This morning in a court hearing, Florida State prosecutors announced that they will seek the death penalty against Richard McTear, Jr. who is accused of throwing a 3-month-old baby out of a car window last month after attacking the infant’s mother who had been seeking a protective order against him.
The 21 year old McTear, who is also known as Ricco, has been in jail since early May when authorities said he took the baby after an argument with his former girlfriend, 17-year-old Jasmine Bedwell.
Jasmine Bedwell (Center)
According to reports, Bedwell encountered the domestic violent wrath of Richard McTear Jr., after returning to her apartment with the baby. McTear Jr. who had been hiding inside of Bedwell’s apartment physically assaulted her by beating and choking her as she entered her domicile and closed the door behind her. Jasmine Bedwell exhibited visible signs of choke marks and abrasions on her neck. In addition to being choked, McTear bit Jasmine on her right bicep and shoulder. She had other visible signs of assault with marks on her body.
Bedwell stated to detectives that McTear verbally threatened her, saying, “I’m gonna kill the both of ya’ll.” At that point, Richard McTear grabbed the baby’s car seat carrier and threw it across the apartment twice. The impact of the baby being thrown across the apartment caused baby Emanuel to fall out of his seat.
Emanuel Wesley Murray Jr.
Jasmine Bedwell sought help by running out of the apartment. Richard McTear took baby Emanuel and fled the scene, heading south on U.S. Interstate 275, where he allegedly threw baby Emanuel out of the car window and onto the Interstate. An autopsy examination which was performed by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiners Office, revealed the cause of death as blunt impact with skull fractures and brain lacerations; homicide.
McTear is not the father of the helpless deceased baby, who was named after his father Emanuel Wesley Murray Sr.
Emanuel Wesley Murray Sr.
Murray Sr. is in Florida’s Hamilton Correctional Institution serving a three-year sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for possession of an illegal weapon. Murray’s prior convictions include delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and delivery of marijuana.
The infant who was Bedwell’s only child was born twenty days after his father was incarcerated.
Subsequent to McTear’s arrest for killing baby Emanuel, the father sent a letter to the Tampa Tribune expressing his feeling about McTear Jr.
“I know I hate Richard for what he did to my son,” Murray Sr. wrote.
Murray also wrote that he had read in a newspaper that when a reporter asked McTear about the death, McTear called it a “dirty game.”
“I hope he die in jail,” Murray’s letter reads.
Murray Sr who is 22 said he and his family are going through something nobody should.
He and Bedwell shouldn’t have to bury their son, he penned in his letter, dated May 18.
“This McTear dude should die much as I want it to be from my hands. I know I shouldn’t think like that, but if it was your son, what would you do?”
Murray wants McTear to face the death penalty.
Today Emanuel Wesley Murray Sr. got his wish for the death penalty. This morning, the script flipped on McTear Jr. as the State prosecutors served McTear Jr. with death papers.
At his last hearing he continued to torment 17 year old Jasmine Bedwell by yelling out in open court that he loved her.
The game which is known as domestic violence is indeed dirty, but it just got deadly for Richard McTear Jr. as he faces the death penalty for allegedly taking the life of a defenseless three month old Emanuel Wesley Murray Jr.
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TAMPA — If she had gone to court last Monday, maybe the domestic violence charge she had filed would have stuck.
Maybe her 3-month-old son, Emanuel Wesley Murray, would still be alive.
If he had shown up, the judge might have noticed he was a fugitive in a felony battery case and put him in custody.
Maybe then, Richard McTear Jr. would never have gone to the home of former girlfriend Jasmine Bedwell writes Alexandra Zayas as she reports for the St. Petersburg Times on baby Emanuel Wesley Murray being thrown to his death from a moving car by Richard McTear last week.
What Zayas’ article doesn’t report is the psychological trick bag which consumes the minds of domestic violence victims.
According to Lissette Campos shame perpetuates their imprisonment making it very difficult for victims to take the first steps to escape the bonds of domestic violence.
Campos is the director of community affairs at WFTS television station. WFTS is the local ABC affiliate located in Tampa, Florida. The station known for taking action just completed a domestic violence campaign which included a one hour prime time special.
Ms. Campos, along with Deiah Riley and Wendy Ryan two female anchors at the station started the project long before the Chris Brown domestic violence scandal. The six months preparation taught the ladies a lot about the subject matter.
First of all says Campos, domestic violence does not discriminate. It can be found in all walks of life. Therefore, it can happen to anyone, including you and me.
Secondly, because of the barrage of verbal abuse designed to deflate the self esteem, victims of domestic violence live in constant fear for themselves and their children.
