Even in a Marriage

The unnamed woman reportedly began keeping a journal of alleged assaults in 2004. The asaults she wrote about were allegedly both physical and sexual in nature.

The woman has told police that on April 6 th, she  used her husband’s money and car to go get a haircut. And reportedly he was angry about that. The woman alleges that he forced her to submit to a sex act in the bathroom of their home, all while she pleaded with him not to do so. And that he had done so before.

Now her husband Vladek Filler has been charged with gross sexual assault. His defense attorney has indicated he intends to plead not guilty.

According to the exectutive director of the Rape Response Center in the  area

“It happens more than people think,”. “Some of it comes in as domestic violence, but they don’t always identify the sexual assault. I would love to see more people understand that both are crimes.”

“It’s much more difficult even to report violence against someone that you love,” she said. “Victims often feel a great deal of guilt and oftentimes the perpetrator encourages that guilt. And then to have to go into detail about that abuse in court, in front of a jury.”

The case will go before the Grand Jury in June.

boston.com  bangordailynews.com  seacoastonline.com

Many people do keep diaries, it is interesting that this woman used hers to keep a record of assault.

Previous intimacy does not give automatic permission for a sexual act. Marriage does not give automatic permission for a sexual act. Even in a committed relationship both parties need to consent to a sexual act.

Intimacy is normal and natural in a relationship. But force and coercion should never be a part of that. Sex or any other intimacy should never be used as a punishment.

There may be times when one party may wish imtimacy at a time that the other party does not. And most couples are able to work that out through some form of compromise. But when force is used to initiate a sexual act, that is a crime- whether you are a couple or not.

Even in a marriage, with the expected intimacy both parties still have the right to say No. Using force in the relationship- sexual or otherwise, is a crime. Even in a marriage.

If sexually assaulted by spouse or partner, do not shower or bathe after the act. Call police.

How do you tell a police officer that your spouse or partner raped you? You tell them the same way that you would tell them that you were physically assaulted. You say it. Just like any other sexual assault victim, it is difficult to report. But until you do, most likely it will continue.

And you tell yourself, just like any other sexual assault victim, that what happened is not your fault. That no one should ever be forced. And that by applying force, your spouse committed a crime, and that you are not at fault for the crime or for reporting it.

After telling police, you will then be taken for an examination with a doctor and a sexual assault exam will be done. That is to gather evidence of a crime. The sexual assault examination is much like an annual gyn exam, but they will be conducting different tests designed to gather evidence.

Most communities have rape response teams available to talk with you about what happened, many will stay with you through the process. Most communities also have domestic violence agencies that can also talk with you about it.

A sexual assault of any type can leave the victim feeling very embarrassed and alone. It can be hard to realize that this has happened to others and that nothing you can say will shock the police or the advocates. They will have heard some version of it before. By reporting what happened to you, by acknowleging the crime, you are clearing the way to be able to access help for yourself.


It just isn’t fair

As Michelle Martinez, 26, set out to run some errands Thursday evening, a vehicle pulled up beside her and multiple shots were fired. Michelle Martinez was hit twice, once in the face and once in the shoulder.

In this day and age, this type of shooting is not unknown. A driveby shooting is fairly common to gang and drug activity. However, this one was different. This time the victim recognized her shooter. Neighbors called for assistance and when police arrived Michelle Martinez was able to give them information on her assailant. You see she was very familiar with him.

Though critically wounded she was able to tell police his name and to describe the vehicle he was driving. Police have not released his identity. But they say he does have a criminal history. Just last year he was in jail for forgery and assault. And he had a protective order against him.

According to reports, Michelle Martinez had filed for a protective order against him in Jan. when she said he had committed aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The shooter was allegedly her 41 year old ex-boyfriend. And according to police they believe the weapon used may have been the same weapon used in the earlier assault on her.

The alleged shooter is not in custody and police say they are looking for him and for the revolver used in the shooting.

