 107, 109 (1990) TA \l “Diane R. Follingstad et al., The Role of Emotional Abuse in Physically Abusive Relationships, 5 J. Fam. Violence 107 (1990)” \s “Diane R. Follingstad et al., The Role of Emotional Abuse in Physically Abusive Relationships, 5 J. Fam. Violence 107, 109 (1990)” \c 3 A victim may reasonably fear that, without the batterer’s financial support, she and her children are at risk of becoming homeless.  U.S. Conference of Mayors, A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities: A 27-City Survey (2004) TA \l “U.S. Conference of Mayors, A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities: A 27-City Survey (2004) \s “U.S. Conference of Mayors, A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities: A 27-City Survey (, December 2004)” \c 3  (citing domestic violence as the primary cause of homelessness in forty-four percent of the cities surveyed).  


Furthermore, many undocumented abused immigrants are at a heightened risk of financial ruin if they leave their batterers because they may not be able to obtain employment or public assistance.  Leslye E. Orloff et al., With  HYPERLINK “http://web2.westlaw.com/find/default.wl?DB=1137&SerialNum=0105667923&FindType=Y&ReferencePositionType=S&ReferencePosition=317&AP=&mt=California&fn=_top&sv=Split&vr=2.0&rs=WLW5.10” \t “_top” No Place to Turn: Improving Advocacy for Battered Immigrant Women, 29 Fam. L. Q. 313, 317-19, 324 (1995) TA \l “Leslye E. Orloff et al., With No Place to Turn: Improving Advocacy for Battered Immigrant Women, 29 Fam. L. Q. 313 (1995)” \s “Leslye EL. Orloff et al., With No Place to Turn: Improving Advocacy for Battered Immigrant Women, 29 Fam. L. Q. 313, 317-19, 324 (1995)” \c 3  (“The battered immigrant spouse rarely obtains the cooperation of her husband in obtaining a work visa … In addition, virtually all public assistance programs bar undocumented immigrants from receiving benefits and limit the eligibility of legal residents.”).  

Undocumented immigrant victims may also fear that their batterers will prevent them from obtaining legal status. Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Power and Control Wheel, in Domestic Violence Law 38 (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2005) TA \l Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Power and Control Wheel, in Domestic Violence Law (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2005) \s “Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Power and Control Wheel, in Domestic Violence Law 38 (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2005)” \c 3  (noting that immigrant women may stay in abusive relationships due to the threat or fear of being deported).  For example, if an immigrant victim is deported, she may be separated from her children indefinitely, especially if the children are United States citizens.  Orloff et al., supra, at 324.  The victim may return to poverty, famine, a health-related epidemic, civil war, political persecution, or a country that does not protect her from domestic violence.  Karyl Alice Davis, Unlocking the Door by Giving her the Key: A Comment on the Adequacy of the U-Visa as a Remedy, 56 Ala. L. Rev. 557, 571 (2004) TA \l “Karyl Alice Davis, Unlocking the Door by Giving her the Key: A Comment on the Adequacy of the U-Visa as a Remedy, 56 Ala. L. Rev. 557 (2004)” \s “Karyl Alice Davis, Unlocking the Door by Giving her the Key: A Comment on the Adequacy of the U-Visa as a Remedy, 56 Ala. L. Rev. 557, 571 (Winter, 2004)” \c 3 .  Additionally, the victim may no longer be able to provide financial assistance to her family in her home country, or her friends and family may ostracize her if she seeks to separate from the batterer.  Id.  


More generally, a victim of domestic violence may fear reprisals even when the victim seems to withdraw cooperation with the prosecution out of a desire to reconcile with the batterer.  Many batterers provide “loving gestures,” such as “expensive gifts, intense displays of emotion, sending flowers after an assault, making romantic promises, tearfully promising that it will never happen again,” that in fact threaten the victim with abuse if she does not respond.  See Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 837 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” .  The Ninth Circuit recently stated, “[P]hysical abuse, threats of harm, and isolation are interwoven with seemingly loving gestures. … Amnesty International [] describes such ‘occasional indulgences’ as a method of coercion used in torture…The message is always there that if the victim does not respond[,] the perpetrator will escalate [the abuse].”  Id. (citing Leslye E. Orloff, Manual on Intra-family Cases for the D.C. Superior Court Judges 15 (1993) TA \l “Leslye E. Orloff, Manual on Intra-family Cases for the D.C. Superior Court Judges (1993)” \s “Leslye E. Orloff, Manual on Intra-family Cases for the D.C. Superior Court Judges 15 (1993)” \c 3 ).  Moreover, the Ninth Circuit has recognized that a victim’s decision not to testify against the batterer is not typically the result of passivity or submission but is rather an attempt to stop the violence, based on experiences where cooperation with the batterer proved to be a successful strategy.  See Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 838 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” .  


.Finally, the batterer’s intimate knowledge of the victim greatly and reasonably enhances the victim’s fear of reprisal.  Unlike most other perpetrators of violent crime, the domestic violence defendant typically has lived with the victim, thereby becoming familiar with the victim’s thoughts, behaviors, habits, and daily routine  California Center for Judicial Education and Research, California Judges Benchbook, Domestic Violence Cases in Criminal Court 23 (2000) TA \l “California Center for Judicial Education and Research, California Judges Benchbook, Domestic Violence Cases in Criminal Court (2000)” \s “California Center for Judicial Education and Research, California Judges Benchbook, Domestic Violence Cases in Criminal Court 23 (2000)” \c 3 ; Brown, 33 Cal. 4th at 899 TA \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)”  (“A fundamental difference between family violence and other forms of violence (such as street violence) is that family violence occurs within ongoing relationships.”) (citing Am. Psychological Assn., Violence and the Family 15 (1997) TA \l “Am. Psychological Assn., Violence and the Family 15 (1997)” \s “Am. Psychological Assn., Violence and the Family 15 (1997)” \c 3 ).   



The Victim’s Prior Statements Of Abuse Are Necessary  Evidence In Murder Cases Because They Are Often The Only Evidence Of Previous Domestic Violence Acts, Which Are Relevant And Necessary To Establish The Defendant’s Motive, Identity, And Propensity To Abuse 


California courts and the California Legislature have recognized the need to admit previous domestic violence acts in murder cases on issues of the defendant’s motive, identity, and propensity to abuse.  Previous acts are relevant to domestic violence murder cases because homicide typically occurs within the context of the cycle of violence.  California courts have previously admitted evidence of prior domestic violence acts in the form of the defendant’s prior criminal record or eyewitness testimony.  However, many batterers do not have prior criminal records and, due to the victim’s isolation by the batterer, there are often no other witnesses to domestic violence actsTherefore, a victim’s statements are necessary to establish the defendant’s motive, identity, and propensity to abuse because they are often the only evidence of previous domestic violence acts. 


{{My comment:  Given THIS, then how is it when a case lands in the family law venue, the victim (now often called a partner in a high-conflict marriage, and equally held responsible for any violence or stress that comes from the situation)’s very accounts are dismissed or minimized based on attribution of her motives — she just wants to gain control, and is not telling the truth.  This assessment then becomes the focus, rather than the facts.  What I am pointing out (saying) is that, the family ideology, principles, methodology and framework is to DENY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WHEN IT HAS OCCURRED and to DECRIMINALIZE that behavior, and Re-CRIMINALIZE the parent subject to it.  Although DV is (see top paragraph above) indeed relevant to both parenting ability and (LEGALLY speaking) custody — I have sat and watched a judge expressed boredom when I summarized the DV history (as apparently records of it were considered irrelevant by mediator and judge alike), in the context, there were several MORE, RECENT incidents of it which had brought us before the court.  It’s an entirely different mindset, and intentionally so.  This cannot be and is no accident, and it is at this point a serious social problem for our country, and others.}}


A murder defendant’s abusive history is relevant to determine his motive, identity, and propensity to abuse because domestic violence homicide is often the result of an escalating series of battering incidents.  See Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, at 3-4 (June 25, 1996) TA \l “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876 (June 25, 1996)” \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)” \c 3 , available at  HYPERLINK “http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/95-96/bill/sen/sb_1851-1900/sb_1876_cfa_960624_094659_asm_comm.html” http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/95-96/bill/sen/sb_1851-1900/sb_1876_cfa_960624_094659_asm_comm.html [hereinafter Assem. Comm. Rep.] (“[B]attering episode[s]…usually escalate[] in frequency and severity.”).


This buildup of multiple violent acts stems from the very nature of domestic violence, which frequently manifests itself as a cycle of violence that escalates over time.  The Ninth Circuit recognized the cycle as comprising “a tension building phase, followed by an acute battering of the victim, and finally by a contrite phase where the batterer’s use of promises and gifts increases the battered woman’s hope that the violence has occurred for the last time.”  Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 836 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)”  TA \l “Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 836” \s “Hernandez, v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d at 824, 836” \c 3  (quoting Dutton, supra, at 1208). 


{{Comment:  This phrase “increases the battered woman’s hope” is a “mind-reading” and likely came from someone who has not experience DV.  DV is a survival situation from the moment it begins, and the ffocus of very much often on the PRESENT, with short-term future — the focus is not having the next incident.  To state that we do indeed “hope” that it was the last incident is demeaning to women, and minimizes what we do to stay alive and keep our children alive in such situations, and hopefully injury-free.  Given that separation and independence-seeking provokes increasing levels of restraint, to accuse us, living with this, of being in as much denial as the community often is – — well, NO.  Perhaps sometimes, at a level, facing to fully face the situation does enter into emotional survival – – because, I believe that there are indeed maximum levels of fear which a person can have, and still function calmly and practically in situations. . . . . .      The batterer’s use of promises and gifts is part of the routine, and is maybe INTENDED to increase our hope – – OR possibly to defray / deter reporting and possible consequences.  Maybe it’s to allay his own conscience — who knows?  So let’s cool it on the mind-reading.. and attributions!.}}



This Court also acknowledged, “Most abusive relationships begin with a struggle for power and control between the abuser and the victim that later escalates to physical abuse. … When the victim tries to leave or to assert control over the situation, the abuser may turn to violence as an attempt to maintain control.”  Brown, 33 Cal. 4th at 907 TA \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)”  (citing expert witness testimony).  Each violent incident is therefore part of a larger pattern of power, control, and physical abuse rather than a discrete act removed from the dynamics and history of the relationship.  See Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 836-37 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)”  (“‘[A]busive behavior does not occur as a series of discrete events,’ but rather pervades the entire relationship.”) (quoting Dutton, supra, at 1208); Assem. Comm. Rep. at 3-4 TA \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)”  (“[A]ny one battering episode is part of a larger scheme of dominance and control.”).  