All the knowledge learned by these women was shared with the community each day on the air. With the support of Verizon and Allstate, the station aired the one hour prime time special in which victims who managed to escape the bondage shared their stories.
As this campaign was wrapping up, Riley, and Ryan found themselves reporting on one more despicable act of domestic violence.
Law enforcement authorities alleges that the 21 year old McTear attacked Jasmine Bedwell, then her baby Emanuel Wesley Murray who is not his child, by first throwing him down onto the concrete, then driving off with the infant and tossing him from a car onto Interstate 275.
The baby’s lifeless body was found around 4:30 AM by Jason Bird, a photographer with Fox affiliate WTVT-Ch. 13, as he traveled Interstate 275 on route to work.
Lissette Campos was readying her children for school when she heard Deiah Riley reporting it on the morning broadcast. Campos stated the news report made her sick to the stomach.
Known by his friends as Rico, McTear who is 5 feet 9, and weighs 175 pounds is now charged with first-degree murder.
McTear’s criminal history reveals that he is no stranger to domestic violence. Arrested for domestic violence at the age of 14, he has been accused by the unsuspecting women in his life of stalking, dragging and beating them unconscious, breaking into their homes and threatening murder, at least once, of a child.
None of the victims, including Jasmine Bedwell , were successful in their pursuit of a restraining order against him. According to the WFTS Domestic Violence prime time special this is not uncommon. The assailant who sometimes avoids service becomes more violent, when the victim seeks such help.
Such was the case with Rico McTear Jr.
A 17 year old Bedwell through Jennifer Liner, a guardian and next best friend of the court filed for a restraining order on the morning of April 7, 2009, after being dragged and beaten by McTear. An order for a temporary restraining order was issued by a Judge on the same day. It was also ordered that the Sheriff’ department serve McTear Jr. with the order which included a hearing date of April 20, 2009. Although no documentation appeared in the jacket at this writing, McTear Jr. was not served, prompting the issuance of an amended petition for a temporary restraining order. The hearing date was set for May 4, 2009. Once again the Sheriff’s department was ordered to serve McTear Jr. On April 21, the sheriff’s department received the paper work, and on 4/28/09 the paper work was returned and it was stated that McTear Jr. could not be found.
A young Bedwell’s failure to appear at the May 4 2009 hearing resulted in the petition being dismissed without prejudice. This meant that Jasmine through Liner, her guardian could come back and refile the petition.
Ms. Zayas speculation that had Jasmine made an appearance in court maybe the charge of domestic violence would have stuck is misleading and the statement “A restraining order would have required that he stay at least 500 feet from her home, but she didn’t show up in court Monday to proceed”, unfortunately places the blame of Emanuel’s murder on the infant’s mother who is also a victim here.
In reality , no restraining order could have been issued had Jasmine been present. The law required McTear Jr. to be served before the order had any validity. At the time of the dismissal, the order was just another piece of paper. The only thing that may have happened on the morning of May 4, 2009 had Bedwell been present is the issuance of another amended petition. If the Sheriff armed with another amended restraining order petition, had been able serve him between 10:30 AM on the May 4, when the dismissal was issued and 3:00 AM on May 5th when McTear Jr. began his deadly assault, they could have also arrested McTear Jr. on the fugitive warrant. Of course, they did not need the amended temporary restraining order to make that arrest.
Five hours later after the tragic incident, authorities found McTear at a home at 3803 Arlington Drive. He ran, but they arrested him.
As he entered custody, he continued the pressure of the psychological trick bag by saying “Tell my girl Jasmine I love her.” Further, McTear also repeated a phrase tattooed on his forearm: “It’s a dirty game.”
Domestic violence is a dirty game, but the victims don’t need to be blamed. They need to know that they are not alone, and there is help which is improving everyday with non- profit organizations who provides safe havens for the victims and their children and support from corporations like Verizon and Allstate, and people like Lissette, Deiah, Wendy and you.
Wendy Ryan (left) Lissette Campos (center) Deiah Riley (Right)
As I watched the morning news flipping from channel to channel, I settled on a domestic violence piece showing on Goodmorning America. The segment focused on a domestic violence depiction by Keira Knightley. The segment was questioning whether the graphically violent commercial had gone too far in trying to get its’ message across.
After viewing the clip, I thought about a disturbing case of domestic violence which recently occurred in our Nation’s Capitol.
A hearing impaired Erika Peters and her two son were brutally murdered by her live-in boyfriend who is a former marine.
Dakota Peters, left, and his brother Erik Harper,
On March 21, Joseph Randolph Mays Jr. was arrested and charged with murdering Erika Peters, 37, 10-year-old Dakota Peters, and Erik Harper, 11.
