Re: Chid killed after returned to mother
- From: jonesdl@xxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 17:02:04 -0800 (PST)
On Dec 3, 7:29 pm, "Chocolic" <chatter...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"ItsJustMe" <ells9...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
I think there's a lesson in here somewhere...
There usually is sad to say, but nobody listens.
Charity Bailey and Lawrence Green had not completed all of the steps the
Marion County juvenile court and state Department of Child Services
required for them to get their children back, but on Aug. 30, a magistrate
approved unsupervised trial visits with the children.
It was during one of those visits, less than three months later, that
3-year-old TaJanay Bailey was fatally beaten by her mother and Green,
according to police.
The pair, both 20, face murder and neglect charges in the girl's death
TaJanay was a ward of the state when she died, but she had been returned
to her mother and Green for a 30-day trial stay Oct. 31. That step
occurred after the couple had several successful, shorter day and
Juvenile court records released Friday shed some light on how the Child In
Need of Services case involving TaJanay was handled by the court and DCS,
but they still leave many unanswered questions.
The biggest: Why did DCS seek approval to begin the unsupervised visits
when Bailey and Green had not completed all of the requirements ordered?
The documents released by the court involve the case initiated in May 2006
after DCS found TaJanay to be a victim of abuse.
They reveal Bailey did not have stable housing or income as of mid-August,
and that Green still needed to complete drug education and participate in
random drug testing.
"Once (Green) completes his parenting class and at least half of his drug
education class, he will be able to participate in home-based counseling
with (Bailey) at which time trial reunification could become in effect,"
case manager Tara C. Hayes wrote in a report prepared for the Aug. 30
hearing. Hayes' supervisor, Karon Donaldson, signed off on the report.
It was at that hearing that Magistrate Scott B. Stowers approved the DCS
request to begin the trial visits "upon positive recommendations" of the
home-based counselor and a guardian appointed by the court to represent
the interests of TaJanay.
The file contained no documents, other than a notice of a hearing
scheduled for Nov. 27 -- the day TaJanay died -- to show if or when such
recommendations were made.
The guardian appointed to represent TaJanay did not know that the 30-day
trial visit with Bailey and Green had begun, said Cynthia Booth, executive
director of Child Advocates Inc., an agency that represents the interests
of children in Marion County cases.
The guardian learned of the move on Nov. 9, when she visited the foster
home where TaJanay had been living, Booth said Friday.
The general practice, Booth said, would be for DCS to inform the guardian
before a 30-day placement begins.
She supported the release of records.
"I think there is no better reason to open this case to the light of day
than what has happened to this child," Booth said during the hearing.
DCS officials declined to comment specifically on TaJanay's case after the
records were released Friday night. The agency's attorneys, however, had
lobbied Marion County juvenile court Judge Marilyn Moores to release the
entire DCS case file -- 20 inches thick -- in tandem with the court file.
Instead, Moores plans to review redactions made to the larger cache of
records to ensure they restrict identifications and other items as
required by state and federal law. Those records, which the judge plans to
release Monday, should have additional details and notes about the final
three months of TaJanay's life.
DCS Director James Payne said he will be prepared to speak more about the
agency's involvement with the family when those records are made public.
The public "will see that lots of work was done," Payne said. "It was done
in the home. It involved a lot of fingers (from DCS). . . . It was being
done in a professional manner."
His staff is working on its own investigation, which Payne said would take
another 10 to 14 days. He then will issue public conclusions about the
handling of the case and a proposed resolution.
Pending that review, Payne has assigned administrative desk duty to Hayes,
the caseworker who has worked for DCS for seven months, and Donaldson, her
supervisor, who joined DCS in 2003.
The two are "devastated," Payne said. "They take it very personally."
The Indianapolis Star also has requested records of an earlier CHINS case
in which TaJanay was removed from the home in 2004.
Moores set a hearing for Wednesday to consider that request, as well as
requests for court records in a CHINS case involving Lawrence Green Jr.,
the 6-month-old son of Bailey and Green. Moores will also consider
releasing Bailey's juvenile record and any CHINS cases involving Bailey
when she was younger.
During three hours of argument Friday over whether the records should be
released, public defenders Frances Ashton and Ray Casanova vigorously
opposed the release of any CHINS or DCS records, which normally are
confidential. A major concern, they said, was the effect their release
would have on Bailey's right to due process in her criminal trial.
Moores disagreed, noting confidentiality protections mainly are geared
toward the child in a case.
"Government has to be accountable to the people, and government has to be
able to demonstrate its accountability to the people," Moores said. She
added that the public's right to know trumped any harm the public scrutiny
might cause Bailey.
Moores said the court and DCS records will show one of two things:
"Whether the system worked properly, and only God could have prevented
this occurrence -- or not."
Earlier in the day in another courtroom, a judge entered not-guilty pleas
for Bailey and Green.
"I'm not the one who whipped her," Green said as he was led to an elevator
in the City-County Building's basement.
He did not respond to questions, but other inmates being led to courtrooms
spoke out. "Look who they got me on the chain gang with," one said.
"Killing an innocent child."
Earlier, Bailey hid her face and was silent as deputies led a group of
female inmates down the hall.
Both defendants told Marion Superior Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt they
have been unemployed, and Bailey said she lived on public assistance. She
answered Pratt's questions with a tearful, "Yes, ma'am."
The judge set the trial for March 10. But because Marion County Prosecutor
Carl Brizzi has said he plans to seek life sentences without parole for
both defendants, the trial likely will be delayed.
Vigil for victim
As the hearing on court documents stretched into Friday evening, more than
100 people gathered in the cold at the Phoenix Apartments complex on
Indianapolis' Northeastside to mourn TaJanay and to encourage one another
to improve their own lives.
Bailey and Green lived in the complex, which has been plagued with poverty
Friday morning, Brizzi toured the complex with Mayor-elect Greg Ballard
and several area ministers. Brizzi pronounced conditions "unlivable."
Police who responded early Tuesday to the Phoenix Apartments reported that
it was filthy and infested with mice and cockroaches.
Brizzi said that along with the help of Ballard and Phoenix residents, he
thinks the community will be able to put enough pressure on the owners to
clean up the complex.
"The environment does matter," Brizzi said. "Cockroaches, filth, mold --
this is Indianapolis. People ought not to be expected to live this way."
Ballard said he intends to bring back the Front Porch Alliance, a
partnership between government and neighborhood groups that helped raise
money for community improvement programs. That effort, Ballard said, could
help residents at the Phoenix.
"These people deserve a decent place to live," Ballard said.- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
God. More cromagnons. I've always believed in mandatory
sterilization by age 10 and then testing to prove parent-worthiness
before sterilization reversal. Some humans aren't fit to procreate.
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