Category Archives: Good Parenting

Domestic Violence Call Leads Officers To “Absolutely Disgusting Child Abuse Case”

Children found locked in dog cage, living
in deplorable conditions, Wise County
deputies say

RHOME, TX  –  A father and mother of four children are facing charges after deputies discovered a horrific scene of child abuse and neglect at a home Tuesday morning.

.jpg photo of mother of children found to be abused and neglected.
Paige Isabow Harkings, 24

According to Wise County deputies, they received a call at about 7:20 a.m. on a report of domestic violence at a house off County Road 4930 near Newark, about 30 miles north of Fort Worth.

Andrew Fabila and Paige Harkings face four charges of child endangerment, authorities said.

.jpg photo of father of one of the children found to be abused and neglected.
Andrew Joseph Fabila, 24

When deputies arrived at the home, they found cuts to the Fabila’s face and heard children inside a barn, according to Sheriff Lane Akin, with the Wise County Sheriff’s Department.

Four children were found inside the barn:  a 4-year-old girl and three boys, ages 5, 3 and 1, Akin said.

The oldest two children were locked in a dog kennel measuring about 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet, he said.  The other two were found mostly unclothed on the floor of the barn, covered in urine and feces, Akin said.

Akin said it was the worst child-abuse case he’d seen during his 44 years in law enforcement.

“I’ve not worked one where children are locked inside a dog kennel, and I find that absolutely disgusting,” he said.

Inside the barn, the space was “crudely fashioned” into rooms to create some sort of living quarters, Akin said.

“There was plenty of food inside the barn, but the refrigerator and the cabinets had been locked so the kids could not get in to get food,” the sheriff said.

The children were hungry and thirsty when deputies found them, so authorities gave them food and water before they were taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.  Akin said he saw no obvious injuries to the children before they were hospitalized.

The children were released from the hospital Tuesday evening and will be placed in foster care, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said.

Deputies noticed feces scattered throughout the house.

Fabila was sent to the hospital with cuts.  Harkins also faces a family violence charge.

The couple had been staying with the paternal grandparents’ house.  Texas Child Protective Services confirmed that they had previous contact with the family, but would not elaborate.

Multiple agencies are investigating.

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/

All States Should Upgrade To CO Abuse Hotline System

.jpg photo of child abuse graphicColorado Child Abuse, Neglect hotline
sees record number of calls in 2018

DENVER, CO  –  Concerned Coloradans called the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline almost 222,000 times in 2018, according to a new report from the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS).

December marked the end of the fourth year of the public awareness campaign, which is put on by the CDHS.

The 24/7 hotline — 1-844-CO-4-KIDS or 1-844-264-5437 — received a record of 221,969 calls in 2018, which is a 10,500 increase from 2017.

Thanks to the people who made the calls, social services agencies investigated the safety of more than 57,042 children in 2018.  Of those children, 13,289 were experiencing abuse or neglect, according to CDHS.

In addition, 12,787 families received voluntary support from social services to help prevent abuse or neglect in the future.

Minna Castillo-Cohen, director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families at CDHS, said the growth in the number of calls is encouraging because it means more people understand their role in preventing abuse and neglect.

“Sadly, children in Colorado continue to experience abuse, and reporting can’t be the only way Colorado is working to help build communities that strengthen families and prevent child abuse,” she said.

Out-of-town placements for these children are sometimes necessary to protect them, but most children and teens who receive help through child welfare services are not removed from their homes.

Calls to the hotline are routed to the appropriate county, which are responsible for responding to the reports.  As of Monday, 38 counties rely entirely on the hotline to screen their calls, according to CDHS.

“The fact that more than half of Colorado’s counties now believe strongly enough in the Hotline County Connection Center to trust them to screen all of their child abuse, neglect and child sex trafficking inquiries and reports represents a wonderful vote of confidence in our system,” Castillo-Cohen said.  “Many of these counties are smaller in population and therefore have fewer staff members to cover large territories.  Using the County Connection Center’s call screening process, resources and personnel are freed up to be boots on the ground in these counties, connecting directly with and supporting families in crisis.”

To learn more, visit www.co4kids.org .  Call the hotline at 1-844-264-5437 if you suspect a case of child abuse or neglect.  If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

GOD Speed With Our Prayers For You

.jpg photo of justice graphic
GOD Speed With Our Prayers For You Justin, in all you do.

