Judge DeAvila-Silebi gives a piece of peace to aggrieved survivors

By: Dara Carlin, M.A.
Cross Posted from: Honolulu Domestic Violence & Abuse Examiner

Vindicator: (noun) from the word “vindicate” (from www.yourdictionary.com)

  1. 1.       to clear from criticism, blame, guilt, suspicion, etc.; uphold by evidence or argument
  2. 2.       to defend or maintain (a cause, claim, etc.) against opposition
  3. 3.       to serve as justification for; justify

Vindicator: the perfect word to describe The Honorable Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi, who, today handed down her sentence regarding the 2008 shooting of Louisa Rodas, who was caring for her cancer-stricken sister, Denise, when the gunman – her sister’s husband – shot her in the head, believing her to be his mother-in-law, BettyJean Klinghttp://www.northjersey.com/news/crime_courts/032312_Lodi_man_gets_30_years_for_shooting_sister-in-law_in_the_face.html

Considering the gravity of the crime and its consequences it’s hard to imagine that the gunman would get anything less than the maximum but – as many domestic violence survivors can attest to – in light of the family context of the case, justice is something that’s never quite given as much weight as healing, forgiveness, “moving beyond” and conflict resolution so the cause for doubt and concern was warranted.  Justice was served, however, with the gunman being sentenced to 30 years and ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution.

Video: DV survivors are more accustomed to this

I heard from BettyJean following the sentencing (who couldn’t say enough about Judge DeAvila-Silebi) and asked her a few questions about how it all went.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Judge DeAvila-Silebi gives a piece of peace to aggrieved survivors – Honolulu Domestic Violence & Abuse | Examiner.com
http://www.examiner.com/domestic-violence-abuse-in-honolulu/judge-deavila-silebi-gives-a-piece-of-peace-to-aggrieved-survivors#ixzz1qKJwk5XT

Louisa Richardson Rodas needs your support Friday 3/23/12

BettyJean Downing –Kling

For Immediate Release:


We need to fill this courtroom, can Louisa count on your physical support Friday?

Sentencing
Friday March 23
Hackensack, NJ  Courthouse
10 main Street Room 412 1:30 PM

Honorable Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi
Justice Center
10 Main Street
Hackensack 07601-7699

Case# 09-06-1226-I, New Jersey vs. George Hartwig Sentencing scheduled for February 24, 2012

Dear Judge DeAvila-Silebi,

    I am the mother of Denise Richardson and Louisa Richardson- Rodas. I am making this statement to you on their behalf because they cannot. Denise died in the spring of 2009 and Louisa is no longer able to speak.

    George Hartwig was married to my daughter Denise; they were together for 23 years. The marriage was marred by many acts of domestic violence on his part towards her. He was cruel and vicious to her during the relationship and marriage but for reasons a mother will never know, she kept taking him back.

    In June of 2007, Denise was at her home in Lodi. She was suffering and nearing the end of a three year battle with ovarian cancer. She was awakened to sharp blows to her head and body because Gorge Hartwig was trying to kill her. She begged for her life and she was finally able to convince him that if he stopped beating her she would give to him what he wanted the most, her pain medication.

    On December 17, 2008 George Hartwig was scheduled to go to court for the June 07 attack on Denise. On December 15, 2008 he entered 540 North Main Street, Lodi where I was caring for Denise. Denise was in the final stages of Ovarian Cancer and she weighed only 80 Lbs. George began to drag her around the living room and only stopped when I intervened in order to defray his attention away from her. He kept holding up the bloody pillow from the last time he had beaten Denise. He finally left but not before threatening to kill me with a gun.

    George returned hours later with a shotgun. Denise was sleeping and Louisa was at the very far end of the couch working on her computer. She never heard him enter, when Louisa spotted him hovering over Denise holding a shotgun, she immediately texted her son Marc for help.

    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 took nor where her sister was at the time. George now began pointing the gun at her and demanding her pain pills.

    Louisa had used the phone to call for help. George saw her and shot her in the face with his shotgun. My son and grandson arrived and George tried to shoot my son Tommy but the gun jammed. Marc then subdued him and the police came.

