Monday, November 14, 2005

Homegrown Case of Judicial Stupidity

Okay, this one hits close to home, since Port Orchard Washington is only a couple of fingertips away on my map.

Less than 12 hours after being freed on bail following an arrest on a domestic complaint a man killed his estranged girlfriend, and wounded her father before committing suicide. Twice during last week, the girl in question had appealed for help in avoiding her ex, Shane Case, a likely lad whose past felony convictions included yummy things like harrassment and second-degree assault. Finally on Friday, he followed her to a bar where he set off a quarrel severe enough to warrant the bartender calling the police.

Case was arrested for intimidation, and at an arraignment Saturday morning a judge ordered Case to have no contact with his ex-girlfriend, and set bail at $75,000, an amount which Case promptly posted that afternoon.

The police, who seemed to have been genuinely concerned that something serious might happen, took pains to warn the ex-girlfriend that Case had posted bail, and even went as far to follow him to the bar where he'd left his car to ensure that he drove off towards home and not towards his ex's house.

Apparently he merely waited until the police had left and then turned around and went to his ex's father's house where he shot her to death, grievously wounded her father and then killed himself.

Who's to blame here? The cops did all that they could do within the limits of their authority. The ex was warned and took refuge with her father. Maybe the fault lies with a judge who sets a bail within the means of the suspect, and tells him he mustn't contact the girl. Was there ANYTHING in this guy's past history that would have made any judge suspect that Case would abide by this restriction?

Why aren't there better safeguards out there for bruised and battered and scared women who come forward against their tormenters only to find them back out on the streets and even more pissed off than they were before they were arrested? How many cases do there have to be of women who get tired of being treated like punching bags deciding to make a break and move on and are killed by their victimizers? Can we say O.J?

I hope that the nameless person who laid out the bail money suffers. Greatly.

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