“Self defense” ?

Denise Blanton, 38, and Nicholas Wolke, 47, were in a relationship. Police have described the relationship as

“on again, off again”

According to law enforcement

“We have responded to that location before several times,”  “It’s certainly been a volatile situation for some time and we’ve been to that location and dealt with these individuals before in a domestic violence sense.”

Law enforcement says they had been called to the home multiple times. According to reports, they had been called to the home once in Nov. of 2007. When the first officer arrived, Wolke allegedly picked up a phone and hit the officer in the head as the officer attempted to check him for weapons. Wolke then fled the home.

Officers were still at the home when the phone rang. Reportedly it was Wolke, calling to tell Denise Blanton where he was and telling her to bring his clothing to him so that he could leave the state.

Law enforcement proceeded his location and took him in custody with the help of a police dog. During the process, Wolke reportedly received a dog bite and had to be taken for medical treatment. That situation has been described as still unresolved.

Tues. night/early Wed. AM, Wolke was reportedly back at Denise Blanton’s address again. Denise Blanton was there with her son and two teen daughters. And allegedly another argument took place. According to reports Wolke walked out of the home and outside he shot Denise Blanton’s 21 year old son Jonathon Gilkison. Allegedly when Denise Blanton came out of the home, he shot her too. Wolke then left.

An adult daughter had been away from the home, but she arrived soon after. Her sisters rushed to tell her what had occurred, she reportedly saw her brother lying in the gravel and her mother lying on the sidewalk. There was no phone at the home. So the daughter put her sisters in the car and the three drove to call 911.

Voice of 911 Operator: “Where was this at?”

Tiffany Adkins told the dispatcher: “180 Brown Hill Road. My mother and my brother have been shot in the head by her boyfriend, and I don’t know where he’s at.”

Both Jonathon Gilkison and Denise Blanton were pronounced dead.

A search began for Nicholas Wolke. Despite fears that he may have fled the state, police soon received tips that Wolke was still in the state. He was located at a friend’s home two counties away.

Wolke was taken into custody and later transferred to the county in which the crime happened. A cluster of news reporters were waiting for him to be brought in. Wolke reportedly had something to say to reporters. He supposedly looked at them and said two words:


Police have denied the shooting was in self-defense. Wolke has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder and is being held with a $1 million dollar bond.

The adult daughter has told media

“Peoples have told me he could do something like that. I just never thought he would.”

wcpo.com             maysville-online.com           news.enquirer.com

kypost.com         peoplesdefender.com

The daughter said she never thought this could happen. And she isn’t alone. Most likely her mother never thought it would happen either. Or if the thought that he might kill her had crossed her mind- she more than likely never thought he would harm her children.

That happens a lot. The violence happens, it is bad for a while, then it is over and life goes on as before. It doesn’t happen all the time. And to try to get along, most victims will try to put away any resentment they may feel, may even feel guilty because they feel that resentment. After all- he is sorry, he is being nice, he is trying right? So things are better until the next time.

And he has never killed before- though some abusers will threaten to. The victim may know someone who has had problems with a relationship violence- but they lived through it. And after all, the victim thinks- he didn’t try to kill me. So if they think of the danger or have any fear, most victims will also try to put that aside along with any resentment or other negative emotions.

But domestic violence, domestic abuse, troubled relationship, volatile situation or however you wish to term it means a danger to the victim. An increased danger they could be maimed or murdered. Because the abuser has never killed before doesn’t mean that at some point they won’t.

And sadly, others can be at risk also. Family or friends, police officers or even strangers who attempt to intervene can also be at risk. Or they could also be at risk just because the abuser knows the victim loves them.

I have been thinking about the teen girls who were home with their mother and brother. First the argument going on. Then just as it looked like it was over and he was leaving the home, the gunshot. Their mother going out the door to see what happened and another gunshot. The fear they must have felt, with no phone to call for help, no way of knowing if he would return, no way of getting help for their Mother and Brother.

Their sister driving up thinking about who knows what, just another evening. Suddenly, aware of the crisis in their lives. And unprepared, without even time to absorb what has happened, as the only remaining adult she has to take charge.


After every death whether a natural death, an accidental death or a homicide or suicide questions always come up. The questions sometimes come up when looking through the loved ones effects and wondering why they saved this, who is in that photo or why they were seen somewhere or what they were doing? Did they know how much they were loved? Questions all the more poignant because the family no longer has the opportunity to ask the loved one.

