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 Reportedly they were both granted on a temporary basis, but were later withdrawn when she failed to show up for court hearings related to the order.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.
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.