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Child Abuse Murders and Domestic Violence Murders:

Was There a History and Was It Reported?

Richard M. Daley Mayor

Jody P. Weis Superintendent

This project was supported by grants awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, Office of Justice Programs, U. S. Department of Justice, through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice, or the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

Child Abuse murders and Domestic Violence murders: Was there a history and was it reported?

Page 1

OVERVIEW This article is a review of child abuse murders and domestic violence-related murders reported to the Chicago Police Department for the period of January 1, 2005 through June 30, 2008. The purpose was to determine whether prior to the murder, if child abuse or domestic violence existed between the victim and suspect, and if so, whether that abuse/violence was reported to others, specifically the Chicago Police Department. 1 "Domestic violence" cases were designated as such based on the relationship between the victim and suspect of the murder, rather than by the underlying motive determined by the Department's Detective Division. This review is preliminary in its findings because the analyst was limited to electronic files of the Chicago Police Department; no additional investigation with detectives, offenders, family, friends, or others was attempted. A search of the Department's databases for prior crimes going back through 1999 was made using the victim's and suspect's name, and when available, Identification Record number if ever arrested. The electronic narratives for each murder also were read. However, if no prior abuse or violence was revealed via the name check or narrative, and the reporting detective of the murder did not determine or include information from the offender or witnesses regarding possible previous abuse/violence, for purposes of this review, it was counted as there having been none. If a victim or suspect was involved in violence with some one else, it was noted but not included in the count of cases with prior violence between the victim and suspect. Also, it is important to point out that a call for police service does not automatically become a police crime report. Chicago Police Department officers may have responded to investigate a domestic-related call, but if it was determined that there was no basis that a crime had occurred, then no crime report was made. Thus, it is possible that a victim of a murder had made prior contact for police services--and in every such case, a Domestic Incident Notice advising how to contact the Chicago Domestic Violence Help Line and how to obtain an Order of Protection is provided to the caller/victim--but no case report will exist. This report does not answer the questions of why does abuse exist, how does one prevent abuse, or, how does a victim safely escape abuse. It is said that only a victim knows what her (or his) best options are to be safe. Certainly, child abuse victims themselves have few, if any, options they may avail to be safe from abuse. Adult violent relationships are dynamic and unpredictable, with one exception. If you are in a violent relationship, your risk of being murdered has risen incalculably. CASES CHOSEN FOR REVIEW Cases in Chicago ruled a murder between January 1, 2005 and June 30, 2008 (N = 1,596 excluding those ruled "justifiable" and "involuntary") that were either child abuse or had an established victim/suspect relationship covered by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA, 750 ILCS 60/) were considered for inclusion in the review. The final review included 145 cases; child abuse cases were included regardless of whether the victim/suspect relationship was covered by the IDVA (e.g. mother's boyfriend who is not the father of the child). 2

Chicago Police Department

Research and Development Division

Child Abuse murders and Domestic Violence murders: Was there a history and was it reported?

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Relationships covered by the IDVA include: · persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage; · persons of the opposite sex or same sex who have or had a dating relationship; · persons who have or claim to have a child in common; · persons who share or claim to share a blood relationship through a child; · persons who share or previously shared a common dwelling (e.g. roommates); and, · persons with disabilities and their personal assistants.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CASES UNDER REVIEW Relationships There were 40 combinations of victim / suspect relationships in the reviewed cases. The most frequent relationships were boyfriend / girlfriend, and girlfriend / boyfriend, both of which had 22 cases. The third most-frequent relationship was wife / husband (Exhibit 1). Exhibit 1 Victim / Suspect Relationships

5 22 57

EX-GIRLFRIEND / EX-BOYFRIEND GIRLFRIEND / BOYFRIEND BOYFRIEND / GIRLFRIEND WIFE / HUSBAND

22

SON / FATHER DAUGHTER / FATHER

6

17 5 11

MOTHER / SON OTHERS

Gender There were 72 female victims and 73 male victims in the study. However, the male murder suspects outnumbered the female murder suspects by more than 2.5 to 1. In fact, there were 106 male suspects and 41 female suspects 3 . Females were suspects in six female victim murders and 35 male victim murders, whereas males were suspects in 67 female victim murders and 39 male victim murders; these data are shown graphically in Exhibits 2 and 3.

