George Hartwig admits to firing shotgun into sister-in-law’s face

 I need support. My son-in -law George Hartwig,  bludgeoned his estranged wife, my dying daughter Denise Richardson in the head before she died of cancer then returned  and shot my other daughter Louisa Richardson Rodas  nearly killing her. He tried to kill my son but the gun jammed before he was taken down by my grandson and subdued until the police came.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to 8 counts and threw himself on the mercy of the court asking for a minimal sentence based on his incapacited condition of drug induced actions. Instead of consecutive sentences of 60 + years he wants 20  which will have him out in about 12 years.  My daughter will serve about 40 – she is permanently in solitary confinement having lost half of her head from the shotgun blast. She remains completely healthy except she cannot sit, stand, speak, see, eat, or recognize her own children. She will live a long life of nothing! Why should he get less? He has had a long life of creating misery for everyone who has ever come in his path.

Please consider how you might help by wring a short respectful letter to the judge regarding plea deals and how women pay the ultimate price for lower that full sentencing. We urge significant and effective sentences, we must eliminate or reduce plea deals and strictly enforce laws for Violence against Women. We ask she do so in this case as George is a repeat offender and his pleas are just another con job on the court.

The Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi is a fair jurist, please send respectful letters of support for full and consecutive sentencing regardless of the prosecutors request for 30 years in return for a plea deal. The defendant has always wanted to plead guilty and was not in need of a plea deal ! He did not accept the conditions of the plea deal therefore it is not incumbamt on this Judge to give him the 30 years – she can and should give him consecutive sentencing. Comments would be appreciated in support of full and consecutive sentencing.

32 Responses

  1. Betty Jean — I just read this again, and it is clear that he was also a threat to YOU. What will it take — for both your daughters and yourself and your son or grandson to become victims to this evil man? I hope the prosecution is making a case that if he is out in 12 years, he has already shown he is a man of revenge, and you and your family will probably not be safe. You already have to live with the pain of losing one daughter, and then watching the other daughter wasting in her life. What next – your son? Yourself? Grandson? Someone else? I will be more than happy to write a heartfelt respectful letter to the Judge.

    • Thank you Sharon, if possible please spread the word via FB and twitter if you can and ask others as well. We need a lot of respectful support asking for justice.

  2. Judge Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi Bergen County Justice Court 10 Main Street Hackensack, New Jersey 07601 201-527-22485 Fax: 201-371-1112
    Please get as many letters as possible to this judge. Be respectful but let her know he is a man who conned and pleaded his way into forgivness for beating his wife and child for 23 years until he finally tried to kill all of us.

  3. BJ, This is heart wrending! I will write a respectful letter to the judge. Please know that my prayers are with you and your family. My belief is that crimes such as these are rooted in a hatred of women that underpins the spectrum of crimes against women. I believe you are correct in advocating that such crimes be adjudicated as hate crimes. Thank you for all you continue to do in the fight against violence against women.

    • Yes – indeed these are hate crimes. As I sat in court and listened to him recall the events of the day – it was clear he had no remorse . When you read the news article – it is clear he blames his behavior on drinking and he threw himself on the mercy of the court . He sent the judge many letters conveying his horible childhood and his addiction to alcohol and drugs. But not once did he mention he was sorry! His lack of empathy for anyone but himself was astonishing to the entire courtroom!

      • My very first thought when reading this article was that this man has no remorse at all. He is dangerous, and will always be a threat. I will gladly write to this judge, as this monster should serve both terms fully and consectively.

        • I was there Tess- he never changed his tone nor expressed and feelings – he might have well been explaining his day at the park! On the other hand – describing at day at the park might have elicited more emotion.
          I sobbed through the entired ordeal- I have never heard someone in real life describe the details of premeditated murder before. On TV it is henous but in person when one describes step by step how they intended to murder you but instead shot your child and attempted to kill your son- it is heart wrenching.
          Then when the judge asked for the sequence- he explained clearly that he shot Louisa – help Denise ay gunpoint asking her for pills which she gave him and when my son arrived he attempted to kill him but the gun jammed.
          He then announced that my grandson came up behind him and subdued him and he woke up in the hospital.

          In other words- had the gun not jammed- he would have killed all 4 of them.

          I had to endure that as his target , had I been home , I could have taken my daughter’s bullet and saved her and her children this agony !

          BUT had he been in jail for the attempted murder of my other daughter – none of this would have happened at all!
          Let’s help keep him in THIS TIME!

