Mental Abuse

This one is a bit different. Most of the time I write about physical violence. Many times that violence comes during a separation or breakup. All too often it ends in death. But physical violence is not the only type of violence. There is also harassment, mental abuse and risky behaviors.

Shawn Bauer and his girlfriend were breaking up. And as so often happens, custody of their child came into dispute.

Evidently Shawn Bauer decided to get creative. According to reports he decided to make a MySpace page in the name of his ex-girlfriend. And for the photos to be used on the page, he chose intimate photos he had of the ex-girlfriend. Very intimate, nude photos. And according to reports he encouraged men to call her.

The ex-girlfriend began receiving unsolicted telephone calls from men she didn’t know. So she contacted police. She told them she did not have an internet connection and she did not have a web page. While the officer was speaking with her, she got another telephone call from a man in another state.

The man said he had received a message from who he thought was the woman, and the message gave him the woman’s telephone number.

The woman told police she suspected her ex-boyfriend and said he had nude photos of her.

Police traced the webpage to the IP provider. Then traced it back to Shawn Bauer. Shawn Bauer has been charged with felony identity theft and two misdemeanor charges related to the creation of the webpage. He was given bond and scheduled for trial. If convicted he is facing up to 6 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. When officers talked with Bauer, he allegedly admitted he had made the webpage. But he told officers he had thrown the photos away and did not intend to bother the woman again.

Oh, the ex-girlfriend also went to court. She told the court she was being harassed and filed for a restraining order.

IMO, very dumb move as well as risky. No, he didn’t touch her. He thankfully did not use physical violence. But he put not only her, but the child at risk.

How? If the men who saw the MySpace page were able to trace the phone number, they may have come across the woman’s address. You never know just what kind of people are viewing webpages. If the men who saw the webpage were criminal or unstable, then they may have tried a physical visit, and her consent may not have been one of their concerns. If the child happened to be there, so what.

Mental abuse. Knowing that strangers of all types had seen intimate pictures of her, that they not only saw the pictures but had her phone number, must have been not only humiliating but also frightening.

The custody dispute…..this will most likely be brought up as will the restraining order it brought about.

He says he won’t bother her again, he threw away the photos. But once they go on the net, they are out there. How many people copied and saved them? Often the webpages are saved to the archives. There are some very talented people out there who are excellent at retrieving things like archived webpages, I have seen it. Once online, they are out there and available. It is not as easy as throwing away a print picture.

Often the internet is thought of as anonymous. Let me tell you, it isn’t. Even though no names are used, what is online can very often be traced. Law enforcement can trace almost anything, but even lay people can trace a lot. Nothing is truly ‘anonymous’.

Crossposted at

And since he had his own MySpace, Bauer has also found a place of dis/’honor’  at MyCrimeSpace where Trench has a few choice words to say about Bauer’s personal MySpace page.


While Out On Bond

On Dec. 22, Jeffrey Smith, 42, allegedly assaulted his wife Carolyn Smith, 48.

Carolyn Smith moved to her sister’s home for protection. She took out a restraining order on Jeffrey Smith.

Jeffrey Smith was arrested. He paid a $25,000 bond and was out of jail.

Allegedly Jeffrey Smith went to the home on Friday night. He shot the sister in the driveway and Carolyn Smith was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head. She was also found outside the home.

The sister was transported to the hospital in serious condition. She is expected to recover.

The couple’s two young children are now in protective custody. Unconfirmed reports say they are two boys ages 10 and 15.

Police began looking for Jeffrey Smith. They found him on Saturday. Like his wife, he had a gunshot wound to the head, but apparently self-inflicted.

I cannot stress enough. If you have need to take out a protection/restraining order you need to move to a place of safety. Unless the relatives home has alarms and bars on the windows and the spouse or intimate partner doesn’t know where the relative lives, then it probably isn’t safe enough.

You cannot rely on the spouse or partner to obey a court restraining order, and being with another person will not stop someone who is determined to kill. For the best chance of safety, consider going to a shelter until things have settled down some.

Preparing for New Year’s

Fabian Gomez, 22, told police he had stopped after work to have a beer before heading home on Thursday. When he arrived at home he says he was cleaning his gun, and he had a new box of shells he had purchased to shoot off on New Year’s Day.