    Louisa had suffered a shot to the face and head leaving her nearly dead.

    George was lucid enough to tell the officers exactly what happened that day and night – he said that he thought Louisa was me and that I had made him very angry and he decided to come over and kill me.

    Denise died from her cancer on March 7, 2009. She never saw her sister again and she was forced to go to her death feeling responsible for marrying the guy who shot her sister.

    The court appearance scheduled for December 17, 2008 never happened. George was never required to answer for the beating he gave to Denise back in June of 2007.

    Louisa suffered severe traumatic brain injury. She currently resides at a Sate run hospital known as the Bergen Regional Medical Center (formerly Bergen Pines). She requires 24 hour care but receives only a tiny fraction of the care she needs. So much of her care depends on me. Louisa is a young woman who deserves to be in a happy and caring atmosphere attended to by care takers and by doctors who actually examine her and prescribe with expectations of quality of life.

This long term care facility hospital is far from that. Louisa’s injuries rendered her physically helpless and mentally incompetent but not oblivious or comatose. During this time she has been subjected to continuous acts of negligent medical treatment, physical abuse and personal neglect at the hands of management, nursing and support staff. Specifically, Louisa suffered from severe rashes, infections and other ailments the facility completely failed to reasonably treat or attend at all. On numerous occasions BMC completely neglected Louisa in that she was forced to lie in her own feces for extended lengths of time without proper nursing assistance. Louisa has often exhibited signs of bruising and various other traumas to her body, face and hands without explanation. Louisa is denied daily ear, eye, nose and mouth care. Finally, Louisa has been denied appropriate medical attention when she becomes ill and needs special care she also has been denied physical, occupational and speech therapy. Instead she is merely warehoused as if she were an unfeeling vegetable. Louisa is well aware of these wretched conditions and her untenable situation and feels pain and discomfort and she is able to clearly express this hurt and distress.

    For all intents and purposes, her life has been taken away from her. Louisa remains incapacitated for life which should be another 40 years.  While there may ultimately be a light at the end of George Hartwig’s tunnel, there is none for my daughter and her family. We will sleep with one eye open at best, knowing that she needs constant care and attention. I worry constantly over the fact that the day will come when I cannot care for her. And then, what will we do?

    This man, for no good reason bullied and battered two innocent young women and if he had his way, he would have killed my son and me. There can never be justice for my daughters and my family; nevertheless, I ask Your Honor to do the best that the law permits in punishing this man for his evil acts.

    I further ask to court to order him to pay restitution to my daughter Louisa for the extensive medical care she has incurred and will need in the future. I have been told that George Hartwig settled a civil lawsuit and received a substantial amount of money. I request that the Court make inquiry into his assets and any disposition he made of them over the period of time since he attacked my daughters over three years ago.

“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand: there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend; some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.” –Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

J. R. R. Tolkien has the talent for putting thoughts into words that I, as her representative and that of her children cannot. How could I possibly put into words our journey and all the events that brought us to where we are today? These past three years, I have asked myself, “What does the human spirit need in order to heal and move on?”

I have settled on the following: We need a safe place to share our pain and be acknowledged, we need compassion, we need to know that we and others will be protected from the perpetrator, we need accountability — someone who will hold the perpetrator accountable, we need restitution for the losses incurred by the victim, and we need justice (not revenge) but vindication — to be set free. Scars remain, but healing is sufficient so as not to continue to be held in bondage to the trauma.

I am attaching photos of my daughters. They are self-explanatory and substantiate and support the information I report to you herein.

I thank you for Louisa, and her sons Marc and Josh Richardson and our family for the opportunity to be heard in this matter,

Betty Jean Downing- Kling

Louisa waits: Sentencing POSTPONED Again, Defense prepares a leniency filing!


Sentencing POSTPONED Again
From 1/27 – To 2/24 -To  3/23
Justice delayed is Justice denied

Help get Justice for Louisa

URGENT- the squeaky wheel gets the oil! I’m Louisa’s Mom and I need your help. Here are three things you can do to help! What would you do if this were your daughter?  You too would not stop or give up reaching out – looking for JUSTICE. Neither will I – if you have not already done so – please help- we still have time to get hundreds more letters out. It has come to my attention the Defense is asking for leniency! The sentencing has already been postponed twice now they need another postponement because the defense attorney needs time to files a motion for leniency for George. George plead guilty to all 10 counts against his Lawyers wishes and now his lawyer is trying to get him the best possible outcome—but his client has already told the sorry story to the judge.

