Why VAWA is Ineffective and Unconstitutional
Policy discourages fathers from helping children
saving their own lives in abusive relationships.
is a summary of lead news items during the days before
and after Phil Hartman's murder. It demonstrates several
serious situations involving men or children living
in abusive relationships. Why does Federal Policy and
Funding deny men and fathers equal protections under
the law, and deny them equal access to petition for
protection for themselves and children when confronted
with an abusive or drug abusing spouse?
Company Press Release
Court TV Premieres 'Love and Murder' Documentary
Case of Florida Woman Serving Life Sentence for Husband's
Death Airs Tuesday, June 16 at 8 PM ET; Features Exclusive
Jailhouse Interview With Linda Jones
NEW YORK -- Do all couples mean ``Til Death Do Us Part''
when they take their vows? On Tuesday, June 16, Court
TV will premiere ``Love and Murder,'' a documentary
on the case of Linda Jones, a Florida woman charged
with solicitation to commit first degree murder for
the death of her husband, whom she knew was having an
affair. The program airs at 8 PM ET as part of Trial
Story's ``Til Death Do Us Part'' Theme Week.
On the night of November 7, 1995, in the quiet suburb
of Lake Asbury, three masked intruders invaded the home
of Linda and Jack Jones. Linda escaped unharmed while
Jack was beaten to death. The case stalled for months
as authorities looked for suspects, but eventually fingerprints
left at the scene led investigators to Linda. According
to prosecutors, Linda's motive was clear. Jack had been
carrying on an affair with 18-year-old Carrie Davis,
a high school senior who worked for Linda, and who Linda
had invited to move in with them to escape a troubled
CASE UPDATE: A jury found Linda Jones guilty and she
was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole
for the murder of her husband. The jury convicted Donald
Bradley of murder in the first degree and recommended
the death penalty. The final ruling on Bradley is expected
June 18, two days after the documentary airdate. Brian
and Patrick McWhite, the two brothers who claim that
their involvement was limited to acting as ``muscle,''
are in the midst of plea negotiations. Their fate will
be decided on June 23.
3 Japan children strangled; mother held
TOKYO - Japanese police say they have arrested a 35-
year-old mother on suspicion of strangling her three
children at their home in the town of Kuzuu (``Koo-ZOO-oo''),
north of Tokyo.
The children _ two boys aged 10 and 5, and a 1-year-old
girl _ were found dead with marks around their necks.
Police said they received an emergency telephone call
from the parents of suspect Mayumi Saito (``migh-OO-mee
sigh-toh''), saying they found their grandchildren dead
today and that their daughter and her 36- year-old husband
Hideki (``hee-DEH-kee'') were missing.
Police believe the suspect strangled her children with
an electric cable.
They quoted her saying: ``I had difficulty in divorce
talks with my husband last night. I wanted to commit
suicide after killing my children.''
The suspect's husband was also being questioned.
Comic Phil Hartman, wife dead in home shooting
By Sue Zeidler
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former "Saturday Night Live"
star Phil Hartman, famed for his impersonation of President
Clinton, was found dead in his bed Thursday, apparently
shot by his wife, who then killed herself, police said....
UPI NEW YORK - New York City police say four Brooklyn
sixth graders assaulted their teacher today because
she refused to let them watch ``The Jerry Springer Show''
during class. According to investigators, the girls
at P.S. 12 allegedly spit on 44-year-old Aishah Ahmad
and slapped and kicked her.
Police searching for missing NJ girl
SAYREVILLE, NJ - Police in Sayreville, N.J., are searching
for an 8-year-old girl named Kelly O'Donnell who failed
to return from a supervised visit with her mother on
The girl's father, Michael O'Donnell, tells United Press
International that his ex-wife picked up Kelly in the
morning, and did not come back when she was due 12 hours
He says he's particularly concerned because according
to court- appointed psychiatrist Sandra Lynn Elias,
the mother, Sharon O'Donnell may have been abusing the
The father says a New Jersey Superior Court judge granted
the visit in spite of Elias's finding at an April 16
hearing that ``this child is becoming traumatized by
her mother,'' and the therapist's recommendation to
``end visits immediately.''
O'Donnell says the judge granted supervised visits,
and appointed Sharon O'Donnell's boyfriend as the supervisor.
O'Donnell says that when his ex-wife did not bring the
girl back, he called the supervisor, who said he hadn't
seen the mother and daughter for hours. O'Donnell went
to police, who are searching for the pair and have alerted
Kelly is just under four feet tall, weighs 50 to 60
pounds and has short, light brown hair cut in a Dutch
The father says he fears his wife may have disguised
herself and the girl.
He said: ``I'm afraid for my daughter's safety. I just
pray to God she's all right.''
