I’d begun my year-end roundup back in early December. I was working on March’s nominees when my Mom passed away on December 6th. Though the roundup didn’t get finished before the end of the year, I’ll see if I can’t speed through the rest of it and get it done this week. All of these folks were originally discussed on my regular blog, The Original Musings.
Here’s the March contenders:
Lynn Paddock — Paddock and her husband managed to adopt three children who probably should not have been on the adoption registry in the first place. The kids had been removed from their biological mother after she refused to cut off contact with their biological father who had been abusive to the children. Their Uncle took custody of the kids, but he already had three children of his own and social services decided that the home was too crowded. He and his wife began the hoop-jumping required to get the children back out of foster care. During their efforts, CPS decided to allow the children to be adopted by the Paddocks. When four year old Sean did not behave to his adoptive mother’s standards, she employed child rearing techniques recommended by Mike and Debi Pearl, who advocate spanking your child. One of their favorite tools of the trade are lengths of PVC pipe which they say will get the message across without leaving unsightly bruises. Sean was beaten near to death and then wrapped so tightly in blankets that the little boy suffocated. His siblings were removed from the home and found to have quite a few bruises of their own.
Update — Lynn Paddock is currently awaiting trial on second degree murder charges. In May of 2006 a Judge ruled she should not face the death penalty for her crime. Sean’s biological relatives are continuing their efforts to regain custody of his older siblings.
Kevin Sturgis — Alhtough Kevin didn’t directly harm or kill his fice-year old son Erik, he did leave the lad home alone, which resulted in the child’s death due to smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in the home.
Update — The prosecutor recommended that Kevin be admitted into a pretrial intervention program for first time offenders and then placed on 12-months probation as punishment for the negelect charges brought against him. The Judge agreed and Kevin was thus sentenced. Said the prosecutor: “The system cannot punish him more than he has punished himself.” I almost think this prosecutor deserves some special commendation for having a heart and realizing that this was all the result of a monumentally stupid decision on the parent’s part rather than a deliberate attempt to harm the child.
Margaret Moore attacked a social services worker who came to her home to investigate her after complaints of abuse and neglect were made against her.
Update — No updates can be found on this case. The last information available was that Margaret L. Moore, 47, of Hamilton [Ohio] is in the Butler County Jail charged with assault, ethnic intimidation, escape and aggravated menacing. She is accused of knocking down, choking and threatening to kill the caseworker, who is 5 months pregnant.
Scott David Dover — Used a shock collar on his six year old twin boys when they misbehaved. The 45-year old father felt it was a legitimate form of discipline. CPS and cops disagreed.
Update — Dover was charged with one felony count of child abuse. From all accounts he has not yet gone to trial, he faces up to 15 years if convicted.
Andrew Anthony Cejas — Cejas beat and starved his 12-year old son to death in 2002 when the boy came to visit him. His trial had opened in April of 2006, which is how he became an April POY contender. In addition to beatings with a golf club Cejas’ son Chris, was kept chained to the door, his every movement was recorded vy a video camera, and he was often fed nothing more than a tablespoon of unflavored Pedialyte each day. Chris lost 35 pounds over the course of the four months leading up to his death. Chris’ stepmother claimed she was an abused and battered wife who was in fear for her own life and that of her three children. She was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 15-years to life.
Update — Cejas was convicted and sentenced to 75 years to life.
John Goff — In the late 90′s, John Goff campaigned for stricter rape laws in Ohio after his step-daughter’s assailant was let off the hook because Ohio’s statutes required actual intercourse for a rape charge. When his step-daughter was 16, Goff demanded she bear his child, because her mother was no longer capable of having children. The girl was inseminated twice and in 1999 gave birth to a baby boy she named Andrew. Although she originally kept the child, Shenna gave him up for adoption when he was a year old, unable to deal with raising her stepfather’s child, born as the result of what she felt was rape. After paternity tests established that Goff was indeed the father of the child, charges were brought against him under the statutes which he had worked to see put in place; in 2002 he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years. His original conviction was tossed when an appeals court found that a detective delivered improper hearsay testimony.
Update — Following a second conviction, Goff was sentenced in June to 20 years. He again intends to appeal and contineus to insist that Shenna (now 23) wanted to be impregnated with his child. The boy, now eight years old, remains with his adoptive parents.
Charles Edward Tyson — Tyson was sure his girlfriend was cheating on him. So, he threw their nine month old son, CJ, out of the car window. Then, to prevent the baby’s mother from rescuing him, he grabbed the baby by his legs and slammed him against the car hood hard enough to leave a dent. The baby’s mother grabbed her screaming infant and tried to save him, but Tyson pulled the child from her arms and threw him into the car. He took off, leaving the distraught mother standing on the side of the road. A few minutes later, he came back and suggested “you better go get your baby before the alligators get him.” He let her in the car and then drove her to the spot where he’d tossed their son into a canal. He drove off, leaving her wailing and screaming for help as she frantically searched the dark water for her baby.
Update — When cops arrived at his home to question him, 20-year old Charles Tyson calmly walked outside, put his hands on the hood of the cruiser and told them to take him in. He confessed everything, showing emotion only once, when the cops advised him that his son was dead. He has since entered a not guilty plea and is awaiting trial. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
Bonnie Sue Paul — Bonnie used her 11-year old son as a hood ornament, driving off with him clinging to the windshield wiper blade as he laid on the hood of her car. When Bonnie took a corner a little too fast, her son was thrown off the hood and suffered head injuries.
Update — Bonnie was initially charged with felony aggravated vehicular homicide, but a grand jury later indicted her on charges of child endangering. She has entered a not guilty plea and awaits trial. Her son recovered from his injuries. No word on who he’s living with or if Mom has regained custody, etc.
Donald Witt — Witt’s wife ran a daycare out of their home. Witt was exchanging child pornography with people over the internet, including a guy in Texas, using some of the children his wife was sitting — children as young as three to six months. When the Texas individual was arrested, police confiscated his computer and thus became aware of Witt. He was arrested in May of 2006 and has been held since.
Update — Witt pled guilty in July 2006 to one count of transportation of materials involving the sexual exploitation of a minor. He faces a minimum sentence of five years, a maximum of 20 years.
There were no Parent of the Year entries made in June or July (not for lack of candidates, just lack of time on my part) and I never managed to sit down long enough to blog about any in December. The ’06 roundup and updates will conclude in the next entry with August, September, October and November’s candidates.
Kate blogs at The Original Musings.