 The California Legislature has determined that the reasons favoring the admission of uncharged criminal domestic violence incidents outweigh the reasons favoring the exclusion such evidence.  See Johnson, 77 Cal. App. 4th at 420 (discussing the legislative history of Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 and Assem. Com. Rep. p 5).  See also Assem. Com. Rep. p 5 (“Since criminal prosecution is one of the few factors that may interrupt the escalating pattern of domestic violence, we must be willing to look at that pattern during the criminal prosecution, or we will miss the opportunity to address this problem at all.”)


{{PROBLEM:  This brief accepts, and Cal. Law also does, that criminal prosecution is one of the “few factors” that “may” interrupt the escalating pattern, then answer this question:  And I believe that at a gut level, spouses/partners who have been battered DO “get” this, how come when pregnancy and birth has occurred — or common property — in family law arena, the whole dang court doesn’t “GET” it?  Are those experts dumber than the average person, or the criminal sector?  Or is there a reason family law as a speciality exists, with it separation from the civil & Evidence codes in general, and stricter standards?  And could PART of that purpose include to reframe the conversation around criminal behavior within the family unit, or separated family unit?}}



Prior domestic violence incidents show the defendant’s propensity to commit domestic violence crimes.  The legislative history of California Evidence Code Section 1109 recognizes, “The propensity inference is particularly appropriate in the area of domestic violence because on-going violence and abuse is the norm in domestic violence cases.”  Assem. Comm. Rep. at 3-4 TA \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)” ; See also People v. Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th 1020, 1024 (2000) TA \l “People v. Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th 1020 (2000)” \s “People v. Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th 1020, 1024 (2000)” \c 1  (upholding the constitutionality of Cal. Evid. Code § 1109).  Further, the Legislature has recognized, “Without the propensity inference, the escalating nature of domestic violence is …masked.  If we fail to address the very essence of domestic violence, we will continue to see cases where perpetrators of this violence will beat their intimate partners, even kill them, and go on to beat or kill the next intimate partner.” Assem. Comm. Rep at 3-4 TA \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)” .  In a recent murder prosecution, a California court admitted the testimony of several witnesses as evidence of prior, uncharged domestic violence offenses and concluded “with substantial assurance that defendant’s propensity to commit crimes of domestic violence [and to murder his wife was] more likely than not to flow from the proved prior acts of domestic violence.”  People v. Pescador, 119 Cal. App. 4th 252, 260 (2004) TA \l “People v. Pescador, 119 Cal. App. 4th 252 (2004)” \s “People v. Pescador, 119 Cal. App. 4th 252, 260 (2004)” \c 1  (internal citations omitted).



{{HIGHLIGHT, READ, COMMENT AS APPROPRIATE — I gave a few samples above}}


Additionally, this Court has held that trial courts may admit eyewitness testimony of domestic violence to establish the defendant’s motive and identity in a murder trial.  “[E]vidence tending to establish prior quarrels between a defendant and decedent and the making of threats by the former is properly admitted and is competent to show the motive and state of mind of the defendant.” People v. Cartier, 54 Cal. 2d 300, 311 (1960) TA \l “People v. Cartier, 54 Cal. 2d 300 (1960” \s “People v. Cartier, 54 Cal. 2d 300, 311 (Cal. 1960))” \c 1 .  Likewise, on the issue of identity the court held, “Evidence of motive may . . . solve a doubt . . . as to the identity of the slayer . . .[and] is admissible against a defendant, however discreditably it may reflect on him, and even where it may show him guilty of other crimes.”  People v. Weston, 169 Cal. 393, 396 (1915) TA \l “People v. Weston, 169 Cal. 393 (1915)” \s “People v. Weston, 169 Cal. 393, 396 (Cal. 1915)” \c 1 .  More recently, lower courts have followed this Court’s holdings.  Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th at 1611 TA \s “People v. Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th 1603,at 1606 (1995)”  (citing Weston, 169 Cal. at 396 TA \s “People v. Weston, 169 Cal. 393, 396 (Cal. 1915)” , the court held that evidence of eyewitness testimony of prior abuse and threats was properly admitted in order to establish the defendant’s motive and identity HYPERLINK “http://www.lexis.com/research/buttonTFLink?_m=9b5fdc8e6cf0f444d98b1cf7f925c742&_xfercite=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c%21%5bCDATA%5b32%20Cal.%20App.%204th%201603%5d%5d%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&_butType=3&_butStat=2&_butNum=24&_butInline=1&_butinfo=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c%21%5bCDATA%5b169%20Cal.%20393%2cat%20396%5d%5d%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&_fmtstr=FULL&docnum=1&_startdoc=1&wchp=dGLbVlb-zSkAA&_md5=4f5ee7cbf41130c250e7943c5ff18f6b” \t “_parent” );  see also Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th at 1026 TA \s “People v. Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th 1020, 1024 (2000)”   (“Where a defendant is charged with a violent crime and has or had a previous relationship with a victim, prior assaults upon the same victim, when offered on disputed issues, e.g., identity, intent, motive, etcetera, are admissible …”) (citing People v. Zack, 184 Cal. App. 3d 409, 415 (1986) TA \l “People v. Zack, 184 Cal. App. 3d 409 (1986)” \s “People v. Zack, 184 Cal. App. 3d 409, 415 (1986)” \c 1 ).  

These rulings are consistent with California Evidence Code Section 1109, permitting “evidence of a defendant’s other acts of domestic violence,” and Section 1101 TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1101 (West 2005)” \s “§ 1101” \c 2 , emphasizing that “nothing…prohibits the admission of evidence that a person committed a crime, civil wrong, or other act when relevant to prove some fact (such as motive, . . . intent, . . . identity, . . .)”.  See Cal. Evid. Code §§ 1109, 1101 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1109, § 1109, 1101 (West 2005)” \c 2 .    

However, despite California’s judicial and legislative stance that previous domestic violence acts are relevant and necessary in domestic violence murder cases, prosecutors often will be unable to prove prior acts if courts restrict this evidence to the defendant’s prior criminal record or eyewitness testimony from someone other than the victim.  Instead, a victim’s statements are often the only available evidence to establish prior domestic violence acts and are therefore essential to domestic violence murder cases.  

Most deceased victims file domestic violence reports before their batterers kill them, providing numerous statements to police regarding the batterer’s abusive behavior.  See Buzawa & Buzawa TA \s “Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response 183 (3d ed. 2003)” , supra, at 88 (citing study in which eighty-five percent of domestic violence homicide victims had reported a separate domestic violence incident to police at least once before the incident leading to their deaths, and fifty percent of domestic violence homicide victims had called police five or more times).  However, as discussed supra, many victims later recant or fail to even appear at court due to fear of reprisals.    

Additionally, unlike many other crimes, there are often no eyewitnesses to the abuse because the batterer socially and physically isolates the victim from contact outside the home.  This Court has noted, “[M]any battered women remain in the relationship because of . . . social isolation.”  People v. Humphrey, 13 Cal. 4th 1073, 1078 (1996) TA \l “People v. Humphrey, 13 Cal. 4th 1073, 1078 (1996)” \s “People v. People v. Humphrey, 13 Cal. 4th 1073, 1073, 1078 (1996)” \c 1 .  The Ninth Circuit recently reviewed a case involving physical isolation, where a victim’s spouse locked her in the home and refused to allow medical treatment.  Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 830 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” .  Furthermore, domestic violence incidents usually take place in the privacy of the home. People v. Gutierrez, 171 Cal. App. 3d 944, 949 (1985) TA \l “People v. Gutierrez, 171 Cal. App. 3d 44 (1985)” \s “People v. Gutierrez, 171 Cal. App. 3d at 944, 949 (1985)” \c 1  (citing  HYPERLINK “http://www.lexis.com/research/buttonTFLink?_m=614717a118cadce688a9ecf2401cc1d7&_xfercite=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c%21%5bCDATA%5b171%20Cal.%20App.%203d%20944%5d%5d%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&_butType=3&_butStat=2&_butNum=28&_butInline=1&_butinfo=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c%21%5bCDATA%5b53%20Cal.%20App.%203d%20786%5d%5d%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&_fmtstr=FULL&docnum=1&_startdoc=1&wchp=dGLbVzz-zSkAB&_md5=4f5d57fe8d06a0095ed3dc11f0ad5a70” \t “_parent” People v. Cameron, 53 Cal.App.3d 786, 792 (1975) TA \l “People v. Cameron, 53 Cal.App.3d 786 (1975)” \s “People v. Cameron, 53 Cal.App.3d 786, 792 (1975)” \c 1 ).  Batterers often isolate their victims by controlling when they leave the house, where they go upon leaving, to whom they speak, and their daily activities.  Mary Ann Dutton & Catherine L. Waltz, Domestic Violence: Understanding Why It Happens and How to Recognize It, Domestic Violence Law 66, 68 (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2001) TA \l “Mary Ann Dutton & Catherine L. Waltz, Domestic Violence: Understanding Why It Happens and How to Recognize It, in Domestic Violence Law 66,(Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2001)” \s “Mary Ann Dutton & Catherine L. Waltz, Domestic Violence:  Understanding Why It Happens and How to Recognize It, in Domestic Violence Law 66, 68 (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2001)” \c 3

  This isolation impacts virtually every form of evidence a prosecutor would typically seek to introduce at trial.  Lisa Marie De Sanctis, Bridging the Gap Between the Rules of Evidence and Justice for Victims of Domestic Violence, 8 Yale J.L. & Feminism 359, 370-72 (1996) TA \l “Lisa Marie De Sanctis, Bridging the Gap Between the Rules of Evidence and Justice for Victims of Domestic Violence, 8 Yale J.L. & Feminism 359, 370(1996)” \s “Lisa Marie De Sanctis, Bridging the Gap Between the Rules of Evidence and Justice for Victims of Domestic Violence, 8 Yale J.L. & Feminism 359, 370-72 (1996)” \c 3 .  For example, because there are often no eyewitnesses to an incident of domestic violence, there will likely be no 911 calls from parties other than the victim.  Additionally, because many batterers isolate their victims from friends and family members, these individuals may be unaware of any domestic violence until the batterer is formally charged. See Janice A. Drye, The Silent Victims of Domestic Violence: Children Forgotten by the Judicial System, 34 Gonz. L. Rev. 229, 239 (1998/1999) TA \l “Janice A. Drye, The Silent Victims of Domestic Violence: Children Forgotten by the Judicial System, 34 Gonz. L. Rev. 229 (1998/1999)” \s “Janice A. Drye, The Silent Victims of Domestic Violence: Children Forgotten by the Judicial System, 34 Gonz. L. Rev. 229, 239 (1998/1999)” \c 3 ; Cris M. Sullivan, The Provision of Advocacy Services to Women Leaving Abusive Partners:  An Exploratory Study, 6 J. Interpersonal Violence 41, 43 (1991) TA \l “Cris M. Sullivan, The Provision of Advocacy Services to Women Leaving Abusive Partners:  An Exploratory Study, 6 J. Interpersonal Violence 41, (1991)” \s “Cris M. Sullivan, The Provision of Advocacy Services to Women Leaving Abusive Partners:  An Exploratory Study, 6 J. Interpersonal Violence 41, 43 (1991)” \c 3 .  As a result, friends and family members are often unable to testify to any history of domestic violence, leaving no evidence of the past abuse other than an unavailable victim’s statements.  