In the home were his 8 month pregnant girlfriend Jennifer Montejano, 25, and her three young children. Allegedly an argument developed between the couple.

Acccording to Gomez, he came out of the bedroom holding the gun and while he was gesturing the weapon discharged. The bullet struck Jennifer Montejano in the face, just beside her nose.

Montejano was taken to the hospital in a comatose condition and an emergency cesarean section was done to deliver the baby. The 5 pound 9 ounce baby girl is reported to be in stable condition.

Fabian Gomez allegedly tol police an initial story that the bullet that struck his girlfriend came through an open window in the second floor apartment. But after police found a handgun that appeared to have been recently discharged, he allegedly admitting to firing the shot and said it was an accident.

Jennifer Montejano’s other three children are now being cared for by family members.

Fabian Gomez has been charged with preliminary charges of aggravated battery, criminal recklessness, and simple battery.

Jennifer Montejano remains in critical condition.       

What a way for a baby to be born. Instead of adoring parents, there is concern over whether her mother will recover. And if she recovers, will she be able to care for an infant as well as her other three children? I am not seeing any indication in the articles as to whether Fabian Gomez is the father to the baby or any of the other children.        

With three young children in the apartment and an admission of handling a weapon after he had had ‘a beer’ I am truly surprised that he was not charged with child endangerment.  


Baby is reported to be in good condition, but Jennifer Montejano continues in critical condition.


An anonymous reader just reminded me that I was remiss in something. The first rule of safety, one that even I know but didn’t remember……is that you should never clean a loaded gun. Before cleaning all weapons they should be emptied and checked before you begin cleaning. And that in order to clean most weapons properly…. you do need to break them down so that they can be cleaned properly. Once emptied and broken down then they of course would be inoperable.

I have learned to shoot a weapon, but don’t have a lot of experience with them. But I remember very well being taught that no gun is empty unless it is broken down and checked to make sure there  are no bullets in it.

Thank you my anonymous reader for the timely reminder.


Jennifer Montenjano (some articles say  Montejano) passed away from her injuries. Prosecutors are awaiting the results of the autopsy before determining whether new charges will be filed.

Jennifer Montenjano never got to see the face of her youngest child. The baby will never see her mother. Altogether 4 children have lost the mother they loved.


The new baby has been named Jennifer and is reported to be doing well. Prosecutors are now saying they are waiting for a police report before filing additional charges. Family is reported to be requesting a murder charge.       


Thanks to AlwaysInFlyoverCountry we have an update.

Fabian Gomez has been charged with murder, aggravated battery, battery and criminal recklessness. His trial is due to begin Oct. 22.

The baby is in the custody of Jennifer’s mother.

Former wife, girlfriend and in-law

John Paul Lawrence began dating his former girlfriend in April 2005, but they had not dated recently. The former girlfriend has said that while they were dating he stopped taking his medication for a mental disorder. And she says that he had made repeated threats to kill his ex-wife for divorcing him. He and his ex-wife got their divorce in May 2005.

Yet he contacted the former girlfriend recently. “He wanted to spend Christmas with me this year, because he was going to be alone, but my family didn’t want him here.”

On Wednesday, Lawrence sent her a total of 32 text messages. “He threatened to hurt me,” “He dared me to come over.” At 1:03 am she received her last message from him, it said he wanted to be cremated. The sheriff has said he sent the same message to two acquaintances.

According to reports, Lawrence also made made contact with his ex-wife that day and threatened to hurt her. His wife contacted her parents and they came to her home to stay with her.

At 3:00 am Lawrence showed up at his ex-wife’s home with a gun. His father-in-law Harvey Lee Hand met him on the front porch. The two began arguing and Lawrence shot Hand in the torso. He then dropped the gun and fled.

Police had been called when Lawrence showed up at the house and they were able to stop him. He has been charged with aggravated assault.

Mr. Hand was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery and is reported to be in critical but stable condition.  

It is believed that Lawrence may have been coming to the home to kill his ex-wife and the children, then himself. But he was not aware that his ex-wife’s parents had come to the home.

The ex-wife and children were not harmed.

Lawrence did have a criminal history, in Sept. 2005 he was arrested for family violence assault.        


Harvey Lee Hand is being called a hero for defending his daughter. But this is not the first time he has committed a heroic action. He once ran into a burning home to see if an elderly neighor was inside and managed to save her dog.

