Should I start at the beginning, the middle, or the end? It’s been a long journey….The beginning…Our son had married his high school sweetheart and moved 12 hours away. After their son was born, she left the home and moved away, leaving our son to raise their child. As most of you know, in child custody cases, a parent is not allowed to leave the county with the child, so he was stuck. We, his parents, decided to help by buying a house (12 hours away) that our son helped build so that our grandson would have stable place to call home.
A custody battle commenced…
In 2003, on my husband’s birthday, our son was due in court for the final custody ruling. He called after court that day and announced that he had been awarded full physical and legal custody.
On our way out the door to celebrate, the phone rang and we were informed that our son had been arrested.
The nightmare begins…
I flew up the next day to find that our home had been invaded and robbed of anything that wasn’t nailed down. I called the sheriff, but no one responded. Later, my grandson noticed a patrol car parked out in front of the house. In my attempt to reach the officer, I slipped/tripped and fell in the road. I laid there with many injuries, a broken ankle. The officer got out of his car, walked to where I was lying, then walked back to his car, and left me lying in the street.
Later that evening my now ex-daughter in law and her boyfriend came and took our grandson. I was alone in a small town, 12 hours away, where I did not know one single person.
So many weird events happened up in this small town that it would take a book to explain it all. I really felt as if I had entered the twilight zone.
A year prior, our son had posted a flier advertising the log furniture that he had been making. A young women approached and started a conversation. She took his phone number off the flier and called him at home the next day. She said she was 19, turning 20, and they agreed to meet. The next week they met for lunch, and it was then that our son said red flags shot up and she confessed that she was only 15. Our son was livid, and told her to never contact him again. Almost year later, while she was in a discipline hearing, her mother searched her room and found a letter that she had written, but never sent, to our son. She had been upset that our son had refused to see her again.
Our son was offered a plea, in which he would have served four months in county lock up, but he refused. They then stacked the charges, and continued the case so many times, that almost two years had passed. We could no longer get in touch with the attorney for whom we had paid a sizable amount of money. (This attorney who locked me in his car, and tried to force me into signing our home over to his recommended bail bond company) We were given a short amount of time to hire a new attorney, and then forced to court as the young women was about to turn 18. During the trial, I was required to attend a meeting with the CA. State Bar. During that meeting, our son was convicted on all counts by a jury who had deliberated for thirty minutes. Our son was gone, and the screams and cries that ensued for days from our grandson have been burned into my soul.
(I did win the case against the first attorney! Although it took three years to collect and threats of disbarment)
Our grandson was sent to live with his mother and her boyfriend. The boyfriend who had a baby with a girl (age 15), but was never prosecuted. Our son was prohibited from contact with his son.
It was all so crazy. Nothing in our world made sense anymore.
I have only touched on a few of the events that happened in our family nightmare.
After over three years in prison, three years GPS, and parole, our son has new hope, a new family, a new daughter, and a son who now lives with him.
It isn’t perfect, not even close, but I have worked for so long and it finally seems that people are starting to open their eyes to the injustice of what we call the justice system. People like Janice who have given us all some hope for our families futures. Until my last breath, I will work to educate the public of the truth, and the suffering that has been inflicted on so many children and families….
Stand up, speak up, and lets put an end to this nightmare!
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