Bad & Ugly: Estranged husband is freed, then kills wife (CA)

Bad & Ugly: Estranged husband is freed, then kills wife (CA)

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Thread: Bad & Ugly: Estranged husband is freed, then kills wife (CA)

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Bad & Ugly: Estranged husband is freed, then kills wife (CA)

    As reported via Fox News:

    Estranged husband is freed, then kills wife
    Despite her pleading, no protection order issued over the holidays

    updated 4:57 p.m. ET, Fri., Jan. 18, 2008

    POMONA, Calif. - Monica Thomas-Harris got the chilling news just before Christmas: Her estranged husband, jailed for abducting and threatening her, had been released.

    A frantic Thomas-Harris rushed to the district attorney's office, begging for an emergency protection order that would allow police to arrest him if he came near her. But it was the Friday evening before Christmas, and no judge was available. The next business day was Monday, but that was Christmas Eve, and her husband's lawyer was on a long vacation and couldn't be reached for a hearing.

    Less than two weeks later, Thomas-Harris, 37, was dead, shot in a motel room by her husband in a murder-suicide.

    The case has shaken California's legal system, led to an internal investigation by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, and prompted demands from victims' advocates and family members for an explanation of how the husband managed to get out of jail while he awaited sentencing.

    "It was around the holidays, people were on vacation. It just seems like we were so close, but not close enough," said Pamela Booth, director of the branch of the district attorney's office that oversees the Pomona courthouse. "That's one of the really tragic things about this."

    Victim's father disgusted
    By all accounts, Thomas-Harris' death resulted from a holiday-related chain of unfortunate circumstances and missed opportunities.

    Among them: The prosecutor and the judge who originally handled the case were both on vacation when the deal to release Curtis Harris was struck. The prosecutor filling in that day relied on the judgment of Harris' attorney, who had known Harris for only a month. And a vital piece of paperwork — a probation report warning Harris was a danger to his wife and unsuitable for release — was overlooked or ignored in the holiday shuffle.

    "I think it's disgusting that a judge, a district attorney — even his own defense attorney — would have the background they have on a person like this and would permit him to leave court," said Thomas-Harris' father, James Thomas. "What was his business? To go right out and find my daughter and kill her."

    A history of trouble, violence
    The couple married in 2001, by which time Harris already had a long rap sheet, including felony convictions for drugs and weapons. Within a few years, Thomas-Harris left her husband, moving into her parents' West Covina home, and in 2005 she filed for divorce.

    Around the same time, she filed for a restraining order against her husband, accusing him of smashing her kitchen and bedroom windows when she refused to let him in. But she never showed up for a hearing on the request, and the matter was dropped.

    On Nov. 16, he kidnapped her at a park and handcuffed her to furniture in a motel room, according to police. But she didn't report it to police. Two days later, he abducted her again, binding her with duct tape, locking her in a car and threatening her with a stun gun. This time, she told police about both incidents.

    On Dec. 21, Harris, a 34-year-old worker at a company that manufactures plastic food containers, pleaded no contest to false imprisonment and possession of a gun by a felon, under a deal that called for a 16-month prison sentence. He asked to be freed before his formal sentencing so he could arrange care for his elderly mother.

    ‘Everybody's worst nightmare’
    Deputy District Attorney Samer Hathout, who was filling in on the case, and her supervisor both signed off on the deal to let him out. Superior Court Judge Tia Fisher, who was filling in for a vacationing judge, agreed.

    "The man appeared rational when I spoke to him, so I presented it to the district attorney and they agreed," said Harris' lawyer, Arthur Lindars. "It's everybody's worst nightmare."

    The judge declined to be interviewed but has been distraught about the murder, said court spokesman Allan Parachini. Fisher handled 44 cases that day, and judges routinely rely on the opposing sides to come up with a solution they can live with.

    "If you were a judge, you would place great weight on what these two particular lawyers presented you with," Parachini said.

    Women's advocates say they cannot understand how Harris managed to get out despite his violent history.

    "That really stands out at me," said Katie Buckland, executive director of the California Women's Law Center and a former prosecutor. "It's really troubling that the prosecutor and her supervisor signed off on this deal."

    On the day of her husband's release, Thomas-Harris spent about 45 minutes with prosecutors and begged for "a piece of paper" that would shield her, Booth said. Prosecutors tried to get her an emergency protective order, but Lindars was on vacation in Oregon and wasn't expected back for two weeks.