Harvey Hand is reported to be improving and has been removed from the ventilator.

“Don’t come home”

Todd Phillips, 38, and his girlfriend, 21, had been out Tuesday night and Wednesday morning to a couple of bars and a friend’s home. They both were drinking. When a disagreement developed between the two, Phillips left the friend’s home between 3 and 3:30 am and went home. He reportedly called her several times telling her to come home.

At 3:54 am the girlfriend received a text message from Phillips.  “Don’t come home.”

At 4:03 am another message “I’m going to kill you.”

At 4:09 am came another message “Hey, don’t come home. I’m trying to warn you, OK? I totally booby trapped something to the back door. The shotgun is going to go off and blow your insides out, please just don’t come home. OK? I’m trying to save you. OK? Bye.”

Shortly afterward the girlfriend left the home, she walked 4-5 blocks because when Phillips left he had taken the car.

At the home the dispute became physical with some pushing and shoving. The girlfriend then went to the bathroom and removed her contacts. However, when she went to put her glasses on, she found the lenes were out of the glasses.

She went to the kitchen to confront Phillips about her glasses, felt a wire brush her leg, and heard a shotgun blast. She saw wood chips flying from the door that was hit by the shotgun blast.

She called the friends whose home she had been at earlier and they came and got her. At their home police were called at 5:21 am.

Police made contact with Phillips about 8 am and he surrendered without further incident at 8:43 am.

Todd Phillips was arrested for being armed while intoxicated. Police obtained a search warrant for the home, and they say other charges are possible.                             

To the girlfriend it probably seemed like drunken ramblings. But never underestimate a drunken or drugged person. Keep in mind that drugs and alcohol will lower inhibitions against violence.

This guy set up a trip to a shotgun, then placed it somewhere he thought she would go. He most likely placed himself in the kitchen as a lure to ensure she came into the kitchen.

He possibly removed her lenses from her glasses to ensure she would have difficulty seeing the setup with the shotgun.

And we have another example of how ‘a couples problem’ affects a community. The neighborhood woke up on Wednesday morning to find armed officers in their neighborhood and on their streets. They were there to protect and promote safety. But it would be frightening all the same. Thankfully a firefight did not start.


‘Medical Emergency’

Christmas Eve about 7:40 pm 911 got a call requesting help for a ‘medical emergency’. “When police arrived on scene, they determined it was something more than a medical emergency.”

When they arrived they found Renee Farnsworth, 33, dead inside the home. A later autopsy revealed she had been strangled.

An investigation revealed that Renee Farnsworth and her husband Thomas Farnsworth were involved in a physical altercation earlier.

The couple had reportedly been married since 1996 and had no children. Police say they had not been called to the home in the previous year.

Thomas Farnsworth has been charged with one count of murder.                


Thanks to commenter Mike Van Roy, we have a memorial site for Renee: In Memory of Renee

A night of horror

Details are still sketchy on this one, the victims and suspects names have not been released pending notification of relatives.

The household consisted of a husband, 55, and wife, 44, and her two children, an 18 year old young man and a 17 (some say 16) year old girl. Unconfirmed names for the children are given as Richard and Meggie.

Current articles say that Wednesday night about 8:20 pm the stepfather fatally shot his wife in their bedroom. It is believed the children did not hear their mother being shot.

The stepfather allegedly then went to the boy’s room. Seeing that his stepfather was armed, Richard fled to his sister’s room and they barricaded themselves in the bedroom and called 911.

“That’s where police heard the violent encounter, when the stepfather forces the door open.” After breaking into the room the stepfather fired more shots, and Meggie was hit multiple times. At some point Richard had also been shot in the torso several times. Richard tried to fight back using a small knife.

Richard fled to a neighbors home and asked that they call police. But wounded and concerned for his mother and sister, Richard went back to the home.

Richard confronted his stepfather in the kitchen of the home. A struggle ensued where the stepfather was stabbed more than once with a kitchen knife.  

When police arrived they found the husband and wife both dead in the home, both children wounded. The children were taken to the hospital, Meggie in critical condition. Richard’s wounds were not considered to be life threatening and he is reported to be in stable condition. Two guns and two knives were recovered from the home.

