He Couldn’t Take It

On Sunday Sharon Carter, 31, and her boyfriend Stephen Mark Picart attended the Sunday services at the church where her father was the pastor. After the services they drove away in her SUV, with her two children from a previous relationship in the back seat. Sharon Carter was reportedly driving.

Police believe that an argument developed while they were driving. And they believe that Picart pointed a gun at her head and fired. With no driver, the SUV out of control hit two parked vehicles before coming to a stop.  Police say Picart then fled the scene of the crime. Sharon Carter died at the scene.  

Sharon Carter’s sons are aged 4 yrs. and 14 yrs. First they saw their mother shot- then they were in the accident that came as a result of the shooting. The two children were physically unharmed and were placed into protective custody. Relatives saw the children at the police station and an uncle has told media the 4 yr. old had been crying and was showing how his mother was shot. The uncle said the 14 yr old boy wasn’t talking much. But he did tell his uncle 

‘Uncle, I cannot help that nightmare from playing back in my mind.’ ”

There was also another child involved in the crime- Sharon Carter was pregnant and relatives say it was Picart’s child.

Picard turned himself in to police on Monday and he has been charged with two counts of murder. One count for Sharon Carter and one count for the child she was carrying.

Relatives have told media that Sharon Carter was planning to leave Picard. Ms. Carter’s father told the media

“She was just through with him, I guess, and he couldn’t take it”

latimes.com       signonsandiego.com      latimes.com               cbs2.com      knbc.com

When I writing this I kept thinking, what right did he have to do this? What made him think he had the right to take the life of the woman who was carrying his child? What right did he have to take away a mother of children, a daughter, a sister, a human being. To leave two children with those kind of memories of their mother? To endanger those two children that way?

He must have accepted that the relationship was over. And like a child who is tired of or frustrated with a toy, he chose to destroy her rather than to let her go. And in the process he caused pain not only to her, but to everyone connected to her. He may have thought he couldn’t stand the ending of the relationship, but what he will be going through now will be mucfh harder. He may not have realized it, but will soon learn that he not only caused pain to her and her family- he also caused pain to his own family. After he fled the scene, his location was not known for about a day. I read one report that said his family helped to talk him into turning himself in. That had to have been difficult and painful for them. And their pain like the family of Ms. Carter’s pain has just begun and will be with them a long time. If he is convicted of these murders, they will eventually adjust. But the loss of a mother or a child is something you never really get over.

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Today

Today a family is out there searching. They are having a wide range of emotions, high to low that may happen several times a day. They are searching for Nailah Franklin. Let me tell you a little bit about her story.

Nailah Franklin lives in Chicago, Ill. She works for a pharmecutical company and she has recently broken off with a man she used to date. Recently she went to police to file a report about threatening phone calls she said she was receiving from that man. It was recommended that she file a restraining order, but she declined to do so at that time. 

On Tues. one week ago Nailah sent an uncharacteristically short text message saying she was going out to dinner and would call them later. She hasn’t been seen since. When she failed to show up for an important meeting at work, someone there contacted her family and a police report was filed. Family and friends fear foul play, because they say she was always in contact, at least by phone or text messages but they haven’t had any contact with her since Tues.

On Saturday Nailah’s car was found abandoned in another city. Tests are being run on the car and the items found there. Family says they have no idea why she would have gone to that city. Police say her belongings from her car were thrown around. Police have been searching in that area and dragged a pond, but found nothing. Two computers were missing from her home- both her work laptop and her personal one.

Family is searching too. They are praying and putting up flyers, and everything else they can think of to try to find some scrap of information about Nailah.