    On Jan. 3, Thomas-Harris didn't show up for her job as a customer service supervisor at a pet food manufacturer. Her 15-year-old daughter from another relationship told police she called her mother's cell phone and could hear Harris raging in the background. When the teen called back, her mother didn't answer.

    A judge issued a warrant for Harris' arrest the next day. But on Jan. 5, a maid found husband and wife shot to death in a Whittier motel room.

    The story can be found at; Estranged husband is freed, kills wife - Crime & courts - MSNBC.com

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    My own personal opinion & note toward the matter...

    ---

    What?!
    Asking/begging the cops for help and/or dialing 911 didn't make the boogey man go away?!

    Sad for her to be a victim.
    But, she and her now disgusted father should have both known that even with the protective order they already had an additional "emergency protection order" is really nothing more than words on paper.
    We already have lots of words on paper and they are called laws and it's already against state and federal law to harass, intimidate, terrorize, and murder people. She had a restraining order in place as it was and there are laws on the books, but with all that she thought that for some odd reason one more layer of words on paper would do the trick. Not.

    She and her father needed to do one of four things:
    1) Hire a security professional (SP) to be, stay, and travel with her 24x7;
    2) Relocate. Leave no trace being there on Tuesday gone in the night no where to be found Wednesday.
    3) Take her personal security much more seriously and realize that without a 24x7 SP she is her own 24x7 SP and thus it's time to recognize and get yourself a dog, some training toward defense of self skills, and secure the tools applicable to support as much.
    4) Make the boogey man 'disappear'. How, when, where to, and for how long? That would be a known only to she or her disgusted dad, and the boogey man.

    Depending on the Justice League and/or it's Superfriends to come to ones rescue and be there to shield you from all manner of harm all the time with 100% effectiveness is a fantasy for fools, children, and future victims too weak in constitution and mind to face their own reality front on.

    Sad for the victim and the family she leaves behind, with nothing left but words on paper.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  3. #3
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    The couple married in 2001, by which time Harris already had a long rap sheet, including felony convictions for drugs and weapons.
    ...
    Around the same time, she filed for a restraining order against her husband, accusing him of smashing her kitchen and bedroom windows when she refused to let him in. But she never showed up for a hearing on the request, and the matter was dropped.
    ...
    On Nov. 16, he kidnapped her at a park and handcuffed her to furniture in a motel room, according to police. But she didn't report it to police.
    While this is an awful tragedy that was completely preventable, the woman definitely showed poor judgement throughout.

    Why would a woman marry a scumbag? I might be able to understand a naive young girl falling for a worthless dreg but she was thirty years old.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Sig 210's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jang.

    "Deputy District Attorney Samer Hathout, who was filling in on the case, and her supervisor both signed off on the deal to let him out. Superior Court Judge Tia Fisher, who was filling in for a vacationing judge, agreed."

    Yep, it took a couple of gutless DAs to seal the deal. Looks like these two DAs care more about criminal's Mickey Mouse problems than the life of the victim.

    "And a vital piece of paperwork — a probation report warning Harris was a danger to his wife and unsuitable for release — was overlooked or ignored in the holiday shuffle."

    Yep, it was lost like it was an application for a driver's license.

    I gotta puke.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array flagflyfish's Avatar
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    4) Make the boogey man 'disappear'. How, when, where to, and for how long? That would be a known only to she or her disgusted dad, and the boogey man.
    +1 Men that find it necessary to beat on women need to "disappear", you just never know when you might fall down an abandoned mineshaft. It's known as a Social service.
    "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier
    and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the
    service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the
    love and thanks of man and woman."

    -- Thomas Paine (The American Crisis, No. 1, 19 December 1776)

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array glock27mark's Avatar
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    good post on a sad case.i can never understand why scumbags(the husband
    in this case) have to murder their girlfriend,wife,or whoever. why not just
    do the world a favor and kill themselves. myprayers go out to her family.
    (SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
    the world coming too"

    NRA LIFE MEMBER

    U.S. ARMY FT.SILL, OKLA.

  7. #7
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    A dance of death. If we could ask her why she was attracted to him the answer would probably be 'I felt so alive when I was around him'.
    I can't fathom it, my personal auto-pilot rejects such behavior as non-sence.

    Just for fun, next time you are in a store, any store - look around you, everybody in that store is loved by somebody. Go figure.

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