A compilation of daily news articles from around the United States about deaths (including both people and animals) that appear to occur in the context of a past or present intimate relationship, focusing on 2009-present. (NOTE: this blog is limited to incidents that appear in the media and are captured by our search terms. We recognize this is not an exhaustive portrayal of all deaths resulting from intimate violence.)
When is society going to realize intimate violence makes victims of us all?Cathy C. Churchnoreply@blogger.comBlogger8289125
Updated: 58 min 20 sec ago
ENGLEWOOD, N.J. - Prosecutors say a northern New Jersey man fatally stabbed his girlfriend then used a plastic bag to smother her five-year-old daughter because she saw her mother's slaying.Thirty-four-year-old Michael Brady of Teaneck was charged Wednesday with murder, hindering apprehension and weapons charges. His arrest came one day after the bodies of Tam Marie "Tammy" Pitts-Gaddy and her daughter, Natasia Gaddy, were found in their apartment in Englewood, just outside New York City.Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli says Brady and Pitts-Gaddy had dated for the last three years and lived together at times during their relationship. He says the slayings occurred after the couple apparently had a violent argument.Brady was being held Wednesday on $2 million bail. It's not known if he has a lawyer.
A 25-year-old Lusby man is being held by police in connection with the suspected murder of a 27-year-old Lusby woman, who police say was his girlfriend.John Warren Gibson Jr. led police Friday morning to a wooded area south of Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County, where police said in a press release they found the body of Amanda Lynn Foster in a trash can in the woods. Gibson allegedly told police the couple had been involved in a fight Jan. 12 at the home they shared on San Jose Lane in Lusby. During the fight, Gibson allegedly stabbed Foster in the chest, then placed her body in a trash can, loaded it into her truck and drove to St. Mary’s County where he hid the trash can in the woods near Breton Bay.Police said in a press release they began the investigation after receiving a call from a concerned family member Jan. 31 at 8:11 p.m. Foster’s family had not heard from the victim in several weeks and attempts to reach her by phone were unsuccessful. Troopers from the Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Barrack went to her home to try and talk to her. No one was at the San Jose Lane home, but troopers learned her truck had been seen parked at a home on H.G. Trueman Road in Lusby. Troopers went to the H.G. Trueman residence and spoke with Gibson, who told troopers he had dropped Foster off at a convenience store in California, Md., and had not heard from her since.Det. Rich of the Calvert Investigative Team was called in to assist in the investigation. Police said Gibson gave them conflicting information in his account of recent events and he was taken to CIT offices for questioning. Additional CIT personnel, Sgt. Jones, Sgt. Naughton, Tfc. Hunt and Det. Mudd, were called to assist in conducting the investigation.Police said during Gibson’s interview, he told police about the argument and the alleged homicide. He allegedly then took investigators this morning to the location of the body in the woods south of Leonardtown. CIT investigators met with troopers and deputies from the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations at the scene. Foster’s body was recovered and taken to the Maryland Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore for an autopsy.Rich with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and Sgt. Jones with MSP are continuing the investigation. Anyone with additional information can contact them at 410-535-1600, ext. 2765 or ext. 2455.
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — 28-year-old Keith Brooks is now charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and misdemeanor battery in connection with the death of his wife, Anita.Anita Brooks was shot and killed in an apartment near 35th and Highland on Milwaukee’s west side early on Sunday, January 27th. Police say the incident was a result of domestic violence.The criminal complaint against Brooks says on the morning of the alleged offense, he and his wife, Anita were having an argument. When he tried to leave the apartment, Keith Brooks told police Anita tried to stop him. He told police he “slapped her once to the face with an open hand and then pushed her down to the floor.”The complaint indicates when Brooks then tried to leave the room again, he heard the sound of a click. Keith Brooks told police “he observed his wife holding her .380 caliber pistol in her right hand and that she was holding the firearm in front of her and looking down at it.” Brooks claims Anita then shot herself.However, the medical examiner states in the criminal complaint that “the victim died as a result of this gunshot wound and that she did not die as a result of a suicide.” The doctor said this was based on the “location of the wound and the fact that there was no indication of any soot, stippling or tattooing that would be associated with a suicide.”FOX6 News has learned Anita Brooks was a poet, using the stage name Anita Bee.On Thursday, Homer Blow listened to his last radio interview with Bee. “I don’t see anyone that would want to cause harm to her. (Keith Brooks) did a horrific thing and he has to own up to it and stop making excuses. I think it’s an insult to the family and her friends to even make (suicide) accusations,” Blow said.If convicted, Brooks faces up to life in prison.Visitation and funeral services for Anita Brooks are set for Wednesday, February 6th at All Saints Catholic Church. Visitation is from 10:00 a.m. until noon, and the funeral service starts at noon.A fund for the couple’s three-year-old daughter has been set up at Educator’s Credit Union under the name “Anita Brooks.”