After a violent death those questions get larger and more important. Some common questions: why, who, why didn’t I somehow know, was there anything at all I could have done, why did this happen to them, was there something I missed seeing? Did they suffer?

We all have private thoughts, private memories. Sometimes shared with a few, but sometimes not. Those thoughts and memories may hold the answers to some of those questions, but unless they were shared, the answers may not be known.

Usually it is the family and friends who are asking the questions. But sometimes it is also the community. That is the case with Robert Bystrack and his wife Angela.

Robert and Angela Bystrack moved into the community about 12 years ago. And after joining the community they jumped right in. They had a child together, she is now reported as being 11 years old. They became active in the community, Angela served on the zoning board for a time, Robert as an alternate on the planning board. Both had served on the planning board.

Robert was an electrician locally, Angela had worked as an animal control officer for a time as well as a part time police officer for a time. They belonged to a local snowmobile club. Their child went to school in the area and reportedly earned awards for citizenship and academics.

According to media they purchased a property about 4 years ago. And they had plans. The home was built in the 1800’s and they were busy restoring it. The property had about 200 acres, and there are reports that they had plans for an ecological preserve, a snowmobile site and/or a camping area. They stayed busy. They were well known and well liked. Many good things have been said about them.

On Feb. 15th about 7 am their 11 year old daughter showed up at a neighbors home, wounded. She reportedly told the neighbor

“My mommy shot my daddy, then she shot me, then she shot herself.”

911 was called and the child was taken to the hospital. For Angela and Robert Bystrack, it was too late. A later autopsy ruled that Robert Bystrack’s death was a homicide, Angela Bystrack’s death a suicide.

The child’s condition has been reported as satisfactory, she remains in the hospital. She is expected to fully recover.

Police are investigating but have not released their findings. At least one media reported they had done “extensive” background checks and did not make any findings that might lead to these events.

citizen.com            fosters.com         citizen.com      unionleader.com 

boston.com           citizen.com          concordmonitor.com  concordmonitor.com

Forensics, the crime scene and other investigative tools have already answered some of the questions. And police continue to investigate. They may come up with other answers, as people recover from the shock and have time to recall the minutiae of things said, things seen that seemed insignificant at the time. The child may be able to answer some questions, though she is recovering from her own injury and has to recover from the shock of what she saw.

But no matter how many questions they are able to answer, there will always be those questions that have no answers. And those questions that linger become one more thing that has to be accepted, just like having to accept the deaths. Some may be major questions, and always there are the small questions.

The child is 11 years old. She is injured but recovering. Hospitalized with family around her, but not her parents. When she turns 12, no parents will be baking her a cake or giving her presents. When she begins to date, her mother will not be there to help her dress for her first date, no father to check out the new boyfriends. When learns to drive, no parent will be there to guide her and ride with her. And no parent will be there to comfort her in her grief.

She is young, she will physically recover, she will grow, and she has family who want to love her. Her community has turned out to offer her their support. She will survive. But though she is young, she is old enough to remember the last sight she had of her father being shot, of her mother shooting her, and of her mother shooting herself. The long walk she made after being injured, to get to a neighbor to some adult, to get help. Those memories will fade in time, will even be forgotten at times. But at times they will resurface. She too will have her questions, both now and more questions as she grows and has more experience with life. 

A big thank you to  Zach for the tip on this.

Update: Just another domestic disturbance call

On Feb. 8 I wrote the entry Just another domestic disturbance call about Teresa Lynn Baker, a woman who lived next door to her daughter. A daughter that had had a history of alleged domestic abuse with her partner. And I admitted I was conflicted about what Teresa Baker had done. She called police to tell them about what was happening at her daughter’s home. And when they failed to respond in an hour, she left her home and went to her daughter’s home where she allegedly proceeded to shoot Jeffery Sadler, her daughter’s boyfriend and the father of some of her grandchildren.

Well I still believe that the only valid reason for taking a life is in defense of self and others, but I am a little less conflicted about it now. More information about the case came out in the preliminary hearing.

According to the defense attorney, Teresa Baker heard screaming at her daughter’s house. And one of her grandchildren told her that the couple was fighting. And according to the defense attorney Teresa Baker was told

“he had been threatening her with a knife, saying he was going to gut her.”