Police say they had not had previous calls to the home in the past year.

Early this morning, the 17 year died from her injuries.                  

This one came to my attention via Soobs by her post at


The couple’s names were Lee M. Howe, 54, he is believed to have shot his wife and both of her children. The wife’s name was Catherine Howe, 44. The son 18 year old Richard Le survived the attack. Meggie Le, 17, was heard on the 911 call telling a dispatcher that her stepfather was armed with a gun and pled for police to get there quickly. Her death was announced earlier today.                 


From the 911 tapes, Meggie told dispatchers “Someone here has a gun. … It’s my stepdad. Please hurry!”  Then the line went dead.

Police are not disclosing if the stepfather was stabbed or shot. They do say they believe that there were two guns used that night, but they say they are sure just how yet. Richard Le has been discharged from the hospital. The investigation is continuing.  

Community support to try to help with funeral costs.


Richard Le is out of the hospital. And he has been posting about the murders on a website. Le has posted an apology to his sister Meggie for not being able to pull her into a closet with him before the stepfather burst into the room. “I am SO sorry that I was not able to pull you into the closet in time … I tried Meggie I tried I swear …,” and to his mother and sister “I can’t even begin to fathom my life without you two,” “I Love You Meggie … Please pray for me, I’m going to need all of the prayers I can get to make it through these hard times.”     

Richard Le went through more that night than most adults go through in a lifetime. And he did it with more courage than most. Wounded he managed to get to a neighbors to call for help, and wounded and armed only with a knife he returned to try to help his mother and sister. He took on a man armed with a gun.  He did the best that he could for them. Yet he still feels the need to apologize, because he couldn’t stop the chain of events that his stepfather set in motion.


Richard Le has been speaking about the events that occurred that night.                              


Details from the search warrant

Her Car Broke Down

Relatives have said the relationship between Jose Solis, 23, and Natasha D. Crump, 20, was marred by domestic violence. Earlier this year Solis was convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery and was sentenced to probation. He was ordered to have no violent contact with her.

Several months ago Natasha Crump moved out with their 20 month old daughter. Then her car broke down. Without a car she did not have transportation to the two jobs she held. So she moved back in with Solis.

Relatives say Solis was still upset about her moving out. “He was very abusive, very controlling. He didn’t like for her to talk to other men; didn’t like her to have, you know, anybody around her,”  “He had always said, no matter what — nobody could have her unless he had her.” “When she (Crump) was around family, he didn’t want her there.”

Crump’s employer says that Solis was banned from coming to her place of employment, because of arguments he had with her there. “We didn’t have to file a police report, but it was best for her safety and the safety of the customers not to allow him in.”

Saturday morning police recieved a call about an unresponsive woman. Natasha Crump was pronounced dead at the scene. On Tuesday afternoon Jose Solis was taken into custody on suspicion of murder.

In court on Thursday, Jose Benjamin Solis was charged with first degree murder and rape.

For Natasha Crump’s family, this was not their first experience with homicide or with domestic violence.

In 1997 Natasha Crump’s grandfather was killed during a robbery. And in 1980 one of her uncles sent a gift wrapped package to his ex-wife. The package exploded and the blast killed his ex-wife and 5 members of her family.

Their child is now with the maternal grandmother.            

She made it out. Then something like her car breaking down drives her back in. Many times a financial situation can come into play with domestic violence relationships. Without a means to live, a person sometimes feels they have to put themselves back into a dangerous situation in order to survive.

She worked two jobs, she provided for both herself and her child. Yet without transportation, she had no way to do so. Many communities have programs which take donations of vehicles for situations like this. Yet the donations are often few and far in between. Thus many people are left to make decisions like this. Go back to the violent situation or lose the income, the means of survival.

A “one time incident”

 James Aaron Miller, 30, reportedly sent his father multiple text messages shortly after midnight on Tuesday. The messages had the father concerned that Miller might be suicidal so he contacted police and asked them to check on Miller.

When police arrived at the home, they say that Miller answered the door and “He told the officer he was ready to go.” After a look inside officers understood why.

Inside the home they found Bridgette Barr, 28, in a bedroom dead underneath a blanket. A short distance away was her 5 year old daughter Sydney. In a bathroom, officers found the body of her 2 year old son Garrett. Police believe the mother and children may have been dead for up to 6 days. The causes of their deaths has yet to be determined but police say there were no obvious wounds, though due to the state of decomposition they may not have been apparent. Allegedly Miller told officers that he strangled two of them, and may have killed the third also.