CREST HILL — Police say a man intentionally killed his wife with his car Saturday morning but claimed it was an accident.Police Chief Dwayne Wilkerson said an investigation led Will County prosecutors to file first-degree murder charges against Jerry Nichols, 62, in the death of Diane Nichols, 57, at the couple’s house in the 16000 block of Arborvitae Circle.
BILOXI — Biloxi police say a 53-year-old man is accused in his wife’s death by suffocation and assaulting an officer during a domestic disturbance call.The Sun Herald reports Correy James Dartez was arrested Wednesday on a charge of murder of his wife and a charge of aggravated assault on a police officer.Sgt. Christopher De Back says Dartez was taken to Harrison County jail on a $1.25 million bond set by Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain.Harrison County Deputy Coroner Charles Wise says 52-year-old Victoria Lynn Dartez was found in the couple’s apartment.De Back says when police responded to the Dartez apartment, they were confronted by Correy Dartez, who was wielding a kitchen knife.
JOSHUA TREE — A man was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 30, on suspicion of the murder of his wife, Christy Phipps, 35, at their home in the 61600 block of Alta Vista Drive.Sheriff’s deputies were called to the couple’s home at midnight Wednesday on a report of a shooting that had just occurred, according to a sheriff’s department news release.They found Phipps inside the home suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Medical aid pronounced her dead at the scene.Homicide investigators were called in and served a search warrant at the home. After interviewing Christy Phipps’ husband, 39-year-old Joseph Phipps, they took him into custody. He was booked on a murder charge at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Lt. Brad Toms of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.Phipps made his first court appearance Friday afternoon, Feb. 1, in the Joshua Tree courthouse, where a judge entered a plea of not guilty for him. The accused man sat with his hands covering his face, occasionally wiping away tears while Judge Rod Cortez dealt with five other accused men before him. Bail was set at $1 million.Phipps is scheduled to return to court Wednesday for a conference.A medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detective Steve Pennington at (909) 387-3589.Joseph Phipps had been a tow truck driver at Hill’s Towing for four years, while Christy Phipps’ Facebook page listed her employment as In-Home Health Services.Robin Willis, a neighbor, knew both the victim and the suspect because their daughters are best friends. “I pulled my daughter out of there because the whole household situation was getting really bad,” Willis said by phone Thursday afternoon.Willis described an abusive relationship and added, “She’d been trying to leave for over a year and he wasn’t going to let her. He’s a very strange man. I had a very bad feeling about him. She was scared of him.”Court records show the Phipps were divorcing.
A woman and her boyfriend were found dead this morning in an apparent murder-suicide in Center.State police in Butler said they were dispatched to the 5100 block of Brown Road at 1:40 a.m. after reports of a shooting. They found the body of Sonja Kummer, 45, lying outside on the ground dead from shotgun wounds, and while searching the property discovered Dean Vaughn Clawson, 49, dead from a self-inflicted shotgun wound, police said. Both lived at the Brown Road home.Police told KDKA-TV that Ms. Kummer was packing her car to leave the home when she was shot.Police had been called in December to the couple's residence for a domestic disturbance, according to KDKA.
LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC)- An early morning murder-suicide attempt in Annapolis left the shooter dead and his victim, his estranged wife, in critical condition Monday.Anne Arundel County police were called to the 300 block of Harry S. Truman Parkway shortly after 1 a.m., where they found a man and a woman with gunshot wounds.The man, 50-year-old Calvin Cofield of Bowie, was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman, 43-year old Tracy Lynn West of Crownsville, was taken to Shock Trauma.An investigation revealed that Cofield went to West’s place of employment, shot her, then shot himself. Detectives have not yet identified a motive.The investigation is ongoing.
