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Thread: SE Woman Who Sought Protection Is Slain

  1. #1
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    SE Woman Who Sought Protection Is Slain
    Article from Washingtonpost.com - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...?nav=rss_metro

    SE Woman Who Sought Protection Is Slain
    By Yolanda Woodlee and Henri E. Cauvin
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Tuesday, May 1, 2007; Page B02
    James H. Campbell threatened to kill his girlfriend, Nakia Cunningham, Friday, but she was not intimidated. He had said that before, a relative said yesterday.
    “‘If I can't have you, ain't nobody going to have you because I'm going to kill you and me, too,' " recalled Cunningham's aunt, Maria Antionette Atkinson, who overheard the exchange.
    Yesterday morning, Campbell, 34, apparently did kill Cunningham, stabbing the 24-year-old in her apartment in Southeast Washington before killing himself on the grounds of a charter school about seven miles away in Northeast Washington, police said.
    The apparent murder-suicide came on a day that police and court officials were announcing a pilot program to make it possible to obtain emergency protection orders when it is not possible to bring a matter to court and obtain a temporary protection order. Temporary protection orders, which are in force for 14 days, are sought thousands of times a year in the District by people who feel they are in danger. A person is ordered to stay away from the person seeking the order.
    Cunningham had obtained a temporary protection order against Campbell three years ago. A person can later seek a civil protection order, which is typically in force for a year. Cunningham began the process but never completed it, according to court records.
    Violating either order is punishable as contempt of court. But such orders are not always a match for the long memories, lasting grudges and intense emotions that mark many domestic-violence cases.
    As investigators tried to unravel the deaths of Campbell and Cunningham yesterday morning, court records revealed a relationship that turned dangerously volatile in early 2004.
    On Jan. 21, 2004, Cunningham went to D.C. Superior Court seeking a temporary protection order against Campbell, who told her he would drive his car off a bridge if she were riding with him, she said in her petition.
    Cunningham said in the petition that Campbell had made a series of threats and assaults against her, placing her and the couple's child in immediate danger. A judge granted the temporary protection order.
    Campbell threatened Cunningham again before the order could be served, according to charging documents in the case.
    Hours after obtaining the order, Cunningham went to the 7th District police station in Southeast to wait for Campbell to be served. Campbell called Cunningham's cellphone while she was at the station, according to the documents. "You can have the police come and serve whatever papers they want," he told Cunningham, the documents said. "I'll kill you and then call the police and kill myself."
    About an hour later, officers found Campbell at Cunningham's apartment in the 2800 block of Jasper Road SE. They arrested him and charged him with two counts of attempted threats.
    But for reasons that are unclear from the court records available, the charges were dropped about three months later.
    The 2004 case was apparently the last time either Campbell or Cunningham had contact with the District's criminal justice system.
    Yesterday, investigators said, Campbell had called Cunningham's family. Atkinson, 39, said that the family was worried after Campbell called another aunt at 4:07 a.m. and said, "Take care of my kids."
    The relatives, concerned for Cunningham's safety, went to her apartment and later called police. Police found Cunningham's body at 5:30 a.m. under a pile of clothing in a closet. The couple's two children, 2 and 7, were unharmed and sleeping in the apartment, police said.
    About 2 1/2 hours later, police said, Campbell's body was found by a maintenance worker at Arts and Technology Academy, a school in the 5300 block of Blaine Street NE.
    The worker discovered the body while making his morning rounds on the school property, said Errick L. Greene, the head of the school. Greene said the body was found after students had arrived for classes. It was in an isolated area where students do not walk, Greene said.
    Police said Campbell had what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. They said they found Cunningham's car near the school.
    Cunningham's mother, Patricia Benbow of Suitland, described the eldest of her three children as "a very loving and outgoing person. She loved her children, and she never went anywhere without her babies."
    "Now we have to explain to her two kids that they don't have no mother and no father," Atkinson said, sobbing. "I think her daughter knows. She said, " 'Aunt Tonie, I hope my mommy's not dead.' "
    Staff writer Theola Labb contributed to this report.


    Wonder if the result would have been different if she was allowed to a) obtain a gun in good 'ol DC or 2) Have a concealed weapons permit, etc...

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    My thoughts exactly. This tragedy could have been averted if all things were equal.

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    Guess nobody can sue the courts or the police because after all, they don't have the duty to protect you. Not to mention, what good is a piece of paper going to do against someone with a knife or a gun? I don't know how people like Mayor Fenty and the other people can sleep at night in DC, knowing that their flawed policies and strict gun laws that work against law abiding citizens while the criminals do what they want anyway.

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    ProtectMd wrote:
    Guess nobody can sue the courts or the police because after all, they don't have the duty to protect you. Not to mention, what good is a piece of paper going to do against someone with a knife or a gun? I don't know how people like Mayor Fenty and the other people can sleep at night in DC, knowing that their flawed policies and strict gun laws that work against law abiding citizens while the criminals do what they want anyway.
    You mean you don't think a "protection order" would have stopped him?

    regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
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