Michelle Martinez was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but her current condition has not been released.

mysantonio.com     ksat.com    woai.com     ktsa.com

The articles do not specify if she had filed charges in the Jan. incident or whether the shooter had been arrested. It would not suprise me if she had. Until a case actually goes to trial, the facts are merely allegations and the suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. As such, they are often entitled to bond out of jail until the trial. If she had filed charges, then that is most likely what had happened. But it seems that someone forgot that the weapon allegedly used in the previous incident was still unaccounted for. Still she filed for the protection order. And according to federal law, it is illegal for a person who is subject to a protective order to possess a firearm. In some areas, police will actually seize any known weapons.

There is no mention if the person accused of shooting Michelle Martinez was on any probation or parole restrictions from his earlier incarceration. Nor is there any mention if the ‘incident’ in Jan. would have violated any terms of his release.

In some communities a person accused of domestic violence who bonds out, can be ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet. In some communities a victim may have to request it. And in some communities it may not be available at all. If there has been threats to kill or maim, if there are indications that another violent assault may occur, or if a weapn has been used in the past this is something a victim should ask about. This is one of the areas where a domestic violence agency can be very helpful as they can help explain the area laws, rules, availability, and provide advocacy as well as access to a shelter if indicated.

It isn’t fair.   It.  Just.  Isn’t.  Fair.

A person who has been the victim of a violent assault, who followed through by seeking a restraining order, and who may have sought criminal charges (this point is not clear in this case.) They should feel safe and comfortable, right? They did what they could do to protect themselves.

A protection order that a victim is willing to enforce will stop some from harrassing. But a suspect who is willing to violate a protection order gives a clearer indication for the potential for harm. For those, the protection order will not protect. It will only work as a tool to provide police with a means to arrest.

Even though she has done nothing wrong, it is then up to the victim to take the steps to save their own life. It isn’t fair, but the victim may have to change their own life in order to protect themselves. They may have to give up their own life for a period of time, until the justice system has time to work.

Entering a shelter or moving away from the area.  Changing jobs, altering their routines and the routines of their family. Often they must stay out of public areas because of the danger that a public area can present to them. It isn’t fair. But it ceased to be fair at the time of the violent assault. It became a matter of survival.

A big thanks to Trench for the lead on this one.

Party’s Over

Back in Feb. 2006, I wrote about Byron Perkins….the man called America’s “Worst Dad” by America’s Most Wanted. Perkins is the man who had a son with kidney disease and he required a kidney transplant. Perkins was in prison at the time, but he stepped up and volunteered to be tested for compatibility, to be a match for his son, to give his kidney to him.

Special arrangements were made to release him from prison for the testing. And while he was out of prison for that testing, Perkins ran. He took his girlfriend and fled. He left his son on dialysis.

More than a year has passed. There were tips. After he was shown on AMW he was reported to be in Mexico.

In the meantime his son continued on dialysis. Finally a match was made with an unrelated donor and he was given a transplant. He survived and is reported to be healthy now.

I am happy to announce that Byron Perkins “America’s Worst Dad” is now in custody. Federal marshals worked in conjunction with Mexican authorities and took him into custody in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Wed.

Now he not only has the original sentence to serve. He is facing additional charges for  failure to appear. His girlfriend Lea Ann Howard is being charged with  federal aiding and abetting charges.

Both Perkins and his girlfriend were flown to Los Angeles where they were to appear for an arraignment hearing on Thurs.

whas.com                  wlky.com                    wbko.com  

kentucky.com                                               wbko.com

The original posts on this alleged father can be found at Technically this isn’t a domestic related crime and the updates here and here


Both Byron Perkins and Lea Ann Howard have agreed to waive extradition.


She missed her daughter’s birthday

Kiva Gazaway, 38, lives with her two daughters and her boyfriend Harvey “Shawn” Johnson.

About 12:30 pm onApril 14 Kiva Gazaway called 911 and reported her car had been stolen by her boyfriend. But when Johnson returned later with the car, she declined to pursue a complaint. At least one article says she did ask police if Johnson had any history of violence.