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Child Abuse murders and Domestic Violence murders: Was there a history and was it reported?

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Exhibit 2 Gender of Suspects in Female Victim Murders

Exhibit 3 Gender of Suspects in Male Victim Murders

Female, 6

Female, 35

Male, 67

Male, 39

Race Ninety-seven percent of the reviewed murders are captured in three groups of victim / suspect races: in 111 cases (76.6%) both victim and suspect were Black; in 17 cases (11.8%) both victim and suspect were White-Hispanic, and in 13 cases (9.0%) both parties were White. Age Victim's ranged in age from less than one year to 89 years. For both victims and suspects, the median age was 30 years. Victim and suspect age data are summarized in groups and presented in Exhibit 4. Exhibit 4 Age Distribution of Murder Victims and Suspect Average Ages

Number of Victims 31 6 32 23 21 13 10 9 Age (years) Victim Suspect 0-4 16 - 52 13 - 17 14 - 45 18 - 29 16 - 55 30 - 39 22 - 74 40 - 49 19 - 69 50 - 59 19 - 62 60 - 65 19 - 65 70 - 89 26 - 85 Suspect Age (years) Median Mean 25 25.7 29 28.3 26 28.7 36.5 38.3 47 44.8 30 37.3 41 42.4 56 55.3

Motive Of the 145 cases in this review, the CPD's Detective Division assigned the motive of domestic violence in 98 cases (67.6%), and child abuse 31 times (21.4%). Other motives included armed

Chicago Police Department

Research and Development Division

Child Abuse murders and Domestic Violence murders: Was there a history and was it reported?

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robbery (4), other altercation (3), money (3), suicide pact (2), and one each of love triangle, mercy killing, retaliation, and undetermined. Location In 123 of the cases (84.8%), the murder took place in an apartment, house, or thereabouts, 13 times in a street or alley (9.0%), three occurrences in an auto, and six times in other location types. A distribution of the murders reviewed for this report is shown in the map depicted in Exhibit 5. Seven of the twenty-five districts (28%) accounted for 55.2% of the murders; those are Districts 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 25. These seven districts also tend to be among the busiest districts in Chicago for domestic-related calls for service on an average daily basis, as seen in Exhibit 6. Exhibit 5 Geographic Distribution of Murders in Report 2005 ­ June 30, 2008 Exhibit 6 Geographic Distribution of Domestic Violence Calls for Service, Daily Average 2005 ­ June 30, 2008

Weapon There were four major groups of weapons used: a stabbing instrument, a bludgeoning instrument, a firearm, or a ligature. A bludgeoning instrument may include hands/fists/feet and physical force such as throwing a victim. Data on weapons used are shown in Exhibit 7.

Chicago Police Department

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Child Abuse murders and Domestic Violence murders: Was there a history and was it reported?

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Exhibit 7 Weapon Type Used In Murders

59 60 50

Number of murders

40 40 30 20 10 0 8 8 2 28

Stabbing Bludgeon

Firearm

Ligature

Other

Unknown

Injury Day and Time In this study, Sundays (26) and Thursdays (25) were the most-frequent days when an injury occurred resulting in a murder. Regardless of the day of the week, the midnight hour had the most murders (12) while the 5:00a.m., 6:00a.m., and 7:00p.m. hours had the fewest murders (two each hour). The two-hour periods of 3:00p.m. through 4:59p.m. and 9:00p.m. ­ 10:59p.m. had the greatest concentration of murders, that being 19 in each two-hour period. There were 18 murders in each of the two-hour periods of midnight ­ 1:59a.m. and 4:00pm ­ 5:59p.m. The four-hour period of 3:00p.m. - 6:59p.m. had the third-greatest concentration of murders, that being 35 or 24.1% of the 145 murders reviewed. The distribution of days of injury are illustrated in Exhibit 8. Exhibit 8 Abuse Murder by Day of Week

30 26 25 21 20 15 10 5 0 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday 14 21 17 25 21

Chicago Police Department

Number of Murders

Research and Development Division

Child Abuse murders and Domestic Violence murders: Was there a history and was it reported?

