She Has to be Evaluated? Whiskey Tango...


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tellner
December 10, 2006, 07:43 PM
The Cherokee County woman who killed the man who raped her most likely will be able to take her daughter home with her, probably by next week.

First the mother has to complete a psychological evaluation.

"They want to make sure I am of no harm to myself or anyone else," the woman said Friday after a hearing in Juvenile Court in Cherokee County. She hopes to celebrate Christmas with family in Ohio.

I'm trying to figure out the logic here. I certainly hope she's a danger to murderous rapist monsters.

The youngster was in their rural Cherokee County home when her mother was raped. Authorities have said Gerald A. Lee, who was armed with a shotgun, broke into the house and raped the 38-year-old mother. A fierce battle between Lee and the woman began when he threatened to also rape her daughter. She stabbed Lee several times and was severely injured during the struggle.

Does anyone in Georgia have any more information on this? I thought Castle Doctrine and "Violent felons in your house are fair game" laws were the rule in your part of the world.

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pcosmar
December 10, 2006, 07:59 PM
tellner
"I'm trying to figure out the logic here"

It is the "justice" system. Logic does not apply.
In several States, and many cases I have seen over the years, there seems no common sense applies once someone is in the grip of the "system".

griz
December 10, 2006, 07:59 PM
I hope that just means they want to make sure she is mentally "there" enough to raise her child. If we are to the point where we worry about a mother defending her daughter we are doomed.

RevolvingCylinder
December 10, 2006, 08:11 PM
Defending your family from murderous rapists is a sign of mental illness now according to the "American" injustice system.:cuss:

hockeybum
December 10, 2006, 08:24 PM
its probably just to make sure she's stable so she can look after the kid, after all most people do go into shock when they kill someone or so i've heard

cassandrasdaddy
December 10, 2006, 08:44 PM
got a link

JohnBT
December 10, 2006, 09:32 PM
"after a hearing in Juvenile Court"

Like the man said, this was about caring for the child. I assume since she was injured in the attack, someone else may have been caring for the child.
I don't think they try self defense cases in Juvie Court do they?

John

tellner
December 10, 2006, 09:34 PM
Here's the link (http://www.ajc.com/services/content/metro/cherokee/stories/2006/12/08/1209metmom.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=13)

Headless Thompson Gunner
December 10, 2006, 09:44 PM
I can see the logic. After such an experience, the mother might not be fully coherent and "all there". She might not be able to care for a dependent. She might be depressed and borderline suicidal. She might be unstable.

I disagree with this logic, but I can sorta kinda see where they're coming from.

White Horseradish
December 10, 2006, 11:49 PM
You know, killing a human being is a pretty dang traumatic experience. I don't think this reflects badly on the woman in any way. Cops are obligated to talk to shrinks after shooting someone all the time.

TrapperReady
December 10, 2006, 11:58 PM
Cops are obligated to talk to shrinks after shooting someone all the time.


Do they have their children taken from them until after they "talk to shrinks"? I've got two children, ages 6 and 8, and the only thing I can imagine being more traumatizing that surviving a violent attack would be to have my kids taken away by beaurocrats.

iiibdsiil
December 11, 2006, 12:12 AM
Yup, I've made my mind up. This year for Lent, I am giving up hope.

JohnBT
December 11, 2006, 07:41 AM
Re: cops and "Do they have their children taken from them until after they "talk to shrinks"?"

If they're in the hospital or unable to care for them.

"She stabbed Lee several times and was severely injured during the struggle."

"She was recovering at an aunt's home."

Somebody had to take care of the child until she got out of the hospital, so it looks like foster care was it. The youngster probably needed counseling too.

John

Geno
December 11, 2006, 08:02 AM
It seems to my memory that this is role of the family, friends and the church.

Doc2005

dfaugh
December 11, 2006, 08:06 AM
Very possibly just a "check-up" due to the severe trauma she's been through.

If the child was witness to all this, she should be evaluated as well, as it may have been at least as traumatic for her.

Hoping everything turns out well for both of them.

Tim Burke
December 11, 2006, 08:23 AM
Whether it's a good idea or not, where does the government get the authority to mandate it?
Oh, yeah, "it's for the children." That is lib-speak for "the government needs more power."