 An Intent-Based Application Of The Rule Will Significantly Diminish The Number Of Domestic Violence Prosecutions, Undermining Prosecution Efforts And Exacerbating The California Domestic Violence Crisis 


The California Legislature has established that prosecutions are necessary to reduce domestic violence incidents and has made great efforts to assist these prosecutions.  An Assembly Committee Report stated, “[C]riminal prosecution is one of the few factors that may interrupt the escalating pattern of domestic violence.”  See Assem. Comm. Rep. at 5 TA \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)” .  Further, the Legislature has declared, “[Since] spousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the mental and physical well-being of the citizens of the State of California,…[we will] support increased efforts by district attorneys’ and city attorneys’ offices to prosecute spousal abusers through organizational and operational techniques.”  Cal. Pen. Code § 273.8 (West  2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.8 (West  2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.8 (West  2005)” \c 2 ; see also Cal. Pen. Code § 273.81 (West  2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.81 (West  2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.81 (West  2005)” \c 2  (establishing Spousal Abuser Prosecution Program within the Department of Justice that provides financial and technical assistance for district attorneys’ and city attorneys’ offices and promotes vertical prosecution in order to convict spousal abusers).

In order to address the domestic violence epidemic, the California Legislature has passed a host of laws intended to increase domestic violence arrests, prosecutions, and convictions.  See, e.g., Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West  2005) TA \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005)”  TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West  2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West  2005)” \c 1 .  For example, these laws require arrests of persons who violate restraining orders (Cal. Pen. Code § 836(c) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 836(c) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 836(c) (West 2005)” \c 2 ); encourage arrests where there is probable cause that a person committed a domestic violence offense (Cal. Pen. Code § 13701(b) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 13701(b) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13701(b) (West 2005)” \c 2 ); require that suspects arrested for certain domestic violence offenses appear before a magistrate rather than be cited and released (Cal. Pen. Code § 853.6(a) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 853.6(a) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 853.6(a) (West 2005)” \c 2 ); and encourage prosecutors to seek the most severe authorized sentence for a person convicted of a domestic violence offense (Cal. Pen. Code § 273.84(b) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.84(b) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.84(b) (West 2005)” \c 2 ).  See generally California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, California Laws Relating to Domestic Violence (2005) TA \l “California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, California Laws Relating to Domestic Violence (2005)” \s “California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, California Laws Relating to Domestic Violence (January 2005)” \c 3 ,  HYPERLINK “http://www.caadv.org/docs/dvlawsfinal.pdf” http://www.caadv.org/docs/dvlawsfinal.pdf (providing a comprehensive overview of hundreds of California code sections related to domestic violence).

Additionally, the Legislature has enacted several evidentiary rules specifically designed to facilitate domestic violence prosecutions, including laws allowing experts to testify when relevant, such as when a domestic violence victim recants or refuses to testify (Cal. Evid. Code § 1107 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1107 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1107 (West 2005)” \c 2 ); permitting evidence of previous acts of abuse in a criminal action in which the defendant is accused of an offense involving domestic abuse of an elder or dependent person (Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005) TA \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005)”  mentioned supra); and permitting introduction of some forms of hearsay evidence when the domestic violence victim is unavailable to testify (Cal. Evid. Code § 1370 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1370 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1370 (West 2005)” \c 2 ).  

Despite the Legislature’s efforts to improve domestic violence prosecution efforts, however, there has been a substantial drop in domestic violence prosecutions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford.  In the first year after Crawford, California prosecutors reported that they were dismissing a higher number of domestic violence cases than in the preceding years. Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford TA \s “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005)” , supra, at 749-50.  Sixty-one percent of responding prosecutors reported that Crawford had significantly impeded domestic violence prosecutions.  Id., at 772, 820.    

Before Crawford, prosecutors often conducted “victimless prosecutions,” where they relied on hearsay statements made by victims to police, medical personnel, clergy, social workers, and others because the victim would not testify at trial.  Melissa Moody, A Blow to Domestic Violence Victims: Applying the “Testimonial Statements” Test in Crawford v. Washington, 11 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 387, 387 (2005) TA \l “Melissa Moody, A Blow to Domestic Violence Victims: Applying the \“Testimonial Statements\” Test in Crawford v. Washington, 11 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 3873(2005)” \s “Melissa Moody, A Blow to Domestic Violence Victims: Applying the \”Testimonial Statements\” Test in Crawford v. Washington, 11 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 387, 387 (2005)” \c 3 ; Andrew King-Ries, Crawford v. Washington: The End of Victimless Prosecution?, 28 Seattle U. L. Rev. 301, 301 (2005) TA \l “Andrew King-Ries, Crawford v. Washington: The End of Victimless Prosecution? 28 Seattle U. L. Rev. 301, 301 (2005)” \s “Andrew King-Ries, Crawford v. Washington: The End of Victimless Prosecution? 28 Seattle Univ. L. Rev. 301, 301 (2005)” \c 3 .  Further, these prosecutions often proved successful in combating domestic violence.  See, e.g., Casey G. Gwinn & Anne O’Dell, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Stopping the Violence: The Role of the Police Officer and the Prosecutor, 20 W. St. U.L. Rev. 297, 303-04 (1993) TA \l “Casey G. Gwinn & Anne O’Dell, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Stopping the Violence: The Role of the Police Officer and the Prosecutor, 20 W. St. U.L. Rev. 297, 303-04 (1993)” \s “Casey G. Gwinn, J.D. & Sgt. Anne O’’Dell, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Stopping the Violence: The Role of the Police Officer and the Prosecutor, 20 W. St. U.L. Rev. 297, 303-04 (Spring 1993)” \c 3  (“Nearly 60% of our filed cases involve uncooperative or absent victims and yet we obtain convictions in 88% of our cases…Our strategies are working to reduce violence in intimate relationships in San Diego”); Linda A. McGuire, Criminal Prosecution of Domestic Violence TA \l “Linda A. McGuire, Criminal Prosecution of Domestic Violence” \s “Linda A. McGuire, , Esq., Criminal Prosecution of Domestic Violence” \c 3 , available at  http://www.bwjp.org/documents/prosecuteV.htm (reporting that San Diego prosecutors’ and law enforcement officials’ strategies , including conducting victimless prosecutions, decreased San Diego’s domestic violence homicide rate by 59% from 1991 to 1993) (last visited Dec. 7, 2005).   

  The post-Crawford drop in domestic violence prosecutions indicates that some prosecutors and judges have failed to recognize the Rule of Forfeiture as an applicable exception to the Sixth Amendment right of confrontation in many domestic violence cases.  See Robert P. Mosteller, Crawford v. Washington: Encouraging and Ensuring the Confrontation of Witnesses, 39 U. Rich. L. Rev. 511, 607 (2005) TA \l “Robert P. Mosteller, Crawford v. Washington: Encouraging and Ensuring the Confrontation of Witnesses, 39 U. Rich. L. Rev. 511, 60(2005)” \s “Robert P. Mosteller, Crawford v. Washington: Encouraging and Ensuring the Confrontation of Witnesses, 39 U. Rich. L. Rev. 511, 607 (2005)” \c 3  (stating that Crawford “has caused great disruption and massive uncertainty” in the prosecution of domestic violence cases).  Specifically, this trend indicates that prosecutors seek to admit an unavailable victim’s statements under the Rule only when a defendant intends to procure the victim’s unavailability at trial instead of when, as often occurs in domestic violence cases, the defendant causes the witness’s unavailability by killing the victim or by instilling fear of reprisals.  As a result, the legal system appears to reward batterers by dropping some charges, dismissing entire cases, or acquitting the batterer of domestic violence charges when the victim’s statements are the only evidence to establish a battering relationship.  

Furthermore, if batterers know that prosecutors will move to dismiss charges or lose domestic violence cases whenever batterers successfully terrorize and sequester their victims, they will intimidate and threaten their victims in order to derail prosecution.  See Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford TA \s “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005)” , supra, at 808 (raising concern that if courts require a victim witness’s live testimony in order to admit any of the victim’s statements, it is more likely that an abuser will threaten the victim before trial in the hope of preventing prosecution).  Conversely, if the judicial system holds batterers accountable for causing a victim’s unavailability, batterers will have less incentive to intimidate their victims into silence.   


For the foregoing reasons, amici respectfully request that the Court affirm the decision of the Court of Appeal.


Respectfully submitted,




Nancy K. D. Lemon

Calif. State Bar No. 95627

Boalt Hall School of Law

University of California 

Berkeley, California 94720

(510) 525-3164

Attorney for Amici Curiae 



Dated: December 11, 2005


On behalf of


California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV)


Asian Law Alliance of San Jose


California National Organization for Women (CA NOW)


California Women’s Law Center


City of Santa Cruz’s Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women


Glendale YWCA


Los Angeles County Bar Association Domestic Violence Project


Marjaree Mason Center


Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence


Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children


South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center


Walnut Avenue Women’s Center


Women Escaping A Violent Environment (WEAVE)


WomanHaven, Inc., d/b/a Center for Family Solutions


Women’s Crisis Support – Defensa de Mujeres






I certify that this brief complies with the type-volume limitation of the California Rules of Court Rule 14(c)(1).

Exclusive of the exempted portions in California Rules of Court Rule 14(c)(3), the brief contains 7638 words.







Nancy K. D. Lemon

Boalt Hall School of Law 

University of California at Berkeley

Berkeley, California 94720

Telephone: 510-525-3164

Attorney for Amici Curiae 



Dated: December 11, 2005





(not relevant for purposes of this post) 














(This segment quoted by LetsGetHonest above — before entire Giles text)


 Defendant concedes the second issue on review.  The Rule applies even where the wrongdoing is the same as the offense for which the defendant is on trial.  A defendant will profit from his wrongdoing regardless of whether he procured the victim’s unavailability during trial or before the prosecutor filed charges against him.  As the Kansas Supreme Court observed, “[B]ootstrapping does not pose a genuine problem.”  State v. Meeks, 88 P.3d 789, 794 (Kan. 2004). TA \l “State v. Meeks, 88 P.3d 789 (Kan. 2004).” \s “State v. Meeks, 88 P.3d 789, 794 (Kan. 2004).” \c 1  

 Arguably, some victims may refuse to assist in their batterers’ prosecutions due to factors that the batterer does not cause, including love and the hope that the batterer will change.  Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving the Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997) TA \l “Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving the Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997)” \s “Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving tThe Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. EOImmigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997)” \c 3 .  However, even in these circumstances, trial courts may determine that the batterer caused the victim’s unavailability by preying on the victim’s emotions and promising to change.  