Anyone with information on the child's whereabouts is
asked to call police at 732-525-5436.
Mom charged in child's slaying
LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County prosecutors say a 34-
year-old woman has been charged (Tuesday) with child
endangerment and being an accessory after-the-fact in
the death of her 2-year-old daughter. The girl's body
was found buried near the site in the Angeles National
Forest where her father and aunt tried to bury her 5-year-old
brother in March. The girl's father faces an additional
murder charge in connection with her death.
BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo police say a 5-foot, 10-inch woman
weighing about 300 pounds is targeting men as mugging
victims. One elderly male victim says he was in the
men's room of a downtown restaurant when the woman lifted
her clothing and flashed her breasts. The victim stayed
focused and tried to leave the restroom, but the woman
ripped off the back pocket of his pants along with a
foot-square piece of fabric to take the man's wallet.
While this diversionary tactic is new to Buffalo, travel
writers say this type of diversion is common in European
cities such as Paris.
Bronx woman pimped 11-year-old niece
NEW YORK - A 25-year-old Bronx woman has been convicted
of arranging for her 11-year-old niece to have sex with
a 68-year-old New Jersey man. New York State Supreme
Court Justice Lawrence Bernstein indicated he would
sentence Marisol Sanders to serve one to three years
in prison, even though prosecutors had asked for a sentence
of two to six years. Charges are still pending against
the man, New Jersey film executive Sidney Kiwitt, who
allegedly raped and sodomized the child four times between
April and December of 1997.
Mom, grandma indicted in teen's death
LEBANON, OH - The mother and grandmother of a 17- year-old
youth are accused of giving the teen 16 beers and two
sedatives during a three-hour period, leading to his
Kathy Jean Smith, 36, faces charges of endangering a
child, and her mother, Kathy Smith, 49, is accused of
involuntary manslaughter, endangering a child and corrupting
another (person) with drugs in the Feb. 14 death of
They are scheduled for arraignment May 29.
The death certificate attributes the teen's death to
``acute propoxyphene and ethanol intoxication.''
Investigators said the mother and grandmother were drinking
with the boy and gave him 12 beers, starting just after
midnight Feb. 14.
After Blair consumed the beers, the grandmother went
to her home where authorities said she gave him four
more beers and two Darvocets.
Prosecutor Tim Oliver said Blair fell asleep at 3 a.m.
``Sometime after 8:00 a.m., the grandma was unable to
wake him. Paramedics and the life squad were called
and he was pronounced DOA'' at Southview Hospital in
Oliver said, ``If you read the Physicians Desk Reference,
which indicates what happens when you mix Darvocet with
alcohol, it tells you that any excessive use of alcohol
is extremely dangerous and that death can occur in as
quickly as one hour.''
The mother, if convicted, faces five years in prison
and the grandmother, if convicted of all charges, could
spend up to 23 years in prison.
5-22-98 UPI Shooter captured after spree
TUCSON, AZ - A woman with a history of mental illness
has been charged with going on a shooting spree that
killed one and wounded four others in Tucson, Ariz.
Gracie Verduzco had been released from a behavioral
health facility just a month ago. Deputies say she used
a handgun that had been recently purchased by a family
member to carry out the shootings.
The first shooting took place at a post office, where
the victim was hit in the leg. She then went to a truck
stop where she allegedly shot and wounded two drivers
who refused to give her a ride.
Deputies say a man whose Cadillac Verduzco allegedly
carjacked was found dead inside the car. A fifth man
who stopped to help the Cadillac driver was shot in
the chest. Verduzco was arrested Thursday as she walked
along Interstate 10 in Tucson.
During the first part of the spree, Verduzco was being
driven around by her former stepfather. Maxie Garcia
says he feared for his life once Verduzco began firing
and simply did what he had to in order to keep living.
Garcia told KOLD-TV that Verduzco got into the car after
shooting the post office clerk and said she felt good.
She then demanded to go to the truck stop. He sped away
after leaving her there.
Another woman cuts off husband's penis
LIMA, PERU - A Peruvian woman cut off her husband's
penis and flushed it down the toilet believing he had
raped their 2-year-old daughter, but police said the
man was innocent, local television reported Friday.
The 37-year-old woman became enraged when she found
her 38-year-old husband asleep in bed with their daughter
naked beside him, the television report said.
She seized a kitchen knife and sliced off his penis
before flushing it down the toilet, the report said.
The man told the television station from his hospital
bed that he was innocent, and police said examinations
of the child revealed no signs of sexual abuse.
The man, a taxi-driver from a poor part of Lima, received
emergency treatment for loss of blood but his penis
could not be recovered. His wife was in police custody.