Manedwolf
December 11, 2006, 08:53 AM
Ironically, if someone showed no remorse at having killed a rapist, they'd likely be labeled "unstable and dangerous" by our suffocating-PCness-Freudian-fluff psychiatric practitioners in this country. They'd be advised to "get in touch with their feelings."

A sentiment of "They tried to rape me, I killed them, no, I don't regret doing it." or even "They tried to kill my children so I killed them, I don't regret it" would not be acceptable in our current society.

TrapperReady
December 11, 2006, 09:50 AM
If they're in the hospital or unable to care for them.


The problem I have is with these quotes from the article (bold added):


The Cherokee County woman who killed the man who raped her most likely will be able to take her daughter home with her, probably by next week.

First the mother has to complete a psychological evaluation.

...

The woman is recovering in an aunt's home.

She said Judge Ellen McElyea presided over her hearing Friday in Juvenile Court to determine if her daughter could go back to live with her.


It sounds like the woman is not in the hospital, she's the one staying with an aunt. Why on earth should the mother have to go through Juvenile Court to get her kid back?

tellner
December 11, 2006, 11:13 AM
On top of that the article says that she is being evaluated to see if she's a danger to herself or others. Not "is she physically recovered" or "does the little girl need counselling" but "is the mother a dangerous lunatic because she killed someone".

Coronach
December 11, 2006, 11:29 AM
This might sound like a broken record, coming from me, but there is almost no information in that article, and certainly not enough to draw a conclusion as to the propriety of "the system's" actions. Specifically:

Why was the child taken in the first place?

What behavior has the woman exhibited that might call into question her stability, or ability to parent, thus presenting a danger to the child?

Why was the child not placed with relatives or friends, which seems to be the norm?

We can infer answers for those questions, but I bet those inferences are not complete or 100% correct. Without those answers, the whole process just becomes yet another fist-shaking exercise. For instance, we assume that the child was taken because mom was in the hospital and had just killed a man, and they were not going to give the child back until mom had seen a shrink. Possible. What is also possible is that mom was in the hospital and has been making suicidal statements or having some schizophrenic episodes. Also possible.

Now, does that latter conclusion include facts not found in the article? Absolutely. Guess what? If that was the case, no one from the Juvenile Court system, county prosecutor's office, or any aid agency would be telling the media about it. Why? Because of the victim's privacy, that's why. Hmm, kinda like:McElyea did not return a telephone call. Dena Smith, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Resources, said she could not comment on the DFCS case.Yes, kinda like that. Hmm. Odd, isn't it? There might be a lot more to this story.

So, as usual, we are trying to fill in the blank spots by guessing, and not really learning anything.

Mike

JohnBT
December 11, 2006, 12:05 PM
"Why was the child not placed with relatives or friends, which seems to be the norm?"

Placement is a process that takes time. It takes time to weed out the druggies, alcoholics and perverts. Since the mother was expected to recover they likely decided wouldn't shuffle the kid off to another place for a few days.

I'll tell you what I know about the local Juvie system. Let's say there's a tragedy and the parent, or parents, is severely injured somehow. The Juvie system shelters the child, or children, because the parents are in the hospital and the house has burned down or it's the middle of the night and they're standing on the side of the road after a head-on wreck.

Now the kid is safe for the night and we get to your question - "Why was the child not placed with relatives or friends...?"

Because they have to do interviews and checks and whatnot before they can turn a child over to someone they don't know. It takes time to make certain the aunt, uncle, sister, neighbor or well-meaning lady down at the local church is capable of safely caring for a youngster - especially one who has been traumatized like the one under discussion. They do home visits and the whole nine yards and it takes time.

Around here you run into a lot of family members with drug and alcohol problems that disqualify them. It makes more sense to keep the child in foster care until the parent recovers.

And Juvie judges have A LOT of leeway in setting limits on who gets to do what when. Maybe the judge simply wanted to make sure the mother wasn't traumatized and depressed to the point of sitting and rocking hour after hour. The Juvenile system looks out for the kid.