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MOST MURDER VICTIMS DID NOT HAVE A PRIOR POLICE REPORT AS AN ABUSE VICTIM In 109 of the 145 murder cases reviewed (75.2%) there was no prior crime report written by the CPD. In other words, on average in only one of every four cases prior to a murder was abuse reported and a police report made involving a victim and offender with a family, dating, roommate, or baby-sitting relationship (Exhibit 9). Exhibit 9 Crime Report(s) Made Prior to Murder?

Prior Crime Report 25% No Prior Crime Report 75%

EXTENT OF ALLEGED PRIOR ABUSE FOUND IN CPD FILES This study considered a prior abuse event to have occurred if a detective included in the murder narrative report that: · the murder suspect admitted that there was prior abuse; · that there were strong witness statements of knowledge of prior abuse; or, · a prior crime report existed with the murder victim and suspect as opposing parties. Note: it is important to emphasize that in this study, a case is counted as there having been no prior abuse even if the case detective had knowledge of prior abuse but did not include that information in the electronic narrative file. Based solely on a review of the murder supplemental case reports and a search of electronic files in the Department's databases, in 55.2% of the reviewed cases (n = 80), it could not be determined whether there were abuse events prior to the murder. However, prior abuse events were found in 65 of the 145 cases (44.8%). These data are presented in Exhibit 10.

Chicago Police Department

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Child Abuse murders and Domestic Violence murders: Was there a history and was it reported?

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Exhibit 10 Alleged Prior Abuse In Detective Report Or Via Crime Report?

100 80 80 65 60

40

20

0 Yes No

Within those 65 cases with prior abuse, a prior police report was made by either the murder victim or suspect in 36 cases (55.4%). In two of the 36 murder cases with prior incident reports, both the murder victim and suspect filed reports against the other at different times. In an additional eight cases, the murder victim had been the abuser against the murder suspect prior to the murder. Thus, in only 26 cases (40.0%) had an abuse murder victim who had solely endured the abuse filed a police report against the murder suspect prior to the murder. These data are summarized in Exhibit 11. Exhibit 11 Of 65 Murder Cases With Alleged Prior Abuse, Was There a Prior Police Report?

Cases with Alleged Prior Abuse By murder Suspect: By murder Victim: By both Victim and Suspect: Totals Yes 26 8 2 36 No 27 2 0 29 Totals 53 10 2 65

NOTE: In 80 cases it is not known if there was prior abuse.

CHARGES NOT APPROVED In 22 of the 145 cases reviewed, the Cook County Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) did not approve charges of murder against the suspect (15.2%). In 11 of the 22 cases that murder charges were not approved, this review found no indication of prior abuse events or crime reports. Of the other 11 cases without charges approved, in one case, prior abuse was known but not reported to the CPD. In another case, prior abuse was known and reported to the CPD. In two cases, both the murder victim and suspect engaged in prior abuse and made police reports on each other. In two cases, it was alleged that the murder victim had previously abused the murder

Chicago Police Department

Research and Development Division

Child Abuse murders and Domestic Violence murders: Was there a history and was it reported?

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suspect, but no police reports were made. And in five other cases, the murder victim had previously abused the murder suspect and the murder suspect had filed police reports against the murder victim. Typically, the ASA cited mutual combatants as the reason to not approve a charge of murder against the suspect. Exhibit 12 indicates ASA murder charge approval rates by whether prior abuse was reported. Exhibit 12 Suspect Charged (frequency)*

100.0%

96.2%

86.3%

80.0%

60.0%

40.0%

30.0%

20.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Victim

Suspect

Mutual

Unknown

Who was abused prior to murder?

