Feb 26, 2012

George Huguely Found Guilty of Murder in the Second degree- Sentence recomendation shows backward thinking re Dating Violence

This crime hits so close to home that I was barely able to glance at
Yeardley Love's autopsy report. Right down to her MRI, the report  so closely parallels injuries inflicted upon me in an eerily similar assault - it all comes rushing back and in the end I am left questioning how I managed to survive and poor Yeardley, did not.

The Jury's decision to convict George Huguely for Murder in the second degree offers little solace, especially considering that one of the original charges was felony murder, (murder committed in the pursuit of a felony ) This would be the theft of Yeardley's computer which contained incriminating threatening e-mails from Huguely saying in part, " I should have killed you" in reference to Yeardley's dating another young man.

For some reason, that email evidence was not allowed to be shown to the Jury and that was a miscarriage of justice:  Those emails showed beyond a doubt MOTIVE and PREMEDITATION.

In the end the Jury decided to convict Huguely of merely two of six charges that the State was seeking.
To make matters worse, after announcing the four not guilty verdicts and the two guilty verdicts,the Jury rather swiftly recomended a twenty six year sentence 25 for the murder and 1 year for the
nded a twenty six year sentence for George Huguley

It should be noted that the two charges that the Jury did find Huguely guilty of, allowed for a sentence of up to sixty years. Clearly this jury didnt feel that Mr Huguley deserved a senetnce that resembled life in prison for taking a life. I have seen far more severe sentences for vehiclar manslaughter. ie accidentally taking a life while driving drunk.

I cannot help but wonder' if Yeardley had not known her attacker, would he have received  the life sentence that he clearly deserves ?  I am certain that at the very least , the sentence would have been far more appropriate than 25 years for a 23 year old. Huguley will still have almost half of his life left when he gets out of prison! This is obscene, and an insult to the victim,  her family and everyone that cared for her.

It almost seems as if society, if  we are to consider this jury a representitive slice, is saying.... "well, we can see how things like this can happen in a relationship, especially with emotionally immature young people and drinking involved...

This is in fact how Huguely's defense attorney depicted this brutal crime: 'a moment of poor judgement by an emotionally immature boy"  This thinking is archaic and the sentence obscenely inappropriate for the violent taking of a life.

Mind you the aforementioned lawyer for Huguley who was in effect saying " boys will be boys .."
is a woman. She was  no doubt  shrewdly chosen for her gender,with her reputation a close second.

I am also bothered by by this Jury's decision to find Huguley not guilty of breaking and entering.
 Although it doesn't carry the biggest of sentences, it is the principal and what that act -and crime - connote
The assertionof power- and control through brute force. The apartment where Miss Love lived was shared by a few fellow female U V. students. The front door was supposedly unlocked, which could have been any of the roommates doing, but Yeardley's bedroom door was locked that night.

This is very telling it speaks of a young woman who was afraid of something. That something was George Huguley. He kicked Yeardley's bedroom door in, proving at once that his intention from the start was violence.

That bedroom was in effect Yeardleys home, her sanctuary, this wasnt the common area's of an apartment shared by others. Huguey had invaded those with probably a minumal look around to ensure noone was around.

My eductated guess is that he'sstalked yerardlyand the apartment, choosing just the right time when noone but Yeardley was home to have his revenge - he did not want witnesses to hear nor see what he was up to.

She locked her door against intruders, and Mr Huguley kicked that door in.  This is breaking and entering. Huguely's hairs were even found in the gaping hole on Yeardley's door.

When I think of this Bully kicking in that door, and Yeardley's shock and fear, I feel an immediate sense of empathy, knowing well what she experienced, as well as an intense anger. My mind skitters to my own assault, where my reaction time was non existent due to surprise, but realizing since that I never should have allowed that space between myself and my attacker to have been crossed. This I learned years subsequent in a good quality self defense class, which included teaching the students to respond defensively even with the "adrenalin dump" that accompanies any real attack.