John

Optical Serenity
December 11, 2006, 12:11 PM
Sounds to me like chest thumping and making a mountain out of a mole hill. She'll be fine. Here in Georgia the justice system is pro-citizen and Pro-2nd Amendment. She'll be ok.

JohnBT
December 11, 2006, 12:12 PM
Forgot something.

"said she could not comment on the DFCS case."

"Yes, kinda like that. Hmm. Odd, isn't it?"


There's nothing odd about a "No Comment" on a juvenile court case. That's all anybody ever gets. Here's the relevant part from the City of Richmond site:

"Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts differ from other courts in their duty to protect the confidentiality and privacy of juveniles coming before the court"

They don't say anything about anybody involved - nothing. They don't do jury trials either - the judge gets the first, middle and last word.

John

Art Eatman
December 11, 2006, 12:30 PM
Doc2005 & Tim Burke: We have all this juvenile justice system mostly because of the abdication of responsibility on the part of parents and relatives. If not the family, who? A vacuum was thus created and no vacuum goes unfilled: The State steps in because somebody must do something about kids with problems.

Regardless of the nature of the problem, when people abdicate their own responsibilities, people in government are more than ready to step in and assume power. That's what governments do.

Art

rhubarb
December 11, 2006, 12:49 PM
A fierce battle between Lee and the woman began when he threatened to also rape her daughter. She stabbed Lee several times and was severely injured during the struggle

Sounds to me like she takes seriously her responsibility as a parent. If the government wants to get involved (beyond carting away the rapist's body) they should give her a medal.

Coronach
December 11, 2006, 01:21 PM
JohnBT,

You're misunderstanding my point. I'm agreeing with you that there is nothing odd whatsoever about DFCS no-commenting, or that there is almost certainly more to this story and that is is not being told in this 15-second newsblurb. This is not due to some stupid conspricacy, either...it has to do with:

1. the inadequacies of the drive-by media

and

2. legitimate confidentiality issues on the part of the agency, on behalf of the victim.

Mike

Tim Burke
December 11, 2006, 01:41 PM
We have all this juvenile justice system mostly because of the abdication of responsibility on the part of parents and relatives.I see no evidence that there has been any abdication of responsibility on the part of this mother, and yet the state has taken custody of the child, and is now making the mother jump through hoops to get her child back.
Maybe they have their reasons. However, since they are exerting their authority, I think it is fair for them to have to provide the justification.

JohnBT
December 11, 2006, 01:47 PM
"You're misunderstanding my point."

Not really, I was just off and running on your comment that "There might be a lot more to this story."

I don't think there is too much more to it than what is in the article. Just my reading-between-the-lines guess.

John

bearmgc
December 11, 2006, 01:52 PM
The mother probably was, as most rape victims, very traumatized by the rape, and then further traumatized by killing the rapist. Post traumatic stress can be very debilitating, and takes time to resolve. While DFS seems to have been heavy handed in taking charge, I don't think we have all the information as to how the mother was affected by this. Confidentiality is mandated in DFS matters, so they really can't comment. Would have been better for relatives, if she had any, to have immediately stepped in and taken custody and provided support for the woman, who obviously has been through more than we could possibly imagine. Still though at face value, it seems like crimminals have more rights than victims in this Justice System, when looking at the far reaching effects of their heinious acts upon the innocent.

JohnBT
December 11, 2006, 05:02 PM
"Would have been better for relatives, if she had any, to have immediately stepped in and taken custody and provided support for the woman..."

Support??? She needed a M.A.S.H. unit to put her back together.

From the article posted below:

"The woman stabbed Lee in a struggle that left her with more than two dozen stab wounds and hundreds of stitches.

Friends say the attack injured her hands so badly that she can't return to work as a hairstylist for at least several weeks. A tendon in her right hand was damaged. A pin holds one bone in her left hand together."

On top of everything else she can't work and gave up the rental house where the attack took place. John
_________

Woman who killed rapist tells her supporters: 'God loves me'

By YOLANDA RODRÍGUEZ
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 11/30/06

She was in a life-or-death struggle just three weeks ago.

