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Domestic abuse - the insane, the ugly, and one good magistrate

March 14, 2009

Colorado Fourth Judicial District (4th JD) — Magistrate William Trujillo

During FY 2008 the 4th JD (Colorado Springs, El Paso and Teller counties) had literally three times (3x) the number of domestic abuse protection orders (POs) as comparable Colorado judicial districts, i.e., 1 st JD 596 POs (population ~535,000, 4 th JD 2,410 POs (population ~610,000), 18 th JD 817 POs (population ~846,000) according to the state court administrator. The numbers alone are prima facie evidence of gross abuse of process in the 4 th JD.

So the first question is where do all these orders come from? When I look at the El Paso County court web site I am directed to T*E*S*S*A in order to obtain a restraining (protection) order. This is insane and they are publicly funded to the tune of $2 million a year to simply destroy thousands of lives and military personnel.

At present many, if not most domestic violence (DV) initial hearings (Fast Track) and temporary protection orders (TPOs) are heard by Magistrate William Trujillo. If he has ever turned down or dismissed one of the thousands of TPOs and DV cases brought before him it has escaped our notice. Defendants are guilty unless, and until they can prove their innocence.

A day in court — March 4, 2009


The Equal Justice Foundation works closely with military personnel and civilians on the five bases surrounding Colorado Springs and continually works with domestic violence and abuse allegations. A couple of cases of note recently were brought before Magistrate Trujillo. On March 4, 2009, a female soldier suffering from PTSD was brought before Trujillo for a hearing on a permanent protection order. Note that in Colorado "permanent" means the rest of your life and you can't even ask for a modification for four years.

The soldier had been watching a couple's children for them. Both the parents are soldiers as well and the husband was in Iraq when the incident occurred. Apparently one of the children was acting up and the soldier/defendant restrained the child. The soldier testified she has no memory of what she did, and dissociative events are common with PTSD. Whatever she did scared the child but did not injure her. The soldier honestly reported the incident to all involved at the time. However, when the father got home from Iraq some months later he insisted his wife file a protection order against the soldier (men can't get protection orders against women in the 4th JD).

The matter came on for hearing initially in the courtroom of Magistrate Robin Chittum, who attempted to resolve the issue. The soldier will be discharged from the Army in 30 days and she is then moving back to New York. She is under treatment for her PTSD with the Fort Carson Warrior in Transition Unit (WTU). Magistrate Chittum, who is as day is to night compared to Trujillo, suggested that the temporary order simply be extended for 45 days until the soldier had been discharged and had moved out of the state. That wasn't sufficient for the obviously vindictive mother and father. So the matter was moved to Magistrate Trujillo's court for a full hearing.

Under oath he soldier testified honestly about the incident. But Trujillo would not allow her to call a witness in her defense and presumably he is unfamiliar with the Sixth Amendment. He did not consider any alternatives and simply made the protection order permanent for the rest of her life!

One more soldier's life ruined! But the EJF seems to be the only one counting.


Child "protective" services (CPS) — Safe Passage


The soldier's case wasn't the only one to be heard on March 4th. The EJF has a member whose wife is, to put it politely, emotionally disturbed. She has reportedly attempted suicide on at least one occasion and threatened it on several others.

I've known the husband for more than a year but only met the wife last July after she had been arrested for domestic violence against her husband. As with many lunachics she calls 911 often and the El Paso County sheriff's department is well acquainted with her.

As it is a goal of the EJF to keep families together whenever possible I asked the two of them if they wanted to stay together. At the time they said they did and I advised them on steps they should take to get the charges against her dismissed, which they did. I also recommended the wife seek treatment.

But then the wife began calling the EJF with irrational statements about getting a divorce, filing a protection order, going to TESSA (a local shelter group), needing money, etc. These calls continued for some time until I spoke to her husband and he persuaded her to stop calling. I was also very concerned about her threats to get a protection order as the husband contracts with the Army and carries a top secret code word security clearance. The EJF has long noted that DV laws are being used as a modern variant on "honey traps" for men holding high-level security clearances.

As the mental problems of the wife became clearer, her husband also revealed that there is credible evidence that she is sexually abusing her 6-year-old son and physically abusing her 8- and 9-year-old daughters, including dislocating the arm of one of the daughter's. Witnesses to the abuse include the father, grandparents, and a day-care worker.

As a mandatory reporter I was obligated to report this child abuse and contacted a supervisor we work with at El Paso County DHS/CPS. She passed it down to a case worker, who apparently quit soon thereafter. Another case worker was assigned, then another, then another, then..., a story familiar to most of you who have had to deal with CPS agencies. These case workers also had a habit of violating confidentiality and reporting back to the wife any details they learned about the husband and also called to warn her anytime the children were to be interviewed. One case worker even went so far as to tell the father he wasn't doing enough to protect his children and claim he was the one guilty of domestic violence against his wife, a redfem tactic many of you have seen in your own cases.