Her two daughters were away from the home and about 3 pm that day, Kiva Gazaway called the 16 year old and asked her about what she wanted as a birthday present for her approaching birthday.

Johnson and Kiva Gazaway reportedly went shopping for the daughter’s birthday present and the gift was found in the home later.

On either the 15 or the 17th of April, Johnson the boyfriend went to police. He allegedly told them that on April 15th, he and Kiva Gazaway had had an argument and he left the home to take a walk. He allegedly told them when he returned, the home was locked so he slept in his car.

He allegedly said the next morning he entered the home and Kiva Gazaway and her car were gone. Kiva Gazaway allegedly was to pick her children up that day.

Police talked with Johnson on the 17th. And they reportedly found some inconsistencies in Johnson’s statement and were going to meet with Johnson on April 19th. However, by that time Johnson had left the state.

One report says that he did call his parole officer and told the officer that he was on his way to Fla. to visit his mother because she had had a heart attack. Johnson reportedly has a criminal history in 4 states.

However, police were changing the investigation of the case from a missing person to a possible homicide. And they said that Johnson was a person of interest. Police say the focus of the investigation had changed because it was believed that the mother of two would not have left the home voluntarily without letting her family know.

On April 23, federal marshall’s picked up Johnson in Florida. He was arrested on a parole violation and a gun was found in his vehicle.

Kiva Gazaway’s vehicle was found in the parking lot of an apartment complex, one that neither Johnson nor Gazaway resided in.

Kiva Gazaway is still missing. Police and family are fearing the worst. Her vehicle has been searched and police say there is no sign of foul play. Johnson has not been arrested for any crimes related to her. But one report has said that his car will also be searched.

Police are asking for anyone who saw Gazaway and/or Johnson  after April 13 to come forward either to police or to crime stoppers.

news.cincinnati.com    news.enquirer.com   wlwt.com

middletownjournal.com    wcpo.com    oxfordpress.com

Let me emphasize that Johnson has not been arrested for any crimes related to Kiva Gazaway’s disappearance. But there does seem to be concern there.

What caught my attention was the statement that Kiva Gazaway allegedly asked police about any previous history of violence. Had something happened to her to cause a sudden interest? There was also the call to 911 reporting that he had stolen her car. He must have had access to another vehicle as he drove a different car to Florida. Her car was found in Ohio.

You have to trust your instincts. If you feel fear, that is a self protective instinct. It is an indication that some part of you is questioning your safety. It is easy to drown out that instinct by explaining or excusing it to yourself. But it is not in your best interest to do so.

It isn’t uncommon for a spouse or partner to take a vehicle or the keys, disable or in some other way to make a vehicle inaccessible during a violent episode.  Controlling the transportation is another way of exerting control over you.

If you are in an unsafe situation, make extra copies of your keys. Put the extras in a secret safe place known only to you, or leave them with a trusted neighbor- or both. Set up a code word with a close friend or relative so that if you call or if they call you, that all you have to do is say that word and they will get help to you.

Probably the best way would be to set up a meeting place nearby but away from the residence, and if you don’t show they are to call police and send them to the home. Or you could set up two code words. One that means to meet, one that means to immediately call police.


Harvey Johnson Jr has given police officers information that led police to the body of a woman he says is Kiva Gazaway. The remains were found in a ravine of an industrial park. No additional charges have been filed yet as the remains must be positively identified by the coroner and they are trying to establish the cause of death.

fox19.com                   wcpo.com                enquirer.com

news-journal.com                                         local12.com


Harvey Johnson appeared in court today to answer to a contempt charge on a 2003 driving case. The murder case in with the Grand Jury. Even though the Grand Jury is not done with that case, Johnson is allegedly in more trouble already. Authorities say that while in court, Johnson attempted to grab a court bailiff’s gun. Two other deputies and an attorney were able to restrain him. He has been charged with aggravated robbery and escape.



