It’s not an easy job

Tuesday, a woman driving on a busy road saw a 4 year old little boy, alone and trying frantically to cross the street. She called 911.

Police determined the child came from the home of Danny Lee Stearns. Mr. Stearns was an interior designer, and a foster father of 4 children ages 9 to 17.

When they went to the home they found the body of Danny Lee Sterns, 47, dead in a downstairs bedroom. At the home was the mother of a 16 year old foster son, Angela Machelle Johnson. Police later found the 16 year old, hiding beneath a nearby home that was under construction. Police believe the two strangled Mr. Stearns with a belt. They do believe the foster son helped.

Police say they believe the motive to be a dispute over Mr. Stearns accusing the 16 year old of stealing an amount of money from him (I have seen $500 and I have seen $700) two weeks earlier.

Police have said that the unnamed 16 year old was in foster care, because he had been removed from his mother’s home due to allegations of neglect.

 Both the mother and the son have been arrested for suspicion of wrapping a belt around Mr. Stearns neck and strangling him.            

 We’ve seen and heard the results of bad foster parents. And they are out there. But there are good foster parents also. And let’s face it, foster parenting is not an easy job. Foster kids are removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or sometimes for other reasons. Often the only way they know to cope with problems are the ways they have seen them handled in their previous homes…..since they were removed, that kinda gives you an idea of how successful that is. Often they are angry and resentful. And many times they can be aggressive.

Not only do the foster parents deal with the normal problems that come with children, and the problems associated with children who come from damaged homes, they also deal with the other obligations of keeping a child in foster care such as home visits, social workers, parents, and often law enforcement and the courts. So foster parenting is not always easy or pleasant.

Did the kid steal the money from him? Who knows. And it really doesn’t matter. When faced with an accusation of theft, whether true or not…..he is accused of responding with murder. Jointly with the mother who would been expected to support and guide him.

An accusation of theft. I have not seen any indication that Mr. Stearns was filing any charges on the accusation. But even if he had been, the most the 16 year old would have been facing would have been a charge of theft. Now under suspicion of murder, the stakes are much, much higher.

I picked this up at which I now use as one of my sources for domestic crime stories.



  1. Demetriea Reed said,

    October 21, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Danny Stearns was a very close friend of mine. He was an extremely talented artist and he had a heart of gold. Which is why he opened his home to these children. Danny did not make the accusation without cause. The young man did without a doubt, steal the money. The other children in the home finally told that he had taken the money. The young man purchased a $300.00 cell phone and other expensive items of clothing after taking the money.I am outraged that these facts were not disclosed. I am certain that they were discovered by the investigators after the murder and they questioned the other foster kids in the home. Danny was not above talking trash. He felt betrayed just as anyone would if someone you had opened your heart to and was providing food and shelter for, violated you in such a way. The young man was upset that he was being removed from the home. The day that Danny actually confronted the young man, the police were called as well as CPS to remove the child from the home. The young man broke away and ran from the house. The police claimed to search for him in the days that followed. The young man would call Danny’s home with threats several times a night. Insults and threats were made during these calls. All of which Danny reported.

    This is an example of what happens when the necessary attention is not given to a situation until it is entirely too late. Danny lost his life doing one of the many things he loved….giving of his time to others. It is my sincere prayer that justice is served for the young man as well as his mother, who proved repeatedly prior to this incident, that she was not fit to be a mother to this young man or any of her other children. Why she was even allowed contact with the young man and especially to have the younger one in her presence is beyond me. If the younger child was not emotionally scarred enough from her abuse and neglect, imagine the damage now that he has witnessed the murder of a man.

  2. Nancy Lee said,

    October 22, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Great Blog concerning child abuse and domestic violence. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of children who can’t speak out for themselves. I’m impressed with how many similar blogs I’m locating…
    Visit my blog on Child Abuse:

    A Child is Waiting.
    Take Care…be aware,
    Nancy Lee

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