Dr. Fogg & Sir Daniel presents..

Domestic Violence…

In Daniels articles on September 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Domestic Violence..  should what goes on behind closed doors stay private?

Where is the line we should draw between a threat to hurt someone and the protection needed and just a fight between two people who say things out of anger?   By the time we see the answer, it is to late.   How many people suffer domestic violence and never report it out of fear or even, if they do report it. they have second thoughts after the police show up and the person abusing them says “I’m sorry.. I’ll never do it again?”

Meet Loni Amber Taylor.      At 22, she was getting her life together. 

 She had a good job in a nursing home and was also going to cosmetology school.   I met her as a customer a couple times where I worked and she was always nice and had a friendly smile..  

Last year she dated Erin Ross, he was a “bad boy” sort..  hung out with the wrong crowd, he was into the “gangster” lifestyle that is so popular in the “hood” where they lived.

In April, Amber told Erin it was over..  she ended their relationship because she wanted to move on.   Erin didn’t accept it and he would show up at the beauty school she was attending, follow her around, wait in the parking lot where she lived and he would send her pictures of what she was wearing on her cell phone.  He terrorized her.

Finally, last week a friend convinced her to get a restraining order against him.   So she wrote to Circuit Judge William A Parsons that she is “really afraid to come out of the apartment”.   She was denied her restraining order because the Judge said that “Turner had failed to prove she was in danger”.. 

Why did he deny it?  Perhaps it was because she had tried to remain friendly with Mr. Ross after the relationship was officially over.. However, the Judge did set a hearing, without granting a temporary injunction. So, Erin Ross would be notified by the courts of her accusation without having any restrictions placed on him..

okay.. this means one day last week he woke up to find a Sheriff’s deputy knock on his door and hand him a letter that says this woman he has been stalking is taking him to court to make him stop..   What do you think the first thing is he wanted to do?

Saturday morning Amber left for her job at the nursing home..  she never made it..    By Saturday evening, the place I work at had posters of her in the windows asking people if anyone had seen her (her family lives blocks away)..   Everyone was looking for Erin Ross but he too, was missing..  The police called him a “person of interest in finding Miss Taylor” but never a suspect..

Tomorrow, Friday September 3rd..  would have been the date of her scheduled court appearance the Judge gave her and Erin. 

On Sunday morning I walked into work to see the missing pictures of Amber in the window..   Then, within an hour of me being there..  her body and that of Erin Ross was discovered together at the Town & Country Motel, only 4 blocks away..

It was a sad to have to take down her poster for that reason..   Erin had murdered her before shooting himself. 

Could the restraining order, had it been granted, helped?  likely not seems to be the local opinion.   He was going to kill her if he couldn’t have her anyway..

I, myself.. don’t believe having a sheriff knock on his door two days earlier and inform him about Amber requesting the order was a good thing, I feel it gave him the motive to kill her..

This is a poll I found that was given to victims of stalking regarding how helpful Law Enforcement was..

yet the question remains..  did the justice system fail her?   I do believe had Erin Ross been in jail for harassment then perhaps Amber Taylor would be alive today..    But other than telling her friends, Amber never told anyone in Law Enforcement about the stalking and when she did write to the judge she never gave the judge evidence he needed to have Erin Ross arrested or even restricted..

and then.. on the radio..  I heard a caller say this…   “I believe when a woman, who can not defend herself against a man, reports such crime as what happened to Amber Taylor, then the courts should immediately issue her a state owned firearm and enroll her in classes how to use it..”

I also talked to the officer who was first on the scene..  He said that there are hundreds of requests for restraining orders every single week and by far the majority of them are just couples who are fighting and they scream hurtful things out of anger..  we can’t waste our taxpayers money and police resources on these sort of claims..   the Judge did the right thing in NOT granting the restraining order without more proof..

unfort. it seems to me the only time we know when is the right time to issue these things is when we find dead bodies..

I feel bad for the families..  both families, even although Erin caused the murders, he had a family that at one time had hopes and dreams that he could leave the poverty of the hood behind and make something of his life..    My heart goes out to Amber’s family..   my co-worker lives only a block away and she said that she could hear Amber’s mother crying and screaming all night..   I feel bad for the Judge..   in 9 out of 10 cases, his decision would have been fine..   had he granted the restraining order.. would that have stopped the murder?   Could, had he known what was to happen, he had found enough hard evidence to lock Erin Ross up BEFORE he killed Amber??

And mostly..  my heart goes out to the next victim..  the woman today whose ex-boyfriend won’t leave her alone.   Keeps showing up at her work and makes her scared to leave her house..    If she goes to the authorities, will they believe her?  or will it set her stalker off as it did Erin Ross?

there is no clear answer to this problem..   We can’t allow authorities to lock us up just because someone points their finger at us (remember the Salem Witch Trials?) however we must protect those who are being stalked.    It seems to me, however, that if there was a preventive answer it should have been with the way Erin Ross was raised..    He should know how to respect a woman’s decision when she says “no” and go on with his life.

just my openion..

~ Daniel

  1. Daniel,

    I have experience of this from my daughters relationship with an alcoholic, he was the nicest person you could wish to meet until he started drinking, then he became a monster. I have to say the police were brilliant and marched him off for a night in the cells on several occasions.
    What amazes me daniel is your ability to empathise with everyone in that case, the young girl and the man, the judge and the families involed. As you say there is no quick fix in these cases. Ultimately if the intention is murder followed by suicide then no amount of restraining orders will have any effect. To go down the road of locking people up for what they might do is a path we must never take.

    Dr Fogg

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