Gucci murder trial begins in Milan
MILAN, ITALY - The murder trial of the ex-wife of Italian
fashion mogul Maurizio Gucci started Tuesday but lawyers
immediately launched a barrage of tactics to delay the
After a false start last week when defense lawyers went
on strike, the session opened with a call for the chief
prosecutor to stand down, a wrangle over media access
to the trial and a request for another adjournment.
Dozens of cameras and onlookers jostled for a first
glimpse of the woman dubbed the "Black Widow," Patrizia
Reggiani, who is accused of plotting the murder of her
former husband Gucci in a gangland-style killing.
But they were once again disappointed as she exercised
her right not to attend the trial, preferring to stay
in her cell in Milan's grim San Vittore prison.
"Her morale and her health are very bad," said one of
Reggiani's lawyers, Giovanni Maria Dedola.
Reggiani is taking strong epilepsy drugs after an operation
to remove a brain tumour in the early 1990s, he noted.
Instead, her alleged co-plotter and one-time friend
Pina Auriemma, stoney-faced and dressed in a chunky-knit
sweater and sunglasses in the heat of the crowded courtroom,
The man who allegedly pumped three bullets into Gucci
on the steps of his Milan office in March 1995, and
the getaway driver sat chatting in a cage in the courtroom.
The alleged go-between, hotel porter Ivano Savioni,
chose to stay away.
Reggiani, 50, and her alleged four accomplices, who
were arrested last year after a two-year investigation,
could face life behind bars if found guilty of the murder
of the last grandson of Guccio Gucci, the founder of
the fashion empire.
The prosecution says Reggiani, obsessed with revenge
following the acrimonious break-up of her marriage and
infuriated over her ex-husband's plans to re-marry,
plotted the murder with Auriemma who found the go-between.
Reggiani denies the charges.
The presiding judge turned down a request to postpone
Tuesday's session due to the absence of one of Reggiani's
lawyers. Calls for the prosecutor to stand down due
to alleged unorthodox methods of collating evidence
were also unsuccessful.
The trial is expected to last up to a year with defense
lawyers calling more than 100 people to testify.
"This is going to be a difficult and long trial," said
Paolo Antimiani, one of the hotel porter's lawyers.
Baby found buried alive on hiking trail
ALTADENA, CA - A day-old baby boy is fighting for his
life in a Pasadena, Calif., hospital after he was found
buried alive by a woman walking her dog.
Azita Milanian told Los Angeles Sheriff's investigators
she thought her dog had found a dead animal when he
ran off the trail and started digging in a pile of dirt
at about 8 p.m. Saturday.
Milanian told the Los Angeles Times: ``Then as I looked
deeper in the dirt I could see it was a child. I wrapped
the baby in a towel and wiped the dirt from his face.
I thanked God he was still alive.''
The baby's umbilical cord was still attached, leading
investigators to speculate that he had probably been
buried only about an hour before Milanian found him.
Milanian flagged down a passing motorist, who called
911 on a cellular phone.
Doctors at Huntington Memorial Hospital say the African-American
baby arrived with a body temperature of about 80 degrees
and was listed in critical condition.
Dr. Ricardo Lierberman said the baby, who has been named
``Christian'' by hospital staff, has a good chance of
recovery, but it will be a year or more until it is
known if the ordeal left permanent damage.
Sheriff's investigators say they are conducting an intensive
effort to find the child's parents. They urge anyone
who knows a woman who recently gave birth and cannot
account for the child to call authorities.
NJ mom arraigned for killing baby
CAMDEN, NJ - Prosecutors say a Camden, N.J., woman charged
with suffocating her infant daughter was drinking and
doing drugs the night before the baby's death. Brenda
Downs was arraigned Friday morning on charges she pressed
her baby's face into a rug until the infant died. She
allegedly told police she didn't want the child because
she could not take care of it. The infant was her ninth
child. Downs had a 3-year-old daughter living with her
at the time of the newborn's death, but her seven other
children had been placed in foster care and eventually
adopted. She is being held at the Camden County Jail
on $200,000 bail.
Toddler suffocates under sleeping woman
BUFFALO, NY - A toddler suffocated and died on a couch
after a woman fell asleep on top of him after a night
of drinking, prosecutors in New York state say.
They said they would decide by Friday whether to charge
the woman, who is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs more
than 200 pounds, with a crime. Her name was not released.
Chance Goforth, aged 18 months, died last week while
his mother, Linda Parsons, 21, was entertaining friends.
"All the people were drinking but to what extent they
were, that will be determined," Erie County District
Attorney Frank Clark said Wednesday.
"Our focus is on the woman who went to sleep on the
child. It's tragic and whether it's criminal we will
have to see."
Clark said the woman and the boy's mother, who has two
other small children, told police they had started drinking
Thursday afternoon and carried on into Friday morning.