The child abuse case was eventually assigned to Safe Passage, a local agency that is supposed to provide help for victims of child abuse, to investigate. It will come as little surprise to most of our readers that Safe Passage investigators could find no evidence of the mother abusing her children despite four adult witnesses.

In frustration, I wrote the district attorney, the sheriff, and the county commissioners about this travesty after the father was turned down for a protection order on December 4, 2008, which the DHS/CPS case worker promptly notified the wife about. My escalation prompted a condescending letter from the law enforcement bureau chief of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and another from the county commissioner of the district where the couple live explaining how DHS/CPS doesn't work:


From: "Amy Lathen" <AmyLathen@elpasoco.com>

To: Father/husband

Cc: "Dr. Charles E. Corry" <ccorry@ejfi.org>

The director of the Department of Human Services is a direct report employee to the Board of County Commissioners. This means we, as a Board, hire this individual and he/she is employed on a contractual basis. To that end, I view us as having very direct oversight over DHS.

That being said, the complicated funding structure and quantity and complexity of mandates requires an experienced director and we do not insert ourselves in specific cases because of our lack of ability to lend an educated eye to such specific situations (and frankly, just no jurisdiction there). Therefore, our oversight really does include the policy, administrative and fiscal areas and I do believe that we have the authority to compel the disclosure of policies, procedures, etc., as you describe. I would be very surprised if you've been denied these public documents and will certainly look into the situation if indeed, DHS has restricted you from any of these types of public documents.

We have no authority of any kind when it comes to matters involving the courts and decisions made therein.

I believe I can help if there are public documents which are not being made available to you, but "public" is the key word. Anything protected by statute is something I cannot touch.

I hope this helps in some way.

Amy Lathen


From Commissioner Lathen's explanation it is clear that this agency operates with no effective oversight whatsoever, which will not come as a surprise to any parent who has had to work with DHS/CPS. Of course the county commissioners solution for this dysfunctional agency was to ask for a tax increase, which voters wisely denied last November.

Many of you will have guessed that the next obvious step in this melodrama was for the wife to go to TESSA and get a protection order against her husband, which she did on December 31, 2008. Without question the court granted her a temporary order against her husband and "protected" the children from their father.

The permanent order hearing was also on March 4, 2009. Fortunately the issue was heard in Magistrate Chittum's court and the father retained one of the EJF recommended attorneys. The wife was offered, at no cost to her, an attorney from TESSA and a public defender. She fired both of them!

With one of TESSA's advocates sitting by her side the wife went into her act. Many of you have seen these drama queens in action and there is little need to elaborate. But Magistrate Chittum soon saw through her act and, without the need to call a single defense witness, ruled that the wife was simply vindictive, there was no evidence of abuse, she was not in fear of her husband, and she gave one of the most damning rulings against redfem behavior it has been my pleasure to hear. She then dismissed the protection order in its entirety.

To no one's surprise the wife was back in court the afternoon of March 6 th demanding another protection order. When the father learned of this and went to the courthouse he found his frightened children outside the courtroom. The obvious next step was for the lunachic wife to call both the Colorado Springs police and the El Paso County Sheriff, as she has done many, many times in the past. When the officers arrived Magistrate Chittum was gracious enough to step out into the hallway and explain the situation to the officers. If only we had more judges like her!

The couple are now seeking a divorce and there is no doubt the false allegations against the husband will continue. The children will be left in the wife's care where she will continue to alienate and abuse them. As the wife is suicidal, in other similar cases the woman has killed the children and herself, or just the children and pleads insanity. In other cases CPS waits a few months and decides the woman really is abusing the children, as everyone has been saying, and puts them in foster care to collect their bonuses, ignoring the fact that the father and grandparents are more than willing to protect and care for these little people.

Horrific as they may sound, the above stories are an everyday occurrence in the courtroom of magistrates like Trujillo and agencies like Safe Passage. Consider the following events.


El Paso County Sheriff deputy goes amok — Trujillo and Safe Passage protecting us after the fact


According to reports El Paso County Sheriff Detective Jerald Day was an outstanding law officer who joined the department in September 1996. As a major crimes investigator Detective Day handled some of the departments biggest cases. According to a February 12, 2009, Colorado Springs Gazette news story Detective Day was the lead investigator in the homicide investigation of Jennifer Warren in a drug deal gone bad, so one presumes he was competent and functional through at least mid-February.

In a March 10, 2009, news story the Gazette reported that none of his colleagues were aware of any problems with Detective Day. He had been separated from his wife for at least two years although court records do not show any divorce petition has been filed. So it is unlikely that major problems with his wife still existed. Yet on the evening of February 28, 2008, 42-year-old Detective Jerald Day went berserk.

According to the press account the incident began when the Douglas County Sheriff's Office was alerted to be on the lookout for Day, who, according to the call, was suicidal and heading north from El Paso County on Colorado 83.

A Douglas County deputy responding at 10:30 PM found Day heading north in a tan Toyota pickup and began a pursuit when Day did not comply with the deputy's attempts to pull him over. Other law enforcement officers in the area joined in the pursuit, and Day eventually pulled into a parking lot near Colorado 83 and Colorado 86, in Franktown northeast of Castle Rock. He refused to get out and displayed his pistol.