Police have said there were no signs of a struggle in the apartment, but there was a small amount of blood on a wall. Officers say there were signs that Miller may have tried to clean up after the murders as there were signs the walls had been recently cleaned.

The children did not live with Bridgette Barr. They normally lived with their father. But they were visting with their mother for the Christmas holidays. A neighbor had spent Thursday evening with Barr, Miller and the children watching movies and says there did not appear to be any friction between the couple.

James Miller has been charged with 3 counts of capital murder.

According to some articles, this was not Miller’s first accusation of domestic violence. According to at least one article, Miller was arrested for domestic violence in 1998, against his ex-wife. Reportedly at that time he grabbed her by the throat, covered her mouth and nose and struck her in the face. He allegedly threatened her with a knife and told her he would kill her if she wasn’t pregnant.

Barr and Miller had been together for about 2 years. At least one person has alleged that Miller also abused Barr. “I know he had beat her a couple of times.” On June 16 Brigette Barr told police that when she attempted to throw Miller out of their apartment he grabbed her by the throat and threw her on a couch, then struck her in the face. Then on June 19 th, she told police she would not file charges because it was a “one time incident.” Both children reportedly witnessed that attack against their mother.  

Many times when someone has been previously charged with domestic violence offenses, the blame will be put on the other party. It makes it easier to connect with someone new to say “he/she did this or that that made me do it, I am not like that”. But the truth is, if violence is how problems are handled in one relationship, that is most likely how problems will be handled in subsequent relationships. So hearing that there was violence should be a clue about getting involved.

Likewise, if there is “one incident” in a relationship, there will most likely be others. No matter how many times they say they are sorry, no matter how sincere they appear to be about their apology, it is most likely to happen again. And too many times it does escalate.  

Both should be taken as signs that you do not want to get involved or that it is time to get out of the relationship while you still can.


Reportedly Miller has confessed to strangling Bridgette Barr and Sydney, but says he didn’t know what happened to Garrick though he “probably killed him because it could not have been anyone else.”


According to reports, 5 year old Sydney begged not to go to her mother’s for Christmas. Allegedly she was scared to go there because Miller lived there.               

Missing Children

Elizabeth Leon’s mother became concerned when she had not heard from her. Last Thursday the mother contacted the sheriff’s department and asked that they check on her.

When deputies arrived they had to force entry into the home. They found Elizabeth Leon, 22, dead from multiple stab wounds. It is believed she had been dead for several days. She was 7 months pregnant at the time of her death.

Elizabeth Leon resided in the apartment with her three children and her boyfriend Jorge Tovar. A landlord has said the couple appeared loving to each other and seemed to treat each other with respect. The children are ages 4, 2, and an infant.

Tovar and the children were missing from the home. Investigators are not calling Tovar a suspect, they are calling him a ‘person of interest’. The sheriff’s department are not saying whether they have made contact with Tovar, but they do say the children have not been seen since before the murder. FBI has been called in on the investigation.

Once a suspect is arrested, they will face two counts of murder, one for Elizabeth Leon and one for the child she was carrying.         


First of all, I need to emphasize that no one has been named as a suspect in the murder. Tovar is only described as a ‘person of interest’. But investigators do want to talk to him, and as long as he remains missing investigators will continue to be interested in him.

Also of concern is the missing children. Since they went missing at about the same time as their mother was murdered and with no knowlege of who they are with, of course their safety is being questioned.

Is this a domestic violence murder? It is of course too early to say for sure. But statistics say that the primary cause of death for pregnant women, is violence at the hands of her spouse or partner.


“We have received information and some sightings of the children and they do not appear to be in any harm,” according to the sheriff. They are not releasing any info on where the children were sighted, nor are they releasing pictures of the children. Also according to the sheriff “We have no suspects. Several people classified as persons of interest.” They are investigating the murder and the missing children separately.


The children have been located with their grandparents and are reported to be doing well. Children’s Services have cleared the grandparents to become  the children’s guardian’s, but the court has final say so over the guardianship. Sheriff’s investigators say they are still searching for a suspect.

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