Can you hear me now? His high priced attorney is begging for LENIENCY on behalf of his client who plead guilty to 10 counts including 2 counts of attempted murder – on which left my daughter missing half of her head, half a brain and almost no life at all!

Come see pictures of my daughter – who is going to show her leniency and replace her missing skull, eye, jaw, right half of her brain and memory? Who will give her the ability to sit, stand walk and eat? Who will give her any kind of life back? Leniency for poor George?

THIS is not a case of retribution it is a case of accountability! Justice demands George is held accountable for his actions! No leniency!

Now we also have time to ask for leniency – but not for George! Updates to her story are available please follow the enclosed links. While there please leave comments and find information on how you can help with fair sentencing.  We are urging concerned citizens to write to the judge requesting George Hartwig be sentenced to the full extent of the law.

1- We need hi visibility and we hope we can get it at the newspaper contact  http://www.northjersey.com/news big-time! The higher the interest in this cases the better the chances we will get results of fair sentences, He came to kill me: Don’t think for one moment he didn’t succeed. at the record, direct readers to the family blog where they can find updated pictures of Louisa and her condition now!

2- PLEASE We need hi visibility and we hope we can get it on the internet –  blog about it -or leave comments on our blog, tweet  it and by all means spread the word on Facebook..  Please come  https://freemenow.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/victim-impact-statement-let-me-be-the-face-of-dv-reform/#comments and leave your comments – leave a record of your concern for posterity.

3- It is URGENT our Comments and letter to the judge are respectful and support of  consecutive sentencing rather than the plea deal offered by the prosecutor and rejected by the defendant in lieu of lesser sentence because George says “He was very intoxicated”.

One sample letter below. Other samples and copies of your letters will be appreciated in the comments section at Louisa’s Blog:

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

Case# 09-06-1226-I, New Jersey vs. George Hartwig Sentencing scheduled for March 23, 2012

Dear Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi,

I am writing as a concerned citizen interested in fair and equal justice for women, about the case of George Hartwig and his violence against his wife, Denise Richardson, and his sister-in-law, Louisa Rodas. This case, as you well know, is one of the most tragic accounts of domestic violence in recent memory. I have followed this case closely since these crimes were committed by George Hartwig in December of 2008.

It is apparent to me, and to most women alive today, that the law does not adequately protect women from abusers known and unknown, and that the convention in law is to allow for lesser sentences when a man abuses a person, especially a woman or child, that he knows and has a relationship with. This seems completely upside down to me. A man who perpetrates violence against a woman with whom he has a relationship–whatever that relationship–should receive a harsher, not a lesser sentence. Women should, without question, expect that the men in their lives will at the very least do them no physical harm.

George Hartwig has a long history of criminal activity, including domestic violence and drug/alcohol charges. If the law had done its job when it released him after he had bashed in the skull of his wife to secure her pain medications for himself, Louisa might still be the functioning, smiling woman she was before George Hartwig shot her. The law will have to live with that black stain up it, but it can take action to correct this wrong.

I am writing to ask you to sentence George Hartwig to the maximum sentences that are allowed for the 10 crimes he’s been charged with, and that you order these sentences to be served consecutively. Doing this will send a powerful message to the women of today that the law will have their backs when they are victims of a crime at the hands of a loved one. It will also serve as a powerful message to the men in your community that violence against women they are supposed to love and cherish will not be tolerated by the society in which they live. You have the power to deliver this message, to stop giving this man more chances to harm more women, including Betty Jean Kling, whose life will be in danger if he is ever released. I urge you to do the right thing and deliver this message in the form of your sentence upon George Hartwig.

I thank you for taking the time to consider my appeal and the appeals of others who are interested in seeking fair and equal justice for  women who suffer domestic violence.