Joseph Randolph Mays
Ashleigh Mays With Peters' sister
The police found the former postal worker lying face down in a locked room attempting to fake unconciousness with the couples two year daughter, Ashleigh. Although Mays had what appeared to authorities as superficial self-inflicted wounds to his chest, the toddler was unharmed.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) followed Mays to the hospital, where they interrogated him. When they asked him what happened, he replied: “My girlfriend and her son [Erik] has been fucking with me for the past three days. I was fixing my little girl’s hair.…I told them to stop fucking with me, they would not leave me.”
Erik Harper, 11, was found dead in the bathroom lying against the back wall, next to the toilet. He had multiple stab wounds to the chest and “one large laceration to the right side” of his head, the police document states.
Dakota was barely alive and bleeding from stab wounds when authorities burst through the door. The gifted Holy Redeemer High School student was rushed to Childrens’ Hospital where he died.
Erika Peters, 37, lifeless body was found in the hallway of the apartment with stab wounds to her chest and head. A small piece of metal, possibly the tip of a knife blade, was embedded in the back of her skull.
Mays, 44, would go on to claim that he had “blacked out.” But detectives had recovered the hunting knife. There was blood on the knife. The tip was broken. And the knife rested on top of a handwritten note. “Only parts of the note were legible, including the phrases, ‘I’m sorry…I tried to make it work,’” according to the police account.
Mays had met Peters four years ago while working at the Brentwood Post Office. Mays had a job as a technician working on the sorting machines. Peters joined on as a seasonal worker. After Peters became pregnant with his daughter, they moved in together. Mays’ father says it was the first serious relationship he can remember his son ever having.
Peters had grown up just off East Capitol Street near the Shrimp Boat a one time popular take out eatery in Washington, D.C. She had some hearing impairment and was involved in the deaf community. She loved her church, where she’d often praise-dance.
A native of Roanoke Virginia, Mays’ parents separated and divorced when he was in high school. His mother had a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized for weeks. Mays’ family says she has never been the same.
After he graduated, Mays sought escape and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, completing basic training in December 1982.
On leave, Mays made arrangements to see his mother. However, when he arrived, she refused to see him. “She never would open the door for him,” says his father, Joseph Mays Sr. “He came back to the apartment in tears. It wasn’t anything I could do.”
Mays still had the Marines. According to an autobiography he posted on classmates.com, he became a loadmaster, radio operator, and “observer” on a KC-130 aircraft based in Cherry Point, N.C. He writes of his experiences:
“I have flown to all fifty states and Puerto Rico. I have been to Guam, Iwo Jima, Singapore, Casablanca (Morocco), Japan and England to name a few. I enjoyed it. Some places I didn’t get to stay too long, but at least I was able to go there. Cozumel, Mexico in February 1990 was the best time with four days there and nothing to do. The water is breathtaking with fish swimming in unison underwater. The water is so clear you can see for at least 100 feet underwater. Beautiful! I WILL go back.”
Mays goes on to write that he left the Marines in 1990. He came home to Roanoke, got an apartment, and started work delivering mail for a small company. Four years later, he moved to D.C. and found a job with the U. S. Postal Service.
Mays proved a reliable employee until the October 2001 anthrax attacks left two of his co-workers dead. He knew both Joseph Curseen Jr. and Thomas Morris Jr. His family says he took their deaths hard.
In the year after the anthrax deaths, he became depressed and suffered side effects from the medication he was prescribed to take. Mays told his father that he hardly came to work at all. Some days, he just didn’t feel like going in. About two years ago, he was fired.
Debt collectors started sending notices to the Carver Terrace apartment he shared with Peters and the three minor children. After his father agreed to co-sign a loan to pay off several collection agencies his son stopped communicating with him.
Mays had a hard time communicating with everyone in person including Peters, her sons and Peters’ family.
There is a legend going around Carver Terrace that Erik used to jump out of his second-floor window onto the muddy courtyard to escape Mays’ punishments, which were wide-ranging and included the child being tied with his hands pinned behind his back and spanked.
It is also reported that Dakota sported a black eye given to him by Mays.
Erika Peters, is said to have covered up for Mays’ behavior, making excuses, and prohibiting the kids from speaking out about the abuse they suffered.
The story of Erika Peters and her sons’ fatal relationship with Joseph Randolph Mays Jr., is a familiar story which unfortunately occurs far too often to women and children regardless of race and economic background.
As to whether the Keira Knightley domestic violence commercial goes too far? In light of all the things I have read about men who display Mays’ behavior towards women and children, it doesn’t go far enough to save the Erika, Dakota and Eriks of the world.
