Police Chief Speaks the Truth about the Value of Restraining Orders


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Jeff White
October 19, 2006, 07:36 PM
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/metroeast/story/D6B1D2799087E39F8625720C000F9DD1?OpenDocument
Land spat preceded shooting
By Tim Rowden
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
10/19/2006

STE. GENEVIEVE

Police say the father of the man who gunned down a woman at a grocery store and then killed himself had been arrested recently for harassing the woman as part of an escalating dispute over her farm property.

That dispute exploded into a hail of bullets Tuesday when Patrick Williams, 26, shot and killed Melinda Domminguez, 55, before killing himself. The shooting happened about 2:30 p.m. at Rozier's Country Mart off Highway 61 in historic Ste. Genevieve about 60 miles south of St. Louis.

Police said Williams' father, Kenneth D. Williams, a candidate for Ste. Genevieve County presiding commissioner and vice chairman of the Ste. Genevieve County Republican Committee, was arrested earlier this month for harassing Domminguez and trespassing on her property.

The local weekly newspaper, the Ste. Genevieve Herald, published a story Tuesday about the arrest. The story included details from police reports about threatening messages Kenneth Williams had allegedly left on Domminguez's answering machine and notes and letters that had been left in her vehicle and in a farmhouse on her property.

Kenneth Williams could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The paper's managing editor, Jean Rissover, declined to be quoted for this story.

Ste. Genevieve Police Chief Dale Newman said the shooting appeared to be the culmination of an ongoing dispute between the Williams family and Domminguez over farm property that she owned in rural Ste. Genevieve County. Kenneth Williams had served as a caretaker of the farm, Newman said, but was dismissed earlier this year when Domminguez decided to move from Arnold to Ste. Genevieve and build a house on the property with her fiance.

In August, Domminguez had sought a restraining order against Patrick Williams and his father, but the request was denied.

That likely wouldn't have made a difference Tuesday, Newman said.

"The truth is, those things aren't going to save someone if someone has their mind made up," Newman said. "If a person is willing to die himself, he's pretty much going to do whatever it takes to get whatever he wants to do done."

Perry County Prosecutor Thomas Hoeh, who was appointed as a special prosecutor to handle the harassment complaint against Kenneth Williams said Wednesday that it was unlikely that case would go forward.

"Under the circumstances, I think we will not be filing charges," Hoeh said.

Dottye Daues, 53, of Ste. Genevieve, a longtime friend of Domminguez, said her friend had complained to the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff's Department for several months about Kenneth and Patrick Williams harassing her and had feared for her safety.

Newman said a store security tape showed Patrick Williams talking with Domminguez while she was in the store Tuesday, then leaving and returning with a gun.

Domminguez had just finished paying for her groceries and was leaving the store, authorities and witnesses said, when Patrick Williams re-entered the store with a revolver and began shooting.

Patrick Williams died at the scene. Domminguez was taken to Ste. Genevieve Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
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You are responsible for you own safety. Restraining orders and other court actions can't protect you. We know this. It's nice to see the pubhlic being told the truth for once.

Jeff

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bender
October 19, 2006, 07:43 PM
yes, good. However, on my first read... after I read about the Chief saying "restraining orders aren't going to save you..." I was hoping to see "she needed a gun".

FRIENDLY
October 19, 2006, 07:44 PM
they are worth less than toilet paper unless backed up with a means of defence.at least toilet paper has some use.

vito
October 19, 2006, 07:57 PM
I have had several female employees over the years tell me of their fear of an ex-boyfriend, husband, etc. that was threatening to do them harm. In several cases the female had procured a restraining order. I always advised them to consider how they would defend themselves if the other party decided to violate the restraining order. Some stated that they would call the police if needed and I then would ask if they were truly confident that the police would respond in time to save them. Some stated that they would carry mace, or a knife or other non-firearm weapon and I always would ask them if they had training in hand to hand or close combat and did they have the skills and strength to use these items successfully. The conversation usually worked around to my recommendation that they procure a handgun, learn how to use it, practice and be vigilant. In at least one case the individual did in fact get a 38 cal revolver, took a course in gun safety and started practicing. Her ex-husband heard that she had the firearm, and maybe it was coincidental but he never make any attempt to assault her.

