Category Archives: crimes against children

Steubenville: Time to Take Out the Trash

I was able to find a copy of the Bill of Particulars online – thanks to  who posted the copy on Twitter.  I know I sound like a broken record when I say that this case continues to get stranger and stranger with each court hearing, but it’s true.  This case is like a rotten onion.  The more you peel back layers the more funk that lies underneath.  This past court hearing didn’t disappoint in the deliverance of the “funk”.  Superintendent McVey’s attorney had asked that the State provide a Bill of Particulars regarding allegations against their client.  I have included the 4 pages that were posted, and transcribed from page 4 which reads as follows:

Count 5

  1. Nature of Offense:  Obstructing Official Business, specifically the defendant violated Section 2921.31(A)M-2, Ohio Revised Code.
  2. Conduct of Defendant, Date and Time:  Michael McVey, defendant, from on or about April 5, 2012 to November 19, 2013, within the County of Jefferson aforesaid, in violation of section 2921.31(A) of the Ohio Revised Code, did without privilege to do so and with purpose to prevent, obstruct, or delay the performance by a public official of any authorized act within the public official’s official capacity, did commit an act that hampered or impeded a public official in the performance of the public official’s lawful duties, to wit: including but not limited to the following:  deleted emails, “wiped” computer(s) (and/or had someone else “wipe” computer(s)), failed to comply with subpoenas served upon him, failed to provide information regarding an investigation the school undertook and/or lied about an investigation that the school undertook, manufactured email(s) with false or misleading information, directed others to create record(s) after the fact, and/or created a misleading timeline after the first subpoena was served upon him.

Cultural Apathy

Last week members of the Steubenville Police Department along with agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation executed the search warrants on 8 locations throughout Jefferson County in what was reported to be raids resulting from an illegal gambling investigation initiated by Steubenville Police and Ohio BCI.  An estimated $1.5 million was seized as a result of the coordinated raids.  


What is odd is the lack of response by Jefferson County Prosecutor’s office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department with regard to the raids.   Why hasn’t the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff’s office congratulated Steubenville PD and BCI on a job well done?  There have been so many other congratulatory butt slaps over the past 2 years when it comes to joint effort investigations and arrests.  Why no congratulatory ticker tape this time?   

Burch Middle School: Mandatory Reporting Failure

After all of the publicity surrounding the Steubenville case, it is hard to comprehend that ANYONE in their right mind would attempt to protect their own when it comes to sexual abuse allegations within a school system.  That is exactly what is happening in Delbarton, WV by school administration at Burch Middle School.

On Thursday West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey filed an injunction against several employees at Burch Middle School and the Mingo County Board of Education seeking injunctive relief based on allegations of sexual abuse by two juvenile boys who are alleged to be related to school administrators, as well as  civil rights violations against the victims.  The complaint seeks to prevent the school administration and teachers from preventing or interfering with the criminal investigation and Human Rights Commission investigation into the sexual assault allegations.

On Friday a statement was issued by school administrators which read:

“We are aware of the complaint that has been filed in the Circuit Court of Mingo County. Once the county has been formally served, we will respond accordingly. Mingo County Schools takes student safety seriously and remains committed to providing a secure environmental for all students.”

Coach Craig Wood Charged with Murder

Yesterday an Amber Alert was issued for Hailey Owens, a 10-year old from Springfield, MO after she was taken around 5 p.m. by a man driving a gold Ford Ranger.  Witnesses report that the truck had circled the area several times before pulling over and dragging Hailey into the vehicle. The Amber Alert was canceled just before 7 a.m. Wednesday and Coach Craig Wood was arrested and charged with murder.  Springfield police say they received a tip that led them to Coach Wood at a residence in town.  It was initially believed he and the child were heading to Oklahoma.

Pam Bodine, Sr. Communications Specialist, at Pleasant View Middle School confirmed for me this morning that Wood is a paraprofessional (“teacher’s aide”) and coach at the school and has been employed at the school since August 1998.  He is currently suspended pending outcome of this case.

 

photo of Wood from school news bulletin

Kayden Powell

MISSING: Newborn Kayden Powell

Wisconsin police and the FBI are trying to locate a 5 day-old baby boy who went missing from a home in the town of Beloit, Wisconsin early Thursday morning.

