Home Alone

It was cute in the movie ‘Home Alone’ and it’s sequel. If you didn’t see the movie or don’t remember the story it was about a young boy who inadverently was left home alone at Christmas. While the family was having a miserable time because of the worry over him, he was meeting interesting people and doing well surviving on his own. He managed to reunite a father and daughter in one movie and vanquished some burglers in another. Cute, but very unrealistic.


Dec. 23 police went to the home of Nefiteria Burrell to arrest her on a theft warrant. She was home alone with her two children ages 6 and 3 years old.

Burrell contacted her boyfriend and asked him to stay with her children while she was incarcerated and he agreed. Burrell asked officers to stay with the children until the boyfriend arrived. Police did a criminal background check on the boyfriend, they checked on the sex offender registry and found nothing so when the boyfriend arrived the children were left in his care.

Reportedly Burrell did call home and speak with her boyfriend once and he told her that he was going to have another friend watch the children. But after that he didn’t answer her calls.

Police say he left the home before the friend arrived. They believe he left the same day the officer left the children with him. Burrell remained in the jail until Dec. 26 when she was able to bond out.

When she returned home she found the children alone. Allegedly the three year old was unfed and unkempt. The 6 year old little girl was in a coma. The 6 year old was a diabetic.

The 6 year old was taken to the hospital in critical condition. As of Tuesday she was reported to be stable and improving.

Police are looking for John Frank Evans. They want to talk with him about leaving the children alone. They have a warrant for charges of 2 counts of cruelty to children and 2 counts of contributing to the deprivation of a child. But a week after he disappeared he is still missing.

Department of Family and Children’s Services are also investigating.

gwinnettdailypost.com            wsbtv.com            ajc.com

11alive.com                                                              ajc.com

They didn’t run into any burglars. But they could have. There wasn’t any fire. But there could have been. But there was a dangerous medical condition.

Juvenile diabetics are often very brittle- requiring careful supervision of their diet, medication, and frequent testing of their blood. There is no indication as to how long the little girl was in a coma.

They spent Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas alone, unfed, and ill.


They Married Three Times

Michael, and Valerie Harris were married in Oct. 2001. By June 2002 Michael Harris, 49, was arrested for domestic violence. By August of 2002 Valerie Harris, 46, had filed for divorce.

But in April of 2003, the couple remarried. In April of 2004, Harris was again cited for domestic violence but this time it wasn’t against Valerie- it was against her son, Harris’ stepson. Harris agreed to go to counseling and the charges were dismissed. According to at least one article there were no convictions on any of the above complaints.

Then in Feburary of 2006 the couple were again divorced and remarried in August of 2006. But December 24, 2006 Harris allegedly made a threatening phone call to his wife’s cell phone and Harris was cited for telephone harassment. He was released on bond.

Sunday about noon police were again called to the families apartment for a domestic violence complaint according to the mayor. One report says they were responding to a hangup call to 911.

When police arrived Harris allegedly refused them entry into the apartment. A call went out for addtional assistance at the scene and several departments responded, including a Special Response team. At that point a series of phone calls began between Harris and the responding officers. The situation for Valerie Harris was not known, so this was treated as a hostage situation.

When all was ready law enforcement officers used flash-bangs to make entry and Harris gave himself up. Reportedly Harris did not shoot at officers. Officers found Valerie Harris in the bedroom of the home with a single gunshot to the front of her head. It is believed that a shotgun was used. The coroner has said Valerie was shot at close range. Valerie Harris was pronounced dead at 5:17 pm.

Neither neighbors or police report hearing a gunshot, and police are not sure when Valerie Harris was killed.

Harris was arrested on one count of first degree murder. Harris went before the court for a bond hearing on Wednesday. At that time he reportedly tried to plead guilty, but he wasn’t represented by an attorney. The judge recommended that he have an attorney and gave a continuance while Harris reconsidered the guilty plea. When he appeared before the court on Thursday, Harris said he wanted an attorney and a public defender was provided. He is being held without bond.

An interesting quote from one of the articles in reference to the arrest for telephone harassment- “He was just calling her [Valerie Harris] on her cell phone and threatening her. It was all alcohol related.” (emphasis added by me)

morrisdailyherald.com           suburbanchicagonews.com

chicagotribune.com                 suburbanchicagonews.com

Three sets of domestic violence complaints. Three trips to court with no convictions. He took counseling. Three times divorced.

You want to love them, you try to love them, you want the abuse to stop, you want them to change.

Alcoholics have adopted this prayer as their own and ever since I first heard this has stuck in my mind. I try to use it in my life even though I am not an alcoholic, I do think it is appropriate to everyone.

                       The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, and
Wisdom to know the difference.

You cannot change another person. Only they have the power to change themselves. And no matter how you try, no matter what you do, if they do not wish to work at the change they will continue. And a person who is continually committing the same acts obviously is not working to change.

I am sure he said he was sorry each time. And he probably said he would change. And he even agreed to take counseling- when he was under threat of criminal charges. And now he goes to court and tries to plead guilty…. only this time the crime he is saying sorry for is so much bigger.

Also appropriate at this time is a discussion of the ‘Honeymoon Cycle of Abuse’

Mama Bear

It was a New Year’s Eve party and Joyce Turner, 40, and some of her daughters were in attendence.

About 5:15 am one of Turner’s daughter’s was dancing with her boyfriend Challah Hall, 21. Allegedly during the dance the daughter knocked into Hall. And according to one report Hall grabbed her arm and the two began arguing. Some have said the two were  just “fooling around.”

Turner saw the commotion, some have said she “took offense” and allegedly tried to pull Challah Hall away from her daughter, then at some point while she was holding him from behind she somehow managed to grab a kitchen knife. Reaching around Hall she stabbed him in the chest once.

Someone in the lobby of the apartment building heard someone calling for help and they flagged down a police officer. Hall was found lying on the lobby floor bleeding  and he was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:43 am on Monday, New Year’s Day.

Joyce Turner was arrested and has been charged with first degree murder.

chicagotribune.com                                    suntimes.com     

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