A woman killed in a Parsippany
murder-suicide earlier this week was a Belleville
High School graduate, her family said.Rosaria Andraka, 43, was found dead along with her husband Chester, at their home on Medford Drive Monday. According to Acting Morris County
Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, Rosaria Andraka died of a gunshot wound, and her husband, 46, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.When contacted by the Times, Rosaria's parents, who live in Belleville
's first ward, declined to be interviewed. However her father, Vincenzo Vinci, confirmed his daughter graduated from Belleville High School, although could not recall what year.Chester Andraka, who grew up in Bloomfield
, was a retired Caldwell police officer. Both Andrakas worked at Fairleigh Dickinson University, at its Florham campus, she as an Honors Program administrator and advisor, he as an adjunct professor.
Dr. Brian Mauro, associate provost at FDU, believed that Rosaria had worked at the college for some eight or nine years.
"It was a number of years before I started," he said on Thursday.
According to her profile at LinkedIn.com, Rosaria, a Berkeley College graduate, started at FDU as assistant to the chair in July 2004. She then became an advisement counselor in Nov. 2006, before moving up to the Honors Program in Jan. 2012.
"She was a terrific person - beautiful, intelligent, kind, charismatic," said Mauro. "I could go on and on like everybody else. We're just really mourning her loss and missing her."
Chester was a 1984 graduate of Bloomfield
High School, said Karen Delli Santi. They both grew up together on Bloomfield's Baldwin Street.
"He was always a good kid in school. He would do anything for you," Delli Santi toldBloomfield
Life. "I don't think I ever even heard him curse."
SAN ANTONIO -- A woman who stabbed her boyfriend to death in what she claimed was self-defense pleaded "no contest" Wednesday.
Beatrice Ibanez killed Alfredo Ramirez at her home back in September of 2011. Neighbors said they heard arguing coming from the home that day. Ibanez went up to her neighbors after the killing, telling them her boyfriend was dead.
Ibanez now faces up to 30 years in prison.
A man is stabbed to death in York and police say he was in bed sleeping when it happened.
Police say Joshua Lookingbill, 24, of the 700 block of West Poplar Street was arrested for the death. The three had been involved in some domestic drama for a while.
40-year-old Nakia Shariff Williams’ girlfriend called police around 4 Thursday morning to say her ex-boyfriend broke in their home and stabbed Williams several times.
Police found Williams unconscious in his bed in the 400 block of South Pershing Avenue, he was pronounced dead within 30 minutes.
The woman's children were also in the home at the time. York City Police took a suspect into custody this morning; no charges have been filed yet.
Police say there had been an ongoing domestic dispute between the three. Lookingbill is being charged with Criminal homicide and burglary.Meanwhile, an autopsy will be performed on Williams Friday morning. ___________________________________________About 4:30 this morning York City Police were dispatched to 412 South Pershing Ave. for the report of a stabbing victim. Police found 37-year-old Nakia Sharif Williams dead from multiple stab wounds. A suspect was later taken into custody and York City police say the investigation is continuing.
Some people report an increase in domestic arguments during the holidays.
February 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When a couple spends a lot of time together, it is no surprise that the occasional argument will take place. A problem occurs, however, when these arguments escalate and lead to domestic violence. During the holiday season, authorities were on the look-out for domestic violence crimes
Several authorities, including members of the State Police, have stated that they typically see issues with domestic violence around the holiday season. They acknowledge, however, that evidence of a greater amount of domestic violence during the holidays is based more on practical experience than statistical proof.When trying to explain the increase around certain times of year, one district attorney cites alcohol consumption. Holidays typically provide an opportunity for individuals to consume alcoholic beverages, and they may be more likely to act out because of it. Holiday stresses as well as a struggling economy also prove to be contributing factors to the increase. As the unemployment rate has risen, so has the amount of domestic violence occurring in society.An increase in the level of violence in assaultsAuthorities worry that not only are the number of battering increasing, but also that the types of assaults are getting more violent. State police are finding that although violent crimes are dropping, the incidence of domestic assaults in Pennsylvania leading to death increased 22 percent in 2009. The State Police also report that the number of domestic violence-related deaths in Pennsylvania was 180 in 2009, up from 147 in 2008 and 121 in 2007.Several recent cases describe shootings where individuals are left dead or dumped in a recycling bin after a beating. The fact that authorities are citing this escalation may cause residents to fear that there will be a push to arrest people for assault or domestic violence, even when an arrest may not be proper or warranted.Penalties for domestic violencePeople who are convicted of crimes involving domestic violence face serious penalties. A person's sentence can depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the battering and whether the person has been convicted of other crimes in the past. Possible sentences can range anywhere from being assigned to take an anger management course and attend counseling, to fines and jail time.In addition, having a criminal record can makes it difficult for convicted individuals to find a job or lease an apartment after they have been released from jail. Child visitation rights may also be limited or restricted based on a criminal conviction for domestic violence or assault.These repercussions are serious, and no individual should have to face this type of situation alone. If you are being accused of domestic violence, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in the state of Pennsylvania.Article provided by Randolph L. Goldman