          • BJ, I believe he would still have shot everyone else even if you had been home. He was on a violent rampage. And yes, if he had been in jail where he belonged for his previous violence this would not have happened! Let’s all make this point to the judge in our letters, so she doesn’t make the same mistake. 40 years and no less for this despicable beast!

  4. The sight of him with his long hair and attorney makes me see Orange. This creep plays the system like a cockroach and insulates himself from responsibility by pretending to be helpless. He should do the Court a courtesy and show up at his sentencing with the shaved head and shackles of the gangster he is.

    • Yes Anna- he was trying to play the judge- poor George!

      “I will plea guilty to all charges but I will not accept a plea deal for 30 years your honnor, I agree to 20 because of the mitigating circumstances of my mental health, due to years of alcohol abuse”

  5. He needs to be put away for a very…very long time…forever works!!
    Big Hugs to you & your BJ!!!
    I am always on your side!!

  6. He should be put away for life.

  7. For example:

    Judge Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi
    Bergen County Justice Court
    10 Main Street
    Hackensack, New Jersey 07601

    Your Honor:

    Please remand the defendant, George Hartwig, to the sentence he most deserves…

  8. Thank you all- please send letters and urge others to send letters too.

  9. BJ,
    There is nothing more I can add to what has been said here..the monster needs to spend his life here on earth in prison and then eternity in hell.
    Will write a letter and be very happy to ask a judge to ensure the monster George is shown absolutley no mercy
    As always you’re in my prayers as well as Louisa.

    • My dear friend- thank you – at times like this – having my friends is such comfort to me. All else lost- it is the emails and calls coming in that warm my heart when I most feel alone and in need of a hug.
      I miss my girls more each day- and sometimes nothing in this world can comfort- but knowing I have sisters out there does bring me strength. I probably need to get out and see my friends and share actual hugs- this is something I have denied myself for about a year now.
      Today I realized – I have dear friends and should avail myself of their hugs.

  10. Louisa’s Law is proposed to honor my daughter, Louisa Richardson Rodas, who was caring for her dying sister Denise Richardson on the day she was shot in the head and permanently disabled by George Hartwig, Denise’s abusive husband. Had the following proposed measures been in place on December 15, 2008, my daughter Louisa would not be lying in a nursing home, unable to sit or stand, unable to communicate, unable to eat or drink, unable to raise her children or recognize them.

    George Hartwig had viciously bludgeoned his dying wife Denise in the head with a hammer months earlier. He pled guilty to an attack on a dying woman for her pain medication as a result of drug abuse yet he was denied treatment. He was a repeat offender yet he was set free without bail and released without a restraining order. The only protection Denise had was her family taking turns to protect her. It was Louisa’s turn when George Hartwig returned with a shotgun and callously blew the right side of her head off.

    Louisa’s Law seeks to require significant and effective sentences, eliminate or reduce plea deals and strictly enforce laws for Violence against Women.

    In the US, nearly 4* women are killed daily at the hands of their domestic partner, a woman is raped every few* minutes; a woman is battered every few* seconds. Every year, violence in the home and the community devastates the lives of millions of women. Perpetrators of violence against women are rarely held accountable for their acts. When women do challenge their abusers, it can often only be accomplished by long and humiliating court battles with little sympathy from authorities or the media. Violence against women is so deeply embedded in society that it often fails to garner public censure and outrage; instead the sentences are often nonexistent. It’s time to stop slapping the hands of perpetrators of violence against women and send the message of zero tolerance and creating specific sentences for VAW. Women must feel safer to file complaints and testify against their perpetrators and men must take committing violence against women as the serious crime it is. * Statistics need to be updated to 2011
    a) Enter an automatic and enforceable order of protection with a minimum term of ten years;
    b) Violator must enter an approved batter/anger management program with monitoring;
    c) Violators who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the violation against a woman or who have any drug-related offenses within three years of the violence incident must enter a rehabilitation program and/or be tested periodically for continued drug or alcohol abuse;
    d) A GPS monitor should be installed if the violator is released from police custody using a system with victim notification;
    e) Full cash bail and full cash surety bonding must be implemented with domestic violence screening as part of the bonding process. For repeat offenders or violators of restraining orders, offenders are not given the opportunity for bail but should remain incarcerated pending trial because of the documented risk of death to the victim and victim’s family members upon release of repeat offenders and those who have violated restraining orders;
    f) Require a compliance conference before the judge for accountability;
    g) Require judges to consider a variety of aggravating factors to ensure safety and punishment consistent with the risks for repeat violence, death, and permanent disability associated with VAW;
    h) Sentences must be served rather than suspended so that the victims and their families are safe.
    i) Establishing a Nationwide Domestic Violence Registry for use by law enforcement and the public to promote instant access to existing orders of protection and residence of convicted abusers because of the risk of repeat violence.