She didn’t rush over there and insert herself into the argument. She called police. The dispatcher reportedly told her

“We’re going to get (police) right there,”

She knew about the history of violence in the home. She had been told he was armed with a knife. She had been told of the threats. And she went out on her porch and sat and worried and waited with a gun in her houseshoe. 

One hour went by. A very slow 60 mins. A total of 360 seconds. She had a child in that home with a man wielding a knife and threatening her. She had grandchildren in that home who were watching what was happening between their parents, who had heard the threat. For one hour she sat and worried and waited. And no police.

She finally got up, went to the home and shot Jeffery Spadler.

Forensics detectives have said they found “stab marks” in a wall of the home.

Police have said they did not respond because they did not have officers available. They have said that because Baker was calm in the initial phone call they put it at a lower priority. Now they say that if Baker had told them she had a gun, that would have probably made it a higher priority! They also commented on the fact that in the initial call, Baker appeared calm.

My computer won’t play the 911 video’s that are listed (I only got part of the last call to play) and I haven’t found a written transcript of the 911 calls. But I question whether the first call was a calm and collected person, or a scared mother struggling to remain calm so that she could give the police the information that was needed in order to get police to come to her daughter’s aid.

After the murder she did not appear calm, she also didn’t attempt to hide what she had done nor did she appear to have attempted to hide evidence of what she had done. She reportedly went home, picked up the phone and called the police back and hysterically told the dispatcher what she had done. Finally police had the emotion they say was missing in the first call. So much emotion the dispatcher reprimanded her repeatedly to calm down.

herald-dispatch.com                     wsaz.com (video with links to the 911 call)

As I have said before, while I don’t condone what Teresa Baker is accused of doing… if I felt my child was in danger, and police did not respond… I don’t know if I would have done anything different- except probably I wouldn’t have waited the full hour.

In time Teresa Baker will be in trial and facing a jury. Most likely she will not be facing a jury of persons who had been in domestic violence relationships or who had lost someone to domestic violence. This jury will probably know the myths and misconceptions that go along with domestic violence. But they may not know the facts, the things that only come from surviving it- either directly or through a loved one.

The struggles that a parent, child, sibling, cousin or friend goes through as they watch their loved one struggle with domestic violence. The fear and worry they live with as they try to advise their adult loved one, and the helplessness they feel when the adult child remains in the relationship. The grief and struggles they go through when they lose them forever.

At some point Teresa Baker will face that jury of citizens from that county. I am not going to ask you whether you think what she did was right or wrong, that is for the court to decide. But I will ask if you were in her shoes, what would you have done? Do you feel that you can reach out and help the citizens in that area to understand this from the point of view of a person who has been there?

Herald Dispatch Letters to the Editor

Huntingtonnews Editor

The Irate Ex

A 911 came in on Tues. AM and reported that Elena Anderson’s “irate ex-boyfriend” was in her apartment.

Elena Anderson, 27, had a previous relationship with Deandre Crawford, 28. They shared an 18month old son. But the relationship ended and both moved on to new relationships.

Elena Anderson had a boyfriend, and they too had a child, this time a little girl just born Dec. 24. In addition Elena Anderson had two other children from a previous relationship and those children live with their father. Elena Anderson’s current boyfriend moved in with her just 3 months ago. Elena Anderson grew up in the 4 unit apartment building she lived in, and three of the four units were occupied by her relatives.

Reports indicate that Crawford and Anderson had recently had problems over the custody of their little boy. News reports indicate that on Tues. Crawford got a ride to Anderson’s apartment. Police believe that Elena Anderson let Crawford into the apartment as there was no forced entry.

A second call came in reporting a shooting at the apartment. Police have said that Elena Anderson and her current boyfriend both made calls.

It is believed that Elena Anderson and Crawford were arguing when the current boyfriend walked in on it. Crawford chased the current boyfriend into a bedroom firing 5 shots. The current boyfriend was struck in the face and chest. It is believed that Crawford then went back to the living room and fired at Elena Anderson striking her in the chest. Reportedly Crawford then fled the home.

When police arrived they found Elena Anderson and her current boyfriend shot. Elena Anderson was able to tell them that

“My oldest baby’s daddy, Deandre Crawford, shot me in the chest,”

According to the prosecutor, Crawford walked about a block from the apartment and was allegedly picked up by his current girlfriend.

