A Life Taken: Darneshah Qualls

darnesha

Tuesday, September 13th, the day a life was cut terribly short. Darneshah Qualls, 23, was murdered by her boyfriend, Kadarrin Johnson. The incident occurred at their home in Memphis, TN. Around 12:30a.m., Johnson walked into the house, armed with a rifle, and pointed it at the people in the home. Qualls and another person approached Johnson and tried to calm him down. Instead Johnson opened fire. Qualls was shot, but the two other witnesses escaped unharmed.

When the police arrived, Johnson resisted arrested and tried to take one of the officer’s gun. The officer pepper sprayed Johnson and finally restrained and arrested him. He was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and using a firearm during a felony.

According to a close friend of Qualls, Johnson and Qualls had been high school sweethearts. They’d just moved into their home two months ago. The friend went on to say that was the first time she’d heard of Johnson becoming violent. In my opinion, I’m sure there was a lot Qualls may have kept from family and friends. None of us know what goes on behind the closed doors of someone else’s home. I’m also sure that even though this may be the first time anyone has ever heard of Johnson being violent, this wasn’t his first time.

So many were shocked to find out I was going through hell, when all they saw was a smile on my face. And that may be exactly what Qualls went through. There is still no information on why Johnson turned violent and murdered Qualls. But I promise to update you with more information as it is released.

Darneshah left behind a 5-year-old daughter. My heart breaks to hear that another life has been taken by the man that said he loved her.

Finally, I urge those of you who are in abusive relationships to get out before it’s too late. I know it’s hard and terrifying, but please get out now. It could save your life.

~There is life after abuse~

 

P.S.

The Qualls family has set up a GoFundMe Page to help with funeral cost. To donate click here.

Missing: Keila Freeman

keila

Keila Freeman, mother of two, has been missing for a week. When questioned by the police, the husband said he last saw her at 3:30a.m. Tuesday morning. He stated that she parked in the garage and sat in the car. Apparently, he went to bed and woke up again around 4a.m. and saw that she wasn’t in bed. He called her phone, but there was no answer. By 6a.m. he called her mother. When Keila’s mother arrived, she found Keila’s car keys still in the ignition. In the house, Keila’s purse was on the coffee table, and her jeans were found on the floor with her debit card in the pocket. The police haven’t found any other clues in their search or they have chosen not to share what they have found.

A few days after Keila Freeman went missing, Randall Freeman was arrested for arson. He was caught on surveillance video throwing a burning object into a house two miles from his home. His bond has been set at $500,000. Keila’s family has offered $10,000 for any information on her whereabouts. If you have any information, contact the Memphis Police Department at (901)545-2677/(901)636-3300.

keila2

Over the past weekend, family, friends, and volunteers met in front Freeman’s home for a vigil before going out on a search. Please pray that this family will be united with their loved one.

~Be Blessed~

A Dangerous Release

jail

If you recall, back in July I did an article on Brock Turner. Turner was caught in the act of raping an unconscious woman. He was charged with five felonies, but was only found guilty of three. The intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person. His sentence…six months in Santa Clara County jail. With good behavior, he could be released in three. And of course, he was on his best behavior. And as of today, Turner will be released. He will be free to return home and continue on with his life.

Turner has been described as showing no remorse for the crimes he has committed. Which I believe is in his bloodline, considering his father and mother showed no remorse either. If you remember, Turner’s father was quoted as saying, this is “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” Unbelievable! With this one quote, we understand why Turner believes that he is not at fault.

jail2

During his trial, Turner tried to blame his actions on the party culture at college. He said, “I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school. I’ve lost my chance to swim in the Olympics. I’ve lost my ability to obtain a Stanford degree. I’ve lost employment opportunity, my reputation and most of all, my life.” I’m sorry, did you read an apology in there anywhere? I sure didn’t. Did he seem remorseful to you? I didn’t see that either. This rapist will be free to go home by no later than noon today. Just in time for Labor Day and family barbecues.

