“Intruder”

Early am on Thurs. a call for help. Dorothy Faulkner, 49 and her husband Damion Faulkner, 36, were rushed to the hospital. Police were told that the couple had awakened shortly before 6 am by an hispanic male with spiky hair, a stocky build, approx. 6 ft. tall. An intruder. According to statements the intruder fled without taking anything from the home. The couple’s two children were in bed asleep during the attack and only woke at the sound of breaking glass.

At the hospital, Dorothy Faulkner was pronounced dead of several stab wounds. Damion Faulkner was treated for minor injuries and released. And it was time for his police interview. By that time police had had time to review some of the evidence and they  have said that the evidence did not match the intruder story.

Hours later Faulkner confessed. He told police that he and his wife had been having financial and relationship problems. And he admitted to stabbing his wife. He also admitted to stabbing himself in an attempt to stage the crime scene to support the intruder story.

chron.com         click2houston.com                 abclocal.go.com

chron.com         newschannel10.com

I’m too young of course to remember the Great Depression, but during history class I heard the stories. The fall of the stock market, those who had invested in a panic and the number who committed suicide rather than admit to their family and friends that they were now broke.

Things are different now. The stock market hasn’t crashed, banks are not closing. But the economy is definately on a downswing. People accustomed to one standard of living, now struggling, sometimes unable to maintain that standard.

In the thirties, men often made most of the families financial decisions, were the family providers and saw themselves as protectors of the family. Now it is usually the couple that makes those decisions, the couple that are the providers and protectors of the children. And because both couples made the decisions, this can lead to blaming each other. I fear that as the economy remains on the down swing that we may see more of these or worse.

Financial problems threaten that self-esteem that was gained by being successful. Often there is depression associated with financial problems. And the associated hopelessness, the feeling that nothing will ever be good again, the feeling of being inadequate and unable to provide can prevent a person from seeing any hope of light at the end of the tunnel, any solution to the financial problems.

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It’s not always simple

Benjamin Duling, 34, and his girlfriend Shelly McGrade, 35, have been described as quiet and that they worked a lot. They lived in a home surrounded by woods, more than 100 yards from another residence. The couple had two children ages 1 1/2 (I have seen the child listed as 2) years and 5 years old. Shelly McGrade was also the mother of two children from a previous relationship.

Friday night a near neighbor says she got a knock on the door. Allegedly there had been an altercation between Benjamin Duling and Shelly McGrade. Police were notified and when they arrived at the neighbors home, the 5 year old child, the 1 1/2 year old child and Benjamin Duling were there. At the home that Duling shared with McGrade, they found Shelly McGrade lifeless.

Police report that Benjamin Duling was injured when they arrived and it is believed he suffered those injuries during the alleged altercation with Shelly McGrade. He was taken to the hospital, treated and released. Duling was taken into custody for a time, but then was released. The 2 younger children are believed to have been present during the fight, but police say they were not physically harmed.

Police are investigating but as of last media report there have been no arrests. Police have declined to say if there was a weapon involved or the cause of Shelly McGrade’s death, though they do admit there was visible injuries. An autopsy has been scheduled. Police have said there does not appear to have been anyone else involved in the altercation other than McGrade and Duling. And they have said the manner of death does appear to be homicide.

According to the Senior Assistant Attorney General

Strelzin said prosecutors will review the evidence and “determine whether any criminal charges will be brought.” Some homicides lead to immediate arrests and others can take years to resolve, he said.

 

naushuatelegraph.com     boston.com     unionleader.com        

thebostonchannel.com                             telegram.com           

It’s not always simple. Before police can dismiss the investigation or if necessary make an arrest they have to be able to prove what happened Friday night. Fingerprints and DNA would be expected to be in the home from both Duling and McGrade. But there are other tests that can be used, though some of those tests might take time. An autopsy also has to be performed.

I was interested in the fact that police have termed Shelly McGrade’s death to be a homicide. Homicide is defined by the legal-dictionary.com

The killing of one human being by another human being.

Although the term homicide is sometimes used synonymously with murder, homicide is broader in scope than murder. Murder is a form of criminal homicide; other forms of homicide might not constitute criminal acts. These homicides are regarded as justified or excusable. For example, individuals may, in a necessary act of self-Defense, kill a person who threatens them with death or serious injury, or they may be commanded or authorized by law to kill a person who is a member of an enemy force or who has committed a serious crime. Typically, the circumstances surrounding a killing determine whether it is criminal. The intent of the killer usually determines whether a criminal homicide is classified as murder or manslaughter and at what degree.

