Saturday, October 12, 2013

NASCAR Driver Travis Kvapil's Domestic Violence Charge


I am upset with Nascar and Travis Kvapil's team owner, Ron Devine and BK Racing. Travis was arrested for assault and false imprisonment Tuesday, Oct 8. Allegedly he grabbed his wife, Jennifer, by hair and pulled her into the bedroom and proceeded to hit her in head when she tried to get away.

This is Domestic Violence Awareness Month yet Nascar is avoiding the bigger picture. Apparently BK Racing is supporting Domestic Violence Awareness Month yet they and Nascar decided to allow Travis to continue racing. Although they, NASCAR,  did say they were going to monitor the case as it unfolds. Guess what, Travis’ next court date isn't until mid Nov and by then this year of racing will be over. What happens with next season? We will see. I admit over the years I’ve cheered Travis as his career evolved. But not again. I have been a huge fan of Nascar racing for many many years.

According to one media report, here's what Travis had to say . . .
"Obviously, I'm embarrassed about the situation," he said. "I don't like the negative effects it's brought on. So I apologize to NASCAR, my team, supporters of my team, my fans anyone else who was impacted by what happened Tuesday night."
Okay, he apologized to Nascar and his team but where was the apology to his wife and children. Yes, his children, whether they witnessed the assault or not are affected by it.  He's embarassed? Poor baby. What about his wife's feelings? He says he want to focus  on his family and racing. Perhaps he is more concerned, more focused for his racing career than his family.

According to the arrest report, Jennifer suffered no serious injuries. Obviously the person documenting the arrest report knows little about domestic violence so I disagree, she suffered and is still suffering. That is serious! I think Jennifer and Nascar talking heads should read 'Time's Up' by Susan Murphy Milano. They would learn about DV and how it effects the victims. Physical harm isn't the only outcome of DV. I have to appreciate that the Judge informed Travis he could not go back home. I hope he doesn’t ignore that order.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Death of Melissa Dawn Huggins-Jones

Monday might May 13, 2013 Melissa text her friend back in TN around 11:30 PM and told her Mother’s Day had been hard because she didn’t have her 12-year-old son with her. The son had stayed back in TN to finish out the school year but her daughter, age 8, had come with her to N.C. when she moved to start a new life after her divorce. Melissa and her daughter had been in the apartment approximately 2 weeks. Their’s was the only occupied apartment in the newly developed subdivision. Melissa had worked at a bank in TN but I don’t know where she worked in Raleigh or if she was working. Sadly, Tuesday morning her daughter found her mother dead and walked over to the construction site and asked for help. The construction worker who went to the apartment said Melissa was in a bed, blood was everywhere and she was cold. CPR was of no use. Investigators are saying Melissa was murdered.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grant Ruffin Hayes ‘a.k.a. Grant Haze’ and Amanda Perry Hayes and the Murder of Laura Jean Ackerson


Little is known evidentiary wise on what law enforcement has to prove their case against Grant Ruffin Hayes (also spelled Haze) and his wife Amanda Perry Hayes. But what we have learned is Grant emailed Laura Jean Ackerson on July 13 and told Laura to meet him for a visit with her children. The two had gone through a harsh custody battle for the two boys. On July 15 an allegedly frustrated Grant called his mother and advised Laura had not shown and the boys were in the car and hot. Another version of this story is Laura took the boys to Grant on July 13 for a visit. She was going out of town on a business trip. On July 18 Laura was reported missing by Chevon Mathes; Laura was a co-owner of Go Fish Graphic Design in Kingston, NC with Chevon. A couple days after Laura was reported missing her car was found in Raleigh, NC parked at an apartment complex about 400 yards from where Hayes and his wife lived.

As the investigation moved forward LE discovered Grant had made some interesting transactions. He had purchased several large ice chests and rented a small U-haul trailer. Then he and his wife and children made a trip to Richmond, TX to the home of Amanda’s sister. Raleigh police contacted the TX police for assistance with the investigation. Parts of a dismembered body, 60%, was discovered in Oyster Creek and was later identified as being the remains of Laura Jean Ackerson. Raleigh investigators traveled to Texas and assisted with the search. Apparently Grant had taken a small boat out onto the creek during the visit and had loaded the items from the trailer onto the boat. Access to the boat and creek was about 100 yards from the sister’s home. The U-Haul was returned to a dealer in TX. The sister is said to have stated Amanda was there when the boat was loaded. Whether this means she assisted with loading the boat and/or went out in the boat with Grant, I do not know. What makes me curious is how Amanda, the lady Grant announced was his soul mate could have helped with the murder and dismemberment then taken his and Laura's childre and traveled to Texas with him to dispose of Laura’s body. Wouldn’t she realize he wasn’t the sweet gentle man he claimed to be if he became so violent he murdered Laura then so coldly dismembered the mother of his children? Is she so cold and blinded by love she helped him?