This case is currently in court. A sherrif’s detective tells about the confession that Johnson gave the court. Allegedly about 3 hours of terror led up to Kiva Gazaways death. Let’s just say it isn’t pretty. The sherrif’s detective tells about Johnson’s attempts to get a plea deal. The confession was taped and the jury was permitted to hear the tape. According to trial info the couple had argued about finances and Kiva Gazaway had attempted to break it off with Johnson. It was during and for 3 hours after that argument that prosecutor’s say Kiva was raped, threatened with a gun, then asphixiated. According to the defendant’s confession, when he threatened to shoot her, she begged him not to shoot her and she asked that he strangle her instead.

Prosecution is finished with their case, and the defense will soon be presenting their case.

news.enquirer.com     oxfordpress.com    wlwt.com      local12.com

Carnival of the True Crime Blogs LXXIII

It’s Carnival time! Welcome to the 73 rd Edition of the Carnival of the True Crime Blogs.

First up we have the one, the only… JD Chandler at Slabtown Chronicles. JD has a perplexing story to tell. How did a young man- victim of a car accident, burned and with a head injury- end up tasered by police and then shot by the officers? In No, I’m Not Okay . JD answers that question. But he has asked other harder questions that have not been answered.

Next up we have Bonnie at My Life of Crime. This week Bonnie has entered Eric Wilson murder 7/15/78 (approximately) outside of Grand Junction, CO . When a 19 year old young man goes on a long drive and is never heard from again, what help can a family expect? Read the tragic story of Eric Wilson and find out what happened to him, and how the family managed to learn his fate as well as how it affected the blogger who followed the story.

Trench is up next with the more insight into the Virginia Tech shootings. In Son of a Bitch Trench writes about the shooter’s family reactions to the tragic events and offers insights of his own.

At the End of the Story, Trisha has the Edenfield Pretrial Activity. She is covering the trial of the Edenfield family- a registered sex offender and his parents who are accused of raping and murdering 6 year old Christopher Barrios.

At Walmart Files, there is If you’re a crack dealer, don’t try to sell your drugs at Wal-Mart.

And last but not least we have Teachers Behaving Badly. Liepardest has the story of a teacher who took a second job. And her arrest in Stripping and Drugs.

They Took Lunch Together

Fred, 52, and Elisabeth Ann Jones, 51, were married. And they worked in the same plant. They were at work on Thursday and left the plant on their lunch break.

From what is now known about that day, the two left the plant and went to a rural area. Elisabeth Ann Jones was allegedly stabbed multiple times, and then was thrown over the railing into the river.

Two men driving over the bridge heard screaming and stopped. They reportedly saw a man get into a vehicle  and drive away.

They were able to pull Mrs. Jones out of the river and make contact with authorities. Then they apparently realized what had happened after viewing the alleged stab wounds to her neck and shoulder and the blood on the bridge.

Fred Jones allegedly drove himself to the police station and turned himself in. He was arrested on a charge of attempted murder. Bond has been set at $250,000. It is believed he is the man who drove away when the 2 men pulled up.

Ann Jones was taken to the hospital and initially reported to be in critical condition. Her condition has since been upgraded to serious but stable.

nwaonline.com         kait8.com       pbcommercial.com   

todaysthv.com                              myfoxmemphis.com

In the bar

Christopher aka ‘Caper’ Jerome Thomas, 29, was reportedly at a bar on Wednesday when a dispute with his girlfriend began. Allegedly Thomas threw a drink on his girlfriend.

Allegedly he then drew a gun and began firing. His girlfriend was not hit. But La’ Don T. Williams, 27,  was. She was an off duty bar employee who just happened to be there.  Agnes Harding, 23, was also shot in the arm. She also, just happened to be there. There were 25 to 30 other people who also just happened to be in the bar at the time.

Passing law enforcement officers actually saw him firing shots as he was backing out of the bar. When Thomas saw the officers, he took off with the officers giving chase.

Law enforcement officers were able to get Thomas under control and gain control of his weapon. When they opened the gun, they found the weapon was jammed. The fact that the weapon jammed and the  quick arrest is believed to have saved other lives.

Thomas was arrested and charged with murder and a number of weapons charges. He does have a criminal history.