 

So basically at this time, police are not saying what happened.

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Thank you to Amanda for providing an update.

According to reports, the couple was arguing in the kitchen of the home and the children were present. Shelly McGrade was stabbed in the neck and the back. Duling received an injury to his hand during the altercation. Duling has been arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder. The younger children reportedly did witness the attack and efforts are being made to obtain counseling for them. The older children were away from the home. Duling was with his two young children until his arrest, now all of the children are reported to be with relatives.

wmur.com        unionleader.com          nashuatelegraph.com

Parents

Christopher Lukacs, 27, and Ambre King, 29, resided together as boyfriend and girlfriend. King was the mother of two children, a boy age 7 and a girl age 4. Lukacs is reportedly the father of the 4 year old girl. Also allegedly in the home was another mother and her two children. She was also allegedly Lukacs girlfriend.

On March 25 th, King’s father reportedly recieved a call saying that Lukacs was beating his daughter Ambre King. He went to the home to pick up his grandchildren. And what he allegedly saw there would make a strong man cry, let alone any grandfather. According to at least one media source, he found his 4 year old granddaughter naked and bleeding.

Police were called and an investigation was completed. The case was taken to the Grand Jury. And Lukacs was arrested for one count of felonious assult and rape. 4 charges of rape. Prosecutors say this was not the first time the little girl had been raped. Investigators believe that the rapes began in Dec. of 2007 and that she had been raped “repeatedly” since. The investigation also revealed that at least one attack on her had resulted in her being taken to the hospital for vaginal injuries. Allegedly the story the parents gave for her injuries was that she had fallen on some Legos. But for some reason there was never any investigation, followup or report and the little girl was sent back home with her parents. Both the prosecutor and the hospital have pledged to investigate why.

Christopher Lukacs was reportedly a known sex offender. He was convicted of gross sexual imposition in 2000 for an assault on a 12 year old child. If you check Lukacs name on the National Sex Offender registry, it says that he is compliant with his registration, his most recent photo is from 03-10-08. And he was still on parole.

Prosecutors say that was not all the investigation revealed. Prosecutors say that Ambre King knew of the abuse and did not report or take steps to protect her daughter. She has been arrested on a charge of endangering children.

The prosecutor has made another pledge in this case

“The ever- increasing abuse of children in our community is unacceptable,” Deters said. “I want to be very clear on this subject. If you choose to rape a child, you had better be prepared to spend the rest of your life in jail.”

(video) local12.com              fox19.com       wcpo.com

local12.com      wlwt.com      news.enquirer.com

National Sex Offender Public Website

For many many years, a person could rape a child, serve his time, get out of jail or prison and deny it ever happened. He could meet new people and prey on other children. But now there is a tool to help prevent that. It is called the National Sex Offender Public Website. If you have children, I suggest you use it. If you don’t have children, but plan on it, it is a good idea to use it. Even if you are just dating someone it is a good idea to use it. Remember a tool is only useful if it is used.

Now my understanding from what I am seeing and hearing is that Lukacs was already on the sex offender list when the child’s mother had the 4 year old child. Whether she knew about his sex offender status or not, I have no way of knowing. But I am guessing she probably knew, if not from him telling her, she may have had some inkling from the correspondence coming to the home.

 Now it is possible that she didn’t know about the abuse. But according to info from the investigation and probably the hospital visit, it is believed that she knew. She knew and remained with Lukacs. She knew and her child continued to be raped. She knew and did not have him arrested.

Yet on Mar. 25th, she calls her father because she is being beaten. Now I have no way of knowing, was she being beaten because she was trying to prevent the rape? If that was why she was beaten, then why didn’t she call police instead of her father? The only way to assure that her child’s father did not rape her, would be to report him, move away and get some help for her daughter.

Did she fear having her children taken away? If she had reported the abuse her children could not have been removed from her because someone else abused her children, as long as she did not participate and reported it as soon as she became aware of it.

Did she perhaps fear that she would be beaten more severely if she reported the abuse? If she had reported the abuse, he would be in jail and not able to beat her.