Elena Anderson and the current boyfriend were both taken to the hospital where Elena Anderson later was pronounced dead. The current boyfriend has been reported in critical condition and is reported to be paralyzed from the waist down. The children were in the apartment in a bedroom at the time of the shooting, but were reported to be unharmed.

Police were able to locate Crawford and take him into custody, He has been charged with one count each of murder in the first degree and attempted murder. Bail was denied at his arraignment hearing.

chicagotribune.com    southtownstar.com 

chicagotribune.com    chicagotribune.com

“Custody Issues.” Somehow I always find that term ironic in domestic deaths. If convicted he won’t get custody of his son now, he won’t even get additional time with him. As a matter of fact, if the child is in need of his assistance- he won’t be available for him. Many times the term “custody issues” is used to describe disputes over child support. And the shooting may settle that. He won’t have to pay child support to Elena Anderson now, he won’t be paying anyone support. His child will be growing up motherless, and essentially fatherless. Dependent on other family and/or possibly the state for his support.

Two children in the home, reported as being ages 18 months and just over one month old. Most likely they heard the raised voices, most likely the sounds of shooting scared them. They are too young to know that their lives have changed. Too young to know that they will never see the woman they knew as Mom again, to young to even remember what it felt like to have a mother. Two other children will remember. Most likely they will both remember the last time they saw her, talked to her. But now she is forever gone for them also.

Crawford reportedly worked in a hospital escorting patients and he was also attending college. He was majoring in Criminal Justice.

Update on Missing

On April 29, 2006 I wrote a post about a young man named Kenneth Countie who was Missing. He was reported as having a relationship with Sheila LaBarre and was last seen with her. Police eventually located what was thought to be his remains on LaBarre’s property in a burn pile.

Kenneth Countie was reported missing by his mother. And it was during that time that another mother came forward asking about her missing son Michael Deloge. He was also last seen with LaBarre and was also believed to have had a relationship with her.

LaBarre was arrested in the death of Kenneth Countie and has been incarcerated since that time. She was not charged in the death of Michael Deloge until very recently. The news has just come out that Sheila LaBarre has pleaded insanity in both deaths earlier today.

LaBarre pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to both charges, essentially admitting the state could prove her guilt, but that she was not legally responsible because she was insane at the time.

Instead of trial to determine guilt in the charges she will instead be going to trial to prove her insanity in May. If she is successful she will be sent to a psychiatric hospital instead of prison. She will also have a hearing to determine if she is dangerous and if she is deemed a danger she will be put into a secure psychiatric unit. Her status will then be reviewed every 5 years. If she is unsuccessful, she will go to prison for life.

unionleader.com   bostonherald.com       fosters.com      

eagletribune.com      unionleader.com         eagletribune.com

This case has interested me since I first read about it. Parts of the information about the case are pretty bizarre, especially in the information that has come out since LaBarre’s arrest. LaBarre insisted she was ‘innocent’ and that she would not give up on fighting the charges.

The timing of the plea is pretty interesting. Kenneth Countie’s first date with Sheila LaBarre was on Feb. 14 of 2006. Now two years later and just two days shy of Valentine’s Day, Sheila LaBarre pleads not guilty by reason of insanity.

Prosecutors gave quite a bit of information today on how they believe that Kenneth Countie and Michael Deloge were killed and on what evidence they found at LaBarre’s farm.

Crime Scene Blog has also posted about the plea. As a matter of fact he has written several posts on the case so while you are there, you may want to do a search for more info about the case.

Everyone is Entitled to an Attorney

Andrew L. Boisvert, 37, and Margaret “Meg” Ninos, 47, used to be a couple. Though their marriage did not last, they did share a daughter in common. Both were in helping professions, with Ninos a nurse and Boisvert a paramedic. But after a few years they divorced about 3 years ago. Boisvert has since remarried and Ninos had a boyfriend. According to at least one report they two had a disagreement about custody issues and had planned to meet on Wed. to discuss the issue.

Investigators say that at one point Margaret Ninos had a restraining order on Boisvert. But her boyfriend who she had reportedly been dating for a year says

“I didn’t know that. I wish I had known that,” said Ninos’ boyfriend, Paul Tibets, of Medfield. “She never put (Boisvert) in a bad light. That’s the type of person she is. He had a very bad temper. They said he could be volatile at times. There were numerous incidents between the two of them where he abused her.”