 Tom Lininger, an assistant professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, conducted a survey of more than sixty prosecutors’ offices in California, Washington, and Oregon regarding Crawford’s impact on domestic violence prosecutions.  The survey included responses from 23 counties in California (which collectively included eighty-eight percent of California’s population).  Several courts have recently cited Lininger’s domestic violence research findings, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  See United States v. Hall, 419 F.3d 980 (9th Cir. 2005) TA \s “United States v. Hall, No. 04-50193, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 17148, at *21 n.6419 F.3d 980, 988 n.6 (9th Cir.  Aug. 15, 2005)” .













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Linus, MN — derailing the DV conversation, again. How dare they!

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It was misfortune, it fell down from the sky, accidentally, 2 days after an irate man with a fourteen-year history of violence was released from jail after the 48th DV call.  Now, let’s not talk about that bail, let’s talk about HER losing the battle, oh well.


Perhaps because restraining orders aren’t bullet-proof, I just have a hunch.  They equipped her with PAPER, and let him out of jail.  Now, oh dear, she lost the batttle. . . . . . PERHAPS we should look at the strategists this time, not the foot soldiers.


Police: Murder-suicide victim did ‘everything she could’ to protect herself



LINO LAKES, Minn. — It seems there’s never a typical neighborhood, and there’s never a typical victim when it comes to domestic violence. 


TRUE, but there are typical policies when dealing with it.  See if you catch one, below….

Friends say that’s definitely true of 48-year-old Pamela Taschuk, a woman they say was “vibrant.” 

“She was upbeat. She was moving forward with her life, whatever the circumstances. And that was consistent with the way she did everything. She always had a sort of upbeat, vibrant attitude and just brought a spark of life whereever she was at,” said Jeffrey Schulz, who worked with Taschuk at BlueSky Online Charter School. 

On Thursday night, Taschuk was killed (*) in her Lino Lakes home in what police believe was the final act of a long history of domestic abuse(**). 

(**) Did police call it domestic “abuse” or domestic “violence,” which is more accurate?….  “Violence” sounds like “vile” which it is.  “Abuse” well, it’s just a little softer sounding.  

I have an idea why it’s called “abuse” in Minnesota (as well as other places).   One is called Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs and the other is called the Domestic Abuse Project.  

(*) (2nd in order becuase I didn’t notice this first time through) . . . .   Taschuk was killed.   Well, ain’t THAT a little evasive.  What happened to the whoDUNit?  Of course, the story then gets to it:

Police say Pam’s husband, 51-year-old Allen Taschuk, dropped their 16-year-old son off at a nearby gas station. Taschuk then returned home, police said, and killed Pam with a single gunshot wound. He called 911 to request someone pick up his son before turning the gun onto himself. 

Officials say the case is both tragic and ironic — prosecutors say Pamela had met with them the very day she was killed. {{See later in story — she ALSO, the same day, attended a DV support group. I’ll get to this (one thing at a time. . . . but here it is:  “Moore says Pam was even at a support group just minutes before her murder.”}}

ONE thing that seems obvious to me — her support group was near the home — “just minutes” away.  She hadn’t left the family home.  Maybe the support group, in light of this, might speak to their organizers and consider recommending that women take an IMMEDIATE precautionary and SWIFT location-change.  And then let the prosecutors communicate with her, via fax, phone, mail, or from another prosecutor’s office, if necessary, perhaps?

“She was doing everything she could do to help us have a successful case,” said Paul Young with the Anoka County Attorney’s Office.

(Although 14 years after the assaults had begun — and I’m not faulting the woman, but I think perhaps this is a word to the wise for those women who may have access to internet and not wish the same fate….There is an element of gambling in these processes….  I don’t like gambling with the stakes being human lives, especially Mom/Dad parent lives  . . . Anyhow . . . . .}}

Someone pressed charges after he beat her:

Pam’s battle against her domestic abuse spanned more than a decade.

Wow,  A husband beating a wife just got gender-neutraled.  For that, see this: The Grammar of Male Violence

{{I’m quoting a radical feminist publication, so therefore by association I must be a radical feminazi and lesbian, right?}}

Well, is that relevant to whether or not there is more than one way to describe a situation on which the details were known?  For example, where is the culprit in that decade?  Who was hitting WHOM just got deleted.  If she’d been hitting him, do you think the news media would have omitted this?  (and the answer is probably No.  On the 2nd part, but it’s going more towards the feminazi, if this will help save lives, than away from it, if moderation will not.  I don’t think violence towards women is a moderate act that should elicit a moderate response on the part of friends, neighbors, clergy, or law enforcement.  And friends should examine themselves, as should immediate family, in these matters.  Which, admittedly, ain’t always easy or comfortable.

Finally, BOTH of them are now permanently deleted, by bullets.  And yet the descriptors remains (as reported by police, or at least these reporters), when HE assaulted HER, it comes out as HER battling “domestic abuse.”  Because it takes two to tango, and she’s tangleed up in this sentence, I will presume that an aggressive male who eventually shot his 2nd wife, leaving his children fatherless, and stepmotherless (where is previous wife, or their mother?


In a press conference on Friday, Lino Lakes Police Chief Dave Pecchia said police had responded to 48 calls to the Taschuk home in the last 14 years  (neither of the couple being available for comment, we’ll have to take this at his word, unless someone on-line wants to look the records up)

In August, police arrested Allen after he beat Pam and wouldn’t let her leave.

What about the other 48 calls — did THEY result in any arrests?  Why did THIS one — because it was beating AND false imprisonment?  Or because they have a limit of 4 dozen per decade per couple?  Or because the first 47 were just domestic disputes, and now that two people are dead, the polic want to emphasize that they DID arrest this dude?  

I’ll tell you something.  MOST beatings have an element of false imprisonment in them.  Unless you buy that women like it, most won’t stick around voluntarily.  If we could see something beyond the short time, generally, at shelters, for us, and/or our kids, and/or how to work after or in a shelter.  “Hi.  I’m going to beat you.  Could you hold still for a while?  Please?” 

But two days later, he posted bail and was released.  

You know what?  Perhaps this should be the headline and not “murder/suicide victim…” First of all, the second word came second, and by then she wasn’t alive enough to be a victim of it.  First all, she wasn’t.  Sometimes I HATE the deletion of active verbs, condensed into adjectives to make room for a sentence spreading a sense of futility and helplessness — “she did everything she could to protect herself.”


{{What about exercising her 2nd Amendment rights to meet potential escalated violence (it’d been escalating, right?) with more than externalized paperwork and meetings?  I believe abusers are cowards at heart.  ESPECIALLY of women.  Picking on someone helpless, and resorting to this to dominate, is a sign of weakness, and need to feel superior, but not the guts to face someone equal in stature and with equal means.  Who knows what a batterer might do if he (or she) ever had to face and armed VICTIM, as opposed to armed responding officers after they’d already shot (or whatever the means) their unarmed, often female (or male), victim?  For starters, they’d probably go target someone else, unarmed, which may not solve the problem they carry with them — but it MIGHT solve the problem for that one person being targeted..}}

{{You know what?  When I read a report about two people shot that shouldn’t have been shot, I don’t like PASSIVE tense and I don’t like “generic nouns” to describe something that obviously had a person, acting, involved.  “Generic nouns” are good places for things like rain, clouds, tides, and so forth.  Sun rising, and whatnot.  I don’t think murder-suicides following someone incarcerated for only 2 days when the history of violence dates back 10 years……should be packaged in as commonplace language as events we take for granted.  Even so-called “acts of God” {{meaning, in insurance terms, “natural” disasters}} have a scientific causality.  

That he “was released” is not an act of God or a happening, it was MATERIAL to two deaths, and it had a human agent.  If that human’s hands were tied by policy, then the thing is to untie the policy noose.  On the other hand, did that human in this case VIOLATE an existing policy?   We’ll never know, and this article is CERTAINLy not interested in asking WHY he “was released.”}}

The door just opened.  It just happened.

QUIZ:  Do arresting officers set bail?  (I think not).  Judges do.  DO judges have guidelines, and if so, do they follow them?  So then (“Cast, Characters, Script, Action” in the repeat performance of a domestic violence murder/suicide after a man who’d just been confronted on it was inexplicably given a bail low enough to meet, posted it, and went for his gun….  This is, I repeat, a REPEAT performance in the same old script..not to mention a repeat review.  Do they have boilerplates for this type of reporting?  “Ask the police, ask the prosecutors, as a friend or so and commerorate her, comment on how unavoidable it was, and promote the local domestic violence shelter,  which she wasn’t in,  or program, or support groups,..which she was.  Or batterer’s intervention groups which he was, passing with flying colors, right up til that 2nd shot…  Spin the tale, frame the conversation…….)  

 Can we try a variation on this?

who just got deleted from this account of what happened?  Answer — the JUDGE.    Who deleted it, or didn’t report it?  The author (or editor), probably Karla Hult of KARE11.com news.  She was doing her job, I know.  Typical report.  He posted bail (HOW MUCH?  DID ANYONE BRING UP, ON SETTING BAIL, THAT HE HAD A DECADE LONG HISTORY OF ABUSE, 48 CALLS IN 10 YEARS, AND REPRESENTED A DANGER?    NOW THAT MIGHT BE A STORY.  REMINDS ME OF THE OCEAN CITY (TOMS RIVER NJ) ACCOUNT.  See my blogroll — it’s usually one of top 5 posts visited.  And I asked that question:  WHY was the dude released then?  

But prosecutors, friends and domestic abuse advocates say Pam kept fighting. Earlier this month, she got an order of protection against her husband. She was also getting a divorce. 


I’d like to review these two sentences again.  My mind can’t just quite wrap around the verbal equating of “Pam kept fighting” with (14 years after he began assault & battery behavior against her (that’s what it is) with two activities:  Getting a protection order, and getting a divorce.  One more time, in blue, the 3 categories of Monday Night Quarterbackers, post-game analysts who ARE still alive (and probably still employed too) have this summary, and trick of language metaphor:

But prosecutors, friends and domestic abuse advocates say Pam kept fighting. {{HOW did she fight?  With what weapons?  Possibly as advised:)  (1) Earlier this month, she got an order of protection against her husband  {{actually that’s not fight, that’s closeer to flight, only not really for it, because no change of location was involved for HER}}  (2) She was also getting a divorce. 

How did her husband fight?   The last time, with a gun.  How did she fight?  with a protection order and a divorce.  

Filing for both the protection order AND the divorce, we ALL should know by now, the temperature is escalating — this woman is attempting to change the dynamics, and is getting help with it, too.  The “I rule THIS neck of the woods” dynamic is being shaken up.  She is in more danger now (if this be possible) when she was at home taking it on the chin, so to speak (wherever it landed).  if those were NOT life-threatening, although intolerable, illegal, and an indicator that her life WAS in danger, whatever it was then, it is now even moreso unless she gets ALL the way to safe FAST, because she is saying “STOP!”