MarkDido
October 19, 2006, 09:03 PM
"...Earl walked right through that restraining order and put her in intensive care"

Not a big fan of the Dixie Twits, but this seemed appropriate :)

TallPine
October 19, 2006, 09:59 PM
Perry County Prosecutor Thomas Hoeh, who was appointed as a special prosecutor to handle the harassment complaint against Kenneth Williams said Wednesday that it was unlikely that case would go forward.

"Under the circumstances, I think we will not be filing charges," Hoeh said.

Wouldn't the elder Williams be some sort of accessory to murder in a case like this:confused:

jcoiii
October 19, 2006, 10:00 PM
(In TN) Restraining orders are much different than "Orders of Protection."

A restraining order means you call the cops and they make the person leave.

The Order of Protection has specific limits set into it. Both parties have appeared before the judge and offered reasons for/against the order. If the offender violates the Order, it's straight to jail. Even a phone call can violate an order of protection if it's spelled out.

Granted the Order of protection does no good if the offender just comes over (the first time) and kills the victim, but it can do some good in some cases.

Axman
October 20, 2006, 01:34 AM
A CCW would be a better piece of paper than an OOP. The OOP isn't made of kevlar either!

Crosshair
October 20, 2006, 04:55 AM
I think Oleg needs to do a poster on the usefullness of restraining orders. I think something along the lines of:

*Top caption* In the game "Rock, paper, scissors", scissors beats paper.

*Photo* (I would go with a bloody, lifeless hand on the ground holding a restrianing order)

*Bottom Caption* The same is true in real life. She chose paper.

/Feel free to make this into a poster Oleg.

zoom6zoom
October 20, 2006, 11:19 PM
I saw one just the other day that I thought was one of Oleg's... it had a woman holding a shotgun with the caption, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of restraining orders". Thought I had saved it but can't find it at the moment.

jnojr
October 20, 2006, 11:23 PM
You are responsible for you own safety. Restraining orders and other court actions can't protect you.

I wish someone would tell Sheriff Bill Kolendar this. If I attempt to take responsibility for my own safety, I'll be jailed. But, of course, neither his department nor the San Diego Police Department are willing to accept responsibility for my safety, either :fire:

DoubleTapDrew
October 20, 2006, 11:28 PM
All a restraining order does is start a paper trail saying that you were having a problem with that person and feared them. It might help you in court later, provided you are still alive (you took responsibility of your own safety and armed yourself and learned how to use it).
You'll never hear people saying "I don't understand how this could have happened...I mean...she had a restraining order against him!"
If the police can get there in time, great. If not, what's plan B?
What?
You don't have a plan B?

Waitone
October 21, 2006, 07:42 AM
IIRC a year or so ago a NC legislator introduced legislation mandating a precautionary lecture by a judge upon granting a restraining order. He was supposed to tell the person a RO was not armor and in reality would do nothing to protect her (presumed). I also remember the legislation mandated the issuance of a CCH information pamphlet. Don't know what happened or its current status but it seems to get right to the heart of the matter.

Gunfire
October 22, 2006, 02:04 PM
Lautenberg and restraining orders are nothing more than a way to disarm the people. Very few situations require this type of gestapo government intervention. Just look at the recent allegations against Paul McCartney from Heather Mills. Paul and Linda lived together for years without ever any alleged incidents of abuse. Now, all of a sudden, Paul is an abuser that has pushed Heather Mills, held a broken glass to her, ect. ect. I call bs.

And the classic example of government intervention gone crazy,...Dr. Timothy Emerson, now former doctor and living in poverty.

Erebus
October 22, 2006, 02:34 PM
The most value I see in a restraining order is that if the attacked had a restraining order prior to defending themselves against the attacker they have much more weight showing it was self defense.

It may be a wake up call to those that aren't really a threat but are intentionally or unintentionally making someone feel threatened.

If they are a real threat there aren't many weapons that a sheet of paper can protect you from.

ProguninTN
October 22, 2006, 07:22 PM
...if the attacked had a restraining order prior to defending themselves against the attacker they have much more weight showing it was self defense.


I'm with Erebus.

TallPine
October 22, 2006, 07:23 PM
there aren't many weapons that a sheet of paper can protect you from.

Rock ? :neener:

lostone1413
October 22, 2006, 08:23 PM
The only restraining order that works is "STOP OR I"LL BANG,BANG,BANG -----------SHOOT"

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