Police say he has confessed and that he made some statements regarding the crime.

“This guy made some statements to the homicide investigators that I didn’t really care who I shot, I don’t have a whole lot to live for, I’m 29 years old and I’m not going to live with my mom when I’m 30, I’d just as soon be in the penitentiary it’s no big deal to me… Which tells me possibly if that gun hadn’t gone into a double feed malfunction we probably would have had a whole lot of problem engaging in gunfire with the officers.”

Police say Thomas also claimed to belong to the “Crips” gang.

La’Don Williams was flown to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. Agnes Harding was taken to a hospital where she was treated and released.

local12.com    journal-news.com   news.enquirer.com

wlwt.com  news.cincypost.com     news.cincinnati.com

Remember the other day when I said that spree killings could be triggered by a domestic incident, but that was rare? I still think so.

He reportedly threw the drink in her face. She was right in front of him. But he thankfully didn’t shoot her. Instead he began shooting randomly in the bar.  And remember what the police officer said that he told them about the crime? To me that seems more reminescent of a spree killer than a domestic.

After a major murder spree it always seems there is an increase in threats of a spree or bombings. And there seems to also be an increase in the incidents of sprees or attempts at sprees. Did the shooter at the Virginia Tech tragedy spawn this? Most likely this one was just waiting in the wings.

The Post That Broke My Heart

August 29th, 2006 I wrote a post called He was a little boy about Marcus Fiesel age 3 years old.

In April of 2006 Marcus was removed from his Mother’s home due to actions that authorities felt were neglectful and endangered Marcus. Marcus was placed into the foster system for his safety and well being.

In August that foster family wanted to go to a family reunion, but they allegedly did not want to take Marcus with them.

Three adults were at the home before they left for the reunion. David and Liz Carroll the foster parents, and Amy Baker- allegedly the Carroll’s live in girlfriend.

Soon after their return from the family reunion, they reported Marcus Fiesel missing.

Law enforcement, neighbors and other community members formed search parties and spent days in the hot weather combing the park and the surrounding area for Marcus, but found no signs. Dogs used in the search found no scent of him.

Press conferences and interviews were held by Liz and David Carroll begging for someone who had seen Liz in the park with Marcus to come forward. No one stepped forward.

Meanwhile behind the scenes, law enforcement quietly began tracing the movements of the family in the days before the report of the missing child. Marcus had not been seen for several days prior to the missing report.

They promised Amy Baker immunity if she would talk and tell what happened to Marcus, if she would take them to where he was.

According to Amy Baker, Marcus Fiesel was bound in a blanket and placed in a playpen in a closet. He was left there for more than 24 hours while the family and Amy Baker went to the reunion.

When they returned, they found Marcus dead.

Amy Baker told that she and David took Marcus’s body to a chimney in a rural area, and there gasoline was splashed on his remains and lit. After being burned multiple times, what was left was put into a garbage bag and taken to an Ohio River Bridge and dropped off the side.

All investigators found at the chimney, were a few bone fragments.

Both the Carroll’s and Amy Baker’s children were removed from their homes.

Amy Baker had immunity. Liz Carroll went to trial and was found guilty, with a total sentence of 54 years to life. David Carroll pled guilty and was sentenced to 15 years to life.

Amy Baker remained free due to her immunity deal.

The community was highly critical of the immunity deal. Both the Carroll’s and Amy Baker were allegedly present when Marcus was bound in the blanket and placed in the closet. All three attended the reunion while Marcus was in the closet. All three were allegedly present when Marcus was found dead, and all three were aware of the plans to hide the crime.

Amy Baker allegedly went with David Carroll and allegedly assisted in disposing of the body. She remained free.

Until now. Ohio authorities are bound by their plea agreement with Amy Baker. She cannot be charged with the crimes the Carroll’s were convicted of.

However, there is a fact that is common knowlege, but few remember. The river is called Ohio. However, it is owned by Kentucky. The bridges are owned and maintained by Kentucky and are Kentucky jurisdiction. And Kentucky had no say in the immunity deal with Amy Baker.