Professionals from across the country will wrap up a second day of training designed to improve the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence cases.This is just one day after the bodies of Derrick Teasley and Shakendra Covington were found inside a home on Winchester Street in northwest Charlotte in what police describe as a possible domestic case. Eyewitness News learned several small children were in the home, as well."It's sad to see,” neighbor Lakevia Henderson said. “No children should ever have to witness their parent in a situation like that."Eyewitness News went through court records and found Covington was tied to another domestic case in 2010, in which she filed for a protective order accusing a man she was dating of punching her in the face and threatening to kill her. Henderson said she witnessed separate incidents involving other men as well.“She would keep to herself and the only time you would hear something was a domestic dispute between her and her friend guys. She did have a troubled past with that, I know that," Henderson said. "I witnessed it. I could see it. I could hear it."Examining the history of domestic violence victims and perpetrators and looking at ways to improve the response of police, nurses and social workers is the focus of a two-day training happening in uptown Charlotte. Channel 9 spoke to one of the guest speakers, a retired police lieutenant from Nashville, Tenn."In the next 18 months in the country, we are going to see as many people killed in domestic violence as lost in 9/11. This is big, big problem," retired Lt. Mark Wynn said."It's tragic," Henderson said. "Get out of it while you can, while you got time."Police said in March 2011, there was a shooting outside the same home where the bodies were found Wednesday. That incident involved two men, including the man Covington filed the order of protection against in 2010.
A man is dead and a woman is in critical condition Monday after a possible domestic altercation at an Annapolis business, police said.At 1 a.m., officers responded to a shooting in the 300 block of Harry S. Truman Parkway where they found Tracy Lynn West, 43, and her estranged husband, Calvin Cofield, 50, suffering from gunshot wounds, said Anne Arundel County Lt. Francis Tewey.
Sources inside the Riverside County District Attorney's Office contend that under the leadership of Paul Zellerbach, the agency is compromising domestic violence victims in a drive to slash caseloads, limit jury trials and chalk up easy wins.But Zellerbach fired back that such allegations are "politically motivated." He told City News Service his office is meeting its public safety obligations and doing so more efficiently than under his predecessor.The ramifications of the district attorney's approach to case management has come into focus in the aftermath of the slaying of Kathryn Rose Sanchez, a 34-year-old mother of three killed in her Riverside apartment on June 15, 2012.Sanchez was stabbed and strangled by 36-year-old Antonio Carreon Jr., who immediately took his own life by lying in front of an approaching train, according to police.Carreon had a history of domestic violence and was alleged to have assaulted Sanchez on multiple occasions, spawning a police investigation that ended without any charges being filed.Some career agency employees wonder why.Sources who have served under three -- and in a few cases, four -- district attorneys contend that the way the Sanchez case was handled reflects a top-down change in values at the D.A.'s office that has resulted in a dismissive attitude toward domestic violence cases."Our district attorney has established a culture where victims of domestic violence are not important," according to a veteran Riverside County prosecutor, who spoke to City News Service on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation."That's clear in the statistics and in the filing decision in this case," the prosecutor said. "There have been orders, straight from the top, to maximize conviction rates regardless of the effect on victims of crime."The prosecutor maintained that the order of the day in the D.A.'s Office is to dispose of cases with an eye to attaining easy wins, even if it means giving defendants "sweetheart deals," or rejecting -- on dubious grounds -- cases submitted by law enforcement."And you end up with tragic situations like this, where the woman is dead, and her children have been orphaned," he said.A Riverside Police Department investigation into Sanchez's domestic violence allegations was completed before the murder-suicide. But the case was closed and no charges were filed in what remains a murky decision-making process. Police say the D.A.'s Riverside domestic violence unit decided not to proceed; the D.A.'s Office maintains that investigators never submitted the Carreon case for formal review.Two former Los Angeles County prosecutors consulted by CNS for their assessment of the handling of the case said that, based on the police report alone, there appeared to have been sufficient grounds to file felony charges against Carreon in December 2011."Under Rod Pacheco and my first boss, Grover Trask, we had a deep commitment to victims of domestic violence," according to the deputy district attorney who spoke anonymously. "We knew they were the toughest cases. But we were OK with that because we understood that it's the tough ones where you prove you're a real prosecutor. Grover and Rod expected us to fight hard for victims. That standard doesn't exist under Paul Zellerbach."Zellerbach said any suggestion he would seek to curtail the prosecution of domestic violence cases or other crimes to lengthen his office's win column is "personally offensive" and "makes absolutely no sense.""The emphasis here is on trying to achieve justice and fairness and at the same time protect the public," he told CNS. "To say I'm soft on a particular kind of crime -- what's the basis for that?