  11. (((BettyJean, Louisa and family)))

    I was drafting up my letter and realized that I do not have all the information needed for a formal letter.

    Is the case name New Jersey vs Hartwig?

    I am here beside all of you, we will get him the justice he deserves!

    • Oh LIZ,
      I knew you would show up :}

      I assume it would be the State vs George Hartwig But regardless- She will know what case it is I assure you. You can mention the sentence date of 1/27/12 if you like.
      Thank you for stepping up for us on this.
      I so appreciate this – more than you will ever know!
      With love!

  12. […] PLEASE within the comments at the record, direct readers to the family blog where they can find updated pictures of Louisa and her condition now!… […]

  13. […] More details of the case are here, and here. […]

  14. Betty Jean, This goes out in the morning:

    The Honorable Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi
    Judge of the Justice Court of Bergen County New Jersey
    10 Main Street
    Hackensack, New Jersey 07601

    Re: George Hartwig

    Judge DeAvila-Silebi

    Your Honor,
    I am writing to ask you to sentence George Hartwig to the fullest extent of the law for shooting Louisa Richardson Rodas. The damage he inflicted is irreversible. I understand he pleaded guilty to 8 counts and threw himself on the mercy of the court asking for a minimal sentencing. George Hartwig is a repeat offender, a menace to society, and mercy from the court would send the message that violence against women is tolerated in our society. Please sentence him consecutively for his crimes and to the maximum the law allows. This will not restore Louisa’s life back to her, or the loss to her family, but it will be the right thing to do. Please show mercy to Louisa, to those who know and love her, and to those who care about what happens in this case. Please do everything you can to keep George Hartwig off the streets.

    Jocelyn Andersen

  15. Men are not allowed on fabulously forty, so it will be up to one of the women here to update this topic on fabulously 40.

  16. I have been following this case since the terrible day of Louisa’s shooting. I am shocked to see that here it is three years later and he has NOT yet been sentenced! WHAT more does someone have to do in this world to have to pay the price of their actions?

    My heart goes out to you and your family Betty. I pray George will get the maximum sentence.

  17. Marie,

    Thank you for following this and for your kind words .
    We are on a letter writing campaign- if you care to help us out please visit Louisa’s page for inspiration and the Judge’s address on a copy of sample letters. Even a short note such as the message you left here would be a great help and leave a copy of your letter there to encourage others to leave the Judge a short note .

    Again thank you. and please alert as many others as you can to keep this news alive between now and the January sentencing


  18. Betty-Jean…

    This letter will be sent in tomorrow’s mail. I pray for justice for you, Louisa, Denise, and all of your family.

    The Honorable Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi
    Judge of the Justice Court of Bergen County New Jersey
    10 Main Street
    Hackensack, New Jersey 07601

    Dear Honorable DeAvila-Silebi:

    I am writing this letter requesting that maximum sentencing be imposed on George Hartwig for his grievous act of shooting and attempted murder of Louisa Richardson Rodas, as well as his attempt to shoot others that same day.

    Your honor, what else does someone need to do to be put away for a very, very long time? This man is evil and a danger to society. His attempt to sway the court’s decisions for a lesser sentence based on his own words that he drank and took pills is unconscionable. Is that all it takes in today’s world is to blame your inability to think clearly because you were intoxicated or high to get a lesser sentence?

    Your honor, Louisa’s sentence is a life sentence. She will never recover from her horrific injuries. Louisa will never get a second chance at life! That this man may pay his debt to Louisa and her family by anything other than the full extent allowed by law is inconceivable. I am a mother of two. I cannot imagine in my wildest nightmare having to deal with what Louisa’s mother, and other family members, have had to endure, much less Louisa herself.

    I ask your honor that you look deep into your heart and soul when sentencing George Hartwig. This evil man needs to be fully accountable for the atrocities he has caused this family, and of course in particular to Louisa Richardson Rodas. SHE deserved better… she deserved a break in life… not George Hartwig. He deserves and should be punished to the maximum sentence allowed by law.

  19. Marie – well said.
    Great question What does a person have to do? I too wonder what – considering the Vander what’s his face only got 28 years for murdering an innocent young girl today. She easily had 60 years of life in her but women are not worth much in any society it seems!

    This must stop and only our voices scan stop it. Thank you for adding your voice!

  20. Betty-Jean… Wasn’t the sentencing set for yesterday (1/27)? If so, please let us know here what the outcome was! I am praying it was not postponed for your sake, and that he was given the max.



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