Sincerely,

Victim Impact Statement: Let me be the Face of DV Reform

Louisa Richardson Rodas by BettyJean Downing

I cannot speak, I can cry out for help or tell anyone what is happening to me, to add insult to injury I can’t report my abusers or the neglect I suffer. All I can do is take it and cry until Momma comes and finds me in deplorable condition. She has filed report after report to no avail. This is my existence now and the one I will endure for the rest of my life. Given that my heart and organs are in great shape that will be a normal life span of about 40 more years in solitary confinement and at the mercy of strangers. Where is the mercy for me? I was protecting my sister from an abuser the courts would not incarcerate and I am confined for life with no one to protect me? Where is the justice for the innocent survivors of crimes?

 I am trying to help and/or protect others from crimes against women through the efforts of my mother. We have proposed a law in my name in an effort to strengthen violence against women laws and see that they are enforced.

George was never sentenced for nearly killing my dying sister with a hammer over 3 years ago – he was angry and loose when he returned. Then while I tried to call for help finding him holding a shotgun over her- he blew my brains out. The first step is in getting him sentenced appropriately then we will move to get Louisa’s law passed.

Will you help us? http://louisaslaw.wordpress.com/louisas-law/

Louisa’s Law seeks to require significant, effective sentences and strictly enforce VAW laws to reduce violence against women, using a three pronged approach of Prevention, Services and Accountability.

My mom comes to the Long Term Care Facility every night, we want you to see the impact George’s actions have made and why if he had been in jail for the first crime – I would not be in this position today. We want you to see why DV needs to be reformed. I am the face of DV reform. I want you to see what the effects of DV really look like and why you need to help NOW. This could your daughter, sister, mother, neighbor next. 

Look how she finds me?
I can’t wound myself this way, yet they say I did this to myself.  My body is banged and bruised, my faced is bashed against the bed rails and once mom saw them bash me in the head with a lift machine and two against one they denied it.

I am not given mouth care, my Mom comes each night to clean my mouth and suction my throat out so I don’t choke to death. She then scrubs my face and neck , picks my nose and clears the  stuff from my one eye and the empty socket to keep the reoccurring eye infections away – because that is not done for me by the facility.

Mom puts me to bed ever night! Friday night is shower night- Mom comes – she is the one who showers me- I like shower night because that is when the stench of urine and feces is really removed from my body best and my hair is made to smell so clean and look so shiny! Mom put baby powder on me like when I was a baby and I like being babied every night when she puts me to bed.

I have had numerous  horrible rashes, my rashes are so bad they bleed from the  blisters. Mom has had terrible fights with the heads of this place because she has taken pictures of the rashes — they say she is not allowed but she takes them anyway. She has documentation of all the neglect and abuse but can’t show the rashes here. You would cry if you had my rashes between your legs on your vagina and between the cheeks of your butt. You would not be able to sit and urinating/or moving your bowels  into a diaper then sitting in it for hours would be torture!

My finger was smashed and they refused to attend to it – I nearly lost the finger but my mother lanced it and saved it just as it was about to turn gangrene.

This is not about revenge- I will never be made whole, my mom nor my sons will ever be made whole,  but we ask that the price we all pay stands for something and that something is the future of DV no longer be a revolving door of injustice for the innocent survivor.  I am the face of one such survivor. Let’s stop this before it happens to you or someone you love! Help us help you – Please don’t sit by until it happens to you or someone you love – then it’s too late!

Louisa’s Law seeks to require significant, effective sentences and strictly enforce VAW laws to reduce violence against women, using a three pronged approach of Prevention, Services and Accountability. http://louisaslaw.wordpress.com/louisas-law/

Sentencing for George Hartwig will be handed down on 2/24/12 before:

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

Please write the Judge and ask for consequtive sentences so that George serves for at least both attempted murders! He has thrown himself on the mercy of the court asking for the minimum and to serve as little as 10 years – we are asking for at least 40. Please help us send the message – DV is a serious crime and should be ajudicated as such!