When Day did get out of the truck, he refused to drop his weapon and surrender. A deputy shot him with the nonlethal sponge round, but Day continued to refuse orders. A police dog was released, bit his arm and brought him to the ground.

Since February 28 th Detective Day has been held in the Douglas County jail on $300,000 bond and faces charges of two counts of felony menacing, prohibited use of a weapon, vehicular eluding, resisting arrest, reckless driving, and driving under the influence.

That apparently isn't sufficient and on March 2 nd Nicole Malyj, age 27, went to Magistrate Trujillo's courtroom and obtained a protection order against Detective Jerald Day, whom she had apparently been dating. Of course it is pure coincidence that Nicole Malyj is a family advocate and forensic investigator for Safe Passage.

With Detective Day safely in jail, Ms. Malyj was free to tell the Gazette that Jerald Day had been growing increasingly erratic in the months leading up to the arrest. In her application for a protection order that she filed after Detective Day was in jail, she said Day threatened to kill her and himself during a phone call on the night of the standoff. "I heard the weapon 'rack' in the background,'" she wrote.

She also accused Day of following her from her house to her job the day before and said that he refused her requests to leave her alone.

Am I the only one who wonders why, as a forensic investigator, that if Ms. Malyj recognized such irrational behavior in a trusted senior police officer would she wait until after the detective's breakdown to bring attention to it? And why was a protection order needed after he was in jail? Obviously it would be "blaming the victim" to suggest she might have been at least part of the reason for this man's breakdown.




What we have is a child protection agency, Safe Passage, that can't recognize a woman abusing her children even with four witnesses. But their forensic investigator can recognize erratic behavior in a deputy months before anyone else in the sheriff's office notices anything.

Then we have a magistrate who issues protection orders like tissue paper to every female who says she's in fear, even if the man is already in jail and will be long past the time the temporary order will expire, or the soldier will be discharged and moved out of state.

And no matter how emotionally disturbed a woman is, TESSA will help them file protection orders for Trujillo to sign and provide them a free attorney.

We also have a county commission that admits they have no control over these agencies though in 2005 neglected abuse warnings led to twelve (12) deaths in El Paso County, and there have been more since.

What is our legislature doing to help these Three Stooges? State senator John Morse from El Paso County has introduced legislation to tax marriages and divorces to provide them more money. That bill, SB09-068, has passed the state senate and will be heard by the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee at the capitol in Denver on Tuesday, March 17 th at 1:30 PM. Anyone else available to join me in testifying against this insanity?

Where is the Greek chorus for this tragedy that is destroying so many lives? Presently about 1,000 military men and women in the Colorado Springs area alone are being forced out of the Armed Forces on specious or false allegations of domestic violence and abuse. Ofttimes combat veterans also lose VA health and other benefits, military retirement pay, bonuses, and incur other penalties as well in these specious cases. There is little question that the lifetime protection order Trujillo placed on that female soldier with exacerbate her PTSD and her dreams of entering law enforcement when she goes back home are destroyed.

And magistrates with the intelligence and compassion shown by Robin Chittum don't seem to last or progress in our courts. The legal system isn't kind to those who don't follow radical feminist (redfem) dogma and I have quite a list of disbarred attorneys to demonstrate that. I certainly hope Chittum is an exception and is with us for many years. Good judges are a rarity in these troubled times.

Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.


Equal Justice Foundation

About the author


Dr. Corry holds a Ph.D. in geophysics from Texas A&M and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. He is a widely published and internationally-known earth scientist whose biography has appeared in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, among others, for ten years.

After service with 1 st Marines he became involved with the early space program in 1960, doing preflight testing and failure analysis on Atlas and Centaur missiles, including all the Project Mercury birds. In 1965 he switched to oceanography and did research at both Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and Woods Hole Oceanographic on Cape Cod. He has also taught geophysics at university and worked as a research manager for a Fortune 500 company.

He has climbed high mountains, been shipwrecked and marooned on an unexplored desert island, ridden horseback through Utah, Arizona, and Colorado, among other adventures during his career.

His research on domestic violence resulted from the horrifying experience of watching his former wife, Theresa, go violently insane between 1995 and 1997. He began documenting the problems after being acquitted of DV charges she brought against him and two subsequent restraining orders were dismissed. She also stalked him for five years. That experience pushed him from an ivory tower into the DV script outlined above and the corruption of today's legal system.

Presently Dr. Corry is president and founding director of the <http://www.ejfi.org/>Equal Justice Foundation.



| EJF Home | More newsletters | Get EJF newsletter | Find Help | Join the EJF | Comments? |

Issues The Equal Justice Foundation Deals With

| Civilization | Families and Marriage | Domestic Violence | Domestic Violence Against Men in Colorado | Emerson story |

| Prohibition & War On Drugs | Vote Fraud & Election Issues |