RACINE — At a county jail in Tennessee, a Racine man reportedly became emotional with a task force investigator who was explaining some paperwork that would send him back to Wisconsin.Ryan G. King had turned himself in on Jan. 17 to the 18th Judicial District Drug Task Force investigator who stopped his sport utility vehicle in Millersville, Tenn. The convicted felon allegedly had confessed to having a gun beneath the driver’s seat.But at the Sumner County Jail, King uttered “words to the effect of ‘my baby — I killed my baby,’ ” according to the criminal complaint, which Racine County prosecutors released for the first time on Wednesday.King, 46, of the 1400 block of West Sixth Street, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon in the Jan. 17 death of his girlfriend, Lucinda White, 44.King sat silently Wednesday, at times with his head in his hand, as Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set his bond at $500,000 cash during his initial appearance on those charges.Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete said King chased White down on the night of Jan. 16 and shot her in the street, execution style.“Mr. King basically hunted the victim down in a busy Downtown street,” Chiapete said in court.King tried to shoot his girlfriend with one gun, Chiapete said. But “when that gun jammed up, he used the other gun to basically execute her.”White’s death marks Racine’s first homicide of the year.The Racine woman called one of her sisters at about 10:30 p.m. Jan. 16, saying she and her boyfriend “were getting into it,” according to the complaint. When White’s sister arrived at her home, in the 700 block of Villa Street, the residence was dark and White didn’t respond when she honked the horn. So she left.But when police later arrived to check on White, officers found her lying in the middle of Sixth Street, suffering from a gunshot wound to her forehead, according to investigators. A witness reportedly told police that before they arrived, she heard two loud noises and a woman yelled “I (expletive) love you” before a man put a gun to the woman’s head and fired.Autopsy results show White died from a gunshot wound to the head.Assistant State Public Defender Ahmed Jenkins asked for “a reasonable cash bond” on Wednesday, saying King has worked at Racine Community Action for two years and has a degree in early childhood education.Authorities extradited King back to Racine, and he only arrived at the Racine County Jail Tuesday morning, jail booking records show. Millersville, Tenn., is 531 miles from Racine.White was shot near the 600 block of Sixth Street, according to Racine police. Officers responded at about 10:45 p.m. for reports of a person who was down and found White lying in the middle of the road — with the gunshot wound to her head and two in her arm, the complaint said.She was pronounced dead the next day, at about 7:30 p.m., police have said.King’s arrest in Tennessee came just a handful of hours before White died from her injuries, reports show.King’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 7. Rudebusch ordered him to “have no contact whatsoever” with White’s family.About a dozen people attended King’s initial appearance, but none wanted to comment after the hearing.Chiapete said White’s domestic violence-related death is too familiar, similar to other recent cases.“It’s obviously concerning to us that it’s another domestic violence-related homicide,” Chiapete said after the hearing. “We take these matters as seriously as any cases out there.”But he said he couldn’t comment on whether police have ever been called to either of their homes for domestic-related incidents in the past.
Davidson County Sheriff David Grice said Monday that the deaths of a husband and wife found last week were the result of a murder-suicide.Timothy Shane Benbow fatally shot his wife, Emily Benbow, then killed himself, Grice said.The sheriff’s office had declined to classify the deaths as murder-suicide last week but had said investigators were not looking for any suspects.Ray Woosley, Emily Benbow’s father, called 911 Tuesday after he had gone to the house. He had gotten a call from a day care center, saying that his 3-year-old granddaughter had not shown up.He found his granddaughter watching television, and she told him, “Mom and Dad are asleep,” The Dispatch of Lexington reported.According to a search warrant, Emily and Timothy Benbow were each found shot once. Investigators seized a semi-automatic handgun along with a magazine containing three live rounds and one live round found in the chamber. They also seized a prescription for alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The prescription was made out to Timothy Benbow.Grice declined to comment further on the case. He would not say whether the couple’s daughter witnessed the fatal shootings. The couple’s daughter is in the custody of other family members.