Wednesday night police say they got a call from Boisvert. And they say the 7 year old daughter was in the vicinity when he called. When police arrived at the home they found the body of Margaret Ninos. They report she had suffered fatal head wounds and have said it was an extemely violent attack. Police haven’t said if the child was home at the time of her mother’s death.

Boisvert was interviewed Wed. night and into Thurs. AM. But he was released. Boisvert was seen Thurs. evening but hasn’t been seen since. Police have since named him as a suspect in the death of Margaret Ninos. Police say

“We were gathering pretty strong evidence. How he became aware of that, how much he perceived what we had, might have affected the way he proceeded,”

It is reported that Boisvert may be driving a black 1998 Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler had a Mass. license plate 781-KLO. Now the odd thing about the Wrangler is that it reportedly belongs to an attorney who had previously represented Boisvert in a bankruptcy hearing. Police also report the attorney and Boisvert have a “personal” relationship.

Police have said that Boisvert may be armed with at least one weapon and they say they believe he could be dangerous. They are asking that if you see him, that you should report to police but not to approach him. A warrant has been issued for Boisvert’s arrest. Boisvert is described as 5’5″, 180 lbs. Brown hair and brown eyes. Police say he may have a cut on his head and may be wearing glasses.

Police say the child is in a safe place. Family members have said the child was not at home when her mother died. They report she has been told her Mother is dead, but not how she died or that her father is thought to be involved. Reportedly after police arrived her father sent her to a neighbors home to stay during the investigation.

bostonherald.com (picture at link) boston.com      boston.com

thebostonchannel.com (picture at link) bostonherald.com

dailynewstribune.com (friends and family talk about memories)


Everyone is entitled to an attorney. But not every attorney will supply a vehicle.


Andrew L. Boisvert has been found. A rest stop employee in NC first located the vehicle he was driving. Then Andrew Boisvert was found after he apparently committed suicide. Authorities say he did leave a suicide note in which he stated that he was wanted for murder but said it wasn’t an admission.

The DA has given more details into what was known about the death of Margaret (Meg) Ninos. A witness reportedly saw Boisvert near the home of Meg Ninos earlier in the day, but wearing different clothing than he was wearing later. It is believed that after beating Meg Ninos to death that Boisvert cleaned up, and then went to the bus stop to pick his daughter up. He took her to a movie, then stopped at a convience store. It was after that that he called police. Durning a search of his truck, police found bloody clothing.

Police believe that financial and other “family issues” led up to the murder.

milforddailynews.com          bostonherald.com            wsoctv.com

Just another domestic disturbance call

In June, police reportedly charged Jeffrey Sadler with a misdemeanor domestic battery. However, he failed to show up in court to answer to the charge so a warrant was issued for his arrest. That warrant was never executed. According to records Sadler’s girlfriend Alison Grieco had reported that she had asked Jeffrey Sadler about some missing money and he had hit her four times and told her that       

“the next time he would rob her blind.”

Also in June, Alison Grieco filed for a restraining order. She filed a second one in Aug. Reportedly they were both granted on a temporary basis, but were later withdrawn when she failed to show up for court hearings related to the order.        

Sadler’s grandfather, Cabell County Magistrate Darrell Black, said the couple had its share of problems, but everything usually worked out. He said the family was at a loss for words Tuesday.      

“I just can’t believe it,” he said. “It normally would just work out. One would go one way, and one would go the other way.”

Media reports indicate that that Sadler came and went from the home and that he stayed there periodically. Also sharing the home were three young children. One was Alison Grieco’s child from another relationship, the other two were reportedly children that Alison Grieco had with Jeffrey Sadler.

At 7:58 pm Monday night, police recieved a call from Teresa Lynn Baker, the neighbor to Jeffrey Sadler and Alison Grieco. Teresa Baker is also the mother to Alison Grieco. In her call to police Monday night she reported a domestic problem next door at her daughter’s home. Police say that she was calm and collected during the call. According to police they did not have anyone immediately available to answer the call. At 9:07 pm she called back and reported that she had shot Sadler.

When police arrived they found Jeffrey Sadler dead. Reports indicate that Alison Grieco has told police that she heard Jeffrey Sadler and her mother Teresa Baker, then heard three shots and saw Jeffrey Sadler fall. According to reports the children also saw it happen.
Police have said that it is their understanding that Jeffrey Sadler was waiting on family to pick him up and take him away from the home. They also explained that their officers were busy that night and that when the call came in they had to prioritize the calls. They explained that from Teresa Baker’s demeanor

(Baker) was very calm and collected,” Holbrook said of Baker’s first call. “It didn’t raise any tremendous flags. It wasn’t like there was an assault in progress. There was just an argument.” 