This class taught me retrospectively how I could have saved myself from incurring life-long injuries and what could have been and should have been death at my assailants hands,.

Knowing how many women and girls are " blitz - attacked" like this, I personally would like to see every young women taught this basic self defense at the earliest possible age. It should be part of a school curriculum, more essential than any sport orr P.E class - While we like to think our children wont ever be faced with such things, statistics say that one of five will and rather than deal with trying to change things at the court level, I suggest as a society we put our efforts into prevention; Self-defense will save lives, as well as change the way our young women of the future think about protecting themselves and living safely and defensively in general.

Yeardley Love died senselessly. She died terrified, surely in pain, from multiple blows from a brain injury inflicted by a young man who had a history of violence. This history included an assault against a Virginia Police woman that resulted in Huguely pleading guilty to resisting arrest in a plea deal. This arrest and  conviction should have resulted in disiplinary action from the School's athletic Department, most likely pulling Huguely from the Lacrosse Team. Despite the incident being public knowledge among teammates and adults on the periphery, no action was taken as the coach's claimed complete ignorance. This undoubtedly added to George Huguley's sense of invincibility and bravado.

Tragically we all learned after her murder that Huguley's history of violence included at least one unreported assault\ against Yeardley herself.

According to a bevy of witnesses after the fact, George Huguley grabbed his then - girlfriend by the neck, choking her in front of an entire party full of students, literally having to be pried off of her by a group of male Lacrosse players who witnessed the attack.

Badly Shaken, Yeardley returned home to distance herself from Huguely immediately after this assault.
This reportedly occurred  months before Huguely murdered her. Tragically, no one reported the incident to police. There is no evidence that Yeardley confided the attack  to her mother, an aunt uncle or perhaps even a counselor of some kind ( Yeardley's dad had sadly died of cancer years before).

Worst of all no one at the party reported the incident which was in fact a  serious crime to Virginia Police, Campus Police, either lacrosse team coach, or any adult at all.

Strangulation is thankfully now considered a felony in most States, as it has finally been recognized as an act of serious violence, and  dangerous batterers and predators will think nothing of grabbing a woman, or girl by her throat.  It is in fact a threat of possible imminent death.  "I can kill you"  they are saying to the victim, " This is how easy it is."  Men that choke are a breed onto themselves, baring a serious instability, volatility and misogyny. The moment this rears it's head is time for the offender to be arrested and put behind bars.

A question we must ask, as a society and individuals is " Why were Yeardley's friends and all of the other young people at this party not aware enough or traumatized enough to report the choking assault?

Was it ignorance? Did they simply did not understand the major red flags that they had just become privy to, as well as the fact that a serious crime had occurred and as witnesses they thus had a responsibility, morally and legally to report it?

Perhaps they felt that this kind of behavior, especially when drinking was involved, was upsetting yes, but just a fluke - the result of  of an extremely passionate couple?!

This is what scares me the most.

In this day and age, our young women and men need to so much more astute and aware of the potential for extreme violence and death, when they see this kind of behavior in any form as part and parcel of a relationship, or any union that has ended recently.

Too often, the violence is behind closed doors, and friends and acquaintances are then shocked when their family member or friend is discovered to have been the victim of ongoing abuse, silently for months, and even years. When a man or a boy actually commits violence in front of witnesses, this is the time to act as a witness, you will quite possibly be saving a life.
 The answer to this epidemic must start with awareness of what abuse is and where it can - and often does, lead in specific terms, as our youth especially suffers from a sense of unrealistic immortality "oh that will never happen to me, that happens to other people..."

But in Yeardley Loves case, as college and college athletics are a highly social atmosphere, the signs were there for many people on the periphery of both Yeardley and Huguely's life, boys and girls and even some adults who needed to step up and get involved, before a life was brutally taken.

None of the dating violence services were apparently used,  although we may never know if Yeardley reached out anonymously to one of the various hot lines or websites for teens and young women in her home town of Baltimore. These services would have surely explained to her that George Huguely's behaviors were not normal nor reflective of  his love. although she felt it difficult to completely break free of him at times, this was part of the abusive cycle, including the " honeymoon phase" that follows an assault, or even threats such as the emails she recieved shortly before her murder.