*Note: Number of cases of who was abused prior to murder: Victim n = 53; Suspect n =10; Mutual n = 2; and, Unknown n = 80.

SUMMARY A review of 145 murder cases involving child abuse or victim / suspect relationships covered by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) was undertaken to determine if murder victims made prior contact with the Chicago Police Department regarding abuse. Included murder cases occurred from January 2005 through June 2008, and searches for prior abuse were limited to an examination of the electronic files of the CPD that extended back through 1999 and the detectives' murder narratives. As expected, most child abuse and IDVA-covered murder cases had no prior abuse reports on file with the CPD involving the murder victim and suspect. In the 65 murder cases where prior abuse was alleged, police crime reports were written in only 26 cases (40.0%). In other words, six-out-of-ten murder abuse victims with known prior occurrences of abuse did not make police reports against their abuser. Additionally including those murder cases where prior abuse was not confirmed, 75.2% of the victims did not have prior abuse reports against their alleged murder suspect. A victim of abuse has the goal of a safe relationship or a safe end to the relationship. The abuser's goal may not be the same. Multiple services exist for the protection and safety of victims, whether by intervention of the police, court system, a social service agency, victim's advocate, family, friends or combination thereof. To break the cycle of violence that afflicts so

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Child Abuse murders and Domestic Violence murders: Was there a history and was it reported?

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many victims of abuse, we encourage victims to make use of the services just mentioned in the hope that they may enjoy a life free from domestic abuse.

1

The initial finding that 80% of the domestic violence murder victims had made no prior police reports with the Chicago Police Department was made for 2006 by Sgt. Kathleen Argentino (Retired), then-commanding officer of the Domestic Violence Office of the CPD. This review is an expansion of that work.

The Detective Division of the Chicago Police Department applies a motive to murders, such as "child abuse" and "domestic violence". However, although a murder may involve an IDVA-covered relationship between the victim and suspect, it may not receive a motive of child abuse or domestic violence, if, in the determination of the Detective Division, a different motive is primary, e.g. "suicide pact". This review included 16 cases with IDVA relationships that were not coded domestic violence or child abuse. Analogously, the analyst rejected murders involving IDVA relationships (n = 7) if, in the analyst's opinion, the IDVA relationship had no bearing on the murder, e.g. "robbery" by an ex-girlfriend against an ex-boyfriend. Other reasons for rejection included uncorrected errors in the database and relationships not substantiated in the narrative reports. An additional 21 "domestic violence" murders were excluded due to having a non-valid IDVA relationship, e.g. "friends."

3

2

Two cases each had two suspects, with one case having one female and one male suspect, and the other case having two male suspects.

Published by Chicago Police Department, Research and Development Division · 3510 S. Michigan AV, Room 4001, Chicago, IL 60653 Phone (312) 745-6071 · Fax (312) 745-6932 · Email: [email protected] · Web: www.cityofchicago.org/police · Analysis by G. Kedzior September 2008

Chicago Police Department

Research and Development Division

- ADDENDUM Supplemental Analyses to

Child Abuse Murders and Domestic Violence Murders:

Was There a History and Was It Reported?

Richard M. Daley Mayor

Jody P. Weis Superintendent

ADDENDUM Supplemental Analyses to "Child Abuse Murders and Domestic Violence Murders: Was There a History and Was It Reported?"

The information presented below is in reference to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) study entitled "Child Abuse Murders and Domestic Violence Murders: Was There a History and Was It Reported?" The purpose of the study was to attempt to answer the question: was prior abuse reported to CPD before a domestic or child abuse murder? The information presented in this addendum is intended to clarify and provide additional information, based on questions that have been received regarding the report's content. References to Exhibits in this Addendum refer to exhibits in the full study.

