Category Archives: Death

Land Of Choosing Who Is Above The Law

.jpg photo of child abuse graphic
How Can CPS Be Above The Law

DA Wants Re-Hearing for Social Workers
in Child Abuse Death of
Gabriel Fernandez

Revised with previously filtered content

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA  –  Los Angeles County prosecutors are asking a state appellate court panel to reconsider its ruling that directed a lower court to dismiss charges against four social workers who were accused of failing to protect an 8-year-old Antelope Valley boy who was killed in May 2013.

.jpg photo of child beat to death in california in 2013
Gabriel Fernandez, 8-years-old.

“An autopsy showed that the boy had a fractured skull, several broken ribs and burns over much of his body. His teacher testified that she called Rodriguez multiple times to report that Gabriel told her that his mother punched him and shot him in the face with a BB gun.”

Prosecutors petitioned the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal to either re-hear or modify its opinion in the case of social workers Stefanie Rodriguez, 34, and Patricia Clement, 69, and two supervisors, Kevin Bom, 40, and Gregory Merritt, 64.  The four were charged in March 2016 with one felony count each of child abuse and falsifying public records in connection with Gabriel Fernandez’s death.

Isauro Aguirre — the boyfriend of the child’s mother — was sentenced to death in June 2018 after being convicted of first-degree murder.  Jurors found true the special circumstance allegation of murder involving the infliction of torture.

LYING IS PART OF WHAT NEEDS TOTAL REALIGNMENT

The boy’s mother, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading to first-degree murder and admitting the torture allegation.

FOUR SOCIAL WORKERS CHARGED

In September 2018, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli denied a motion to dismiss the charges against the social workers, calling the young boy’s death “foreseeable.”

LA JUDGE WALKING TALL AGAINST 4 CPS EMPLOYEES

In a Jan. 6 ruling, the appellate court panel found that there was no probable cause to hold the two social workers and their supervisors on the charges and ruled that the trial court should have granted the defense’s motion to dismiss the case against them.

Associate Justice Victoria Gerrard Chaney concurred that the four could not be charged with child abuse, but wrote a dissenting opinion arguing that they could be prosecuted as public officers under the relevant government code section.

PROSECUTOR SAYS CPS COVERING UP OWN MISBEHAVIOR

“Allowing a social worker to evade liability for falsifying a public document would incentivize social workers to put their own interests in avoiding liability for their misdeeds above the purpose of the state’s child welfare statutory scheme, which is child safety,” Chaney wrote.

“The petitioners’ actions here prevented the system from working in whatever way it might have had they done their jobs honestly, and offers no incentive for either DCFS or individual social workers to work to reform and repair the parts of the system that may fail the children it is intended to protect,” she added. “We have, in effect, encouraged DCFS and its social workers to cover their tracks if they stumble on the cracks in the system.”

JUSTICE FOR GABRIEL, CPS NEXT

In their petition for reconsideration of the decision on the social workers’ case, prosecutors wrote, “If facts known to petitioners suggested Gabriel’s caretakers would harm him, petitioners had a duty to control Pearl and Isauro, to protect Gabriel and to prevent Pearl and Isauro from murdering him. If petitioners weren’t supposed to protect Gabriel from his killers, who was? …. It was their duty to supervise and control Pearl and Isauro’s conduct when it came to how Pearl and Isauro treated Gabriel.”

An autopsy showed that the boy had a fractured skull, several broken ribs and burns over much of his body. His teacher testified that she called Rodriguez multiple times to report that Gabriel told her that his mother punched him and shot him in the face with a BB gun.

Defense attorneys argued that the abuse and torture escalated months after a file on the boy had been closed and that there was insufficient evidence to take him away from his mother.

A Feb. 18 pretrial hearing is scheduled in the case, which was effectively put on hold during the appellate court proceedings.

Land Of Choosing Who Is Above The Law

.jpg photo of child abuse graphic
How Can CPS Be Above The Law

DA Wants Re-Hearing for Social Workers
in Child Abuse Death of
Gabriel Fernandez

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA  –  Los Angeles County prosecutors are asking a state appellate court panel to reconsider its ruling that directed a lower court to dismiss charges against four social workers who were accused of failing to protect an 8-year-old Antelope Valley boy who was killed in May 2013.

.jpg photo of child beat to death in california in 2013
Gabriel Fernandez, 8-years-old.

“An autopsy showed that the boy had a fractured skull, several broken ribs and burns over much of his body. His teacher testified that she called Rodriguez multiple times to report that Gabriel told her that his mother punched him and shot him in the face with a BB gun.”

Prosecutors petitioned the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal to either re-hear or modify its opinion in the case of social workers Stefanie Rodriguez, 34, and Patricia Clement, 69, and two supervisors, Kevin Bom, 40, and Gregory Merritt, 64.  The four were charged in March 2016 with one felony count each of child abuse and falsifying public records in connection with Gabriel Fernandez’s death.

Isauro Aguirre — the boyfriend of the child’s mother — was sentenced to death in June 2018 after being convicted of first-degree murder.  Jurors found true the special circumstance allegation of murder involving the infliction of torture.

LYING IS PART OF WHAT NEEDS TOTAL REALIGNMENT

FOUR SOCIAL WORKERS CHARGED

LA JUDGE WALKING TALL AGAINST 4 CPS EMPLOYEES

PROSECUTOR SAYS CPS COVERING UP OWN MISBEHAVIOR

JUSTICE FOR GABRIEL, CPS NEXT

NY Child Abuse Far Above US Average

.jpg photo of child abuse graphic
Stop Victimizing Children

Rate of Child Abuse in NY much higher
than national rate

ALBANY, NY  –  The rate for child abuse in N.Y. is nearly double the national rate, according to the 28th Child Mistreatment report and the NYS Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (NYSKWIC).  The Child Mistreatment report was released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)(CPS) .

