twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Outrage: Deadly Custody Ruling

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

We first told you about the murder-suicide of a 9-month-old boy and his father that had tragically been posted on Facebook. Now there is outrage over the San Bernardino County, Calif. judge's ruling in the contentious custody battle.

oustephen garcia and wyatt

Gina Kaysen Fernandes: The baby's mother, Katie Tagle, and a large group of protesters held a rally this week outside the Victorville Superior Courthouse calling for Judge Robert Lemkau's resignation.

Katie believed she had all the evidence she needed when she went to court in January to protect her son, Wyatt. The 23-year-old mother filed an emergency restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, Stephen Garcia, because he had threatened to kill their baby and himself.

Katie presented Judge Lemkau with the threatening e-mails and text messages she received from Garcia. "[Lemkau] was my last hope," Katie told the Victorville Daily Press. "I really thought I had it. I thought he was going to see the evidence and give me the restraining order."

But Judge Lemkau flatly denied Katie's request and accused her of lying.

That night, Katie reluctantly handed over Wyatt to his father, in compliance with his court-ordered visitation. "I had to do it," she told reporters. "I didn't want to get in trouble. I didn't want to get Wyatt fully taken away from me." Ten days later, authorities found the bodies of 25-year-old Garcia and his son on an isolated mountain trail.

"It's really a tragedy," says Karen Borders, of the consulting firm Borders, McLaughlin & Associates. "I think there were definite risk factors that people missed." Borders -- a former police officer and trained abuse-investigator -- is also a domestic-violence survivor who experienced a bitter custody dispute with her own ex-husband. She says custody cases are the most volatile, yet many family court judges are out of touch and uninformed. "Unfortunately, there are a lot of judges who don't have enough information or training to discern between high-conflict and high-risk cases," she says.

A judge often relies on the advice of court-appointed advocates to make critical decisions about a child's future. Borders argues that many of those family advocates have the minimum training hours required. "You can't just look at the bull's-eye, you have to look at the whole picture," Borders tells momlogic. She says that, by assembling a team of highly trained investigators, mental-health professionals and risk assessors, families can achieve a solution quickly and safeguard their children's lives.

In a court hearing, Judge Lemkau told Katie, "I deeply apologize for my comments to you." In his two-minute statement, the judge explained how he could not foresee at the time when she asked for a restraining order what would happen.

Borders is not surprised by the harsh condemnation of Judge Lemkau. "I think more people are starting to rebel against the courts," she says. "They're losing their life savings, their lives and their children's lives. They're fed up."

next: High School, Chrysler Reach Deal Over Logo
369 comments so far | Post a comment now
Curtis Carmon January 24, 2011, 8:22 PM

Some genuinely fantastic posts on this internet site,thanks for contribution.

ClaireCanan January 25, 2011, 1:21 AM

Not all country have a big secret in their country. Some of them just have a simple live and take care of their citizen without thinking what will happen in the future. They live in peace. virtual pet games

Korey Trinkley January 25, 2011, 7:40 PM

Some really fantastic posts on this web site,thanks for contribution.

Erwin Martling January 25, 2011, 7:42 PM

Some truly fantastic articles on this web site,regards for contribution.

so dep January 26, 2011, 8:40 PM

Have you ever ever thought of including just a little bit extra than simply your ideas? I imply, what you say is essential and everything. But its obtained no punch, no pop! Possibly in the event you added a pic or two, a video? You could have such a more powerful weblog when you let people SEE what youre talking about instead of simply studying it. Anyway, in my language, there are usually not a lot good source like this.

William Lee January 30, 2011, 11:12 PM

This is such a tragedy. Events like this is what makes people lose confidence in the Justice System. Maybe judges need more education regarding situations like this.
Will Cityville

feesten amsterdam January 31, 2011, 12:13 AM

This type of post will certainly click to numerous viewers. An excellent article and helpful for its written content. Thanks a lot for sharing it up!

create folders iphone February 4, 2011, 2:02 PM

Great post, you have pointed out some fantastic details , I also think this s a very fantastic website.

Lynnette Comfort February 5, 2011, 12:22 PM

Should you may e-mail me with a number of solutions on just how you made your weblog look this excellent, I’d be grateful.

nail fungus February 6, 2011, 12:29 AM

fwqkscky toe nail fungus te pcwzjhx

Paris Swets February 6, 2011, 12:41 AM

Hey I was just looking at your site in Firefox and the graphic at the top of the site cant show up correctly. Just thought I would let you know.

Hassan Moores February 6, 2011, 3:12 AM

Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

playbook February 6, 2011, 5:30 AM

I am linking this webpage from my personal weblog . this has all the usefull data necessary.

levitra kaufen February 6, 2011, 9:27 AM

that is Too good, when it comes in india hope it can make a Rocking place for youngster.. hope that
come true.

Life Plus February 6, 2011, 10:55 AM

This really answered my problem, thank you!

Andrew A. Sailer February 6, 2011, 9:12 PM

Hello! May I add this post to my forum? It’s very great post, I would like to share it with others:)

american payday loans February 9, 2011, 11:45 AM

Found your website on today and genuinely enjoyed it.. i saved it and will be back to check it out some more later .. As a Noob, I am consistently seeking online for content articles that can help me. With thanks!

odzyskiwanie odszkodowaƄ February 9, 2011, 4:55 PM

Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include approximately all significant infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

Constructeur bois Bretagne February 9, 2011, 5:00 PM

I really wanted to construct a brief word to appreciate you for all of the precious suggestions you are writing here. My particularly long internet investigation has now been paid with awesome suggestions to go over with my close friends. I ‘d point out that we readers are unquestionably endowed to dwell in a really good network with so many perfect individuals with very helpful advice. I feel extremely blessed to have seen your web page and look forward to some more entertaining times reading here. Thanks again for all the details.

Ernie Sellars February 9, 2011, 8:40 PM

I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites website list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think.

Back to top >>