Steven Seale: Join one man’s plea for “Justice for Louisa”

BettyJean Downing-Kling

The following letter speaks for itself- I had to share this with you. Please find it in your heart to join Steven and ask justice be applied to this as we hope it will stand a precedent for all DV cases. It is time to stand up for Justice! Steven has eloquently made the case, but even a simple letter will suffice. Please join this effort. Sample letters can be found: http://louisaslaw.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/help-get-justice-for-louisa/

January 12, 2012

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

Your Honor,

I am writing you in regards to the case of New Jersey vs. Hartwig. It has come to my attention that you are scheduled to sentence Mr. Hartwig. I am also writing to you not only on behalf of my long time friend BettyJean Kling, the mother of the victim (Louisa) and her family, but also on my own behalf. I am a parent as well as a natural born US citizen.

I, have been privileged and blessed to have born a single and magnificent Son, Jonathan, now of age 27. He has far surpassed his Father in life and value to his communities through his own efforts of scholastics, and personal responsibility for himself and his actions. I can honestly say that I have never once heard him say anything at all that was unkind to another. He has more good, kind, law abiding and faithful friends then I might have ever imagined. He is a beacon of light and faith to them and to me and his Mother. In my words…”He is the best thing that I ever did.” He is a wonderful human asset, a productive member of society, and I am VERY proud that it is he alone that will carry my family name forward. At least if he is not stopped short in life as was Louisa.

In brief your honor, I don’t want to labor you with rhetoric, or the facts that I am confident can be found in your case files. I simply want to say that the perpetrator in this matter does indeed have a problem that needs to be addressed appropriately and in a manner that will provide our communities with the assurance that such crimes will always result in the maximum allowable penalty when the case facts are clear and indisputable. Single handedly, the perpetrator has taken away a human resource, that like my Son, was a beacon of light to so many people. She was kind and loving, productive, honest, law abiding, and believed in the close ties of friends and family. Success seemed to follow her everywhere, and a room would light up when she walked into it. She couldn’t help it.

Perhaps you also are a parent; maybe even own a pet that you dearly love. And if so, you have guided, protected, nourished and also prayed for them to enjoy a better life. Free from harm but not challenge.

Everything has changed for Louisa’s family. Nothing will ever be the same.

I have always had a lot of faith in our justice system to do the right thing. I recognize that it’s not a perfect system and it doesn’t always work how everybody would want it to. That is part of life in the ‘civilized’ world. I have that same faith in you as you preside over this case and make your ruling. I want to look back on this case after your ruling and sentence is carried out and be able to say this:

“Within the allowed law, he was taken off the street for as long as was possible to further insure that he won’t have the slightest chance to regain the privilege of living in the public sector, as a free man, and that he will be asked to accept the appropriate just consequences (not punishment) and take responsibility for his own actions, even if by force of incarceration.”

I know that every case decision and sentence that you hand down is based on serving justice to the best of your ability and according to the letter of the law and all other factors. I would be remiss in my duties as a Father to not ask you to put the perpetrator where he truly belongs for as long as possible. Further, if there is some matter or point of law allowing you to extend his consequences, please consider and take that action as well. My entire family will breathe easier that justice, all that was available under the law way served.

Thank you for your consideration,

Steven Seale
Marietta, GA 30062

Louisa’s Law :To Reduce DV by Prevention, Services and Accountability

BettyJean Downing Kling

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 fully 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. It’s time to send the message of zero tolerance. And It’s time to create specific sentences for VAW. Women must feel safer to file complaints and testify against their perpetrators and violators must take committing violence against women as the serious crime it is. * Statistics need to be updated to 2012

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.

Proposed Draft of Louisa’s law

Louisa’s Law seeks to require significant, effective sentences and strictly enforce VAW laws to reduce violence against women, using a three pronged approach of Prevention, Services and Accountability.

a)      Speedy trials because of the risk of repeat violence perpetrated while free on bail and incarceration during sentencing period;

b)      Enter an automatic and enforceable order of protection with a minimum term of ten years;

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)   Violator must enter an approved batter/anger management program with monitoring;

g)   Require a compliance conference before the judge for accountability;

h)   Sentences must be served rather than suspended so that the victims and their families are safe.

i)  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;

J.) Pro bono legal services are provided to the victim to advise her of her rights and direct her for help and services.

K.) 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.

