Ask most any law enforcement officer if they agree with protection orders, and you will most likely get an answer something like, you are taking a big chance with protection orders. And are they are right, and if so why? Because too many times a TRO, aka Temporary Restraining Order, aka Protection Order is issued and the person meant to be protected is vandalized, beaten or killed. Doesn’t sound like a very good thing does it?
But how could this be? If you are being stalked or a victim of a sexual crime, or domestic abuse you need protection, you deserve protection, your life depends on it. And once again, why is that? Because your tormentor, your perpetrator, the pervert who has you in their cross hairs needs to be stopped NOW, and the ugly truth is that at present this piece of paper states simply, “you (the perpetrator) need to stop this, now, or else! This person is so close to unhinged that a little piece of paper like this could send him or her over the edge, completely unhinged, and they will retaliate, against you, for doing nothing except trying to protect yourself, your children, and your pets. And your death could be on the table as one of the potential retaliations to this piece of paper.
Then of course there are the less lethal varieties of retaliation, your tires could be sliced, all four, your home may be entered and destroyed, your pets could be threatened, and then killed, on and sickening on, and sickening on. Doesn’t sound very much like protection does it? And if your perp is that close to being unhinged to begin with shouldn’t that be a clue as to how dangerousness he is to begin with?
Ever notice that if law enforcement is responding to a call, and there is a warning that the suspect is “to be considered armed, and dangerous” oh boy, there is now an entirely new protocol in place. Double the responders, weapons all drawn, shoot to kill. Why is a Protection Order in Place less important? Why is a suspected felony stalking that includes tapping on windows again any less of a danger? Why was a call for Morgan less important than “to be considered armed, and dangerous”. Why is she dead while her tormentor lives on? To Steve and I this does not seem very fair, or equitable.
Morgan identified her stalker to others, including law enforcement over 35 times. Five months after her death the Garfield Sheriff’s Department not only had no suspect, they all of a sudden NEVER had a suspect. Who was it that Morgan was reporting? K.V.G., grand theft auto, trespassing, breaking and entering, theft by receiving (as part of a plea bargain), possession with intent to distribute, identified by J.H., B.H’s father, as the stalker. The stalker that I was told with certainty, to the exclusion of all others, by the detective assigned to catch him, only two days before Morgan was murdered. The same detective that told me that things might escalate. The young man in question who so quickly pointed the finger at his “ex” girlfriend. Then pointed the finger at his next door neighbor, sorry Wiley, we know better, but he did try to blame you. The young man in question, that pillar of society, according to his manager at work, caught with a trunk load of drugs, and a scale, who regularly pawned gold for cash to the point they instantly recognized him as a regular customer. Where is he getting all this gold to pawn anyway? isn’t that worthy of one question? And in case you forgot, all of Morgan’s valuable jewelry was missing the night she was killed. Pumped up with at least 2,500 mg of a deadly drug. While pathologists across the country are lost for an explanation as to how her levels could be just under 8,000 ng/ml, which is ten times the level that would have caused little Morgan’s lethal dose. You read right, they were ten times what would have caused her death!
Dr. Kurtzman, the Forensic Pathologist that did Morgan’s autopsy had no problem with an explanation, “insignificant”, that’s what he said it was, insignificant even when questioned by other doctors! Until almost nine months later, when he decides it suddenly becomes “significant”, so much so that it proves her suicide, is this guy really serious? Did he talk with Morgan’s doctors, any of them? NO! Did he talk with her teachers, any of them? NO! Did he talk with her friends, any of them? NO! Did he talk with her parents, yes he did, and when we told him that she wasn’t taking that he told us the parents are always the last to know. I said that is not true, and he hung up.
I could go on for hours, but I’m sure you get the idea. Did they have a suspect? Yes! A #1, oh he did it, we are a 100% sure suspect. They just changed their mind, the Sheriff’s Department, after Morgan was found dead. Morgan does not get to change her mind, she suffers the consequences of incompetence, forever. Dead at age twenty, with a book full of plans for her future, only two years left before she can get her Bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT’s to go to law school, and the Sheriff’s department is content to read through her iphone, and decide no evidence on her death existed there.
Then where was it? The evidence? Or was Garfield County just more concerned with keeping their perfect suicide record they have going?
So what about those protection orders? I feel like it comes down to who is enforcing them, how, and how seriously. When I asked in the beginning about a protection order for Morgan I got double talk. It went like this – If you hold off on the protection order, we can do all these things that we won’t be able to do after you get a protection order. Sounded good so we held off with a protection order and then they promptly did none of the things they were going to do if we held off with the protection order. What exactly was the reasoning for that?
Read about protection orders, they travel with you. It is up to you, but a copy can be filed with every law enforcement agency at places you travel to, and they are required to be upheld. Are you thinking that only if you travel they are worth it? Remember my story about different agencies right here in the valley that do not communicate?
If Morgan had a protection order I could have filed it with the Garfield Sheriff’s Department, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department, the Aspen Police Department, the Snowmass Police Department, the Basalt Police Department, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department, the Carbondale Police Department, the Colorado State Troopers, and the Glenwood Springs Police Department. Then whenever Morgan saw the man, anywhere in this valley, that she had identified over 35 times to others, she would have an agency to call and they would be required to arrest him. Do you know how I know this? A lawyer explained it for me last week. Not Morgan’s detective who told me to hold off so he could implement a few things first, then did nothing. A lawyer told me. And this was just one of the many reasons he told us about protection orders, some were good, and some were not so good.
MISTAKE, trusting the local law when it comes to protection orders, see a lawyer or see a judge, and ask their advice, then ask the judge for free legal counsel, call victims rights in your state, and ask them for a referral. Don’t let your child get killed. They mean far too much to you, and to the world. And you deserve answers, early and often, not apologies, and avoidance, long after it is too late.
Morgan prays for all of the victims in the world…Steve and I join her. You deserve the best – the absolute best.