Apparently, everyone either left the apartment or found
somewhere to sleep by 3:30 a.m. Friday. Chance was found
under the woman at 8 a.m.
'Evil twin' tries suicide
ANAHEIM, CA - A young woman convicted of hatching a
plot to kill her twin sister is hospitalized after apparently
trying to commit suicide.
Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Hector Rivera says 24-year-old
Jeen ``Gina'' Han was taken to Western Medical Center's
jail ward in Anaheim after she was found ill in her
Santa Ana jail cell Monday.
She remained hospitalized today, but the hospital wouldn't
release any information about her condition.
Rivera says Han told deputies she had taken ``several
Tylenol'' and said she was depressed about a long prison
sentence and ``no longer wanted to live.''....
Woman gets 26 years for plot to kill her twin
SANTA ANA, CA - A woman convicted of plotting with two
teen-agers to kill her identical twin sister has been
sentenced to 26 years in prison.
Judge Eileen Moore, passing sentence in Santa Ana's
Central Superior Court, 40 miles south of Los Angeles,
earlier had rejected attorneys' arguments for a new
trial and for leniency for Korean-born Jeen "Gina" Han.
"It is obvious Miss Han is a danger to society, particularly
against her family," the judge said.
Han was found guilty last November of plotting to kill
her twin sister Sunny. The jury also found her guilty
of two counts of burglary, firearms possession and two
counts of false imprisonment.
Co-defendants John Sayarath, 16, and Archie Bryant,
18, were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, burglary
and firearms possession. Bryant was sentenced to 16
years in prison and Sayarath was ordered held in a California
Youth Authority facility for 90 days to determine if
he can be rehabilitated.
But Judge Moore said Friday she was prepared to sentence
him to at least eight years.
During the trial last year, authorities at first suggested
that Jeen Han, now 24, had wanted to kill her sister
and assume her identity in a case of "good twin-evil
But during a preliminary hearing, a picture of sibling
rivalry emerged, in which Sunny was said to have once
apparently tried to have Jeen arrested for stealing
her car. Sunny also said at that hearing that she did
not believe her sister wanted to kill her.
Sunny, who at one point during the trial collapsed on
the witness stand after taking an overdose of sleeping
pills, was not in court Friday for her sister's sentencing.
Prosecutors alleged Jeen, who had just been released
from a local jail, sent the two men to her sister's
apartment in Irvine to kill her. Sunny called police
when she heard her room-mate being assaulted and officers
found both women bound and gagged in a bathtub.
Jeen's attorney contended during the trial there was
no intention to kill and that his client sent the two
men to her sister's apartment to retrieve some personal
++++++++++++++++++++ 5-13-98 REUTERS Heiress gets 60
days for killing polo player WARRENTON, VA - A Virginia
heiress was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter Wednesday
for killing her polo-playing Argentine lover last year
but was sentenced to only 60 days in jail and a $2,500
Susan Cummings, 35, daughter of the late billionaire
arms dealer Sam Cummings, had also been charged with
first-degree murder for shooting Roberto Villegas on
Sept. 7 in the kitchen of her $2.3-million estate in
northern Virginia's horse country.
Cummings claimed the dashing polo player was a violent
man who attacked her with a knife, slashing her left
arm. She said she took a loaded 9mm Walther pistol from
a kitchen cabinet and shot him four times in self-defense.
"I am very happy," the Swiss-born heiress told a news
conference after the trial. She could have been sent
to jail for 10 years for the manslaughter conviction
and faced a life sentence if she had been convicted
Prosecutor Kevin Casey used forensic and ballistic evidence
to argue that Villegas was sitting eating breakfast,
and died face-down in a pool of blood under the table
with a piece of croissant in his mouth.
"You just flat blew him away," the Assistant Commonwealth's
Attorney said on Tuesday in his closing statement.
Experts told the court during the 4-1/2 day trial that
the cuts on her arm appeared to be self-inflicted, and
blood splatters on Villegas' jeans showed he was sitting
down when bullets hit him in the right arm, neck and
Casey told the jury to ignore accounts by defense witnesses
that Villegas had a vicious temper, was quick to draw
a knife in an argument and had slapped Cummings in public
and pulled a rope around her neck on one occasion.
"None of that matters," Casey said. "It could have been
Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson ... sitting in that
chair, but that did not give her the right to do what
Cummings' father was a former CIA employee who built
a successful arms business based in the warehouses of
his Interarms firm in Alexandria, Virginia. He died
in Monaco two weeks ago.
His daughter, who lived with her twin sister on the
central Virginia estate, met Villegas in the summer
of 1995 at a local polo club. They became lovers the
following summer when she invited him to coach a polo
team on her property.
Villegas, 38, the only son of poor farmers from the
Pampas, came to the United States as a groom for polo
ponies and later joined the polo playing set of Virginia