So let’s look at this logic.  Things are going to heat up.  She is attempting to re-assert control, even defense.  Now ALL parties involved should know this by now, or they simply are illiterate and do not get on-line about DV, at all.  You can’t read too far before running across that truth.  “The most dangerous time is when a woman tries to separate….”  So let’s assess the survival tools this report just credited her (post-mortem, literally) with:

  • Man just out of jail with Gun v. court rulings (paper, theory).  
  • Man just out of jail, and history of DV, with Gun v. court rulings.  Let me see, which is likely to win? Gun, or court rulings? Place your bets, after all, it’s not YOUR life.

Which will win?  Well, that depends on the context and some variables.  Court rulings (“paper” or electronic) restrain in THEORY.  

Guns can restrain in PRACTICE, and for good.  They are heart-stopping (case in point)

QUESTION:  If it was someone you cared about, would you gamble on someone’s psychological or lethality assessment of a 14-year batterer, and logically, then wish the person attacked to have to live in a constant state of gauging that assessment, OR would you recommend something which would err on the side of SAFETY, for example, immediate and significant SEPARATION (distance wise, etc.) or DETERRENT-wise?  

Where’s your love at?  Where’s OUR love at?  

Is it moral or practical to play “paper, scissors, rock” with other people’s lives, at public expense??  After they have come to a public entity (or  nonprofit) for help and safety?  If unclear what this game is, see next section.  it’s a simple, context-sensitive game of wit, or odds, and only requires hands to play.  The losers may be humiliated, but aren’t hurt by the game, per se. . . Kids play it, grown-ups sometimes, too….

Paper, Scissors, Stone.

Reminds me of that kids’ game, “paper, scissors, stone.”  The key is context, and the thrill is not knowing what your choice will be met with from the other player’s.  For those who don’t know, I’ll let Wikipedia and Youtube illustrate:



  1. Video results for paper scissors rock


Now, let’s reconsider Pam kept fighting:  She got a protection order and was getting a divorce.


Her weapons:  court orders.  

His, Previous times:- ?? only those two, and any witnesses know for sure.  (Maybe the previous 48 calls to the home revealed).  This last time, a gun.  Who had the better odds, given that this guy wasn’t the most law-abiding sort, evidently. . . . ??  The odds were stacked against her.  Her weapons were metaphors, his were tangible and had projectiles.  Moreover, whoever kept encouraging her to get these obviously doesn’t read the newspapers that often, or at least, the policies are at odds with the evidence.

Now, let’s consider. Let’s analyze (again):  Who’s alive, who’s dead, and whose advice did the dead woman follow?  Perhaps if she’d had and been able to follow better advice, SHE’d still be alive.  

I suspect (though I may be wrong, but I bet) had she not been murdered by her husband, her husband MIGHT not have felt it necessary to make a quick end to THAT process (rather than stay in jail — remember, he’d just spent 2 days in jail, and was probably VERY committeed not to going back again…)

Homicide in the U.S. — Plenary Panel from the 2009 NIJ Conference

(references something tried in Baltimore, based on in part the J. Campbell assessment)

In Maryland, you can see that our partner homicide averages about 1,200 per year. Sixty.nine men, women and children in Maryland. Our goal was to use this instrument, directed by this committee, to look at what an officer can do on the scene to deal with the danger of death at the scene at the time that they’re there. Sort of the golden hour that the health care industry uses, or the golden 24 hours, to get intervention into that home.

A lot of the committee members included DSS, which are critical; the prosecutors of course; law enforcement; and domestic violence advocates, our nonprofit providers. Dr. Campbell found some key things in her research, and she helped us to identify the things that many law enforcement officers know by instinct. What is the victim’s perception of what’s going on here? What is their fear level? What is the access to weapons? What happens with the threats of violence at the scene? What’s the suspect’s employment status, et cetera? You can read the rest…

What were the leadership issues we experienced as an agency? Of course, our relationship with external partners was critical. If you don’t have them, it’s a little hard to build this base. We were really blessed to have a lot of that infrastructure in place.

Culture. What is the attitude of your officers in the area of domestic violence? Is there emotional intelligence, or is it an immature culture about the issue? And how do you, as leaders, attend to that? What is the attitude in general with your county of the role of the state’s attorney, prosecutors, judges, et cetera?  


. . . . So, I would err EVERY time on the side of safety, caution, and take NO risks, rather than unacceptable risks.  We have gotten to the point in some situations were restraining “orders” are instead red flags, instigating further escalations.  When people are in an “intimate” relationship, it’s part of this to let down their guard somewhat.  People who take advantage of this by REPEATED physical assaults have made a MAJOR transggression, and this needs to be addressed as such.  ONE call to the police is unacceptable, and a huge red flag.

I have 3 short proverbs, or “gifts” (of information) to the next women (or men) hoping to restrain and out of control intimate partner, or one that has been ejected from the home by them already.  Or, if they are considering it.  AGAIN, I’m not an attorney and every one is to judge her situation and LISTEN to her instinct, and do NOT listen to people who say, listen to US, not your instinct; we aree the experts.

In the field of survival we have God-given instincts (or, if you prefer, natural) for this.  Appreciate them!  Do not sign them over the closest entity saying “let us help you.”  Help is needed, but as you had that guard up with the aggressor, also be alert from people that are taking your confidences and advising you how to get out.  It may be a way out, or it may be a dead end, such as this one.  Then afterwards, you will 

OH — closer to the bottom of the article about the VICTIM, here’s actually something about the SHOOTER.


Allen Taschuk served on the Centennial Fire Department as a paid, on-call firefighter for the last 20 years, accoridng to Chief Jerry Streich. He was put on administrative leave within the last year for undisclosed reasons.


“Pamela did all the things she could do in terms of protecting herself,” said Connie Moore with the Alexandra House Domestic Abuse Shelter in Blaine. 

WELL, HERE’S ANOTHER COMMENTATOR, NOT THE JUDGE WHO ENABLED THIS WIFE-BEATER TO GET FREE BY WHATEVER BAIL WAS POSTED.  And I bet he wasn’t too happy about even those 2 days in jail, either, I mean the husband.  Future women in trouble should call this shelter.  (Free plug — come to us!)  You too, might end up like Pam.  

Moore says Pam was even at a support group just minutes before her murder.


So much for support groups!  I rest my case!  Safety FIRST, support, SECOND.  


and this is why (post-restraining order) I stopped attending, because I wished to devote my time instead to something which might stop the trouble, and it was escalating — and not learn how to endure it.  I already knew how to endure it, from practice, years of it, but the more freedom I tasted the less taste I had for returning to abuse.  This is when things OD escalate, when this is sensed by the other person.


Given her long battle, Moore says . . .

This tells you who, perhaps, Ms. Moore has been hanging out with.  i recommend she carefully review “The Grammar of Male Violence” and change her talk.  Stop talking about the women that lost, and analyze the case in terms of who did what.

Ms. Moore, if you’re reading this, could you get a copy back to PRAXIS and BATTERED WOMEN’S JUSTICE  PROJECT AND ANY OTHER TRAINING CONFERENCES YOU ATTEND AS A SHELTER WORKER?  I know they have organizations up in Minnesota that teach cultural sensitivity as to subgroups of people being assaulted by their partners.  There’s funding for Rural, for Native American, and I know there’s IAADV  for African-American issues, with Dr. Johnson.  Would you relate, from me, that it’s not “her long battle” but (seems to me, at least this case) someone’s incompetence, that let this one “suddenly spiral out of control.” after a guy just got released from another beating on bail.  Stop deflecting blame onto the woman.  Sounds to me like she was doing HER part, but others weren’t doing THEIRS.  Maybe that why “she lost ” “her battle.”  

Where were the analysts?  They were collaborating on how to train all the folks that weren’s supposed to set that low a bail, but give her time to get the heck out of there, and TELL her to!  

Please show grammar sensitivity for the sub-group of WOMEN and stop blaming them when their prime shortcoming was simply bad advisors, who didn’t say GET OUT and STAY AWAY!  

Pam’s death highlights what else needs to be done in the court system and community to protect domestic abuse victims.

Not it doesn’t, it’ OBFUSCATES what else needs to be done in the sentencing procedure.  Chalk it up to another mess-up.  It was just a few dozen or so domestic disputes, that’s all.  

I’m going to rewrite that:  “to empower battered women.”  or “to STOP or RESTRAIN men who batter women.And stop calling it “abuse!” Stop giving the standard post-murder/suicide spin, and start quoting from court pleadings and police reports, if you can.  The next time a reporter contacts you after an “event” tell them some graphic truth and be blunt about it.  You might lose your job, though, but maybe a better calling might ben investigating these bail orders handed out.  . . .   If they force traffic violators (speeders, drunk drivers, etc.) to sit through accident footage, why is this less?  


“If a victim is saying ‘he’s threatened me, he says he’s going to kill me,’ we need to take that seriously,” Moore said. 

We who?   How many (more) women, boys & girls, and/or men  are going to die before the full panoply of that “we” starts to try something different?  Can something be diverted from, say, abstinence education, to helping families in danger MOVE while he’s incarcerated?

Moore said the court system should consider following a “lethal assessment” policy that requires officials to gauge exactly how great a threat a suspect poses to his potential victim. She said officials could then choose a more aggressive response with those suspects who pose a greater risk.   {{they COULD do this now, and aren’t. It’s not really rocket science...}} 


You know what?  The court systems is considering its own behind, associates and paychecks.  The sooner DV victims realize this, the better.  I say that from the perspective of the fatherhood movement, superrvised visitation movement, access visitation movements, and the inane acting like a lethal incident just “dropped out of the sky” and was the dead people’s (or fortune’s) fault.  

THIS lethality assessment stuff is maybe one of the  latest “lines” (myths) going through the training advocates loop. Lethality assessments go back to 1985, as does the habit of ignoring this in favor of “Designer Families.”  It presumes officials don’t have a clue that someone is going to get killed next time, just like they say in the post crime scene cleanup press conferences.  MOreover, these are used to promote organizations that don’t seem to check long-term follow-up — when that thing goes into the family law system, which doesn’t LIKE calling a crime a crime (see AFCC.com, “about” & history pages), then what?

Ms. Moore, please seek outside opinions.  Is this what women tell YOU, or is it what you are to tell the women?

It presumes the experts know BETTER than the women themselves where safety is and what a danger is.  That is a lethality risk in itself, they don’t!  Why not?  It’s NOT THEIR KDIS and THEIR LIVES or THEIR WIVES.  

For what I typically think about restraining orders in some contexts – they will restrain a person who is more concerned about consequences rather than less; they will piss off a person who has shown he (or she) will not, under any circumstances, take orders.  Or take orders regarding someone (or a certain class of someones) he  (OK, or she) has formerly dominated, as part of a life-style, or as central to his ego, social acceptance, or religion  (and now you know why I omitted the “or her” this time)

Analyze This: Wichita Woes — What happened after 911? (1st time, 2nd time).

with 2 comments

I rest my case on “certifiably insane protection orders”. . . . 