The victim’s grandfather has said        

“In an argument between a man and a woman, things can get out of hand right then,” he said. “One of them can get seriously hurt or killed, like Jeff.”

Police have charged Teresa Lynn Baker with first degree murder.

herald-dispatch.com           herald-dispatch.com     wboy.com     wowktv.com   

huntingtonnews.com            wsaz.com

I really don’t know what to say.

As a crime blogger and a domestic violence observer, I believe it is wrong to take the law in your own hands. She should have called police. But she did and they didn’t respond. There has been no indication as to how severe the domestic disturbance had gotten. No indication as to whether the daughter had injuries. No indication as to whether Baker had just gotten tired of the arguments next door or whether she was acting in defense of her daughter and grandchildren’s safety and well being.

Most police departments take domestic violence situations very seriously. Many have said they feel that domestic violence situations are the most frustrating situations they face and often the most dangerous to them, to bystanders and to the victim. Yet after an hour this department had not responded. Is this why? If this had happened while the couple had been at a mall or a school, would police have thought this had a higher priority? Is it that they were in their own home that caused it to be a lower priority on the initial call? Is it that they go to so many domestic calls that de-escalate once police arrive that they minimize the dangers involved? Were they unaware that with a couple with a previous history that a ‘dispute can go from mild to lethal within minutes? Or do they just feel that it happens so often that they are tired of being involved? Or maybe they just aren’t aware of the dangers of domestic violence.

Had they at least gotten the names of the parties during the inital call, they could have gotten those and ran them through their computer system. They would have at least found the existing warrant on one name- that surely would have given them some indication that this wasn’t “just another domestic disturbance call.” But then maybe they were aware of the warrant and were aware of the couple’s history. After all, someone had investigated the previous call.

As a mother myself, I don’t know what I would have done in Teresa Baker’s shoes. As a mother I don’t like anyone hurting my child, I fear anyone harming my child. As a mother she would have been aware of the previous incident that led to the misdemeanor charge- and probably was aware of others that didn’t get to court. As a mother I know how hard it is to stand by and leave the decisions on what will be done after a domestic violence incident to your adult child and to the legal system. Even when you think they are wrong. For a mother who lives next door and hears the incidents as they happen, well that would be extremely difficult. Then to have make the call and have police not show up for over an hour….

I still don’t agree with what she did, unless there is some indication that her daughter or her children were in immediate danger. But I also know that standing by and not doing anything would be almost impossible if I had been in the same situation.

At least the department did show up after the report of the shooting. Maybe that was what they were waiting for.

The Dreamin’ Demon has also written his thoughts on the case. He also has the couple’s myspace URL’s.

No Longer a Normal Day

Thursday was just another week day like any other week day. Families got up and prepared to begin their day just like all the other weekdays that came before. Parents to work and kids to the 5th grade. Just routine. Maybe the kids liked school, maybe they didn’t. Maybe they liked their teacher, or maybe they didn’t. Just routine for 5th grade kids. They had no way of knowing that today would be no where near normal or routine.

Traditionally teachers don’t discuss any problems with their private life with their students, so the kids may or may not have known the teacher Christi Layne, 53, had separated from her husband. She filed for divorce on Jan. 25. Police had reportedly been involved in a domestic dispute around that time. Most likely they weren’t aware that she had also obtained a restraining order on Jan. 15. In the restraining order that was requested on Jan. 15 Christi Layne stated that her husband Michael Layne had threatened her and her son and that:

“He said I better enjoy myself because it will be soon,” she wrote in a restraining order request. “I am afraid that he will hurt me or my son when he is mad.”

Reports now indicate that at some point Christi Layne moved out of the home she shared with her husband and had a security system installed in the home she moved to.

Most likely neither the kids nor their teacher were aware of a stabbing that happened not far from the school about 9:12 am. Stephanie Loop, 22, was reportedly outside her home when a man came out of nowhere and began stabbing her. Her cousin was also there and indicates that the man was Michael Layne.

