I am going to be more than a bit judgmental here. Two little girls, brutally murdered by a pscyhopath (who just happens to be the "father" to one of them), with this background:
Just last month, [the father] was released from a Texas prison after serving time for an assault in 2001. He had argued with Laura's mother, Sheila Hollabaugh, then grabbed a chain saw and chased neighbors until someone hit him in the back with a shovel, according to Rick Mahler, assistant district attorney for Wichita County, Texas. No one was injured.I do not mean to belittle the psychological impact of domestic violence, but here we have a four year period during which psycho dad was in prison, during which the family apparently relocated from Texas to Illinois. And she took him back?
This guy reminds me of a somewhat less psychotic defendant I once represented on a parole violation hearing. He was charged with aggravated assault for chasing after sone neighborhood girls with a baseball bat, after they dared to pound on his door in response to his wife's cries for help. (She had locked herself in the bathroom to escape his drunken rampage, and she called for help through the window as he was in the process of breakind down the door in a manner probably not far removed from that of Jack Nicholson in The Shining.) The wife promised him repeatedly during the court hearings that she would not divorce him - but served him with divorce papers the day after he was sentenced to prison. She was scared to death of him, but realized that she had to take advantage of his prison time to protect herself and her child from a future that included him.