And that the extra loving and caring attention would soon be followed by a return to the jeolousy and rages which considering the history in this relationship, might result in her being gravely injured or murdered.

There is no doubt in my mind that Yeardley Love was caught in the terrible plight of a battered women's syndrome, and at such a tender age she was even more ill equipped to discern the symptoms of extreme jealousy and possessiveness (which can be mistaken at first by a young girl as intense love) from Socio-pathology. Huguely clearly illustrated that he was a Sociopath when he carefully took the time to unplug and steal Yeardley's computer, after smashing her head into a wall repeatedly,and tossing her face down on her bed, dying from bleeding in her brain stem.

Huguely was aware that Yeardley computer contained threatening emails that he'd written in the days prior to his final murderous act. And he knew that these emails would point Virginia Police straight into his direction as well as serve as hard evidence that he was likely the man who murdered her.

This alone proves that George Huguely was not some panicked young man that accidentally ( isnt it always?) banged his on - again-off again girlfriend's head into a wall, within an " altercation".

Interestingly, this word altercation is an extremely common description of what transpired during partner murders, and severe assaults, especially involving assailants with higher intelligence and articulate personalities. They realize that the word implies an exchange of violence  ie "alter"

The word is chosen most purposefully, as it  intimates that the male assailant was not simply beating upon a much smaller, weaker, lighter person ie a woman, but rather fighting with her, (as huguley tried to claim he "wrestled with his victim" ) taking at least some of the ownice off of himself, if only via the careful use of that word and others: This can actually have a subconscious effect on less savvy Police officers or even Jury members.

As is often the case with what police and FBI call " blitz style attacks" there was no signs of damage to Huguely or defense injuries on poor Yeardley's arms or hands, nor was any skin found beneath her nails. Like me, she probably never saw that first terrible blow coming and was rendered semi- conscious or unconscious immediately, making a perfect rag doll of a victim, even a strong athletic young woman cannot overcome the sudden shocking insult to our brains when so brutally struck against a hard surface.

To this day I myself get angry that I did not fight back during my assault or at least try to block the succession of  blows to my head from my assailant that just never seemed to end.

But the truth was that I couldn't. My brain wasn't fully engaged, it was all I could do to not relent to the darkness that was threatening to envelop me.  I somehow knew that I would not return if I allowed myself to lose consiousness.

Bleeding and bruising in Yeardley Love's brain in the temple areas showed multiple blows to the sides of her head; although those did not kill her, according to the state medical examiner. It was a hard slam or several slams to the back of her head into something hard and immovable, like a wall, that caused bleeding into her brain stem, the area  that controls respiration and heart function.  THIS this is what ultimately killed Yeardley Love.

Huguely's first version of the events that night made to police had zero credibility and only showed the ease with which he lied and his emotional distancing from the fact that he had just taken a life.  Huguley first claimed that he'd only shaken Yeardley during an "altercation" but when he left, she was alive and perfectly "fine"

This story is so ludicrous that it leaves no room for how or why he took Yeardley's computer, left a giant hold in her door where hed kicked it  inif he had not mortally wounded her, why would he be so anxious to remove all evidence of his threats to Yeardley?

Many people on the periphery of Miss Love' Life were privy to previous physical violence committed against
this young girl by George Huguely, including the serious choking incident at a campus party; Not one of the young people who witnessed the assault or pulled Huguely off of Yeardley, reported the crime to anyone. This is unacceptable. It is at these points that a victim's life can be saved. There is a predictable pattern of escalation of violence within such relationships, and it is up to everyone who is aware of threats, physical attacks, or stalking, to report it to Police. No if's ands or but's!