Limitations As with all research, the referenced report has limitations. The following should be considered when drawing conclusions from the report: o The report is based on secondary data analysis, as the research was limited to data that was captured electronically. No original interviews were conducted nor were any original data gathered from other CPD or outside sources. o This study does not include information from prosecutors or a review of trial documents. o There were no new interviews with witnesses or friends and family members of the victims. o Police reports are not designed to gather data for research purposes. Rather, police reports are created to document facts related to criminal incidents. o In general, the first-responder to an incident ­ usually a patrol officer ­ documents basic facts about an incident: who, what, when, where, and a high-level how (e.g. by firearm after an argument). o The detective/investigator then gathers physical evidence to link victims and suspects in order to aid in the solution and prosecution of a crime. o Not all information that is collected on paper is entered into an electronic system that is accessible by other units. o Only the electronic information captured from police reports was used to create the report. The information reviewed does not include hand-written notes from police officers or detectives. o In order to establish prior police contact, the CPD's crimes and victim databases were searched. Calls for police service (i.e. 9-1-1 calls) were not searched for previous contact.

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Addendum

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o Searching CPD databases for an individual can be difficult and does not consistently reveal the desired information. For example, multiple individuals may share the same name, or one individual may use multiple aliases. Additionally, spelling errors, shortened names or abbreviations create challenges for identifying an individual. For example, "Bill Jones" may be listed as "William Jones," "Wm. Jones," "B. Jones," "Bill Joans," etc. depending on how the information was presented to the officer. Therefore, a negative search result for one individual within the database does not ascertain with certainty that the individual did not have previous contact with police. Cases Chosen For Review "Domestic Violence" murders were chosen based on the relationship between the victim and suspect consistent with the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA), regardless of how a case was coded by the CPD's Detective Division. As a result, the number of murders in the review may not match to the number of official domestic violence murders reported in other CPD documents (such as the Annual Report, for example). Child abuse murders were considered regardless of an IDVA relationship between the victim and suspect. After screening all murders against the IDVA, a total of 145 murder cases were included. Relationships Relationship pairings of the murder victims and suspects varied, but 49% of the cases in the study involved intimate or formerly intimate partners (71/145). Approximately 23% of the cases were child abuse (34/145). Gender Though there was an almost even split in the gender of victims--72 female and 73 male-- suspects were 72% male and 28% female. Additionally, in regard to female victims, 92% of suspects were male, while in regard to male victims, 47% of suspects were females. Race In almost every murder in this review, the victim and suspect were the same race; in fact, 77% of the study both were African-Americans, 12% of the study both were White-Hispanic, and 9% of the study both were White. Age Victim ages ranged from less than one year old to 89 years and their median age was 30, which also was the median age of suspects. Exhibit 4 on page 3 provides data in age ranges of victims and suspects and includes median and mean ages of suspects. Of victims who ranged in age from less than one year old through 29 years old, the suspects' average age was in their 20s. For victims in their 30s, the suspect average age also was in the 30s, and similarly for victims in their 40s, the suspect average age was in the 40s. However, for victims in their 50s, the average age of their suspects was in their 30s, an approximate age difference of 20 years, and similarly for victims in their 60s, the average age of their suspects was their 40s. This spread of approximately 20 years between an older victim's age and the average age of younger suspects might suggest that the victim's children were the suspect. In fact, in 32 cases with victims of age