Not long after school began and shortly after the knife attack on Stephanie Loop word got out that there was a shooting at the school. Police were notified at 9:16 am. They report they were at the scene by 9:18 am. Parents began to gather near the school. Unable to get into the school because it was in lockdown for the children’s safety and it was a crime scene. The parents unable to get to the children and not knowing exactly what happened or whether their children were safe. Cell phones ringing and rumors flying. Most likely each parent was eager for any bit of news, but how do you know which rumor was true? Were the kids ok, what had they seen or heard, were they safe, had any of the kids been hurt, how are the kids, what is happening, are the kids ok?

Finally after what must have seemed like an eternity, the kids were escorted out of the school. Some were probably crying, some were probably in shock. But all were physically ok. Some had seen a man enter the school and approach the teacher. Some fled the room others headed for a nearby closet. They heard a gunshot. Some saw their teacher lying on the floor bleeding as they were escorted from the room by police officers.

Michael Layne was found at his home. During the three hour standoff at his home, several shots were heard. Layne fired several, police did shoot out a security system camera at the home. When attempts to make contact with Layne failed police did enter the home and found Michael Layne dead from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Much of this is still being investigated today, a lot of what was happening or why is still not known. Early media reports said that Stephanie Loop who was stabbed near her home was possibly the mother or sister to Christi Layne. Today’s reports say that Michael Layne considered Stephanie Loop his girlfriend. At least one report indicates that Stephanie Loop had been at Michael Layne’s home the night before and requested someone to come and get her. Stephanie Loop was taken to a hospital and her condition is is reported as critical but stable. Her exact relationship to Michael Layne is not known, but police have said she was not related to Christi Layne. It is unknown what the motivation for her stabbing was. There were witnesses to her stabbing.

Christi Layne was taken to the hospital and remains in critical condition. Early reports indicated that she had been shot. Some children reported hearing a shot. Today’s reports indicate that she had been stabbed and maybe shot.

wdtn.com     timesreporter.com   portsmouth-dailytimes.com

 chillicothegazette.com     portsmouth-dailytimes.com

portsmouth-dailytimes.com          portsouth-dailytimes.com

I began watching media reports on this one soon after it had occurred. And what stuck in my mind was those parents standing in the cold not knowing. I know I am a parent that will not be satisfied that my child is ok until I actually set eyes on them. But for the child’s own safety the children couldn’t be brought out until police were satisfied there was no further danger to them. Standing and waiting, not sure…. it had to have been terribly difficult.

Much of the information about what happened is still unknown. If you follow media reports about a crime you will find that sometimes the information will change and evolve. Police usually can not and will not give out the results of their investigation until they are satisfied they have all the information they can get and can reasonably prove what they know. Media gets their info in pieces from what they see, what little they can get from police and from witnesses, relatives, neighbors and friends that they can get to talk to them. They will also check background records such as court records. So often media reports will seem to change and evolve as more info becomes known.

Trench has also blogged this at the Chronicles and you can find those posts here, here and here.

I will be blogging another case today that sharply contrasts with this case so stay tuned or check back later.


Reports indicate that Stephanie Loop has been released from the hospital.


An addition to the family

I don’t know her name. But I do know she was 10. I don’t how she felt about what happened to her. I don’t know if she ever told. But Nov. 4th of 2007 she was 11. And had to be taken to the hospital. Because she was in labor. That is when authorities first learned what happened to her.

She would have gotten pregnant at the age of 10! Now at the age of 11, a sixth grader, she was a Mom of a 4 lb. baby girl! She took her daughter home with her to her Mother’s house.

That began the hunt. First an adult man was reportedly tested for paternity by DNA. But he wasn’t the Daddy. Then a teen boy was reportedly tested. But he wasn’t the Daddy. While the testing was being done, Mom wasn’t supposed to have adult men in the house according to an order by JFS (Jobs and Family Services.) But when a caseworker came to the home on Jan. 4 there he was, Mom’s boyfriend.

Michael Chaffer, 40 years old. Apparently he thought he was the man of the house. He allegedly tried to prevent a police officer from entering the home that day. He was arrested for obstruction of justice. When he pleaded guilty to the crime, it was determined that he had a parole violation and he was returned to prison to serve his sentence on a previous drug charge. And his DNA was taken.

Through DNA testing Michael Chaffer, Mom’s boyfriend is now allegedly the biological father of a baby girl. A child that was delived to a child he had allegedly impregnated. Some relative’s have made allegations that Chaffer had been abusing the child for some time.