Many times a woman will have reasons for staying with an abusive man. There are even some excuses I can reluctantly accept. A woman is an adult and does have the right to make her own decisions about her life. But every woman should remember that if she makes a decision to remain in an abusive situation, she is sentencing her child, who doesn’t have the right to make decisions- to a life of violence.

But IMO there is never any acceptable excuse for any parent to remain with a person who is abusing the children. Never. Not even if they are the child’s parent. And not even if they love them.

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At the time the grandfather came to the home, the children of the other mother are aged 4 and 1 year old, and they reportedly begged to go with him. After the allegations against Lukacs, the mother sent those children to Georgia to live with relatives. Due to a concern for those children, authorities are now working with Georgia authorities to investigate if they had been abused.

According to the prosecutor, evidence of the sexual abuse was apparent.

Reportedly on Lukacs sex offender status, he was due to report earlier this year and failed to do so. He was arrested for that and that charge is pending.

He was also charged with domestic violence on Mar. 31 on the allegation that he hit Ambre King in the face on Mar. 25.

news.enquirer.com

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

Children are our loved ones, our future and our joy as well as our responsibility. And I do not mean just the children born to us, I also mean the children in our neighborhoods, our communities and our country. Children are our future leaders, future teachers, future scientists, future doctors and nurses and future parents. Children are often called our greatest natural resource.

 Our country has laws to advocate for our children as well as to protect them. It may suprise you to know that it was as recently as 1974 that our first federal laws regarding child abuse were passed. Prior to that the only protection they had was state laws and sometimes those laws could be a bit haphazard at best. But in 1974 the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), went into effect.

In June 1982 the first National Child Abuse Awareness week was proclaimed. Since 1983 the time was increased to a month and the National Child Abuse Awareness Month has always been held in the month of April. A time to clebrate children and renew our committment to protect them.

childwelfare.gov

Protecting children often means doing a hard thing. It means that sometimes the average citizen may have to report suspicions that a child may be being abused. And it could be a strangers child, but most often is a neighbor, or a friend or relative. So the decision to report is not easy. You may even find yourself questioning if you should have the right to make a report on what is happening in someone else’s home. The answer to that is yes. Every child is important. Every child is worth saving. We lose too many children to violence, and even one child is too many.

Protecting children sounds like something that should be instinctive, something that all parents should do for their own children. And most do. But sometimes things break down. A parent maybe cannot or will not protect them. Or perhaps even becomes the abuser.

A child can suffer from abuse in many ways. Direct abuse to the child that may or may not result in physical injury to the child. Or through observance of the abuse of others. Both have a profound and lasting psychological effect on children as well as any physical affects of an injury.

So the National Child Abuse Awareness month is a reminder to all that there are laws to protect children. And that anyone who happens to witness abuse of any child, it should be reported. Some reports may trigger efforts to have the children removed from an unsafe environment. And some reports may result in an arrest. And some reports may result in obtaining assistance to aid the family in staying together. But all reports must be investigated and all actions taken are to protect the child.

What should you report? Any time you see abuse, any time that you see injuries on a child and were told the injuries were due to something else- but the story doesn’t seem to match the injuries. Any time you hear a child talk about abuse. Making a report doesn’t automatically condemn the reported person. Their will be no action unless their investigation reveals that abuse did occur and the agency feels that some action needs to be taken. And the action that is taken will vary according to circumstances in the home, what the investigation reveals and what the investigating agency feels is the best protection for the child. What should you do if you report abuse, and do not see any action being taken? Caseworkers cannot just walk into a home and remove children unless their investigation confirms abuse or neglect and reveals an immediate danger to the child. In some cases, it may take more than one report to give enough evidence. If you see further signs of abuse or neglect, you make new reports. And always try to make reports soon after a suspected incident, while any possible evidence will be fresh.

Now while we are on the subject of abuse and how it affects children, remember when I said that children can be affected by observing abuse of others? Even very young children can be affected by violence in the home. Even young children can suffer from traumatic stress, even if they have not been abused themselves. And statistically there is a greater chance that if there is domestic violence in the home, there is a greater chance that child abuse also occurs in the home.

aaets.org

So please remember that all children need our protection. There is an old proverb I think Africian proverb that I think is very appropriate at this time. It says it takes a  whole village to raise a child. And I believe it takes all of us to help protect them.

Questions

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.

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)

bostonherald.com   

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

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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.

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

wowktv.com

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