As Amy Baker and David Carroll allegedly dropped the remains of Marcus off the bridge over the Ohio river- they allegedly committed a crime in Kentucky. And Kentucky is out of Ohio’s jurisdiction.

Amy Baker has been arrested on a warrant out of Mason County Kentucky on charges of tampering with evidence.

David Carroll has also been charged with tampering with evidence in Kentucky, and it is believed that he may testify against Amy Baker in exchange for any sentence he should receive to be run at the same time as the other sentences he has.

Bond has been set at $50,000 for Amy Baker, although the Clermont Co. Prosecutor had requested that she be released on her own recognizance. Baker reportedly has said she will fight extradition to Kentucky to face the charges.

No bond was set for David Carroll, because he is already in prison.

The Clermont Co. Prosecutor is not happy with the arrest. He says he made the plea deal with Amy Baker that she would not be charged with any actions she took after Marcus died. In the past he made the point that Amy Baker was not responsible for Marcus’ well being, the Carrolls were. And that in making the plea deal with Amy Baker, he felt he was able to bring charges against the two who were most culpable in the crime. And that without her assistance, he may not have been able to charge them and that what was left of Marcus’s remains may never have been found.

wcpo.com    wlwt.com   wcpo.com    news.enquirer.com

kentucky.com  lex18.com  journal-news.com  fox19.com


This was a crime that covered many jurisdictions.

The Carroll’s,  Marcus and at times Amy Baker lived in Clermont County. Clermont County is where Marcus was bound and left and where he died. Both the Carroll’s and Amy Baker were reportedly present. Amy Baker did not call for assistance and she also left. David and Liz Carroll were convicted in Clermont County.

Hamilton County is where the disappearance was reported and where Liz Carroll was convicted of crimes relating to filing the report of his disappearance- a disappearance that she well knew did not happen.

Marcus’ body was burned in Brown County, and that is where some of his bone fragments were found. David Carroll and Amy Baker were both reportedly present. David Carroll was convicted of abuse of a copse in the murder trial in Clermont County.

Mason County Kentucky is where the ashes and remains of Marcus were dumped off the bridge. David Carroll and Amy Baker were reportedly present. Some reports indicate that Amy Baker may have been the one driving the car. 

If the choice came to it and immunity had to be given in order to get a conviction, then I could reluctantly agree with giving Amy Baker immunity. And I would presume that the prosecutor would advise and gain consent from the prosecutors in the other jurisdictions. And I would presume that the defense attorney would make sure that those consents were obtained.

However, Kentucky is a different state. Ohio prosecutors cannot give immunity for the state of Kentucky.

The prosecutor is objecting to the arrest because of the immunity, and because Amy Baker was not responsible for Marcus’s well being.

But lets take a look at Amy Baker’s involvement.

When he was bound and left in the closet- she was aware and did not release him or call for help.

When the Carroll’s left, she left. And she did not call for someone to go to the home to assist Marcus.

When they arrived at home and found Marcus dead, she did not call.

When the plan was made to report a disappearance, she allegedly was aware and did not report it.

She allegedly was with David when Marcus’s remains were driven to Brown County and burned. And she told no one.

And she allegedly drove the vehicle from Brown County to Mason County, Kentucky, to dump Marcus’ remains over the bridge.  And she told no one.

In fact, Amy Baker did not tell anything until it became apparent that suspicion was falling on the three. And she only talked then when she was given immunity.

And the Clermont Co. prosecutor is allegedly upset that if these charges are upheld in Mason County Kentucky, that David Carroll will not be given any additional time in exchange for his testimony against Amy Baker.

Personally, I have to say I am not crying because a way was found to prosecute Amy Baker. There were multiple points when she could have taken steps to save Marcus- and she did not. And after he died, she assisted in covering it up.

Yes when she felt threatened with legal culpability, she gave out the information. But only when she was threatened.