Police have interviewed the man she had been dating, but he was released after the interview. Police have not called him a suspect. Another woman has filed two protection orders against him in recent weeks.

wbbm780.com        wqad.com    abclocal.go.com      chicagotribune.com (Picture at link)

chicagotribune.com   suntimes.com    suntimes.com

Is there foul play? Is this a case of relationship violence or random violence? Is the man she dated related to her disappearance? At this point it is too early to tell. Her history does seem to indicate that she wouldn’t just go off without her family or that she would fail to contact them at some point. Her car being found abandoned also seems to indicate that she did not just take off voluntarily. Relationship violence vs. random violence- police have not named him as a suspect which indicates they don’t have anything that directly points to him. If he wasn’t connected, the threats to Nailah and other women certainly called police attention to him. Whether fairly or unfairly that remains to be seen. Certainly if you are the type to make threats or obsessive attempts to contact ex’s, you might want to consider the attention this could draw to you if something should happen to them.

If you want to help and you live in the Illinois area, possibly you could get some of the flyers and pass them out. If you live in the Hammond or Chicago area you could check with authorities and see if they are doing any searches they need help with.

A big thank you to Ltr for the tip on this one.

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The FBI is now involved in the disappearance of Nailah Franklin and a $10,000 rewared has been offered. The man that Nailah has said was threatening her had a close friend deliver a message to this paper saying that he is innocent and he is also concerned about Nailah. The friend has also said that he is cooperating with police and has provided them with witnesses who can vouch for his whereabouts.

cbs2chicago.com

Website for tips about the disappearance of Nailah Franklin. Looks like the site would be suitable for printing missing posters for distribution.

bringnailahfranklinhome.com

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At 4:46 am today an unclothed female body was found in a Chicago forest preserve. That preserve was near the location at which Nailah Franklin’s work vehicle was found. That body has been identified as being Nailah Franklin. No cause of death has been announced as yet and no suspect has been identified.

indystar.com                                abcnews.go.com                       cnn.com

A big thank you to Ltr  and Peach for the update.

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Multiple media reports told about the body found near where Nailah Franklin’s car was found. Multiple media stations reported that the body was Nailah Franklin. But today’s reports indicate that body has not been actually been identified. Decomposition on the body that was found was severe enough that even race cannot be determined. Today they are doing an autopsy, but the family has not ID’d the body yet.

suntimes.com                      indystar.com             foxnews.com

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The body has now been identified as Nailah Franklin. Identification was made by dental records as the remains were too decomposed for identification. At this point police are not classifying it as a homicide as the cause of death has not been determined yet. Instead they are conducting a ‘death investigation’.

ap.google.com              wndu.com

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Reginald Potts was arrested on Fri. Police have stressed that the arrest is not related to Nailah Franklin. Ironically Potts was on the telephone with a reporter at the time that he was arrested.

Potts was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor assault and battery. Allegedly he threatened a gas station attendant. Police have reiterated that they have not named a person of interest or a suspect in Nailah Franklin’s death. Pott’s had been questioned again on Fri. in regards to her death.

suntimes.com                  postchronicle.com             wandtv.com

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It seems there is an underground war going on, with the private emails that were once exchanged between Nailah Franklin and Potts being circulated. And on newspaper sites and some forums he has his supporters. But not everyone agrees that the emails show what the supporters want them to show. The editorial also urges people to be careful what they write in emails and text messages, as there is always the possibility that they may someday become public knowlege.

chicagosuntimes.com

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Against the advice of his attorneys Reginald Potts Jr. gave an interview to media. In the interview he denied that he was Nailah Franklin’s boyfriend. But did admit that they were ‘involved’ and intimate.

Memorable quotes:

“I was absolutely not her boyfriend,” “I was shocked and I was saddened. A lot of things went through my mind. This was still somebody that at some point in my life made me smile.”

“I may talk a lot of s – – – — pardon my language — but me putting my hands on somebody isn’t really happening. “Making somebody disappear — having something to do with their abduction — having something to do with a murder, that’s kind of extreme. That is a huge leap,”

“At this point there is nothing, but I’m defending myself against rumors, speculations and a lot of gossip. It’s affecting my family, my business and my relationships.”