The little girl was removed from her home and placed with a relative. The baby girl was put into foster care. The little girl is allowed to see her daughter a couple of times a week with supervision, but she cannot care for the baby per a court order. The little girl’s mother is allowed to see her daughter under supervision by social workers, but may not see her granddaughter. An investigation is being conducted on the Mother of the child as to whether she failed to protect the child. There is a possibility that the child mother may lose custody of her daughter due to her young age.

No charges have been filed against Michael Chaffer as yet. Prosecutors say there is no hurry because he isn’t going anywhere and he isn’t going to harm anyone, he is in prison. They do expect to file charges for statuatory rape.

Lisa Mills, a psychologist and the executive director of Harmony Garden, a Norwood-based non-profit organization that does research and education about girl’s health, called the situation “very sad.”“More and more girls are starting their periods at a younger age. That can be because of many things, but one factor that stands out is the increase in obesity and weight in adolescents.”The community must be watchful of its young girls, Mills said.“Certainly parents and important adults in girls’ lives need to be protective,” she said. “We need to keep our eyes and ears open about young girls in the community and what’s going on with them, particularly with girls who start menstruation early.

“They are at increased risk of abuse because they look older and draw more attention,” Mills said. “Caregivers need to be protective and provide supervision.”

“Unfortunately, sexual abuse is pretty common in the cases we see,” said JFS Director Moira Weir. “But it is highly unusual and extremely sad to see a case where a 10-year-old becomes pregnant.“This is an example of why everyone in the community needs to be extremely vigilant about watching for the signs of abuse and notifying us through our 241-KIDS hot line,” she added. “The sooner we can intervene, the sooner we can make sure the child is in a safe situation.”

news.enquirer.com  local12.com     

wlwt.com   news.enquirer.com

Do you remember being 10? Anyone old enough to drive seemed like a grownup. Anyone over 25 seemed old. And parents- well parents knew everything and could do everything.

It was said in the media that while waiting for the hearing about her baby this girl talked with her mother about music, and school and video games. That is what a 6th grader is supposed to be doing.

Not thinking about sex. Not worrying over her baby’s bills. Not worrying over whether her baby needed to go to the doctor. And not getting up for the 3 am feedings and diaper changes. Not being a parent. Not worrying over things like custody.

Now if I am reading this story correctly, it may have been known that this child was being abused. It may not have been a suprise when she went into labor. Since authorities were not aware of the pregnancy, it looks like she did not receive pre-natal care. And even after the baby was delivered and the order recieved to not allow men into the house- boyfriend just had to be allowed into the home! I really have to wonder if it was really a suprise who the father was.

When you are single, you have the right to choose husbands boyfriend’s, one night stands  or whatever. But once that child is born, that child is your responsibilty. Your responsibility to nurture and protect. Maybe that doesn’t seem fair. Maybe you have to make decisions between the child and the boyfriend. And if it is too much of a burden to care for and protect the child, it is best to give the child to someone who can. Then you can have all the time for the boyfriend that you desire!

I am not saying that a single mother cannot date. But a single mother must be willing to put the child’s needs and emotions first. And that includes if there is any question of any type of abuse. Listen to the child. Be willing to protect the child. Be willing to have an investigation done if there is ever any question of any type of harm to the child.


The case was taken before the Grand Jury and they have issued an indictments against Michael Chaffer for two charges of rape and a charge of felonious assault. The prosecutor says he is seeking a life sentence for Chaffer. According to the prosecutor, Ohio laws do not provide for a life sentence for rape, but he says he intends to argue that that pregnancy and childbirth constituted harm to the child who was too young to be giving birth. Harm to the child must be shown in order make the case eligible for life sentencing.

The prosecutor has said that during her pregnancy the child hid her increasing girth by wearing big shirts. It is being reported they child suffered multiple attacks between Sept. 2006 and when the baby was delivered. Allegedly the child was threatened that Chaffer would leave her mother if she told anyone. The child went into labor at 35 weeks of gestation. The investigation into whether the mother was aware of the abuse is ongoing.

Per the prosecutor’s press conference the prosecutor explained his decisions on the case

“What kind of a pervert raises a child from the age of 3 (years old) until she is 10, and then decides it is okay to rape her? If you are that kind of a sexual deviant, you should spend the rest of your life behind bars.” “This man is a beast who preyed on a 10-year-old.”

foxnews.com                         local12.com                   wcpo.com  

news.enquirer.com                                                      wlwt.com