BettyJean Downing Kling: The Majority United
Let’s thank the Judge who cited DV statistics when she handed down the sentence!
Judge Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi
Bergen County Justice Court
10 Main Street Hackensack,
New Jersey 07601
On December 15th. 2008 at approximately 8:50 pm Eastern, George Hartwig entered 540 North Main Street, Lodi, NJ with the intent to kill me.
That morning George came to that address looking for trouble of one kind or another. He said he was there for a receipt to an air mattress his estranged wife bought him a few months earlier when she arranged to rent him an apartment across town. Denise , my daughter had spend 23 miserable years with this explosive man but she finally had enough the previous June evening when she awakened to sharp blows to her head and body and found George trying to kill her.
She begged for her life and finally convinced George she would hand over what he wanted, her pain meds. Denise was in the final stages of Ovarian Cancer weighing 80 Lbs.; she couldn’t bear for her son to find her bludgeoned to death when he came home.
Fearing his return, she had him arrested but also fearing his ire she failed to file a restraining order opting instead to pacify him with promises to help him get medical attention and institutional addiction placement. Denise had been through the revolving door of DV and knew he would be out in a short period of time. Sure enough, George waltzed in one day saying “Hi honey, I’m home- I had ‘Let em go Lipton’ for a Judge”.
Convincing George she was too frightened to have him in the house and that her family would toss them both out if she allowed him back – he agreed to move into an apartment – and so Denise paid the rent and furnished it. Hence George was here for a receipt to the air mattress he burn through with a lit cigarette – or for drugs- we will never know.
Upon his arrival, Denise told George, he had the receipt but George continued to berate her and drag her around the living room demanding she locate it. Barely able to stand I intervened and George turned his anger on me and we began to argue. He wanted to know where I expected him to sleep that night and I told him I didn’t care if he slept on broken glass in the gutter.
I demanded he leave as I caught my daughter before she hit the ground and he informed me that
there was no restraining order and if I called the PD- it would be my ass getting hauled out of his and his wife’s house. Adding what would happen to Denise then if no one where there to protect her.
He immediately ran to the other side of the room and produced from behind a big chair a pillow covered with blood. Holding it up like a trophy- he reminded me that this was the blood from my daughters head!
Losing all composure, I told him I thought he was a low life punk who was so proud of his trophy full of blood that he was so low he could crawl under a caterpillar with a high hat on. How can a 250 Lb bruiser be so proud to hammer in the head of a dying woman? I then became hysterical and uncontrollable through falling tears and hysteria I heard him threaten to blow my brains out. I responded that he was not man enough to do that- he had been threatening to do it for years but all he was man enough to do was hack a sick girls head in while she was sleeping. By this time others got between us as he attempted to attack me. He left. He called several hours later apologizing and telling Denise he found the receipt!
At almost 9 pm, he returned with a shotgun. Denise was sleeping, Louisa was at the very end of the couch working on her computer, nearly deaf, and she never heard him enter. When she spotted him hovering over Denis with a gun she immediately texted her son Marc 911 and then dialed her brother both who were within 3 blocks from the house.
Denise awoke to hear George demanding the phone and holding a gun. Groggy, she began looking for a phone to give him then heard a shot fire. When she turned to look all she saw was George peering down at her – the gun pointed at the ceiling. She had no idea what direction the gun shot landed nor where her sister was at the time. George now began pointing the gun at her and demanding pills.
By that time Louisa’s bother Tom had answered the phone, he did not hear the gunshot which apparently went off before he answered and after George realized Louisa was not going to give him that phone. George shot her to prevent her from completing a phone call. A phone call which would have prevented him from getting the drugs he was after.
I have always thought – if he really thought Louisa was me- he would have not asked for the phone – she would not have gotten off a text and a phone call- and he would have gone right over to her and either recognized her or shot her anyway instead of nudged Denise awake.
What Tom did hear when he answered the phone was George screaming at Denise to get up and get him the drugs. He jumped in his car and Marc having received the 911Text had jumped in his car. They each arrived and each entering from a different entrance, approached George while he was getting pills from Denise.
George turned the gun on Tom and pulled the trigger but the gun jammed. Before he could fire again, Marc jumped him from behind and subdued him until the police could arrive. Denise immediately dialed 911 and then they all noticed that Louisa was at the end of the couch in the dark not moving.
Louisa had suffered a shot to the face and head leaving her nearly dead. She currently resides in a State run hospital. I am in the process of looking into home care for Louisa as the long term care has proven to be totally inadequate for her care let alone rehabilitation LTC is more of an impersonal bed and medication ward for bodies attended to by overworked and understaffed floaters than a suitable care facility. Louisa is a young woman who deserves to be in a happy and caring atmosphere an attended to by care takers, and by doctors who actually examine her and prescribe with expectations of quality of life.
George was lucid enough to tell the officers exactly what happened that day and night – he says that he though Louisa was me and that he was very intoxicated and I had made him very angry and he decided to come over and kill me.
Denise Died from her cancer on March 7th. she went to her death feeling responsible for marrying the guy who shot her sister.
George has pleaded guilty throwing himself on the mercy of the court. He expects to get the minimum sentencing when all 10 counts including 2 attempted murders are to be served concurrently which looks like a sentence of 10-20. Serving 85% and time served … you figure it out!
Louisa remains incapacitated for life which should be another 40 years. Make no mistake- the best part of me died that night! George Hartwig came to kill me and in many ways– he succeeded!
Filed under: Indifference toward Women, Violence, Violence against women Tagged: | Betty Jean Kling, Denise Richardson, Domestic Violence in Lodi NJ, George Hartwig, Judge Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi, Lodi NJ, Louisa Richardson Rodas, Louisa Rodas, Richardson Domestic Violence in Lodi NJ, The Majority United