 

 

 

 

Join our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/MajorityUnited and register to be a part of the TMU WOMEN coalition that will advance Louisa’s Law , to reduce DV by prevention, services and demanding accountability. In this way we will change the way Justice is meeted out to abusers and reduce injustice  toward their  victims women, children and male intimate partners as well.

TMU is a non partisan group seeking equitable JUSTICE for All!

He came to kill me: Don’t think for one moment he didn’t succeed.

BettyJean Downing Kling: The Majority United

Update: George Hartwig gets 30 years for shooting sister-in-law in the face: DV Justice at last

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

Dee just before he blugeoned her head open. Her late brother Mikie always framed in her pictures with her. She was asleep on that chair and it was that pillow covered with the blood that George used to taunt us that morning!

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!

Below the pictures of what he did to both my daughters. First Denise helpless and dying of cancer:

The next is of Louisa- the result of George not wanting her to complete a phone call to her brother Tommy for help.     

In the summer of 2007 my daughters and our husbands had a vacation together- we ere the only family George hd for the last 23 years before he destroyed our world. He didn’t deserve us and we didn’t deserve him.

Our family holidays always inc. 4 generations: My parents Roy & Louise Downing; Bj & Dick Kling; Denise and her son Christopher; Louisa & Frank and her sons Marc & Joshua. Photo taken the Easter 2007 before Denise lost her hair. George took the picture.

Help Louisa: Does this have to happen to your daughter for you to take action?

Another Rant by BettyJean Kling

I sent out thousands of requests- thousands of requests from my personal address book!

I then sent our 5000+ via TMU newsletter.

I then put it out on FaceBook to nearly 4000 who friended me and then to my TMU group and to several Domestic violence groups.

But out of 10,000 requests- I am embarrassed to say the response was pitiful. Is it any wonder our women are being slaughtered daily and the prosecutors and judges take it so lightly? Does it have to happen to your daughter for you to take action?

Do you perhaps have to see the gruesome details of my once beautiful daughter to be moved to action? So be it! Here she is!

This is Louisa, my daughter who at 40- not a gray hair, not a wrinkle – no need for make-up which she never wore. Louisa had a smile that lit up the room and a giggle that made the saddest depressed person have to laugh out loud. She was a business owner, a graphic artist and one heck of a gal.

She is my baby, a mother, a wife, a grandchild, a sister, a friend, a neighbor, a woman!

She was caring for her dying sister Denise when she was shot in the face by her brother-in law George Hartwig. She was there protecting her dying sister from this brute who was out of jail without bail after bludgeoning his wife’s bald head with a hammer a few months earlier. When Louisa tried to phone for help he told her to “put down that phone” and when she refused he aimed at her head and blew her brains out of the right side of her head! She lost half of her skull and brains her eye, her memory – she is paralyzed for the rest of her life. She does not know her family including her children; she cannot speak, stand, or even express her needs. We have no idea what she thinks as she lays there. But she is otherwise strong and young so she has a long life sentence of this ahead of her.

George has a great attorney who wants a plea deal. Remember, had he not been loose after crushing my other daughter Denise- bald head in a few months earlier – he would not have been roaming the streets and could not have done this to Louisa. Are we going to give him yet another deal?

I need your help- I will even write a simple letter for you. Do you want me to pay for the stamp? I will even do that but please in the name in good conscience stand up for the victims right and stand up for human rights. Stand up for Louisa – she can’t speak for herself.

To: John L. Molinelli
Bergen County Prosecutor
10 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

State vs. George Hartwig Re: Louisa Rodas

Dear Prosecutor Molinelli,

I am writing this letter to you because I am profoundly saddened that there is some discussion of a plea agreement in the case of George Hartwig who savagely shot and disabled Louisa Rodas. I am asking you to proceed to trial and prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law. It is important that justice be served.

It’s time to stop slapping the hands of perpetrators of violence against women and children. Let’s hold them fully accountable for their actions. It’s time to take violence against women more seriously – seriously enough to say – no more plea deals when violence does happen. It’s time to expect Judges to take this more seriously and provide stiff sentences to the fullest extent of the law. It’s time to Stand up to Violence against Women.