Turner has been blaming everyone else for his actions. Not once has he mentioned the young woman that he has changed for life. He’s only been worried about himself. One thing he said, that suck out to me was, “one needs to recognize the influence that peer pressure and the attitude of having to fit in can have on someone.” So, he felt raping a woman was a great way to fit in with the crowd? Are you serious? I’m sorry, Mr. Turner, you do not get off this easily. You will not get to brush this off your shoulder and then under a rug. We will remember your name and your deeds. We will remember the heartless way you blamed everyone but yourself. I only hope that this will stick with you as it will stick with your victim.

If you follow CNN on Facebook, they did a live coverage of protestors standing outside the prison. I highly suggest that you watch and listen to the interviews of the protestors, some of them survivors themselves. This is like a slap in the face to all of them…to all of us!

This Is an Epidemic

no

David Becker…

Austin James Wilkerson…

Nate Parker…

And the list sadly goes on and on. We are in a times when sexual assault is becoming the norm. The word “no”, unconsciousness, incoherent, mean absolutely nothing. Case after case, the perpetrator gets a slap on the wrist and gets to move on with their life, unscathed. Possibly to rape someone else. While the victim has to find a way to go on with their lives. Sadly, some can’t find the strength to go on and ultimately end their lives. Each of these men have been unleashed on the world to possibly hurt again.

For the Becker case, David Becker was accused of raping two unconscious classmates at a party. His punishment, two years of probation and an evaluation for sex offender treatment. He won’t have to register as a sex offender. The judge continued the case until August 2018. One of the victims said that her and her friend fell asleep in the same bed and woke up to Becker assaulting them. She even said that Becker was known around school campus as “David the Rapist”. Becker’s lawyer said, “We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18, 19 years old, and we shouldn’t be branded for life with a felony offense and branded a sex offender. The fact that anyone is deeming sexual assault as a mistake and not a crime is unbelievable to me.

Austin Wilkerson, is a former University of Colorado student, who was also sentenced to two years of probation under work release. Which means Wilkerson will be able to go to work and school during the day and report to jail at night. Now, Wilkerson did receive 20 years of sex offender-specific intensive probation. This will include treatment and therapy and lifetime registration as a sex offender. I don’t know if the registering as a sex offender will stick, but we will see.

Lastly, there’s Nate Parker. Parker is known for his movie Birth of a Nation, for which he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in. Back in 1999 Parker was attending Pennsylvania State University when he was charged with rape. He claimed that the victim knew what was happening and that it was consensual sex. It’s been said that the case has overshadowed the release of his movie debut. The victim unfortunately committed suicide in 2012.

All of these cases have one horrible thing in common: the fact that each victim has to watch their rapist get away scot-free. As always there are links provided below.

 

~Be Blessed~

 

Former High School Star Athlete Accused of Rape Gets Probation

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/david-becker-rape-case-former-high-school-star-athlete-accused-of-rape-gets-probation/

Ex-University of Colorado Student’s Sex Assault Sentence Questioned

http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/11/us/colorado-sexual-assault-sentence/

Nate Parker and the Limits of Empathy

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/opinion/sunday/nate-parker-and-the-limits-of-empathy.html?_r=0

A Family in Turmoil

family

A suicide note, five bodies, six if you include the family dog. These are the things that were found inside the Short home in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. Mark and Megan Short were the parents of three beautiful children: Liana, 8-years-old, Mark Jr., 5-years-old; and Willow, 2-years-old. Some of you may remember the story of 2-year-old Willow, who had a heart transplant at only 6 days old. Both Mark and Megan we’re known for sharing the story of baby Willow’s operation and her healing process. The trauma of Willow’s illness eventually caused Megan to suffer from PTSD, for which she was taking Paxil.

According to reports, the relationship soon became volatile and the police were called on several occasions by Megan. Megan, herself said that her husband was abusive. In fact, a month before the murders, Megan called the police and told them that she was afraid of her husband. The reports state that the day after the police were called, Mark bought a .38 caliber handgun. Though they hadn’t filed for divorce, Megan and the children were set to move the day after they were killed.

family2

The release of her Facebook messages clearly show a woman who was working on getting her life together. She hoped to make a better life for herself and her children. The day before she was set to move, Megan told family members that Mark was helping her and they should meet her at the new house. Unfortunately, she never made it. That night Mark shot her, their children, the family dog and then himself.