This article is a quiz (answers below).  Do this:

A.  Put events in order.  

B.  What piece of the puzzle doesn’t “fit” and which pieces are missing?

C.  Keeping this within Kansas, bring this case history  to Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, recently found sponsoring (yet another) Fatherhood act of some sort in Kansas and ask for commentary.  Request permission to record, and share on youtube with the rest of us, why a man like this needed to be within cutting/shooting range of his 21 month old daughter.  (Because if he didn’t get this, someone was going to pay, bad?).  And how the (decade-plus) of prior fatherhood initiatives may or may not have contributed to this young man’s sense that after punching XXX officers and threatening to slit the throat of his wife, for calling for help, society still owed him something…

D.  Rewrite the headline, more appropriately reflecting the crucial issues in the case.

And then Alternately

E-1.  Pray to the tooth fairy that this isn’t you or anyone you know and/or recite after me:

E-2.  “it spiraled out of control.  We had no idea.  It spiraled out of control.  The real social crisis of our time is fatherlessness, not lawlessness.  It wasn’t his fault.  It wasn’t her fault.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault.  Nevertheless, the Feds + faith-based + local agencies will fix this situation.  We WILL eradicate violence against women and murder by men if we JUST try harder, train more professionals, and dump some dollars in that direction.  We WILL, right??”

The children are our future.  Now, Where’s that Valium?


Suspect in deputy’s shooting had violent past

. . . (and they married WHY???)

Comments (0) 


The Wichita Eagle

The 27-year-old man accused this week of ambushing a Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy had a history of violence against his ex-wife — and against officers.

{{For why the word “had” is used, see 2nd article, below}}


In 2005, Richard Lyons’ ex-wife, Jenifer, accused him of holding a hunting knife to her throat and threatening to kill her after she called 911, an affidavit filed in Sedgwick County District Court said.

Lyons pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and served several months in the county jail followed by about 16 months in a state prison.

He was released on parole on March 2, 2007. His sentence and parole supervision ended on April 11, 2008, records show.

In March 2005, four Wichita police officers responded to a report of a disturbance with a knife at his ex-wife’s home in the 900 block of South Waverly, in southeast Wichita.

Lyons had arrived and “demanded she give him their infant daughter,” the affidavit said.

She reported that they argued and that after she called 911, Lyons held a 4- to 6-inch knife blade to her throat and threatened her. The knife reportedly came from a sheath attached to his pants.

“Jenifer said she hung up the phone because she was in fear for her life and believed Richard would carry out his threat,” said the document, used to bring the felony aggravated assault charge against Lyons.

On the 911 call, a male voice could be heard saying, “I will cut you,” the affidavit said.

When he went to get a diaper bag in another part of the house, his ex-wife grabbed her two children and fled, the affidavit said.

At the home, officers found signs of a disturbance, and when they tried to arrest Lyons, he punched two officers, the document said.

Although prosecutors also initially charged him with two counts of misdemeanor battery against an officer, those two charges were dismissed after he agreed to plead guilty to the more serious charge of aggravated assault, records show.

His ex-wife obtained a protection-from-abuse order against Lyons.

In April 2005, about a month after the incident involving his ex-wife, court records show Lyons was living at the house where he is accused of shooting Deputy Brian Etheridge this week — first with a rifle and then with the deputy’s own gun.

Etheridge was responding to a 911 call from the South Rock Road residence, reporting a theft — a report authorities now think was concocted.

In Lyons’ 2005 divorce case, court records say he was working for Colortime in El Dorado at the time. The court at one point required him to pay $234 a month in child support.

At another point in 2005, Lyons temporarily lost visitation with his 1 1/2-year-old daughter because of the incident involving his ex-wife.

On Tuesday, a man who said he was Lyons’ father declined to comment.

Lyons’ ex-wife could not be reached.

In September 2003, about two years before the knife incident, Lyons was convicted of misdemeanor battery against an officer.

In the years before that, he had been convicted of felony criminal threat and misdemeanor domestic battery and criminal damage to property, records show.

As a juvenile, he had misdemeanor convictions dating to 1995, when he was 12, for criminal damage to property.

Wichita school district records show that Lyons withdrew from Metro Boulevard Alternative High School in July 2002.

Contributing: Hurst Laviana of The Eagle Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

QUIZ ANSWERS (mine) BELOW:  (I interspersed A & B as dialogue)

Events, apparent order (quite different from article, which jumps around considerably)

  • 1995 Juvenile Richard Lyons, age 12, has misdemeanor convictions for criminal damage to property, ergo he was born about 1983.
  • July 2002, Lyons withdraws from alternative high school (age, about 19)
  • Between age of majority (2001?) and 2003, he has convictions for felony criminal threat AND misdemeanor domestic battery, meaning, probably against a WIFE or GIRLFRIEND.  This is called “domestic violence,” folks.  SEE 1994 VAWA Act.
  • ??? somewhere in there he gets married to Jenifer Lyons.
  • Sept. 2003, misdemeanor Battery against an officer.
  • Somewhere in 2003  Jenifer gives birth to his child.  (Note:  Physical assaults sometimes begin with pregnancy.  Mine did).
  • Somewhere between then and 2005, they get divorced.  (Given the assaults, probably understandable.  What’s not quite understandable is why they got married, unless the pregnancy PLUS her lack of other options to survive (i.e., HER family of origin support), PLUS no doubt some of this federal pushing of marriage on everyone…??  Who knows.  Maybe they wanted to.  Maybe HER household (how old was she?) was a place she needed to get out of.
  • By 2005, he has a child support order in place and is actually, it appears working.  Apparently they’ve entered the family court system somehow, I’d guess.  The man is all of 22 years old, so this is a good thing and possibly a change for him?
  • OBVIOUSLY they had “visitation” (unsupervised, obviously).  Note:  He assaults women AND officers, felony-style, and threatenes (someone — seee above).  He destroys property and punches policemen.  NEVERTHELESS, an infant needs her Daddy.  Daddies can be nurturers too.  If we try hard enough, perhaps all of us (through funds, and social support and of course parenting classes) can transform this young man into a real nurturer before he kills someone for telling he can’t combine nurturing infants with wife assault.

Now in March 2005, things start getting, well, interesting:

  • In 2005, Richard Lyons’ ex-wife, Jenifer, accused him of holding a hunting knife to her throat and threatening to kill her after she called 911, an affidavit filed in Sedgwick County District Court said
  • HEre’s the account, I rearranged some sentences.  Apparently by now there are 2 children (both his?  Maybe not?) 
  1. Lyons had arrived (EXCHANGE OF THE KIDS  RIGHT?  Here’s a CLASSIC CASE involving DV, and no help with the exchange.  Yes, I’d imagine this was in family law system already, totally oblivious (per se!) to the potential danger of the situation, despite lethality assessments and DV literature dating back to at least 1985 (Barbara J. HART), 1989 (Family Visitation Centers started in Duluth Minnesota), 1994 (Violence Against Women Act) and all kinds of other literature.  THis hadn’t reaached the “heartland” yet, I guess. )  and “demanded she give him their infant daughter,” the affidavit said.  ((OMISSION – was there a custody/visitation in order or not?  if so, was it clear and specific, as many states require (but don’t practice) cases involving DV be, to avoid incidents like this?  If it WAS clear and specific, was his demand in compliance with or NOT in compliance with that order?  As they say, and we see, this isn’t typically a guy that plays by the rules, not even the rules for graduating from high school, or refraining from damaing others’ propery.  We’ll, he’s about graduate from punching officers to putting a knife to his wife’s throat.  I wonder if this was the first time….)
  2. She reported that they argued {{POSSIBLY OVER WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS HIS TIME TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER?}} and that after she called 911, {{POSSIBLY THE ARGUMENT CONTAINED SOME THREAT OR PHYSICAL ELEMENTS?}} Lyons held a 4- to 6-inch knife blade to her throat and threatened her. The knife reportedly came from a sheath attached to his pants.  {{May I speculate that perhaps Mrs. Lyons was aware that Mr. Lyons sometimes carried knives, and this may have contributed to her decision to call 911, even if the argument was only “verbal” in nature?}} 
  3. On the 911 call, a male voice could be heard saying, “I will cut you,” the affidavit said.  (I’m going to assume this is “evidence” and it was his, not a responding officer’s.  I will further assume that this was a criminal prosecution, because someone actually got ahold of that 911 call.  GIVEN the history, was this a creditable threat?  It appears to the reader that her report was accurate in this part.  Contrary to the “false allegations” stigma associated with women reporting violence (or threats of it), ” because they want to get custody,” this report seems to have some merit.
  1. “Jenifer said she hung up the phone because she was in fear for her life and believed Richard would carry out his threat,” said the document, used to bring the felony aggravated assault charge against Lyons.  {AS FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS SHOW, YES HE WAS CAPABLE OF AND WILLING TO COMMIT MURDER WHEN HE FELT WRONGED OR WAS ANGRY OR ??  SO HERE, SHE DROPS THE “911” METHOD OF SELF PRESERVATION AND, if I may add, protecting her children, WITH HER KIDS OPTS FOR THE “FLEE” METHOD.   Amazingly, a charge was actually filed.  For why, possibly, read on.
  2. When he went to get a diaper bag in another part of the house, his ex-wife grabbed her two children and fled, the affidavit said.  {{I have done this flee while he’s in the other part of the house routine, often enough}}
  3. HERE COME THE RESPONDING OFFICERS:  In March 2005, four Wichita police officers responded to a report of a disturbance with a knife at his ex-wife’s home in the 900 block of South Waverly, in southeast Wichita.   {{Officers KNOW domestic violence wih a weapon can be lethal.  They didn’t send one custody evaluator, one parenting educator, one mediator, and one guardian ad litem, they sent FOUR officers, and I BET they were armed…  Yet women are left to face this, sometimes weekly, without adequate protection.}}
  4. At the home, officers found signs of a disturbance, and when they tried to arrest Lyons, he punched two officers, the document said.

Not one but 2 officers.  Tell them to thank Wade Horn, George Bush (Jr.), former President Clinton, present President Obama, (well, adjust for the year), and others for those punches to the face.  Father-engagement.  Healthy Families. . .. You’re in it. . . . . . .   Were these male and female officers, I wonder, and which ones got punched.  But in an incident, it could easily be any of them.

Moving on in our sequencing:

5.  Prosecutors initially charged him with two counts of misdemeanor battery against an officer.

6.  he agreed to plead guilty to the more serious charge of aggravated assault.  (good move, as they saw evidence, and he was already heard on tape threatening to cut her.)