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Addendum

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50 years and older, in only 11 of those cases was the suspect a son, daughter, child-in-law, or step-child. Motive Detectives assigned a motive of general domestic or child abuse in 89% of the cases in the study and 16 cases had other motives. Robbery and "money" cases were included in the study because it was determined that the suspects would not have known about valuable assets in a home had they not been family members, and thus the murders may not have occurred. With cases where the primary motive was "money" and not domestic violence, the suspects were aware of the victim's access to funds solely because of the nature of their relationship, i.e. the relationship is congruent with protected parties under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, and the murder occurred between domestic parties as a result of an argument over money. Examples of some of the 16 cases in the study not coded as domestic or child abuse include the following: o One case where the primary motive was robbery involved a triple homicide whereby the suspect had previously caused such fear in the family that he and his girlfriend accomplice were not allowed into the victim's house. Although the primary motive was robbery, there were pre-existing domestic violence incidents including at least one report made to the police. o Another case in which robbery was the motive was similar in that the suspect/son had previous instances of domestic violence against the victim/mother. o There were three murders where "other altercation" was the primary motive. o One involved an ex-girlfriend with a history of prior domestic violence against her ex-boyfriend. The ex-girlfriend ultimately broke into her former boyfriend's home and killed him. o Another murder involved a father (the suspect) defending his wife ­ the mother of the victim ­ who was being attacked by her son (the victim) as had happened in the past. o A third case involved a son who blamed his mother for the death of his father and ultimately killed his mother. Location Of little surprise with domestic incidents, 85% of the murders in the study occurred in a residence. More than half of the murders took place in one of seven districts, or about onequarter of the city. As can be seen in Exhibit 5 on page 4, the greatest concentration of murders in this review occurred in a south-central area of Chicago. There were no child abuse or domestic violence murders in districts 01, 12, or 19 during the 3.5 year study period. One district had only one murder and four districts had two murders each. Weapon A stabbing instrument was the murder weapon in 59 cases or 41% of the study. In 52 of the 59 stabbings, a knife was used. A bludgeoning instrument or blow was used in 28% of the murders, with 21 of those 40 cases involving the use of hands or feet. In all but one of the 28 firearm murders, a handgun was used (a shotgun was the one exception).

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Addendum

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Injury Day and Time In this study, injuries resulting in murder occurred most frequently on Sundays and Thursdays. Reported fatal injuries occurred most-often between 3:00p.m. and 4:59p.m., and between 9:00p.m. and 10:59p.m. Nineteen murders occurred during each of those two-hour time periods. The single hour with the most fatal injuries was the midnight hour (n = 12). The three hours of from 5:00a.m. to 5:59a.m., 6:00a.m. to 6:59a.m., and 7:00pm to 7:59p.m. had the fewest fatal injuries, with two occurring in each of those time periods. Crime Report Prior to Murder The original question and purpose of the review was to determine how often there was police contact ­ defined as a crime report ­ prior to a child abuse or domestic violence murder. The review of the 145 murders in the 42 month period of the study indicates that only 25% of the murder victims had previously filed a crime report involving the future murder suspect. Abuse Prior to Murder Also examined in the study was whether child abuse or domestic abuse incidents had occurred prior to the murder. There were three ways of establishing prior abuse, the first two of which had to be included in the electronic narrative report: 1) the murder suspect admitted prior abuse; 2) strong witness statements; or 3) a prior crime report. In 45% of the cases (n = 65) prior abuse had occurred. This means that in 55% of the cases reviewed, instances of prior abuse were not recorded in official reports. In the 65 cases with known prior abuse, only 36 cases had a crime report prior to the murder. In general, we would expect the murder suspect to be the offender in the prior abuse, but the murder suspect was the sole reported offender in only 26 of the 36 cases. In eight cases, the murder suspect filed crime reports indicating that the murder victim was allegedly abusive prior to the murder, and in two cases, both the murder victim and suspect had filed crime reports involving the other. Charges Not Approved The Cook County Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) did not approve murder charges in 22 of the 145 cases in this review. Generally, the ASA cited mutual combatants as the reason for not approving charges. In 11 of the 22 cases, no indication of prior abuse was found. Of the 11 cases without murder charges but with known prior abuse: o in 5 cases, it was the murder suspect who had filed previous crime reports against the murder victim; o in 2 cases, both the victim and suspect filed charges against each other; o in 3 cases, the murder suspect did not file crime reports but was known to have endured abuse from the murder victim; and, o in only 1 case without approved murder charges did the murder victim file a crime report against the murder suspect prior to the murder. And finally, Exhibit 12 on page 8 demonstrates that: o when a victim was known to have been abused prior to their murder, the ASA approved murder charges 96% of the time.

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Addendum

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o when the murder suspect was abused prior to the murder, the ASA approved murder charges 30% of the time. o no charges were filed in any case in this study involving mutual combatants. o if it was unknown whether there was abuse prior to the murder, the ASA approved murder charges 86% of the time.

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