 Seemingly less serious issues within relationships such as extreme jealousy, possessiveness name calling taunting ie emotional abuse, these all need an open forum on every college campus.  This should be readily available for students and trained partner violence/ intimate violence counselors should be part of every schools and peer  on both C,ollege campuses and at the high school level. A deeper awareness & education campaign for all of our young people covering the intricacies of  predators and all of the signs of abuse both within dating relationships and elsewhere-this is where the changes must begin in earnest.

Ramping up our outreach programs and making them as accessible as possible, including informal dialogue sessions about dating behaviors that cue possible future violence, what steps to follow if even seemingly small acts of violence, such as pushing or blocking someone from leaving a room, happen or have happened within a  relationship.

We need mandatory Comprehensive, in depth College  and High School level programs that teach our young women about physical, emotional and sexual violence, be it committed by peers or adults in thier lives. They must grow up fully understanding exactly what it not acceptable and why,  as well  how to get real help, if  they, or a friend has experienced anything from a threat to a full blown assault.

Please Get involved.

R.I.P  Yeardley Love

Feb 19, 2012

Connecticut crime lab's accreditation restored...finally.

This is a perfect example of our States terrible marks in it's Criminal/ Judicial system. Once again egos and apathy loom large behind the scenes wherever change or improvement is sought. The crime lab debaucle is but a symptom of an entire state-wide attitude of keeping the status-quo, and dont tell us how to do our jobs.

The only way that change is going to happen is from outside agencies that have power, and even here we see the amount of resistance that just such a powerful agency has run smack into, at a terrible cost to the people of this state. And you'll notice it has not gotten a whole lot of media coverage either, considering the magnitude of a State like Connecticut losing it's crime lab accreditation.

In the meantime...for the most part, the Police keep doing their jobs, putting their lives on the line, getting a first hand view of the carnage, only to see our courts render their hard work moot, as the revolving doors continue to turn for violent offenders and predators.

More on this later..

Connecticut crime lab's accreditation restored- The New Haven Register - Serving New Haven, Connecticut

Feb 16, 2012

Joe Biden: Together we must end dating violence

This is an excellent piece by our Vice President, Joe Biden, who is in large part a major founder, author and dogged proponent of the Violence against Woman act  (VAWA) which incidentally needs to be reauthorized by this coming spring. Please visit the NCADV website link on the right to learn if your State Senator has signed the reauthorization bill yet; If not there are form emails on the site to put pressure on the hold outs, Please get involved.

As I've been writing about the Yeardley Love Murder trial in Virginia, the issue of dating violence among teenage and college age girls is heavy on my mind and in my heart.

I agree with Mr. Biden that laws are very important but the essential issue of awareness and involvement, education for our young people, this is going to be where the change is most needed if we are to end this life and death societal epidemic of crime.

Prevention and awareness, literally the entire way we all look at and act upon, any abuse against another human being. Anything.Including a push or a threat.  The involvement and action needs to be made very clear to our youngsters, it  transcends seemingly heroic acts, such as when Yeardley Love was seriously attacked, grabbed by her throat at a party, and other young men at the party stepped in immediately pulling her boyfriend  off of her and protectively  walking her home.

While that was the most basic involvement we need from our young men, more action was necessary and sadly no one at that party informed police or even College Police or any adults. The choking assault happened months and months before George Huegely kicked in Yeardleys off campus bedroom door and murdered her by slamming her head into a wall repeatedly, leaving her unconscious, then grabbing her computer which contained threatening emails from him. He erased the emails and threw her computer in a dumpster and went home, playing Golf the next day.

There is a very well established pattern for men and boys that physically and or sexually abuse - there are classic personality disorders that are usually at the core of the batterer or potential batterer. We need our young people to know and understand  these warning signs of these disorders, as well as the typical evolution that the abusive relationship follows - And it does not usually begin with violence, but rather inordinate amounts of caring and charm which sequeways into possessiveness that might first seem flattering to a girl, who doesn't understand the implications of that excessive jealousy. Especially young women who have self esteem issues who could mistake the jealousy as a sign of extreme love.