7.  The lesser charges (above) were dismissed.  Is this called a “plea-bargain?

8.  His ex-wife obtained a protection-from-abuse order against Lyons.   (((WHEN?? see last post on police reporting of incidents).  Now?  Or had she earlier?  Criminal, or civil?)


NOW — figure out this timeline if you can:

9.  Lyons pleaded guilty to aggravated assault (See 6, above.  WHEN?  WHAT MONTH 2005?) and

10. served several months in the county jail followed by about 16 months in a state prison.

March 2007 is 24 months from March 2005 (date of assault).  Ergo “about 16 months” plus “several months” possibly does NOT add up to 24.  How many people do this kind of mental math when reading leading bleeding headlines?  

March 2005 (arguing, resulting in 911 call, threatening to slit wife’s throat in retaliation for calling 911, with 2 kids, one of them a toddler girl, in the home, Mom + 2 flee for safety, 4 police come, 2 of whom are punched) – March 2007 is most definitely 24.

The question is, what is “several” months?  Is it 8, or 9 (8 + 16 = 24, right?)   WHEN did he plea-bargain?  After punching officers and threatening to kill wife was he then RELEASED in this foul mood?  If he threatened to slit her throat and assaulted people who tried to help in March 2005, what kind of response might we expect after being sentenced, if he was released on bail?

11. He was released on parole on March 2, 2007.

12. His sentence and parole supervision ended on April 11, 2008, records show.


What this section of reporting does is to reassure that his crime (of — see above) was indeed punished properly.  Or was it?

13.  In April 2005, about a month after the incident involving his ex-wife, court records show Lyons was living at the house where he is accused of shooting Deputy Brian Etheridge this week — first with a rifle and then with the deputy’s own gun.

Omittting the obvious — after arrest (i’m going to hazard a guess that the 2 punched officers or their colleagues eventually handcufffed the guy) he was free on bail or own recognizance until arraignment and incarceration

YES, you read it right, finally.  Threaten to slit her throat, punch TWO responding officers, and get out scot free, for a few months.  This is an interesting sentence (I don’t operate under press deadlines, but still . . . . .  the sentence bridges four years of time:  2005 & 2009!)  Well, not quite scot free.  He was punished with not seeing his daughter, “temporarily.”  Wonder what time frame THAT word spans.

14.  At another point in 2005, {{Can we get a hint which month?}} Lyons temporarily lost visitation with his 1 1/2-year-old daughter because of the incident involving his ex-wife.

When I filed for a DV restraining order with kickout, and we had the guns, knives and assaults thing, but not on officers — we got ALMOST 7 days with no visitation, as I recall.  Perhaps at the most 14, as he had to find a place to live.


Now here is about the slain officer:

  1. Sheriff: Deputy was ambushed
  2. Suspect in deputy’s shooting had violent past
  3. Marriage came as a surprise to Johansson
  4. Deputy was quiet, funny, passionate about his work
  5. Opinion Line (Sept. 30)
  6. Robbers strike as police look for killer
  7. Deputy’s funeral set for Friday
  8. Sedgwick County Commission remembers slain deputy
  9. Opinion Line Extra (Sept. 30)
  10. Wichita man arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty


Sheriff was Ambushed

A black band around the badge of Sheriff Bob Hinshaw. The badges are in honor of deputy Brian Etheridge, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday.

WICHITA – Richard Lyons set the trap shortly before noon on Monday by calling 911 to report a theft at his house.

He then hid in the shadows of a tree and brush in the backyard of a house in the 3600 block of South Rock Road with a high-powered rifle, authorities said Tuesday. He waited for a law enforcement officer to show up.

That happened to be Sedgwick County sheriff’s Deputy Brian Etheridge.

“It does appear to have been an ambush situation,” Sheriff Bob Hinshaw said Tuesday of the shooting death of Etheridge, 26, the first Sedgwick County deputy to die in the line of duty in 12 years.

Lyons, 27, was shot to death a few hours later in a field not far from the house in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers.

“It’s scary,” Hinshaw said. “It could have been any law enforcement officer… this was just a call to 911 to get any officer to respond.”

Investigators spent Monday night and Tuesday collecting shell casings and other evidence, Hinshaw said, piecing together a chain of events from what was left behind.

Based on that evidence, Hinshaw offered this account:

Lyons called 911 at 11:42 a.m. Etheridge was dispatched to the address just east of McConnell Air Force Base and radioed his arrival at 11:51 a.m.

When no one answered his knock on the front door, he asked dispatchers for contact information for the caller. He then walked around to the backyard of the house and saw no one.

Lyons was hiding in the shadows on the bright, sunny day, and opened fire with a .30-30 rifle — a weapon commonly used by deer hunters — when Etheridge turned his back as he was either approaching the back door or returning to the front of the house, Hinshaw said.

The bullet hit Etheridge in the back, penetrating his body armor and knocking him down. Lyons approached the fallen deputy and tried to fire his rifle again, but it malfunctioned.

He took Etheridge’s gun and shot him in the leg before disappearing.

Etheridge radioed for help, and scores of law enforcement officers from throughout the metropolitan area converged on the scene.

The wounded deputy was alert and communicating with the first officers on the scene, Hinshaw said, but their priority at that time was his medical care — not gathering information about the suspect.

Escorted by patrol cars, an ambulance raced Etheridge to Wesley Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.

Authorities established a one-mile perimeter around the house and urged residents inside that area to leave if possible.

Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams said authorities had information indicating Lyons was likely inside the house, so that address remained the focus of their attention even as law enforcement officers combed outlying areas within the perimeter.

Tear gas was deployed twice into the house in attempt to flush the suspect out, Williams said, and SWAT team members were preparing to blast open the front door at about 5:15 p.m. when authorities were notified that the suspect had been spotted hiding near a tree row in a nearby field.

Agents from the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were patrolling a field in a Humvee when one of the officers spotted Lyons’ leg as he lay on the ground.

They stopped the Humvee, and Lyons stood up and fired at the vehicle with the deputy’s handgun. He then began running, firing several more shots as the ATF agents and KHP officers ran after him.

The law enforcement officers returned fire, striking Lyons “multiple times,” Hinshaw said.

Lyons was taken to Wesley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.

Investigators hope to talk to neighbors and relatives of Lyons, Hinshaw said, but he doesn’t expect every question raised by the shooting to be answered.

“We may never know what the motive is,” he said.

Results of the investigation, including the use of force, will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for review.

Flags at Wichita City Hall and other city buildings have been lowered to half staff in honor of Etheridge. They will remain at half staff through Friday, the day of Etheridge’s funeral.

“We’re just really shocked and saddened by what has happened,” Mayor Carl Brewer said. “It has affected all of our law enforcement agencies.”

Brewer said the city is providing counselors for police officers who were involved in the shoot-out and others who may be shaken by the violence.

“Every time they make a stop or enter a house, they don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “This demonstrated just how much risk there is.”

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.


FIRST 911 — from a woman — consequence, she’s threatened and has to flee for her life, BUT her ex-husband IS jailed — for about 2 years, or less.

SECOND 911 — from the formerly jailed young man (27 yrs old is young) — his ambush.  SOMEONE was going to pay.  Was Etheridge (the officer killed) a responding officer in the former arrest, or just anyone in uniform would do?  Was he upset at what had happened in prison?

Was this suicide by cop?  Sounds like possibly, to me.







I do have one comment, here:  Something sounds narcissistic in the mix.  This person was supposedly a hell-raiser from an early age, but didn’t get help.  Possib ly being a father was a shot at sanity, but I think that the child support order was probably NOT a good idea for such a person.  It would’ve been better for all to let her do welfare.  She’d probably get off it quicker without the threats to her life than with them.



http://www.ksag.org/page/domestic-violence  (Attorney General Site):

Domestic Violence

The new Domestic Violence Unit within the Kansas Attorney General’s Office seeks to keep our families safe, stop domestic abuse and end the cycle of violence that threatens our communities.

Online Resources:

(Be sure to catch this “get inside their head” speculation (many didn’t apply to my case, i know):  date:

Source: The Battered Woman by Lenore Walker, Harper & Roe, 1979.  (I’m comforted to know that the Attorney General has the latest psychological profile of batterers and their victims — only 30 years old…..) 

  • Believes all the myths about battering relationships  {{NO one questioned me, and I hadn’t heard these…}}
  • A traditionalist about the home, strongly believes in family unity and the prescribed sex role stereotype  {{The alternative being, punishment….}}  {{BY THE WAY, this now describes the Health and Human Services Dept., in general, on this matter….}}
  • Accepts responsibility for the batterer’s actions  {{SAYS WHO?}}

Resources for Law Enforcement


Child Exchange and Visitation Center Program – (CEVC)

This program provides supervised child exchange or supervised child visitation to children and families at risk because of circumstances relating to neglect; substance abuse; emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; domestic or family violence; etc. The state portion of funding can be used to fund the local match required for receipt of federal child exchange and visitation center grants.

Mighta been helpful for Jenifer Lyons . . . . . 

The Essential Elements and Standards of 

Batterer Intervention Programs in Kansas  

The Essential Elements and Standards of Batterer Intervention Programs were developed over 

seven years through the hard work of many professionals who are dedicated to ending 

domestic violence in Kansas.   The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence 

convened the initial work group and wishes to thank the following organizations for their work 

during this process: 

Developed and/or Reviewed by representatives from the following: 

Alternatives to Battering, Topeka 

Correctional Counseling of Kansas, Wichita   {{MAYBE Mr. Lyons got this and didn’t take kindly to it?”}}{{Or, the problem was, he DIDN’t get it?}}

Family Crisis Center, Great Bend 

Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board 

Halley Counseling, P.A., Girard 

Johnson County Office of Court Services 

The Family Peace Initiative, Girard 

Kansas District Judges’ Association 

Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall 

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six 

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence 

Kansas County and District Attorney Association 

Kansas Department of Corrections  

The Mental Health Consortium 

Office of Judicial Administration 

Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center, Hutchinson 

Wyandotte Mental Health Center 

Family Crisis Center, GreatIn 2007, The Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board (GDVFRB), chaired by 

former Attorney General Robert Stephen appointed a subcommittee to review and update the 

Essential Elements and Standards of Batterer Intervention Programs. The GDVFRB adopted 

these as best practice standards in providing batterer intervention programming in Kansas, and 

recommended that the Office of Attorney General implement a training and certification program 

for providers of batterers intervention programs. 

Attorney General Steve Six readily accepted the recommendation to train and certify batterer 

intervention providers in Kansas using the Essential Elements and Standards of Batterer 

Intervention Programs in Kansas.   