Marine found not guilty in Child Abuse case

JACKSONVILLE, NC  –  A Marine arrested in 2016 in child abuse charges was pronounced not guilty by jury.

Justin Teeter was charged by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office in February 2016 with intentional child abuse causing serious physical injury and assault by strangulation.  He was accused of strangling a 3-year-old and at the time of his arrest was an active-duty Marine with II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, The Daily News reported.

According to Teeter’s defense attorney, Matt Silva, the verdict was a long time coming for Teeter, who is no longer with the Marine Corps.

“I think he can go back and fix things now, which was a part of our goal — to restore his reputation,” Silva said.

The trial began with jury selection Tuesday and closed on Thursday, with the jury returning a verdict in just about an hour, Silva added.

Ultimately, Silva said he and Teeter were pleased with the verdict, which will allow Teeter to move on from the felony allegations he’s faced the last three years.

“I’m just happy he can move on with his life,” Silva said.

This Is A Hate Crime

.jpg photo of demonstration of childs murder in drive by shooting
THIS IS A HATE CRIME…. Hate knows NO colors.

Supporters rally for justice for 7-year-old
girl killed in Texas shooting

Mention of “white shooter” brings out million man march.  Two days earlier a man killed his 3 children, an infant, a toddler, and a 5-year-old, and severely wounded his wife, but no protest nor march.  These crimes are hate crimes!

Suspect turns himself in after killing kids, including baby, at Texas City apartment

HOUSTON, TX  –  Community members rallied at a Texas business near where a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot when a gunman opened fire on the car she and her family were riding in last weekend in an attack that some believe was race related.

The Harris County sheriff has not said the Sunday shooting of Jazmine Barnes, a black child who was fatally struck after a gunman described as a possibly white man in his 30s or 40s opened fire on the family’s car at around 6:50 a.m., was motivated by race, but he has said investigators are not ruling anything out.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Thursday they were focusing “on identifying who this individual is, who this coward is” and finding the red, four-door pickup truck he is believed to have been driving during the shooting.

Suspect admits driving vehicle from which 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes was shot

Jazmine’s mother, who was wounded in the shooting and treated at a hospital and released, said at Saturday’s rally that she appreciates the outpouring of support from around the nation.

“It is going to be justice for her, and I feel it in the bottom of my heart,” said Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington.  “It’s going to be justice for her, because there’s too many people out here looking for this man.”

Washington spoke of the pain of losing a child and said Jazmine’s siblings were next to her when she was shot.  She said supporters are giving them strength.

“My babies, man, they come to me and they’re, ‘Momma, are you all OK?’  … helping me, faith in me.  And it’s supposed to be the other way around,” Washington said. “It’s not supposed to be like this.”

Washington said they did nothing to provoke the gunman, and she believes it possibly could have been a hate crime.

Police on Thursday released a sketch of the suspect and released surveillance video of what they believe is the red pickup truck he was driving during the shooting.

Attorney Lee Merritt, who is assisting Jazmine’s family, said Saturday that he believes the shooting could be race-related, and he said previously that there seemed to be no other motivation for the crime but race.

“There was no other justification or the motivation that the family could identify, other than a white male who was a complete stranger to them decided to target their family,” Merritt said Thursday at a news conference with the sheriff.

“He had a chance to look into the car, see young girls, observe that family, and without any other explanation he decided to riddle the car with bullets,” Merritt said Thursday.

Supporters on Saturday shouted “What do we want?  Justice!  Who do we want it for?  Jazmine!  Say her name!  Jazmine!”  and “Whose child?  Our child!” at the rally.

“However it is defined, it is a hateful and vicious act with violence and guns on innocent women and children driving for a Sunday morning coffee break,” U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents part of Houston, said Saturday.  “That should not be acceptable in this country.”

She called the strong turnout at the rally “a powerful expression of really what America is about, and what this great city is about.”

A reward of around $100,000 for information leading to the killer has been raised in an effort spearheaded by activist Shaun King.

Basketball great Shaquille O’Neal and a Houston police officer stepped up to pay for the girl’s funeral.  Houston Texans star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said he will pledge his playoff check to help the family and find the suspect.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter Friday that “Investigators have received many potential leads since releasing the suspect sketch” in the killing