Potts also accused police of harrassment. He also alleges damages to his home that occurred during the execution of the search warrant. He says he has offered to take a lie detector test but law enforcement has not set one up. Police have not responded to the statements nor have they named Potts as a suspect or person of interest in the murder.

Potts talked about the email that was sent to his friends, purportedly an email that he recieved from Nailah when their relationship ended. Potts admitted that he did send it to his friends. The email made the circuit after Nailah’s body was discovered.

Potts denied threatening Nailah. Media did bring out the fact that Potts is subject to two other protective orders brought against him by his ex-wife and an ex-girlfriend, both of whom are the mothers of his children.

Potts alleges that he has recieved threatening emails.

suntimes.com

The interview reminded me of an old song. Maybe you remember it? “Why’s everybody always picking on me?”

“She’s my wife”

Normally I blog about domestic violence where the perpetrator has been identified, but the case has not yet gone to trial. Today I am going to make an exception.

Anthony Woods, 42,  got married on April 10, 2006. And police say he sexually assaulted and sodomized his wife 10 days after their marriage. And on June 12, 2006 he allegedly did it again. Police say he also took her to her bank June 12 and was trying to force her to withdraw her money from the bank, but she began screaming and bank employees called police.

Police arrested Woods that day and he has remained in jail since that time awaiting trial. Prosecutor’s have said that when police talked to Woods about assault allegations he told them they couldn’t do anything because

“she’s my wife.”

Police did charge him with 1 count of rape, 2 counts of criminal sexual assault (sodomy) and attempted criminal sexual act, as well as charges of abuse for acts he purportedly committed against his stepson when the wife’s son attempted to come to her aid.

Well, in May the case went to trial. And the jury did find Woods was found guilty of all the charges against his wife. He was acquitted of the minor charges related to her son.

On Sept. 21 his sentencing trial was held. Woods was sentenced as a convicted felon. It seems that he had past convictions of rape for other women- a fact that his wife was not aware of at the time of the marriage. The defense attorney asked for as leinent sentence. And he talked about the Woods family involvement and dedication to their church. The prosecutor countered with an episode where Woods purportedly held a Bible in his hand while he threatened his wife and told her that

God wanted her to repent and withdraw her charges against him.

The wife got on the stand and said she was a “survivor.” But she also talked about how the rapes and abuse have affected her life since that time. And she talked about how Woods

“totally desecrated and demeaned her”

in front of the children she had from a previous relationship. She also talked about the fear that she still lives with.

The judge listened. The judge sentenced him to 50 years to life in prison and fined him $5,480 (the money is to come from any prison income.) She also issued a restraining order prohibiting Woods from making contact with his wife until the year 2065. According to reports Woods smiled as he signed the order in the courtroom.

According to reports the wife is filing for divorce.

buffalonews.com      wivb.com           buffalonews.com        wstm

Rape is an act that can happen to anyone, and it is a destructive act that can and often does cause long term effects. Rape is not an act of sex, it is an act of domination and control. And forcing a sexual act on any man, woman or child is an illegal act…. no matter what previous relationship or consent may have been given (and yes, there are times such as minors, disabled and impaired persons who cannot legally consent to the act.)

It always bugs me when someone tries to use the word of God to excuse an action they take, just because they want to. Terrorists use that rationale- no matter what religion they might be. Husbands don’t- or at least shouldn’t.

His wife is indeed a survivor. It wouldn’t have been easy for her. Preparing for the trial she most likely had to talk to investigators, prosecutors, doctors and others and tell what happened to her over and over. It had to have been painful to relive it all the time. Then despite her fear she had to get up in front of him, and tell it again. But she did it.

To me, a victim is a person who allows the abuse and fear to rule them and determine what they do. A survivor is a person who begins to take steps (even baby steps) to recover and to protect themselves.  She began taking those steps when she was in the bank and began screaming. And her testimony in court shows she is still a survivor.