These are just some of the things that we need to teach our young people about in depth, inside and out,  if we are to rid ourselves of this social disease that kills and maims so many good human beings, most of them women or girls.

Below is VP Biden's article specifically written for Teen dating violence awareness month:

More than twenty years ago, I read a study of junior high school students in Rhode Island that included one finding I’ve never been able to get out of my head. Students were asked if a man who spent money on a woman during a date was entitled to force her into sexual activity. An astounding 25 percent of the young boys said yes – and even more astounding, 17 percent of the junior high school girls agreed.

You may think that sounds like a long time ago – and it was. But, sadly, dating violence remains a very real problem in our country – especially on college campuses.

My dad used to say that there’s no worse sin than the abuse of power. Whether it was raising a hand to someone weaker, or using any advantage to push people around, he taught me that if you saw abuse, you had an obligation to attempt to stop it. It’s a lesson to remember every day, but especially this February, during Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

Awareness is the first step to pushing back against a problem this big. When I held Senate hearings on violence against women more than two decades ago, domestic abuse in American society was rarely spoken about in public. I’ll never forget the stories of abuse I heard in over a thousand hours of hearings. The brutality of family members, acquaintances, and strangers against the women in their lives was absolutely devastating.

It was those hearings that led to the Violence Against Women Act, and since then annual incidents of domestic violence have dropped by more than 50%. But for women in college and younger today, the risk is still much too high.

That’s why I joined with Education Secretary Arne Duncan last April to announce historic new guidelines for colleges and universities about their responsibilities under Title IX to prevent sexual assault. Under the federal civil rights law, schools have an obligation not only to respond appropriately when an assault occurs, but also to create a climate on campus that makes such violence unacceptable
I also started an initiative called 1is2many to help reduce dating violence and sexual assault among teens and young adults. We harnessed the power of technology to get our message out, launching a national contest to develop “Apps Against Abuse.” The two winning apps – which will be available later this spring – will let you get in touch with your friends quickly and safely so you can call for help if you need it and stop violence in its tracks. We’ve also made sure the National Dating Abuse Helpline can be reached by text, online, or phone 24/7.

Last month, the FBI changed the way the federal government defines rape. The narrow, outdated definition – unchanged since 1929 – said the assault had to be forcible and against a woman’s will to be classified as rape. It’s just not true, and it’s a point that I make on college campuses all across the country. Rape is rape and no means no. No means no whether drunk or sober. No means no whether in the dorm room or on the street. There is never an excuse. Young women and men alike need to understand this. Under the new definition, rape occurs when there is no consent, and it also includes sexual assault against boys and young men in national law enforcement reporting.

These are important changes, but ending dating violence and sexual assault isn’t just a matter of laws and legislation. It’s about education. It’s about attitudes. It’s about your participation. I need your help to address this issue in your dorms and on your campuses. Studies show that men’s ideas about what other men think is one of the strongest determinants of how they act. So guys, you need to speak out.

Today, while in college, nearly one in five women will be a victim of sexual assault and one in ten teens will be hurt on purpose by someone they are dating. These aren’t just statistics, these are people you know: your roommates, your friends, your sisters, your classmates. This is a problem we all have to face.

The ultimate measure of a civilized society is how its laws and culture treat the abuse of women. Attitudes can change. Violence can end. But it can’t happen without universal understanding that dating violence and sexual assault will never be tolerated anywhere, at any time, for any reason. Period. That’s all of our responsibility.

Joe Biden

 Together we must end dating violence UWIRE

Feb 15, 2012

George Huguely, suspect in U-Va. murder case, accused of slamming Yeardley Love's head into wall during fight

The brutal murder of this young College Lacrosse player by her ex - boyfriend in 2010  is more than tragic - it is a cautionary tale for all young women and girls of dating ages.

Statistically,it is bears out over and over again, that the period following a break up, separation (or divorce)especially the break- up instigated by the woman, is a dangerous time for any relationship with a partner who has a history of threatening, aggressive or violent behavior.