However, you should decide for yourself by viewing the video.
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The media is a buzz about Chris Brown and Rihanna these days. The coverage started after it was reported that the 19 year old Brown turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest in the alleged beating of his now 21 year old girlfriend Rihanna also known as Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
Awful pictures of her injuries surfaced as rumors of a possible aborted pregnancy or the transmission of an STD to Brown hit the airwaves on black radio shows. Thanks to Rick Sanchez and other media outlets, we know from the charging documents that the rumors were just rumors.
In this month of March which has been set aside to celebrate women, Chris Brown was presented yesterday and formally charged with felony assault and making a criminal threat which is also a felony.
As the bloggers and cable news anchors twitter about Chris Brown’s alleged barbaric behavior that ensued over Rihanna finding a three page text message from a former female paramour, escalating into a beat down of the umbrella singer, I’m reminded as to how far women have come in the battle against domestic violence.
There was a time when Chris Brown would not have even seen the inside of a court room for his behavior. More than twenty years ago, a young woman was accosted in her own home by a man she was trying to breakup with. The young woman who was the same age as Rihanna already had two children by the guy who was the same age as Chris.
After climbing up a steep wall and entering the apartment from the balcony, the man took the two boys at guy point and threatened to kill the woman. At her mother’s urging, the woman called the police. The police found the man with his two sons, and arrested him However, because no gun was was recovered, the U.S. Attorney’s office refused to charge the young man.
Hours after the man was released from the lockup, he waited in an empty apartment downstairs from where the woman lived with her mother and two children.
Later that Friday night, the young woman walked her visiting girlfriend down the steps. As they approached the floor below, the young man emerged from the vacate apartment, and emptied the gun on the young lady in front of her girlfirend. The mother heard the shots and ran to the door as the young man fled.
The woman died and the authorities apprehended the young man in North Carolina after he kidnapped a citizen to facilitate his escape the citizen’s car.
Now there existed two children, two males without a mother and for certain without a father in their lives. The youngest child was barely walking at the time of this horrible event.
The Washington Post covered the story causing the U.S. Attorney to change their policy of not prosecuting domestic cases.
Fast forward to D.C.Superior Court a few months later where the U.S. Attorney’s office follows through on their promise to prosecute domestic cases. As the case was called the hearing Magistrate could not believe that the case was going forward. Most often, the cases would have to be dismissed because the victim and the assailant kisses and make up. The victim then refuses to testify. The magistrate reminded the prosecutor of this probable outcome. When that failed he bullied the female prosecutor, but she held her ground because she had her orders from the U.S. Attorney.
Court had to be recessed for an hour and I was called to the robbing room to talk with the Magistrate. I informed him of the earlier murder and reasoned with him that you would rather have to dismiss the case later than to read in the Post about a murder that could have been prevented.
As we resumed the suspect was arrainged and he was issued a stay away order.
Although Brown is being prosecuted, today, we still have along ways to go in domestic violence. Prosecuting the crime is only a part of the solution.
We still have to work on men not finding themselves in this position.
That is we need to educate men about the consequences of domestic violence.
In the Washington case, the father was sentenced to 27 years to life for the murder and kidnapping cases. The maternal grandmother received custody of the children agreeing to visitation rights for the paternal grandparents with the stipulation that the children not be taken to the Prison facility housing their father.
The boys had to grow up without a mother and father. As the boys matured, they asked about their mother and father. Eventually the maternal grandmother told them what had happened. The paternal grandparents who broke their promise took the boys to the prison to see their father who denied having murdered their mother.
The paternal grandparents backed the story, and a divison began to develop with the boys and their maternal grandmother. The boys where taken to their Attorney who had to tell them the truth. Disappointed that the father and grandparents had lied, the boys no longer wanted to have anything to do with the paternal grandparents. The fall out goes on and on.
We need to also educate women in not staying in the situation. They need to understand the consequences of submitting to such abuse.
Chris Brown himself is a prime example and could serve as the poster boy.
It appears that the Chris’ mother was in an abusive relationship with the stepfather. The relationship supposedly ended after the stepfather shot himself in the head. He survived the shooting but he lives forever in the dark being blind as a result of the self inflicted bullet. It is often said that abusers spring from abusive homes. this seem to be true in the Brown’s case
Chris’ lawyer is said to be working on a plea agreement for probation. As disturbing as his behavior is reported to have been, probation would be fine for a first offender, but he should also do some community service in a shelter for abused women and he definitely need to engage into some much needed counseling.
As for Rihanna, she too may need to volunteer in such a shelter and she may also want to look for love elsewhere.
Should Chris Brown Serve Jail Time If Convicted?
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