When police arrived at the house, they found the family and in the living room. The children were in their pajamas. This story absolutely breaks my heart. Like anyone, Megan never thought it would go this far. She only knew it was no longer safe for her or her children.

It breaks my heart to read and hear stories about victims who didn’t get out in time. I pray that if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you will seek the help that is out there for you. Remember, you are not in this alone! As always there are links below for you to read about this tragic ordeal.

 

~Be Blessed~

 

Abuse Hotline:

1-800-799-SAFE (7233

 

Video Link:

New Details Released In Berks County Murder-Suicide

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/New-Details-Released-In-Berks-County-Murder-Suicide_Philadelphia-390239861.html

 

Article Link:

Mother Told Police Three Weeks Before Husband Killed Her, Children in Murder-Suicide That She Feared Him

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Berks-County-Officials-to-Provide-More-Details-in-Murder-Suicide-That-Left-Family-of-5-Dead-390187451.html

Tracking an Offender

tracking

I’m sure like everyone else, you’ve thought of a thousand ways to prevent domestic violence. Now, you can add Diane Rosenfeld to that list. Rosenfeld, director of the Gender Violence Program at Harvard Law School has been working on implementing the use of GPS tracking on convicted domestic violence offenders. Rosenfeld explains, “It’s an ankle bracelet with a phone in it so a probation officer or police department can speak to the offender. Say ‘Mr. Jones’, a convicted domestic violence offender, traveled outside the boundaries he was allowed in. The device might say, “Mr. Jones, you are out of your zone.” He could say he was lost, but the GPS shows he’s going toward his ex-wife’s house. We would be able to alert the survivor immediately and tell her not to open the door and, simultaneously, send police.”

Apparently, the technology is being used in 23 states, with 11 more pending to put it in place. One of the first states to use the bracelets was Connecticut. Legislation has been tracking high risk cases since 2004. The great news is that they haven’t had any homicides related to domestic violence in that area.

tracking2

Of course, the biggest issue will be cost. The monitoring of sex offenders is about $37 a day per person and $27 a day per person for traditional (and I use that term loosely) crimes. Funding for this type of technology will be astronomical. But what is the true cost for safety? The most important thing is to keep survivors safe. And though the ankle bracelet has not been used for domestic violence in the majority of the states, I believe this is something that should be put into motion.

Think about the percentage of deaths that happen in your own state and then think of how they could have been prevented. Once a victim presses charges and it goes through court, I think an ankle bracelet should be issued along with the protection order. These things tend to escalate quickly, especially when the aggressor is told to stay away. As I said before, we have to do something to prevent the high percentage of lives lost due to domestic violence. Because we all know that the probability of a homicide goes up when the perpetrator is rejected.

For information about domestic violence, please go to www.thehotline.org or www.ncadv.org.

 

~Be Blessed~

Aspire to Change

wgs

I learned about the Aspire App through an episode of Dr. Phil. His wife, Robin McGraw, talked about an app she created to help anyone that is the victim of domestic violence. I’ve wanted to talk about this app for some time, but I wanted to find out all I could first. The app was released back in 2013 and has almost a million downloads to date. But let’s talk about what the app actually does.

wgs2

The Aspire App is a news app. When you open it, you can get anywhere from local news, national news, to horoscopes. But with the push of a button the app turns into a connection to any help service or family member that you have listed under contacts to be notified when you are in danger. The app requires that you put in at least three contacts that can be notified with a press of a button. The app can also be used as an audio recording device when a victim is in an escalating situation.

The app can be found in Android Google Play and your app store for iPhone. I’ve provided a link below for you to learn more. I chose not to share a lot about the app due to what it’s used for. I hope if you or someone you know that is a victim of domestic violence will download this app. The link below also provides tones of information about domestic violence. Click on the Aspire link at the top of the screen.

~Be Blessed~

 

Links:

When Georgia Smiled

https://www.whengeorgiasmiled.org/the-aspire-news-app/