In this case, George Huguely, the 21 year old ex beau who slammed Yeardley Love's head into a wall multiple times until she died from bruising to her brain, had a history of violence that included several assaults and a serious incident that resulted in arrest with The Virginia Police department over a physical scuffle with a female police officer, which ended with charges of resisting arrest and attacking a police officer.

This is very telling; men that are prone to physically assault women or girls often take particular umbrage to females in positions of power or control, and seeing all of this retrospectively is the true tragedy as it paints such a classic evolution, with signposts everywhere, but no one understood just how dangerous they were.

Particularly tragic in this 2010 case was the fact that many of Miss Loves team mates were apparently aware of a series of threatening emails that Hugely had sent to Yeardley in the days preceding the murder. Some were also aware of a previous attack where Heugley had choked Love at a party resulting in other men present having to physically intervene  in order to pull him off of a gasping Love. This episode caused  Love to break it off and return home to get distance from her clearly mercurial and dangerous ex beau. No one reported the attack to Police, campus police, School staff or Loves family.

The choking attack had occurred months prior to Love's murder and Huegley had tried in typical abuser fashion to apologize profusely and win back his now very wary ex-girlfriend. They dated on and off a short while, but soon enough another incident occurred where Heugly assaulted a boy who he heard had walked love home from a party. That assault also was never reported to campus police or police, although many students and team members were aware of it and the word was that it was an extremely brutal attack on the other young man and Heugly spent months bragging about it to anyone who would listen.

More recently, just  days prior to the murder a scuffle had ensued at Huegley's apartmen between he and Love and it resulted in Yeardley's purse contents being scattered onto the floor at Huguely apartment, resulting in Huegely coming into possession of his once again ex girlfriends cellphone. A friend had to retrive the purse contents for her and yet the phone was "missing"

The common themse running throughout the tragic evolution of this crime is that there were a fair number of friends, teammates and other people in this young girl - and young man's life, that could have and indeed should have intervened - on Yeardley's behalf, perhaps preventing her brutal murder. Police, campus police, College personnel, even her Lacrosse team coach, should have all been made aware of the many instances of violence volatility and the most recent events, including the email threats.

Cyber- stalking and electronic abuse within dating relationships is a growing problem and presents a whole new set of issues for young girls and women in today's world. In this murder, the first thing that Hugely did after smashing Love's head into the wall multiple times and throwing her down on her bed, was to grab her computer which contained the threatening emails that he had been sending her.

This certainly proves that he had a clear presence of mind, he knew that she was dead and he was trying to get rid of evidence that would point to him as the suspect. He later admitted to throwing Loves computer into a dumpster where police soon retrieved it, however, Hugely emails had been "mysteriously" deleted.

This proves an even more sinister post murder clarity where this guy actually went out booted up the computer somewhere, found and deleted his emails from his just slain ex girlfriends computer.

Hugely's lawyer claimed in Court that his client didn't mean to kill Love, that it was a tragic "accident" and would have the Jury believe that Hugely didn't realize Miss Love was dead

However, all evidence disproves any depiction of Hugely as some panicked young kid who accidentally banged his ex-girlfriends head and fled. Hugely had one thing on his mind after he had just taken this girls life - and that was evading arrest and prosecution.

Police managed to procure fragments from the deleted files but not the complete emails, but Fortunately there were multiple witnesses who had seen some of the emails as Yeardley had shown them to various friends and they fortunately testified to the specific threats within the letters.

Every College should have an accessible on campus agency with a protocol for students for dealing with suspicion of dating violence, stalking and/or abusive relationships, and our young people need to be taught just how serious these symptoms are. Sadly University of Virginia learned this lesson that hardest way imaginable and a sweet loving young woman's life was violently extinguished in the process.

George Huguely, suspect in U-Va. murder case, accused of slamming Yeardley Love's head into wall during fight

Feb 14, 2012

The “Valentine Against Violence” Campaign « The Pixel Project

This is a great project and a great gift for Valentine's day that's helping an important cause!