What is a Safety Plan

You hear everyone talking about a Safety Plan. What is a safety plan and who needs one? What goes in a safety plan?
Why put it in writing? Who needs to know about your safety plan?

A safety plan is a way of formalizing a plan of reaction in the case of an emergency. If there has been
violence in your home at some point, or if you have concerns about abusive or controlling behaviors, if you have left
an abusive or violent relationship, or if there have been threats made- you need a safety plan. A protection order tells the other person they must leave you alone. The safety plan can help you if the order
isn’t obeyed.

Why put it in writing? I don’t know about you but if I am scared, angry, frustrated, in pain or nervous I forget things. Having
important numbers and addresses written down makes it easier and you won’t have to look the information up at that time. Included in the plan are tips for staying safe in an explosive incident, tips for if you leave, tips for what to take with you if you leave and other useful information. Writing it down and reviewing it
frequently also reminds you of those things you need to do to keep yourself safe.

What goes in a safety plan? A safety plan should be individualized for you, your family, your situation and your area. I recommend that even if you aren’t planning to leave the situation at this time that you do make contact
with your local domestic violence agency and have them assist you in drawing up the safety plan. They can help you assess the degree of danger and what is needed in your situation. The plan should contain things like contact names and numbers
for trusted family and friends that you can call in an emergency, the number for the local domestic violence agency, the phone number for the child’s school, doctors, an attorney or any counselors if you have one. You also need to choose a code word that is known
to trusted family members, friends and/or neighbors that if you use the word they know to call police. Safety plans themselves will vary, according to your area, the number and ages of any children, the availability of trusted friends and relatives, even by the description of your home.

You have left the situation, why would you need a plan? Living in or leaving a relationship is the most dangerous time. But there are other times when violence may be a concern. If your location is a secret and you are found, if there is a difference of opinion on child custody or child support.The beginning of a new relationship for you.
Even the ending of their new relationship can stir up violence. You being prepared is your first defense.
There are many examples of safety plans that can be found on the internet. I will include a few at the bottom of this post. But it is always a good idea to get the professionals involved to assist you, explain and help you determine what is best to include.

Who should know about your safety plan? Obviously trusted persons should know about your safety word. Family/trusted friends children should know you are drawing up the plan. But the plan itself should be hidden away because if the perpetrator gets access to it, it could endanger your life as well as others. Hopefully you will never need the plan. But keeping yourself and your children safe should be your first priority. So it is best to have it ready just in case you do need it.

Domestic Violence Safety Plan Guidelines               Separation Safety Plan                   Domestic Violence Safety Plan

                                                    Personalized Safety Plan                                  Safety Plan
Being a friend or family member of someone when you have concerns they may be abused can leave you feeling helpless. You cannot make them leave the relationship. But maybe, just maybe in order to make you feel better- maybe you can convince them to read about and complete a safety plan.

A Tale of Two Families

Julian (34) and Rosetta Walker were the parents of two children ages 3 years and 18 months. And their marriage was ending, they had filed for divorce. Rosetta Walker, who had quit school 20 years ago when her oldest son was born had recently completed her diploma and was due to pick it up on Tues. Julian was reportedly was in a new relationship. But according to reports there were problems in that relationship also and it was ending or had ended. According to the reports, the recent girlfriend’s family had some problems with the relationship of their 19 year old daughter and a 34 year old man due to the age difference.

Monday about 4:30 am the new girlfriend’s stepfather Terrence Lott was shot and killed. Police have named Julian Walker as a suspect in that murder.

About an hour later and several miles away, Rosetta Walker was at home with three of her four children. The youngest two children were ages 3 years and another 18 months. And police say they were witnesses to the shooting murder of their mother. Relatives say the three year old has told some relatives

“Daddy killed Mommy.”