The overcrowding of your courts and prisons are not our problem justice is our problem. A victim’s first scream is for help; a victim’s second scream is for justice.

The primary reason women fail to report violence or fail to follow through is the failure of the courts to provide protection and to prosecute domestic violence to the full extent of the law. Many victims feel safer negotiating with their perpetrator than relying on the system to protect them or to bring them justice.

Sincerely

Concerned citizen

If this plea doesn’t get a response- I am going to have to wonder if any of you care a fig about women at all? I am going to have to wonder what you think you can expect if this happens to your child. We need to stand up now- we need Louisa’s Law!

Louisa’s Law which will require those with the power to do so to “Stand up to Violence against Women”

It’s time to stop slapping the hands of perpetrators of violence against women and children. Let’s hold them fully accountable for their actions. Let’s hold prosecutors feet to the fire – no more plea deals when violence does happen. Let’s hold Judges accountable for sentencing these violators to the fullest extent of the law by handing down stiff sentences.

On the meantime I urge you to join us in calling an end to a proposed plea deal in the case of George Hartwig.

  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women
  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew
  • Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.

    http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf

***************************
John L. Molinelli
Bergen County Prosecutor
10 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Phone (201) 646-2300
Fax: (201) 646-3794
http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/

Health Care… in the name of a Mother’s Love

Update on Betty Jean’s daughter, Louisa…

From the day that Louisa was shot, her mother, Betty Jean Kling, has maintained a daily vigil of hope, care and love at Louisa’s side.

For those that may not know the story, 14 months ago Louisa was shot in the face with a shotgun, by her sister’s (Denise, who was in the final stages of ovarian cancer) former husband.  The damages to Louisa’s face, skull and brain were so severe that she was not expected to live through the night.

Louisa is now in a convalescent center and receiving no ‘professional’ rehabilitation, therapy or progressive health care, due to the prognosis of her being so severely brain damaged that she would be incapable of improving any further. She is presumed to be completely “blind,” although she opens one eye and her head follows her mother’s every move through her room.

…But, for a Mother’s Love

Each afternoon, whether rain, sleet, snow, sickness or even knee surgery, Betty Jean visits her daughter. She talks to her, hugs her, kisses her face, reads to her and plays her favorite music. Betty Jean has continued to work  with Louisa because she knows,  she sees what Louisa’s caregivers apparently cannot – that Louisa not only understands everything that her mother is doing, but is responding; Louisa is still fighting to recover – and to communicate her feelings, wants and needs.

One finger, “No!” –  two fingers, “Yes!” – middle finger, “You’re not listening to me!”

So, mother and daughter figured out some basics: one finger for “No,” two fingers for “Yes,” and the middle finger for… uh… sort of like…  “You’re not listening to me” (also known as:  Screw you!)

Mother and daughter also play ball. That’s right!  Louisa can throw and catch a ball now!… that is, when Louisa feels like it…  if she doesn’t, and mother keeps pushing, even mother gets that blessed… “You’re not listening to me” middle-finger-signal.)

Most importantly,  it is apparent that Louisa has re-learned that her life matters, that her mother will never give up on her and that, to her mother, the quality of her daughter’s health care is more  important now, than ever – now that she is unable to fully fight for her own quality of health care.

Yesterday,  Louisa pulled out her Tracheostomy Tube – for the fourth or fifth time since she was injured. She was rushed from the convalescent center to the hospital emergency room. This time, Louisa was able to communicate to the doctor that she did not want the breathing tube reinserted. This time, the doctor listened – because Betty Jean, who had traveled through a snow storm, arriving just moments before they reinserted the tube, asked the doctor if she had asked her daughter if that is what she wanted. The doctor said: “No, she can’t communicate.”

This time… Betty Jean was able to say: “Oh yes she can!”

And, this time…

…Louisa was able to say “NO!”

This time, a doctor said, “I am listening and I hear you, Louisa.”  As of this morning, at 10 am, Louisa has been breathing comfortably, on her own, for 20 hours. Her oxygen level is normal. The doctor, a woman, also began ordering tests on her overall physical condition, as precautionary measures, in Louisa’s best interest. As a result of this doctor’s thoroughness, they discovered some other, unrelated medical issues that needed attention. That’s called: “Health Care” – especially for those caught in situational cracks that may not have a voice – other than the voices of others, fighting for their rights.