The Pixel Project is sponsoring The "Valentine Against Violence Campaign" as a fun, painless and affordable way to raise money and awareness about partner and dating violence.
Check it out at the above link!

Each purchased V-day I-Tunes song comes with an informative tool-kit about Violence against Women, and offers small and large scale ways to get involved.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

Feb 1, 2012

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

February is National Teen Dating Awareness Month!-

In order to help our youth understand the warning signs of abusive relationships and how to deal with any dating situation that even seems unhealthy, as adults, we would all do well to get involved!

Follow the link on the NCADV website for ways that we can help our youngsters date and relate with each other safely. Lots of down-loadable information that make great pass-outs at community events and school functions.

Please Let's help extinguish dating and intimate violence from a pro-active and preventive standpoint. My personal desire is that every young girl and young man are taught in depth about the nature of abusive relationships as well as how to keeping safe from adult predators, at the earliest possible age!

We have amassed far too much experience in these areas, lets start really teaching our youth, so that they may be empowered with awareness and knowledge as they embark into their lives!

NYPD Cop from Long Island Shot, miraculously survives and recovering

This story is a bit of a better about a NYPD police officer who was shot on the head while on patrol just days ago, and miraculously, he is cognizant and alert asking for his newborn baby to be brought to him in the hospital!

Doctors are saying that David Brennan, just 29 years old, is doing remarkably well after a life threatening gun injury to the back of his head. The young man was just married last year and his baby girl delivered weeks ago. Family and friends are ecstatic that he not only survived but is so alert and speaking lucidly.

He is having pain naturally, but trying to deal with it with medication and lots of prayers from family, friends and the caring public.

Man Accused Of Hammer Attack To Appear In Court

I am sorry to report that this article in the Courant also centers around an intimate violence crime that happened last month in New Britain Connecticut.

The man who was wanted for attempted murder, multiple felony assault and a slew of other charges, assaulted with a hammer his ex girlfriend, her 16 year old daughter and an 18 year male family friend, who  happened to be at the home, with a hammer.!

The man sustained serious head brain injuries and the two women also sustained serious blunt force trauma from the man beating them with the hammer. All three have had difficult recoveries and continue to need constant medical care. TBI's or traumatic brain injuries are usually permanent, and the results can be devastating to ones daily life.

The charges ranged from attempted murder to assault in the second degree, which I found inappropriate as hitting someone with a hammer should qualify for at the very minimum, assault in the 1st degree ie with a deadly weapon - the hammer.

If not attempted murder for all three victims. It has been my observation that often times police departments are conservative with certain charges in a multiple crime case fearful that just one charge that the court considers inappropriately severe might damage the entire case, or rather damage the chances of obtaining convictions on all of the charges.

I cant say that I am a fan of this practice - it is dangerous in fact as it leaves shorter sentences for crimes of lesser severity than what were actually committed; I am aware of where it stems from and that is the Polices experience with the prosecutorial efforts or lack thereof, and the realistic results of most of the violent crime cases that as first responders, they see the carnage of as opposed to the states attorneys that basically administrate justice in the form of lenient plea deals or even outright dismissals and Nollie's for first second and even third time offenders.

These deals involving no prison time whatsoever are doled out daily in what our states would have us believe are Courts with Domestic Violence specialists. This basically amounts to that particular court having been given grant monies for said domestic violence dockets, grants that were intended to infuse awareness of partner violence and its often life and death consequences, especially if ignored or treated lightly,

In the recent past there have actually been training sessions for Connecticut Police men and women by what amounts to a prosecutorial liaisons that in effect pass on a their own personal brand of misogynistic apathy and frustration for dealing with pardner and domestic violence and thus these police many of them rookies are actually being brainwashed to go easy on the sentencing of anything that can be considered a domestic crime, unless of course three people are almost dead from hammer blows. It is as this point when a weapon is involved and the violence has become life altering and people have been literally maimed that the police at least will take it seriously. It still remains to be seen whether or not the prosecutors handling the crimes will do the same.