Julian Walker hasn’t been seen since 5:26 that morning. Both victims families are asking that he turn himself in. According to reports, even his father is asking him to turn himself in. Walker was last seen in a GMC Sierra pickup, tan in color. The vehicle has Georgia plates with the license number ADG-7118. He is considered to be armed and dangerous.

cbs46.com(Picture at Link)    ajc.com    ajc.com      ledger-enquirer.com     foxnews.com

 I have seen little said about Terrence Lott at this time. With the loss of their loved one, that is not so suprising as some families need to be private at that time. I can understand a family being concerned about a young daughter who had not been an adult very long, beginning a relationship with an ex-con who is still married to another and much older than she. And I cannot help but think of the teen. She meets a man at work and begins a relationship. She has no way of knowing how this is going to end. Yet now that she knows, her memories of her stepfather will be forever tainted with the knowlege that she was the connection between her stepfather and his murderer. Not her fault- but will she ever believe that?

And the family. I cannot help but think of those young children. 18 months and a 3 year old. In the wee hours of a silent morning, the sound of a shotgun blast inside. Enough to frighten an adult, even more frightening to a child who doesn’t understand. The last sight of their mother with the results of that shotgun blast, they would not understand the magnitude of what happened but still would sense there was reason to fear. They had a mother- a mother who loved and cared for them. Now they not only do not have a mother, for all practical purposes they have no father available to them. At their age the memory of the way their mother died may fade. But along with that memory of their mother’s death, they will also lose the memory of their mother’s smile or how she looked when she kissed them goodnight. Mrs. Walker had older children from a previous relationship that she also loved and cared for. They won’t be able to forget. They will remember every time they have a success or failure in life, because almost all of us will pick up the phone to call Mom when those happen.

Julian Walker is still on the loose. Keep an eye out will ya?

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Thanks to Peach we have an update.

Police tracked Julian Walker to Illinois. When they approached him, Walker shot at an officer with the shotgun but hit his patrol car. Walker then fled on foot into a wooded area. Officers heard a shot and saw a puff of smoke. Later they found him dead from a gunshot wound.

11alive.com        ajc.com     

Somtimes You Feel Alone

Sometimes a controlling or abusive person may isolate the spouse or girlfriend, limiting her contacts with friends or relatives. Sometimes you feel alone because you feel that no one could or would understand. These feelings can persist even after you leave the relationship. Or maybe it is a friend or relative that you are concerned about.

There is a place where you can discuss domestic violence related issues, you do not need to feel alone. And there are people who do understand. They understand because they have been there. You can connect with them. I received an email about a new site that has started up called Victory Voices. A place for abused women to connect and to share. A place to share your concerns over friend’s or relatives.

You can tell your story or read about other’s experience’s. Maybe you can help someone else. And maybe you can gain the strength you need to meet the challenges you face.

Missing….. Again

In Dec. 2002 Marshall Doud was last seen leaving his place of employment one Wednesday about noon. He was supposed to take his child surfing that day. He didn’t make it home. By the next day his wife concerned that he may have been in an accident, reported him missing. His friends and family began searching for him. By Friday police had checked his credit card records and found that his credit card had been used to buy camping equipment. Still family and friends were concerned and continued searching. One of his friends spoke publicly about their concern and desire to find him.

“We’re still holding out hope to find him,” Ledwith said. “My hope is he’s emotionally wounded somehow, … and that we can bring him back to a family that loves him dearly. The alternative scenario is too terrible to imagine.”

On Sunday of the same week, his truck was found miles away. Another search party and he was found about 30 minutes later he was found.

Police said he was not injured, but he was reported as cold and hungry. The drivers side window of his truck was smashed and later reports indicated he did have a bump on his head. He was reported as having amnesia. He wanted to speak to his family, and was able to make a phone call. Few explanations for his disappearance were given.

His friend described Marshall Daud as

“This was extremely out of character for him,” Ledwith said. “He is a family man, a regular Joe, the salt of the earth.”

santacruzsentinel.com            santacruzsentinel.com            mymotherlode.com              santacruzsentinel.com

 Marshall Daud is missing again. But the circumstances are different this time.