For More information about this initiative, contact the  

Director of Victim Services in the office of 

 Kansas Attorney General  

Steve N. Six 

120 S.W. 10th Avenue 

Topeka KS 66612-1597 



“FATHERHOOD  IN KANSAS (google, results 124,000)



Child Custody, Support and Visitation Rights – Kansas Bar 

Visitation, often called “access” is the right of the parent who does not …. Child support and visitation are considered by statute in Kansas to be two 
http://www.ksbar.org/public/public…/child_custody.shtml – Cached – Similar – 

Crisis Resource Center of SE Kansas –

Child Exchange and Visitation Center. 669 South 69 Hwy.  Wichita Childrens Home Child Access. 810 North Holyoke 
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/…/access_visitation…/ks.html – Cached – Similar – 

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson website  Funding Source, The Federal State Access &Visitation grant program is a formula grant program to states and 
http://www.governor.ks.gov/grants/grants_savppp.htm – Cached – Similar – 


  1. Overland Park Visitation Attorney | Leawood KS Parenting Plans 


    Visitation & Parenting Plans. Kansas Visitation Lawyer  custody or non- residential custody, your children have the right of access to both parents. 
    http://www.cavlaw.com/PracticeAreas/Visitation-Parenting-Plans.asp – Similar – 

    You will have access, at our Download Site, to the legal forms you need to modify custody-visitation in Kansas

    These forms are the most current versions 

    Following an emotional breakup, many moms allow or deny visitation by whim, {{OR WHEN HE THREATENS TO SLIT ONE’s THROAT< CASE IN POINT}}
    leaving the dads without regular access to their children. 
    http://www.kslegalhelp.com/Divorce-and-Family…/Paternity.shtml – Cached – Similar – 


The ACES study — Bridging apparent Skipped Synapses in Family Court thinking….

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Happy Labor Day post.  I give you one study I refer to often on this blog, that dates back to 1998, and one (more) inane/insane custody discussion from Australia, case dating 1999-2003, and topic, joint legal custody and visitation with a young girl and the father who crushed her baby brother’s skull with his bare hands, baby being 3 weeks old and in his father’s arms at the time.  The court is less concerned with that behavior than the mother’s “phobia” (odd label, eh?) about that behavior.  Nothing much new for Family Law Arena — this is its speciality, in fact, stigmatizing parents that actually seek to protect their kids from trauma, abuse, and possible (in that case) death.


ACES (below):  Bridging the Gap between Childhood Trauma and . . . . .Negative consequences later in life.


Or should I call this bridging the gap between theory and reality?  Which results in the ever-widening “Chasm,” the Court public Credibility Gap.

So, how does one talk with mad engineer at the helm of a runaway train with one’s kids on it?  How get one’s kids safely OFF the train?  because in this venue, it doesn’t seem possible.  If they spend the duration of their childhood on this train, perhaps this will become their new “normal” and then another generation of trainsters and railway-hoppers will grow up, have kids, and provide new cargo for this Trip to Nowhere (except the trips to the bank for the railroad and its employees).  Like the formerly renowned rail system in the U.S., it took a lot of subsidy to keep the thing operational.

There are basically two types of conversations going through the courts:  

1.  IN open court — in open, and 

2.  Behind closed doors — in private.

The heart of the matter is in the 2nd arena.  Best interests of the child is static, sound-fluff and media-bytes.  It’s not reality, and I don’t any longer believe that any one who makes a living in this arena seriously, seriously believes in this paradigm — or if they do, their eyes are simply closed, because the cat is out of the bag.  

I believe the language the speak, as any good employee or business person truly does, is that of who is paying their bills. One reason I know this is that I actually experienced leaving an abusive marriage, and how vital a part finances was in getting free.  I also watched systematic economic abuse (mismangement, comandeering of access to basic funds/cash flow/steady jobs that would make this possible, and so forth), which restricted and delayed the exit.   

Which would you be more accountable to as a secretary whose family’s food and rent (lifestyle) depends on your pleasing that employer?  Up to your own personal level of moral/social tolerance (and ability to choose), a disgruntled customer in the waiting room or on the phone?  Or your employer?    . . . . Well, what about judges and other professionals, some of whose salary (US$) is well over $100,000 and lifestyles and associates to match?  Along with judgeships go political influence and possibly later activity — it’s a career path.  It took a lot of convincing in California (and publicity) for these judges to give up (statewide) their almost $20 million in SUPPLEMENTAL pay, but not until one of their own, an attorney in Los Angeles, was firmly intimidated and jailed for reporting financial corruption (Richard Fine case), which was his actual job to do in this city, as I understood it.  He was put in punitive solitary conffinement, moreover, and I heard, disbarred, for actually bucking this system.

However, these articles ARE about “best interests of the child” and whose head is where in being unable to figure that out in a given case involving infanticide! Or other horrors to any growing child, or the parent of any such child.


I am going to start grading the Family Law systems in my country, and in any country that imitates policies that I give an “F” in my country:


1998 THIS study is also old, and underestimated.  Probably because of its common sense, like the 1989 and 1992 ones I quoted earlier, from NOMAS, talking about why the HECK have we got to continue exposing each new generation of children to more and more parents who batter, and then posing STUPID questions like, why is the next generation ending up in jail, or beating THEIR women, or taking the assaults, either.

WHY is business as usual, THAT’s why.  A case came to light today where an Australian court (dealing with similar issues down under) is ordering psychiatric evaluation for the mother of a two-year old because the two-year-old’s father, quickly knocking up another woman, had just crushed to death the newborn (3 weeks old) infant with his bare hands, in response to the baby’s crying.  The man is in jail, and the court is trying to tell the mother that she needs to have her head examined for wanting to make sure this doesn’t happen to the one that came out of HER womb.  No, I am not kidding!


FAMILY LAW – Children – parenting orders – contact in prison – father incarcerated for killing child of another relationship – specific phobic anxiety of the primary carer and compromised capacity to care for the child – no significant contact ordered.

At what point do we get to have the COURT’s “head”  – and values — examined?   ???


O & C [2005] FMCAfam 200 (29 April 2005)

Last Updated: 6 June 2005


REASONS FOR JUDGMENTIntroduction – the proceedings

1. This matter comes before me as the final hearing of the competing applications of the various parties concerning B M C born 9 March 1999. Final parenting orders were made in relation to B on 20 February 2002 whereby B lived with the mother and the father had regular contact. However, on 11 March 2003, the father killed his newborn child of another relationship, Z, and the father is now incarcerated until approximately February 2006.

Yes you read that right.  Infanticide:  3 years.  3 hots and a cot.  Wonder if he’ll get out on parole early, like Garrido did, in time for a repeat performance.  Sounds like it didn’t affect his entitlement much, being incarcerated for baby-killing; he still wants to assert his shared parenting responsibilities and rights.  Where’s KING SOLOMON (of the Bible) when you need him?   Where’s the anti-abortion pro-lifers when you need them?  This mother, of child “B” is a pro-lifer.  She doesn’t want HER kid to suffer the same fate.  For expressing and acting on this protective, motherly sentiment, she may be sentenced to a lifetime — or at least for the duration of B’s childhood — of having her “head examined” over this “phobia.”

“Phobia” being, I guess, being afraid of something the Court isn’t afraid of, probably because it’s not the Court’s offspring involved or at risk.

2. The proceedings were initiated by the mother filing an application on 1 July 2003 in which she sought that previous parenting orders made by this court on 20 February 2002 be suspended and that she have sole responsibility for making decisions about the long term and day to day care, welfare and development of B. Effectively, she sought that there be no contact between B and the father.

3. On 21 November 2003 a Form 3 response was filed and served on behalf of the father  {{BEING AS HE WAS INCARCERATED??}}. Relevantly, the father sought joint responsibility for long term decisions affecting B and contact in prison 


RELEVANT:  What the jailed Dad wants.

IRRELEVANT:  what the killed 3-week old baby wanted before his Daddy crushed his skull together:  probably either some cuddling, a diaper change, some milk, or to be held differently.  Or his Mama.

IRRELEVANT:  What the mother wants, safety for HER kid, and her concerns taken seriously.

YES, this WAS 2006, “DOWN UNDER,” and a term well-earned from what I can see of this decision, at least.

As to his paternal grandparents:  Well, their son was an adult at the time, but still, they raised this guy.  PERHAPS this should be considered “relevant” in allowing unsupervised contact of child “B” with them.  (Not mentioned are her parents. . . . or mother of the deceased newborn.    )


I give you one more reason (not including Phillip Garrido, Jaycee Dugard, and any woman who opts to marry a convicted kidnapper and raper) to take domestic violence seriously:  The children:



What is the ACE Study?

The ACE Study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention and Kaiser Permanente.  Led by Co-principal Investigators Robert F. Anda, MD, 
MS, and Vincent J. Felitti, MD, the ACE Study is perhaps the largest scientific research study 
of its kind, analyzing the relationship between multiple categories of childhood trauma 
(ACEs), and health and behavioral outcomes later in life.

 What’s an ACE?

Growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18:


  1. Recurrent physical abuse
  2. Recurrent emotional abuse
  3. Contact sexual abuse
  4. An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the 
  5. An incarcerated household member
  6. Someone who is chronically depressed, 
    mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
  7. Mother is treated violently
  8. One or no parents
  9. Emotional or physical neglect


Origins and Essence of the Study (2003)




The findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, an ongoing collaboration between Co-Principal 

Investigators Vincent J. Felitti, MD, of Kaiser Permanente, and Robert F. Anda, MD, MS, of the Centers for 

Disease Control and Prevention. 



Because the two links above are in multi-column format, I can’t copy and paste.  I exhort you to take a look at some of this.


Please note that “one or no parents” was NOT on the top of the list, as it is on current “fatherhood.gov” policy, or HHS/ACF grants prioritization in the Designer Family mode it appears to be stuck in.


Women, including women like me, whose children have been exposed to from 1 to all of the factors above, are after removing their children FROM such factors, having the courts force them back in through shared parenting considerations.  IN this case the theoretical ideal is held over the head, and clubbing protective parents, of the practical reality that Batterers do NOT make Good parents until they thoroughly address the battering behavior, and what drives it.  Moreover, men have graduated with flying colors from programs allegedly adjusting their attitudes, and gone right out to murder that bitch who forced them to sit through it (McAlpin is one case that comes to mind, Bay Area, 2005.  Within just a few days, her body was discovered in a trunk).





Again, the issue becomes who gets to rig the test and give the grades?  I give any policy that lacks common sense — protect the kids! — and ignores the golden rule and “F.”


Golden Rule in Family Law:  Do unto OTHERS as you would have them do unto YOU (i.e., if it were YOUR kid, whose father just killed a newborn, would you as a judge order the woman who was alarmed at said murder to have her head examined, and the child ordered into contact with the parents of the killer, OR would you yourself be alarmed, and rule accordingly?)


If it’s not good enough for YOUR kid, it’s not good enough for HER kid.  That’s the golden rule in the courtroom, I say.


This of course presumes that a judge cares about his or her own kids, which may be a presumption indeed; some judges have been convicted of collecting child pornography and making some of it (Thompson, NJ), another of sexual harassment of female employees (Fed. District judge in Texas).



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