Had she called someone when Marcus was tied up, then I would say she wasn’t involved. Had she thought of him when she was in Kentucky and called for someone to go release him, then I have have to say forgive. So she made no attempts to save him, and she participated in the coverup. And she asked for an immunity deal before she broke her silence. Now, someone else has the deal. He has already been convicted.

I forgot to say Thank You to Trisha of The End of the Story. She was aware of my interest in the story and made sure I was aware of the new developments. She also has a post up on the new developments.

Carnival of the True Crime Blogs LXXII

                                                      tcb72a.jpg                     Yesterday was the day for the Carnival of the True Crime Blogs. This week’s edition is held at The Cellar and is a very special edition. First there is the usual carnival, and underneath are links to posts written about the Virginia Tech Tragedy by the TCB members. Graphic curtsey of LiLO and CrimeBlog.US

Something Terrible

It seems that 20 year old Jimmie Dawkins had some problems. Police say  last year after they were called about an argument with his mother Sonia Taylor, 44, they took him to a psychiatric hospital for an evaluation. And they were at the home twice on Mon. once at 3am and again at 3pm. Monday’s call was allegedly also in regards to an argument with his mother. Police say there was no signs of violence, so there was no arrest Monday.

There were other problems in the home. Mom’s boyfriend had recently had a stroke and was confined to a wheelchair and required the services of a home health aide. The boyfriend’s nephew had also come from Jamaica to help care for his uncle.

Police received another call from the home on Wednesday morning. His mother told the police to hurry or

“something terrible was going to happen,”

By the time they arrived a few minutes later it was too late. They found the mother Sonia Taylor, the boyfriend Arnold Lawson, 47, and the home health aide Syndia Boye (some reports say her name was Brye,) 28, dead from gunshot wounds to the face. Dawkins had also shot himself in the head.

The nephew was the only person left alive. He told police that he was in the room with his uncle when the Dawkins burst in with a gun. After shooting Arnold Lawson, Dawkins then allegedly shot the nephew. The bullet struck him in the leg and he fell over into a closet. He played dead and the shooter left the room he then left the home through a window.

The weapon was found near Dawkins body.

Police say the mother was increasingly frustrated with her son being unemployed and spending his days smoking marijuana and that he acted irrationally. Family has said that the mother was concerned that he might hurt someone in the family and that police did not arrest him when they were called.

But police say that the mother did not express that fear to them, and they did not have cause to arrest him. Police also say the mother had never gone to court to seek a protection order or an eviction order.

silive.com                 amny.com              1010wins.com

silive.com              nytimes.com         nydailynews.com

It is often assumed that when someone starts acting irrationally that you can put them into the hospital and they take medication and get all better. However, it is not that simple.

If the person is an adult, in order to be admitted to the hospital they must either be exhibiting clear signs that they are a threat to themselves or others, or they must sign themselves in voluntarily. If they are admitted for exhibiting signs they might harm themselves or others, they will only be admitted for long enough for an evaluation to be completed (usually two or three days.) In order to force a longer admission, the doctor must obtain a court order.

It can be hard for a parent. If they feel their child is mentally ill, they want to get help for them. They don’t want their ill child to be in jail or homeless. They might be reluctant to force a mentally ill child out of the home, to exist on their own. At the same time they may fear the adult child.

I don’t have the answers to this one. It is a pretty common scenario. Taking them to the hospital might work- but they must be willing to go and to agree to treatment.

Calling the police sometimes works- but they must exhibit signs of violent behavior in front of the officer or you must have evidence their behavior had been violent. You risk their being arrested, but if they are you can speak to the court and try to get the judge to request the mental evaluation.

In order to take them to court for an order declaring them incompetent you must have a doctor’s who has evaluated them. Again you are back to the fact that in order to see a doctor, they must be willing to agree to the treatment.

If all else fails, a family may be forced to make going to a doctor and taking their medication  a condition of remaining in the home. And if they fail to do so, the family may have to follow through with ordering them out of the home. 

No solution is easy with a mentally ill adult child.  If a child shows signs of being ill while they are under 18 it is important to get them the necessary treatment. Because once they turn 18 it becomes much more difficult.

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