He was last seen in his home on Monday night. On Tuesday morning about 7:15 am his teenage children in the home found his wife (their mother) Morgana Daud, 42, in her bed and unresponsive. She was pronounced dead and her death is being called suspicious.

Police are not saying that Marshall Daud is a suspect, but they do want to talk with him. He may be driving a 1994 Dodge pickup truck, rusty blue in color and has a license plate of  5K91613. Police say they do not know if he is armed. According to one report police are searching for camping gear.

santacruzsentinel.com    mercurynews.com     cbs5.com     theksbwchannel.com    montereyherald.com

Police have reported that Marshall Daud showed up at the police station on Tues. night. After interviewing him police arrested him on a charge of murder. They say the arrest was based on both the interview and on evidence found in the home.According to at least one report, Daud told investigators that he had driven to the mountains.

Police are waiting to release the cause of death, pending the results of the autopsy. The couple’s children are reported to be with family.

cbs5.com      santacruzsentinel.com      theksbwchannel.com

 

One State- The Impact

The Govenor of Massachusetts has set up a Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. A staff member from Jane Doe, Inc. Voices for Change reviewing the problems of domestic violence in the State of Massachusetts and they have made a report.

For the year of 2007- to date…. Massachusetts has had a number of domestic violence murders. According to the Boston-Herald News & Opinion Blog they have had 26 fatal incidents related to domestic violence. They have listed the dates and persons killed. Yes, that is right- one state, in 8 months. I cannot think of a better way to show the impact of domestic violence than that. Twenty six families who are mourning the deaths of loved ones. 26 sets of friends who remember their friends with grief and sadness, who are trying to make sense of what happened. 26 neighbors who look at the house every day and remember what happened to the occupants. 26 communities where police officers and ambulances had to enter the situation and try to pick up the remains and now have that as a permanent part of their memories. 26 communities whose ambulances, hospitals,police officers, and coroners resources were used in treating and/or investigating those crimes. 26 communities who were impacted with the deaths of their citizens- and if you want to be realistic, many of those communities have lost employees, taxes and work hours, communities who will now be paying for incarcerations and trials.

Many of those involved may have had children- now orphans or virtual orphans. Many facing and trying to cope with the fact that not only did they lose a parent- but it was their other parent who did it. Some of those children will be too young to remember their parent. Some will be old enough to remember- but this may be their first experience with death. Many of the children’s friends are learning about death for the first time and trying to assimiliate the fact that their friend’s parent was not killed by a stranger- but by someone their friend knew and maybe even loved. Someone they themselves may have met or spent time with.

And no less affected are the suspect’s family. This person they thought they knew- maybe even loved is accused of a heinous crime and is facing prison- maybe even death themselves. Or maybe they also died. And now they are placed in a position where they don’t know how to feel about what happened, because though they may condemn what they did- they still love them.

We read about domestic violence murders and one story at a time, we can miss the impact that those deaths have. Especially if it is an anonymous stranger. But it isn’t one death. 1 state, 8 months, 26 incidents. There are 50 states, and 12 months. You can do the math. And that is just the ones that died, not the ones who were seriously or maybe permanently injured.

I am glad Massachusetts is investigating and trying to resolve the problems. And I hope they can come up with some answers. Stronger, better laws can and would help. Better resources make for better choices. But the hardest part is often the personal part. Teaching friends and relatives what to do if they know someone being abused. How they can intervene. Exploring how to react when they learn that it is their friend or their relative who is an abuser and how they can get help, both for their friend or relative as well as for the victim. Teaching victims there is help out there, and how to get it as well as how to know if they need it. As well as making sure the other 49 states work on it too.

Other links of interest on the subject:

dailyfreepress.com

Men’s Initiative for Jane Doe Inc.

casamyrna.org