An attacker had broken into the 38-year-old woman's house, raped her and threatened her 7-year-old daughter. The woman stabbed her assailant to death with a butcher knife after a violent struggle that lasted up to 30 minutes.


Calvin Cruce/Staff
(ENLARGE)
Kim Chester is raising money to help her friend, a 38-year-old woman who was seriously injured while fighting off a rapist.


Calvin Cruce/Staff
The victim's injuries, including multiple cuts and a crushed finger on her left hand, may hinder her working as a hairstylist.

RELATED
• Victim's letter of thanks to the public
• Excerpt from her 911 call


"Oh my God," the woman said in a dramatic call to 911. "I can't believe this is happening."

Now she's out of the hospital, living with an aunt and trying to put her life back together. She wrote a letter to well-wishers a few days ago, signing it the "Girl from Ballground."

"From where I was three weeks ago, my physical injuries are healing quite well," she writes. "My doctors are amazed at how well I have recovered at this point. My answer to them is that God loves me and he really does answer prayers!!"

A friend, Kim Chester, gives the note to people who ask about her.

"I would like to let you know your power of prayer has been awesome," the woman says in the letter. "My wish list for Christmas is that I continue to recover and people pray that I find safe and stable housing so that I may start my life anew ... ."

Authorities say Gerald A. Lee, who knew the woman in high school, broke into her house in the woods of Cherokee County after dark on Nov. 5. They say he raped her and threatened to rape her daughter, who's almost 8. The woman stabbed Lee in a struggle that left her with more than two dozen stab wounds and hundreds of stitches.

Friends say the attack injured her hands so badly that she can't return to work as a hairstylist for at least several weeks. A tendon in her right hand was damaged. A pin holds one bone in her left hand together.

"Her hands are still bad," said Chester, a friend of 13 years.

Since the assault, the woman's daughter and a teenage son have been in foster care. Chester said a hearing is scheduled for next week to determine whether the children can go home with their mother.

Chester said the rented home where her friend was attacked is too full of painful memories for her and scary ones for her daughter.

"It was hard for her when she went back to make sure all of her things were moved out," Chester said.

Friends have helped the woman open a bank account under the name "A Mother's Love" at Bank of America. Donors have contributed about $300 so far. Chester also built a Web page — a-motherslove.tripod.com — with information about how people can help the woman.

"I could only hope and pray that I could be as strong as her," Chester said, "but I think any mother would."

Chester said her friend believes her daughter saved her life — not the other way around.

"With everything as brutal as it was she knew 'I've got to live for my baby,' " she said.

At the HeadHunters Hair Salon on Canton Road in northeast Cobb County, which Chester manages, a Christmas tree is decorated purple and white. The colors symbolize campaigns supporting efforts to end violence against women. Customers and employees have put donations in white envelopes on the tree. Chester signed hers "the Girl from Canton."

Chester said her friend remembers Lee from high school and never suspected he would be capable of such violence.

"There's nothing she could have done to provoke it," she said.

Wiley
December 11, 2006, 05:43 PM
Let's everybody hold up here for a sec. I live in Cobb County, the county just south of Cherokee (both just to the NE of Atlanta). I heard this from the begining. I also have a friend who worked 35 years for DFaCS as a caseworker and supervisor.

As I remember, the lady is single. DFaCS (Dept. of Family and Child Service) would take custody of the child as it was a criminal case, no spouse around. DFaCS will not just give custody to a reletive, friend, etc. Wheather the lady would even survive her wounds was in doubt for a time.

There are procedures to be followed in returning custody to the parent. And, currently DFaCS is running scared as mid-level supervisors over-ruled the case workers and returned a child (1 of 8) to a psyco mother who in short order beat the kid to death.

So. I very much doubt that a Judge, in Cherokee County, GA, who must rule on returning the child to the lady in question, will hesitate an instant in signing the order. Again DFaCS is going to follow procedure to the letter (a talk with a shrink is part of that) but I doubt that it is anything more than a formality. Also the caseworker will have a lot to say about wheather the lady is ready to look after the kid.

OK, now that you are a little more educated about what is going on, rant away. :)

tellner
December 11, 2006, 06:23 PM
Thanks for the missing pieces, Wiley.