Based on reports of child abuse/neglect in 2017, the rate of child abuse in N.Y. is 17.1 per 1,000 children according to NYSKWIC.  The national rate of child abuse for the same period in the U.S. was 9.1 per 1,000 children according to the HHS report.

The rate in the immediate Capital Region is also higher than the national average.  In some counties, the rate is almost quadruple the national average.  Saratoga County, while still higher than the national average, had the lowest rate in the area at 12.7, while Montgomery County had the highest at a staggering 34.3.

Locally, the highest number of child abuse/neglect cases were reported in Albany County (1,146) while the least number was reported in Greene County (203), according to NYSKWIC.

Younger children are more likely to die from abuse.  Children 3-years-old or younger are particularly more susceptible but children under the age of one were the most likely to die because of abuse or neglect, the HHS report indicated.

Suspected child abuse or neglect in N.Y. can be reported by calling 1-800-342-3720. Reports can also be made to Law Enforcement, school officials, social workers, child care workers or medical/hospital personnel according to the NYS Office of Children and Family Services website.

5 facts about Child Abuse in the U.S.

  • Approximately 10 – 13 Children die from child abuse every day.
  • 3.3 million cases of child abuse are reported every day.
  • In 2012, 82.2% of child abusers were between the ages of 18 and 44.
  • Boys and girls are victims of child abuse at almost the same rate.
  • 3 out of 4 Children who die from child abuse or neglect are below the age of 3.

Where Are Your Children?

.jpg photo of Child Vehicular Heatstroke graphic
#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters

#HotVehicles are not #BabySitters

In 2018, 51 Children died from heatstroke in a hot, locked vehicle.

I think everyone will agree that too many Children have lost their lives in HOT CARS.

The average number of U.S. child vehicular heat stroke deaths is 38 per year. (one every 9 days)

Eighty‐eight percent (88%) of children who have died from vehicular heat stroke are age 3 and younger.

Fifty‐four percent (54%) of heat stroke deaths in vehicles involve children age one and younger.

See a child alone in a car?  Get involved!  Call 911 ASAP#HeatstrokeKills #LookBeforeYouLock

The summer of 2016, Blair Corbett, Founder of Ark of Hope for Children, and I put our heads together and came up with an effective way to slow, and hopefully stop this killer of Our Children.

  1. Share this with everyone
  2. Use and share Our Hashtag: #HotVehicles are not #BabySitters
  3. Set a “TASK” with alarm in smartphone every time you drive Child/Children, set alarm 10-30 minutes early before arrival at destination to drop off Child/Children (depending on distance).
  4. DO NOT TURN OFF ALARM UNTIL CHILD/CHILDREN ARE DROPPED OFF, CONTINUE TO HIT SLEEPER, SET AT 5 MINUTES, UNTIL TASK IS COMPLETED.

NOT IN MY WORLD!!!! uses kidsandcars.org because we have found these great people go the extra mile to help and they have great resources.  Here is their Heatstroke Fact Sheet.

The difference between life or death is minutes in a hot car.  #HeatstrokeKills #LookBeforeYouLock

Misusing Painkillers: Dose Of Reality

.jpg photo of TX Ag at press conference
Attorney General Paxton was joined at a press conference by Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Courtney N. Phillips.

AG Paxton Launches New Dose of Reality
Website to Educate Texans About the
Dangers of Opioid Abuse

AUSTIN, TX  –  In his office’s latest initiative to combat the nation’s opioid crisis, Attorney General Ken Paxton today launched Dose of Reality, a new comprehensive website to inform and educate Texans about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers.

The new site is available at DoseofReality.Texas.gov

Attorney General Paxton was joined at a press conference by Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Courtney N. Phillips.

“The misuse and abuse of prescription opioids cost lives and devastate Texas families in every region of our state,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “Opioids such as OxyContin and hydrocodone are prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain, but have serious risks and side effects.  When patients are not well informed, these drugs can inflict far more pain than they prevent.  The Dose of Reality website is intended to give Texans the information they need to avoid those unintended consequences.  My office will continue to do everything it can to protect Texans from the opioid crisis.”

Dose of Reality provides individuals, patients, health care providers, teachers, coaches and others with opioid-related resources in one location, allowing for quick and easy access to vital information.

The new website includes details on approaches to preventing opioid abuse and addiction, proper pain management, safe storage of prescription painkillers and guidelines on responding to an opioid overdose.  It also features a statewide take back map of locations that accept prescription opioids for safe disposal.

Opioids are a family of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin as well as illegal drugs like heroin.

Each day, 115 Americans die of opioid overdoses.

Nationwide, there were 42,249 opioid overdoses in 2016, including 1,375 opioid-related deaths in Texas.

The death toll attributed to opioids in the U.S. has quadrupled over the last two decades.

In 2017, Attorney General Paxton and a bipartisan group of 40 other state attorneys general initiated an investigation into whether companies that manufacture and distribute prescription opioids engaged in unlawful practices.  Last May, Attorney General Paxton filed a major consumer protection lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act involving the company’s prescription opioids, including OxyContin.

The nationally acclaimed and award-winning Dose of Reality website was conceived by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), in September 2015 provided to Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota and Nebraska at no cost.  Attorney General Paxton’s office partnered with the Wisconsin DOJ, Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services on content development for DoseofReality.Texas.gov

To view the press conference, click here:
https://www.facebook.com/TexasAttorneyGeneral/videos/381897475701392/