My educated guess is that this man who committed these assaults and attempted murders, had a history of arrests, and calls out to the home of former wives and/ or women he was simply dating.

I will also bet that those "brushes" were likely treated lightly in Court, with the man serving no prison time, and quite possibly not even winding up with a criminal record, and or his record ie his convictions if they happened were watered down versions of what he actually committed in terms of severity.

Indeed having a crime like this one, labeled domestic violence does it a distinct disservice, at least in this state, for the victims of these statistically very dangerous crimes.

In this case, this was an ex husband of some duration, who just decided he didn't want his ex wife to be with any man other than him and as such, he would kill or maim her and her new beau, and any innocent other people who happen to be in the house at the time of his attack.

The term domestic violence has become ever widening in this state and this is part of the reason we are seeing this deluge of so called domestic/partner/ex partner crimes. If a woman simply knows the man who assaults or kidnaps her, this crime will likely be placed under the domestic violence docket" which more and more Connecticut courts have installed. And instead of following the national trend, which to take these crimes as seriously or more seriously as their non "domestic counterparts" based upon what this country has learned at both the criminal level the forensic levels and the psycho-social implications connected therein.

Connecticut is actually doing the opposite; there are still too many prosecutors that not only embrace the idea that if an assault is committed by anyone from a boyfriend to a person that a woman once dated or knew, the crimes should be treated more leniently from a sentencing standpoint. They are in fact effectively training our Police professionals to "go easier" with the actual charges that these men are charged with.

There is in fact a completely different scale that exists for a crime committed by someone that a female victim either knows, dated or was married to -  and it is this disparity starting with the very first crimes committed by these men,  treated with veritable slap's on the wrist, that are leading to  escalating violent assaults, and murders by men emboldened by the ease in which they traversed through an apathetic, almost apologetic court system. Case in point this hammer wielding ex boyfriend. This man had a history of assaulting his ex wife and her children. She actuallycommented in a Cournat article about the crimes when they were first committed, warning women everywhere to be on guard agaisnt this charming at first classic predator of women.  When we dig up this mans criminal records I will gurantee that when arrested his crimes were fairly serious and by the time the court was done with him, he did little or no actual time- he probably should have been behind bars in fact making his next crimes imposssible, But alas this rarely if ever happens in Connecticut save a few courts where either a tough judge prevails and controls the sentencing, or the random committed criminal states attorney.

I am certain that he had some kind of police involvement with the woman that he most recently attacked with the hammer along with her teen daughter and a male friend. This all took place at 6: 30 in the morning, when the defendent broke into the home probably hoping to catch the household asleep and off gurad,

These men often have personality disorders to begin with, ie Anti-social PD Narcissistic PD, etc., and the last thing an authority entity such as our Judicial system need do is show these men that there aren't going to be any real consequences unless their victim s is very nearly dead or close to it.

Our State needs to clean up its sentencing issues with all violent crimes NOW. We have an abysmal record for plea dealing Nollie's, A.R's and dismissals in the state of Connecticut. Some Superior courts are admittedly worse and some better than others. But almost without exception, the bulk of the sentencing culpability lies with the prosecutors in these courts as they almost always determine the sentence that an Violent crime offender winds up, care of the Plea deals that they make with  the attorneys for the "defendants".

At a rate of 97 percent of all criminal cases,  the plea deal is Connecticut  adjudication method of choice-and this is actually one of the better outcomes.

Dismissals Nolle's and A.R's ( which equates to a freebie first nolle for crimes as serious as punching a woman full in the face) also occur daily and much more frequently than they should,  leaving men who have committed dangerous violent crimes without criminal records at all or criminal records that do not reflect the actual severity of the crimes theyve committed.

And this doesnt begin to address the sentencing itself. These men, and occasionally women, belong in prison if they have committed a violent crime of any substantiality. We have learned that violent crime and partner crimes such as stalking criminal restraint escalate.

Man Accused Of Hammer Attack To Appear In Court - Hartford Courant