Tim Burke
December 11, 2006, 07:03 PM
Based on Wiley's post I can understand them taking the child in the first place. I still don't understand why she has to jump through hoops to get her child back now that she is competent to voice her opinion.
Thanks for the article, JohnBT. I sent her a donation.

MudPuppy
December 11, 2006, 07:30 PM
As someone who is undergoing training (yes training) to become a foster parent, I'd encourage anyone with questions about this type of situation to do a little research (outside of this fine gun oriented forum). It was eye opening for me, and I've been around the block (or so I thought...).

There's lots of little ones in need (even in bizare situations). The more good folks involved in the process, the better for everyone.

Wiley
December 11, 2006, 07:50 PM
Tim Burke: Based on Wiley's post I can understand them taking the child in the first place. I still don't understand why she has to jump through hoops to get her child back now that she is competent to voice her opinion.


Me again. Unfortunatly, in this case the Mother's opinion doesn't count. It's up to the courts. The state taking custody of the kid is a legal proceding as is the return.

Tim, the state taking custody of a kid is in some cases the first step in suspension of parental rights, ie., "We've taken your kids and you ain't gettin' 'em back 'cause you're unfit parents and shouldn't be alowed to breed."

The most recient example was two methheads cooking in a small travel trailer with their three kids sleeping next to the cooker. They, the parents, the methheads, should never get their kids back, nor should they even be allowed contact with them (suspension of parental rights).

Again, all of this is part of the law. Most times it works and works fairly well. Sometimes you get head scratchers.

JohnBT
December 11, 2006, 07:54 PM
"DFaCS will not just give custody to a reletive, friend, etc."

Maybe they'll listen to you. Thanks.

Meanwhile, I made a donation, too.

John

Tim Burke
December 11, 2006, 08:21 PM
Tim, the state taking custody of a kid is in some cases the first step in suspension of parental rights, ie., "We've taken your kids and you ain't gettin' 'em back 'cause you're unfit parents and shouldn't be alowed to breed."I understand that is necessary in some cases; what I don't understand is the state treating this lady as if she was an unfit parent.

Cosmoline
December 11, 2006, 08:43 PM
Links? Don't quote without links!

Tim Burke
December 11, 2006, 09:25 PM
See Post #8 for original link.
Or are you looking for the link to the story in Post #30?

JohnBT
December 12, 2006, 08:31 AM
"what I don't understand is the state treating this lady as if she was an unfit parent"

The long and the short of it is very simple. There are steps - procedures - that must be followed before a child, any and every child, is released from foster care. Things like a home visit to see if there is a safe place for the kid to live and somebody capable of taking care of them and providing for them.

The foster care system is concerned about the well being and safety of the child - not the parent. And that's the way I think it should be.

John

Tim Burke
December 12, 2006, 04:34 PM
So there's no reason for it, it's just the policy.
Excuse me for not being convinced that the child is safer in foster care than with her mother, who has already proven she will kill or die to protect her daughter.

cassandrasdaddy
December 12, 2006, 05:33 PM
very lil about this lady. other than my admiration for her winning that fight i know not whether shes a good mom or a lady with consistent "bad luck" choosing men. since its family court we don't know if her family was already unser supervision before this attack. i do find it telling that mom seems not too put out bt the proceedings. might take a swag thats shes not totally unfamiliar with the system.and who kinows she might have been blessed to have a system in place to care for kids while she recuperated

hsalom
December 17, 2006, 12:12 AM
Maybe this can answer some questions... www.a-motherslove.com

Don Gwinn
December 17, 2006, 03:53 AM
You might liken it to a policy of checking the depth of a creek before you dive in headfirst. It doesn't mean you think the creek is shallow or dangerous; it means you have a responsibility to check first.

When they took the child, for whatever reason, they took responsibility for her. They can't just shuck that off because they like this parent. They have to check. They know that the mother has been through severe emotional trauma; if they don't check, and the mother ends up killing herself in front of the daughter or worse, most of the people here howling about this case become the people howling about that case.


And again, we STILL know absolutely nothing about the state's reasoning beyond one sentence from the mother. Nothing is a very poor basis for analysis.

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