Grant had said he named both his children after himself. The oldest is Grant but the youngest is named Gentle because Grant is a gentle man. This self image contradicts when Laura’s friends and family say about him; they say he was very controlling and violent, that his and Laura’s relationship was volatile. The two was in a very contentious custody battle for full custody of the children. Allegedly, police believe Laura was killed and dismembered at Hayes apartment on July 13 then placed in the coolers. Grant Hayes and his wife are under a no bond hold in NC.

What makes me even angrier is that Grant Hayes is using the legal system. District Judge Jacqueline Brewer appointed an attorney, Jim Freeman in 2011, but in September of 2011 decided he wanted a new attorney and was assigned Mike Klinkosum. Then in November of this year he again filed a motion stating he wanted a new attorney. Both these attorneys cited ethical issues in defending Grant Hayes; Judge Donald Stephens granted the motion but told Hayes it was his last time he could do so.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Her Name is Susan Murphy Milano and She Will Not Die


In case you are wondering if I’ve lost all my marbles, the answer is no. Susan has given her life to others, helping them, holding their hands and seeing they stay safe from abuse. If you need more information on her and why she will not die, I will enlighten you. Susan is a nationally known expert and advocate  for women who is being or have suffered domestic abuse. She is a published author of four books. All wrote without thoughts of herself and how they could help her. They were written with helping others in mind.

Defending Our Lives: Getting Away From Domestic Violence & Staying Safe

Moving Out, Moving On, centered on relationships going wrong.

Time’s Up: A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships

And her more recent book ‘Holding My Hand Through Hell’ which details her life and the abuse suffered at the hands of her cop father. Her father killed Susan’s mother and then committed suicide.

Holding My Hand Through Hell is another book that can help others as well.

Time’s Up: A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships is one of the most important books ever written for domestic and intimate partner abuse victims. Inside it, in chapter 4, is the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit. This affidavit can, has and does save lives. The EAA as it’s called, and thanks to apple, is also available on your apple phone as an app. When victims fill out the forms and make a short video they keep a copy with someone trustworthy. If anything should happen to them, the copy is sent to local LE. But, no one who has filled out the EAA and made the video has died. Another testament to Susan. Women on her watch do not die. The EAA gives prosecutors the evidence needed to charge and prosecute the offender. If that offender is indeed the spouse or intimate partner, it handles the question of arguments of hearsay evidence at trial.

Although her focus was on abused women, the EAA and indeed Susan’s books can help men who are being abused also.

Have you read enough praise of her yet? If not, here is more:

The Women's Bar Association of Illinois honored Susan with the Women with Vision award for Community Service. She was also awarded in Illinois with Public Citizen of the Year Award by the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter. And she was honored by being inducted into Women's Hall of Fame in Chicago. Susan had lobbied for the Illinois Stalking Law and the Lautenberg Amendment - the amendment was for a domestic violence offender gun ban.

No although Susan is battling cancer, she will not die, ever. Despite the fact that her earthly body will die, she will not. Too many people love her and her vision. She will be remembered and her unfailing work throughout her life will go on. Many advocates exists. And after Susan discovered she had cancer she passed her baton to Pastor Neil Schori. Susan met Pastor Schori after Stacy Peterson disappeared and was presumed deceased. The EAA became reality in her mind after their conversation. And Susan doesn’t give herself credit for the EAA becoming reality; she gives it to Stacy Peterson.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

There Was Time To Save Karen's Life


Yes, there was time and a way to save Karen’s life.

Karen Denise Thomas was married to Terrence Thomas for 12 years before he choked her to death,  drove to a bridge then dumped her body in the Loosahatchie River. On Oct 12, 2012 Terrence falsely filed a missing person report on his wife saying she had left but had not said where she was going. On Monday the 15th her car was found in the parking lot of the Garden Ridge store. On Thursday the 18th her body was discovered floating face down in the Loosahatchie River. After her body was found and Terrence was questioned by police and admitted he’d strangled his wife and dumped her body.

Terrence is charged with first-degree murder and false offense reporting. And set to be arraigned Monday, Oct 22, 2012.

Her life could have been saved. Allegedly, over the 12 years of marriage upwards of 6 domestic violence reports were made. Sadly, no charges were ever made. So there was no prosecution. This is a case of what I call, domestic blinders, the ol’ rose-colored glasses syndrome. The victim likely thought it was all her fault, he was a good man, it won’t happen again, I upset him.

Had Karen read Susan Murphy Milano’s books, in particular ‘Time’s Up: A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships’ she may have saved her own life. She could have utilized Chapter 4 and gotten out safely. She’d have learned she wasn’t at fault- She was the one being abused because she’d have learned what an abuser is and how they abuse. And if her friends and family had read the books they’d have seen what was happening and recognized it for what it was. They’d have recognized Terrence for what he was, a potential killer.