The “Event in Question”

Friday night at 11:17 pm Tara L. Cruse, 34, called 911. Evidently she was crying as she told the dispatcher that she had stabbed her husband Brian D. Cruse, 36, because he had hit her. She allegedly also told them that she thought she had stabbed him in the heart and that he was dying.

Brian Cruse was found on the couch in the living room with stab wounds to his chest and upper body. He was transported to a medical center where he was pronounced dead. The couple had three children, and two of them were present in the home and witnessed the “event in question”.

Her first appearance in court was Monday, and she entered a not guilty plea, and requested a public defender. Bail was set at $1 million dollars and an additional $53,000 in a personal recognizance bond. Cruse stated that neither she nor her family could come up with that amount of money, and that she wanted to spend time with her children. The judge issued a no contact order for the children.

The case will be going to the grand jury.

Neighbors have said that Tara Cruse was good to them. She was known for feeding the neighborhood kids and shoveling the neighbors driveway. But they say the couple may have been having marital “issues” for a long time, and at least one neighbor reports hearing the Cruse’s having “marital difficulties”, but say they never imagined it would end like this.

The children have been placed with family members.

http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060627/NEWS01/606270312

http://www.nbc4i.com/news/9425983/detail.html

http://www.onnnews.com/?sec=home&story=10tv/content/pool/200606/516783710.html

I haven’t seen any mention of the police findings at the scene or whether there was any recorded history of domestic violence in the home.

Three children, ages unknown. And at time when they have lost their father and need her the most, their mother is unavailable to them. Because their father died at her hands. And not only is she not available to them, they are certainly going to be the main sources of information about what happened in the home that night. So they could possibly end up having to testify against their only remaining parent. What a position to put them in.

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Grand Jury indited on one count of aggravated murder and two counts of murder.

http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006607010313

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There are tokens of devotion, and there are other tokens

A 32 year old woman filed for an emergency protective order last week. Police say that there had been an “incident” between the couple and that charges of a class A misdeameanor from that incident may be filed.

The woman is now filing for a full protective order. The woman recieved a package at her home last Fri. It had allegedly been mailed to her home by her ex-boyfriend. It contained a letter to her and in an enclosed ring box- was a finger.

Police say the finger appeared to have been severed in a clean cut, then possibly washed. The letter allegedly read “This is the last chance to touch you”. The letter allegedly also contained threats against the woman.

Police are now seeking the ex-boyfriend. It is illegal to send threats through the mail, so the U.S. Postal Service Inspector has been notified. Police say that additional charges could come from the incident.

http://www.caller.com/ccct/local_news/article/0,1641,CCCT_811_4804719,00.html

I think I prefer flowers.

I cannot imagine the fear that I would feel on receiving a package from an ex-boyfriend, against whom I had filed a temporary protection order. I am chicken enough that I probably wouldn’t have opened it. Much better to take it to the police station and let them deal with it.

To open it and find a finger is the stuff that nightmares are made of. I hope the woman in question has sought some shelter somewhere. Because if police don’t find him first, I cannot see a good ending in this. This looks like pretty obsessive behavior, and it is anyone’s guess whether he will turn this obsession against himself or against her the next time.

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Police have released the identity of the finger giver. His name is Robert Hanna. He is believed to be in the Corpus Christi, Texas area. Hanna is facing two assault charges, the first happened about a week before the finger arrived. Additional charges are for the threatening content of the letter.  It is possible that federal charges could also be filed, as it is illegal to mail a body part, but no word yet from the postmaster about what is being planned.

Evidently this is not the first time that Hanna has been accused of assaulting women. His ex-wife has said that he used to beat her and she also has a protective order against him.

More info on the letter “I want to let you know, this is how much pain I’m going through because of the pain I’ve caused you.  I want you to know this is my last attempt to reach out and touch you.” The girlfriend is moving out of her apartment, because of her fear of Hanna.

Hanna’s family is concerned for him and his state of mind.

http://www.kristv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5086589   (Picture of Hanna at link)

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4006570.html

It’s a judgement call

A 5 year old boy went to school Fri. and teachers noticed what appeared to be bruises on him. They called the Department of Families and that agency called the sheriff.

An examination of the child revealed bruising to  “his face, his chin, his left ear, right lower lip, and broken vessels around both sides of his neck, chest and under both arms.”

Police say that 31-year-old Timothy Otworth has admitted to hitting the boy in the face with an open hand, several times on Thurs. Allegedly he also told them that he held a pillow over his face to stop him from screaming. Reportedly the bruises on his neck came from being grabbed by the neck from behind, and squeezed. From what Otworth told investigators, the boy “was talking back and misbehaving”. The boy’s 8 year old sister told a sheriff’s detective that Otworth put the boy in a corner, then hit him in the face 5 times. After that she was sent to her room.

Otworth was the mother’s boyfriend. He is reported to be 5’11” and 165 lbs and works as a laborer. Allegedly he called the mother 30-year-old Lottie Holdren after the ‘incident’ and told her what had happened and that he had bruised the boy’s face. Allegedly Holdren first told investigators that she was not aware of her son’s injuries until Fri. morning. Later she allegedly admitted that she knew prior to that. Before sending the boy to school on Fri. she allegedly attempted to cover the bruises with makeup. “She had told the child that she was doing it so nobody would see the bruises.”

Holdren told police that the reason she didn’t call police was that she was afraid of the effect it would have on her job and professional license. She is a registered nurse at a hospital.

Because of the injuries being concentrated to the head and neck area and due to the seriousness of the injuries, Otworth has been charged with attempted murder for the beating. Holdren has been charged with child neglect and failing to report child abuse. Otworth is being held without bail, and Holdren has not yet paid her $11,000 bail.

Otworth’s family have hired their own investigator for a separate ‘investigation’.

The boy is now in the custody of Children’s services. There was no indication of the status of the girl.

http://www.wftv.com/news/9427934/detail.html

http://www.ocala.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060625/NEWS/206250378/1001/NEWS01

Ok, ‘mother’ is a registered nurse. Nurses work with sick and helpless people. They provide both direct care to the patient and supervisory care over the patient. Most often they follow doctors orders and established medical practice. But ever so often, they do have to make judgment calls.

There is nothing in the article that ‘mother’ made the boyfriend move out on Thurs. after hearing of her son’s abuse. There is nothing said about the ‘mother’ having someone to go pick the kids up and provide care for them until she could take over. She did not make a report to police or Dept. of Family Services (in most states nurses are mandatory reporters for child abuse, though I am not sure about this state).

Makes you wonder about her judgment, doesn’t it?