Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vengance Murder

It started with a police presence.  The police station is only a mile and a half from the Neighborhood, but suddenly, in the early morning hours, there was a marked patrol car parked in front of a house with a spotlight shining.  Two unfamiliar civilian cars were parked a short distance in front of the police cruiser.

The day went on as most others do.  The Girl was dropped off at the local HS for her ride to her magnet school.  The Boy got himself out to the bus stop.  Mother's workday started shortly after the Boy was off to school.  Father's work had been going along since 6:30. 

Mother called Father during the morning.  More police were on the Street.  At times a car was parked on either side of the Street, narrowing the space to drive through to little more than the width of one car.  A call to the local precinct confirmed there was an investigation but nothing more.

Father came home for lunch around noon.  Four police vehicles were parked on the shoulder about a half mile from the Street.  The vehicles were gone by the return to work.  By the evening an unmarked police vehicle and several civilian cars were parked on the Street.

A Facebook message to a neighbor inquiring about Neighbor brought a startling response.  Neighbor's 33 year old daughter had been murdered at her home a few miles away, her young daughter and another child left unharmed in the house.  A troubled life that had recently turned around had been ended by a vengeful Accomplice. 

Accomplice was arrested as he approached the Street about a half hour before Father was going home for lunch, making it to about a half mile away from the Street, most likely in the area where the four police vehicles were seen at noon.

Court records show Neighbor's Daughter and Accomplice pleaded guilty to robbery charges from 2007.  Older records show they had been charged with possession and distribution that had been nolle prosequi.  Accomplice received a 5 year sentence for the robbery but was out on probation for a time until he violated probation and had to serve out the sentence.  Neighbor's Daughter received probation, likely due to a willingness to testify against Accomplice. 

Released from prison December 21, 2012, Accomplice promptly began threatening Neighbor's Daughter.  A Peace Order was issued against him January 31, 2013.  Previous Peace Orders against him by Neighbor's Daughter or others had been obeyed, or at least not violated.  This time vengence overrode restraint, logic, or any semblance of empathy.

Neighbor's Daughter was stabbed repeatedly in her home, in the presence of her toddler daughter and another child.  Accomplice's vengance didn't drive him to physically harm either child but did drive him to pursue Neighbor, where the police were waiting for him.

Accomplice will almost certainly spend the rest of his life in prison.  Baltimore County judges and juries are not forgiving of lesser crimes, let alone a targeted vengance killing.  But for the fact that the death penalty is on its way out in Maryland, Accomplice would be a likely recipient of the death penalty.

Neighbor's Daughter was 14 when Mother and Father moved into the Neighborhood.  With no children of their own at that time, Mother and Father didn't know Neighbor's Daughter other than to see her around occasionally.  

No one wants to out live their children.  Disease and accidents may mean that it happens all the same, but neither are the result of malice.  It's a particularly sad state that someone intends to take your child from you forever.  Sadder still when that child has made some bad choices but made significant progress in making good choices when killed by a former associate who hasn't learned to make good choices and instead has made even worse choices.  Neighbor's Daughter and Accomplice had run similarly bad courses for years.  Their paths diverged when Neighbor's Daughter learned a better, healthier way and Accomplice learned only to hate.

Now there's much hate for Accomplice among Neighbor's Daughter's family and friends.  That's to be expected.  Hopefully they will eventually remember the lesson that Neighbor's Daughter learned, that choices that lead to bad consequences, such as a desire to harm someone else, only harm both parties.  Hopefully the good choices Neighbor's Daughter made in her life will be the guiding force for her friends and family, especially the love she had for her daughter and husband, who fortunately survives her and will be there for their daughter.  Forgiveness of Accomplice is not necessary.  Forgetting Accomplice and leaving him to wither in prison is enough.  Celebrating Neighbor's Daughter is the best way to remember her.

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