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp says the mother of Kayden Powell, Brianna Marshall,  contacted police immediately after she woke up around 4:30 Thursday morning when she discovered her son was gone. The home belongs to the great-grandmother of the infant where she lives with the baby’s father, Bruce.  A relative living in the home told police that the last time he saw Kayden was when his mother was trying to calm him down before putting him down for bed.  An aunt of Brianna Marshall’s from Colorado left in the night and was later pulled over in Iowa by law enforcement to determine if she knew where the baby was.  The baby’s parents were to be moving to Colorado with the aunt, and baby clothes were found in the car, but no baby.  She was arrested on fraud warrants out of Texas and is being detained.

Debra Copeland School of Bright Promise

Debra Copeland, a physical therapist at the School of Bright Promise in Jefferson County, Ohio was put on paid administrative leave and is facing three charges of child endangerment for abuse that was secretly recorded by an intern.  The intern who worked at the School of Bright Promise secretly recorded the  sessions with Copeland and two special needs children.  The woman who is being identified as BJ told News 9:

“Her demeanor, the way she would speak about the children, sometimes I would hear her talk down to kids. It seemed odd to me.”

BJ recorded one video (posted below) that shows a child during a 30-minute physical therapy session where she can be seen sitting.   Copeland then comes over and shoves the little girl back to the ground and says, “Get down now. I said down. No.”
Copeland is also seen picking the little girl up and making her stand with her legs in locked braces stating, ” Stand up you little bitch, stand up.”   When I saw this video, I cried.  This woman is working with our most vulnerable members of society and what she did and said to this child is beyond cruel and reprehensible.

This comment was left on WTOV9.com’s site regarding Debra Copeland.

http://www.wtov9.com/news/news/students-family-student-releases-video-alleged-abu/nWMwt/#/comment/p1/c527715/

One Billion Rising Steubenville Flash Mob

Today  in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville at 12:15 p.m. flash mob participants will perform a nearly five-minute dance by Broadway choreographer Debbie Allen to the song “Break the Chain,” written by Teva Clark.  One Billion Rising events will be held worldwide, including gatherings in Kent, Chardon, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Akron, John Carroll University and Notre Dame College.

Deb Lemire is the organizer of V-Day Akron and   coordinated the flash mob to coincide with One Billion Rising, a global activist movement that brings attention to violence against women and girls.  I have seen a lot of not so nice comments by some  individuals in Steubenville who are claiming that outsiders have ruined the reputation of their town.  I think it is awesome that outsiders continue to come to their town to bring attention to violence against women and girls.  These people are making a difference.   Perhaps those who are complaining could learn something from the “outsiders”.

Read more here.

Who’s to Blame?

 

Lay the blame where it belongs – with those who stood by and did NOTHING.  Blame those who refused to cooperate with law enforcement and blame the parents who raised children without a moral compass, empathy or compassion.

Collateral Damage

I watched the “Nodi Wylin About a Dead Girl” video today and it took nearly an hour to finish listening to it.  It was a very painful 12 minutes 29 seconds.  The content of the video was just THAT horrible.  Almost two months ago when I first started writing about the Steubenville case, I detailed how shocked and upset I was at the tweets that I discovered.  Reading those tweets was a walk in the park compared to actually hearing the filth roll off of another human being’s tongue about the events of that night.  I cannot imagine if Nodi were my son or my brother, but I can feel compassion and sorrow for his family — unlike the lack of emotion he showed for the victim.  I cannot imagine the humiliation and shame that his actions have brought upon his family – who are also innocent victims.  They did not ask for this shame.  Many lives were forever changed that night by the actions of all of those involved.

I think what most find disturbing is the lack of empathy and compassion from so many of those who witnessed the brutality.  What kind of  person stands by and watches gleefully as another is violated and publicly humiliated?   There are so many questions and it is my hope, and has always been my motivation that those questions somehow be answered.

_bill2

Cold Case: Bill Comeans

Cold cases tear at my heart strings but when they involve the unsolved murders of children, they are even more upsetting.   Bill Comeans was 5 days from turning 15-years old when he was murdered in Columbus, Ohio.   He was a student at Westland High School in Galloway, Ohio.  I attended this high school and Bill grew up in my neighborhood.  Everyone who knew him had nothing but glowing comments about him.  He was a  thoughtful, loving kid with a giant heart.  He had a paper route that he got so he could use his earnings to buy a piano.  Every year he played Santa Claus for the neighbor boy.  It brought him great joy to spread kindness to others, but someone wanted to harm Bill.  That is what is so unbelievable about this case.  Bill had no enemies that anyone knew of.  He was well liked by everyone.