In the early hours of this morning, a male nurse, who had been on duty the very night Louisa had been shot, 14 months ago, rolled a regular hospital bed into Louisa’s room in emergency…

…Mother and Daughter slept, side-by-side.

I am certain that if I could have asked Louisa if it would be okay that I post a video in tribute to she and her  mother’s love, it would have been  “Two Fingers”…

To Mother and Daughter, Betty Jean Kling and Louisa…

__________________

__________________

Do ya think we can send George to Arizona?

By: BettyJean Kling

geoGeorge Hartwig shot my baby girl Louisa in the face with a shotgun while she was phoning for help. He was forcing her 80 Lb. dying sister Denise for her cancer pain meds. Denise is gone now, Louisa is not far behind. George comes up for arraignment for aggravated assault in August 17th in Bergen County N.J.  We can’t send him to Arizona but we can send letters to Bergen County NJ insisting NO BARGANS–  prosecute George to the full extent of the law! He assaulted Denise for 23 years; he was out on his own recognizance taking a claw hammer to her head resulting in 85 stitches the previous June. I need your help to ensure we get some Justice- please help!      Louisa’s Law 2009

PS- aside from the obvious PINK= sexist- Joe is doing a great job on these guys  and the ACU can kiss my pituddy if thy expect me to feel sorry for George Hartwig or any other abuser!

You all remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona , who painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb. Well…………..

 joe

SHERIFF JOE IS AT IT AGAIN!

Oh, there ‘ s MUCH more to know about Sheriff Joe! Maricopa County was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay. The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who ‘ d like
to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows. The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. Teresa and I adopted a Weimaraner from a Maricopa County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in
great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost us $78.

The prisoners get the benefit of about $0..28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.

I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand. He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat, and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 – $8 for the Holidays, and plant it later… We have six trees in our yard from the Prison.

Yup, he was re-elected last year with 83% of the vote. Now he’s in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural, that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn’t doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He ‘ s kind of a ‘ Git-R Dun ‘ kind of Sheriff.

 TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO HE IS THE MARICOPA ARIZONA COUNTY SHERIFF AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY: Sheriff Joe Arpaio (In Arizona ) who created the ‘ Tent City Jail ‘

He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights Cut off all but ‘ G ‘ movies. He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county
and city projects. Then He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn’t Get Sued

For Discrimination.He took away cable TV Until he found out there was A Federal Court
Order that Required Cable TV For Jails So He Hooked Up The Cable TV Again Only Let In The Disney Channel And The Weather Channel. When asked why the weather channel He Replied, So They Will Know How Hot It’s Gonna Be While They Are Working On My Chain Gangs.

He Cut Off Coffee Since It Has Zero Nutritional Value. When the inmates complained, he told them, ” This Isn’t The Ritz/Carlton……If You Don’t Like It, Don’t Come Back.”

More On The Arizona Sheriff: With Temperatures Being Even Hotter Than Usual In Phoenix (116 Degrees Just Set A New Record), the Associated Press Reports:

About 2,000 Inmates Living In A Barbed-Wire-Surrounded Tent Encampment At The Maricopa County Jail Have Been Given Permission To Strip Down To Their Government-Issued Pink Boxer Shorts. On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached138 Degrees Inside

The Week Before. Many Were Also Swathed In Wet, Pink Towels As Sweat Collected On
Their Chests And Dripped Down To Their PINK SOCKS. ‘ It Feels Like We Are In A Furnace, ‘ Said James Zanzot, An Inmate Who Has Lived In The TENTS for 1 year. ‘ It’s Inhumane. ‘

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: ‘ It’s 120 Degrees In Iraq And Our Soldiers Are Living In Tents Too, And They Have To Wear Full Battle Gear, But They didn’t Commit Any Crimes,So Shut Your Mouths! ‘ Way To Go, Sheriff!

Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes – not live in luxury until it’s time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can’t afford to have for themselves.