Barnholtz & Kugler Articles Woman Who Killed Daughters Now Living With Husbands Kids

Woman Who Killed Daughters Now Living With Husbands Kids

By Barnholtz & Kugler  Jan. 15, 2013 10:23a

California Mom Once Again Faces Scrutiny for Slaying Of Children

In a highly emotional child custody battle that continues to rage, a mother is seeking to have her sons removed from the custody of their father after his remarriage to his first wife. The heart of the conflict lies in the wife's turbulent past, wherein she murdered her daughters in a fit of insanity two decades ago.

According to the court documents, the mother married her husband in 1995. Their marriage was a rocky one, but it produced two boys. When the couple decided to get divorced in 2004, they arranged to split custody of their sons, with one boy living with his mother during the school year, the other with his father. The boys reunite during holidays, which are divided amongst their parents according to a schedule. Not the platonic ideal of a childhood, perhaps, but the arrangement seemed stable enough.

All this came to a halt, however, when the mother learned her husband had gotten married again. The concern lay in his choice of partners: the ex-Marine pilot decided to remarry his first wife, whom he divorced after a tragic incident in 1991.

Jury Finds Mother Not Guilty Of Murder

The first wife, with whom he had lived in the late eighties and early nineties in Orange County, California, had fallen into a deadly madness and fatally shot the couple's young daughters while they slept. Medical experts testified that she had suffered a psychotic break due to her medication, Prozac, and she was found not guilty of murder due to temporary insanity.

After being committed to the care of psychiatric experts for more than a decade, she was released in 2005, having been declared cured. She reconnected with her husband, and the couple decided to give it another chance. Hiding the identity of his new wife from the boys' mother, the father instructed them to refer to her by a different name.

Nevertheless, the mother eventually caught on to the deception. She immediately filed for a special injunction to have her sons remanded to her sole custody, which was temporarily granted. A commissioner reviewed the details of the case, however, and soon decided to overturn the order, sending the boys back to their fathers for the holidays.

Reasoning that they had lived with their stepmother for several years without incident, and that she had been declared sane by multiple doctors, he nevertheless ordered that the husband remove any firearms and weapons from his home. The mother, unsatisfied with the ruling, is currently seeking an appeal.

You Need A Family Attorney In Your Corner

At Barnholtz & Kugler, we understand how high the emotional stakes of a custody battle can become. We are dedicated to fighting on behalf of you and your family, single-mindedly pursuing the best outcome on behalf of you and your children. With experience at both the mediation table and inside the courtroom, our firm can help you seek a fresh start today. Please, visit our website or contact our offices via telephone to learn more about your options right away!

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