The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Friday, August 31, 2007

Edington James Murder Sentencing

At the start of the year, I mentioned Jonathon Edington, a 29 year old father and lawyer. Edington had been on vacation with his family, when he decided to return home a few days before them. Sometime after he arrived home, his wife called him from their place of vacation. What she said to him would change the lives of their family, and another family forever.

His wife suggested that she believed their neighbor Barry James, had been molesting their young daughter. According to police statements- the parents claimed that after he left, the little girl told her mother that James had visited her at "starry nights".

Edingtons reaction to this possible situation was a tragic one- he broke into his neighbors home, and stabbed James to death. He was quickly arrested and later charged with first-degree manslaughter.

James' family has long insisted that he did not molest the child, and that there were previous issues with the Edington family. Police concluded that there was no evidence to support the claims:

Fairfield police also investigated the molestation allegation and said they found no evidence to back it up. They said Edington's wife, Christina, refused to cooperate with the investigation into the slaying, and prosecutor Jonathan Benedict has said a defense psychiatrist determined Edington's wife suffered from postpartum depression.

But, despite the lack of evidence that Edington's claimed "motive" was even true, his lawyers plead in court that he wasn't really to blame.
Defense attorney Andrew Bowman said his client was not in his right mind when he attacked James.

"He is a good and decent man who suffered such a traumatic event in his life that he lost control," Bowman said.

Yeah, him killing someone was really traumatic for him. I'm sure that he's really going through the pain and torment that James' family has been put through.

Even the judge in this case seems to have a thing for feeling sorry for Edington:
"It's a Shakespearean tragedy brought into the real world," Judge Richard Comerford said at the sentencing. "Something was set into motion in this man's mind — real or perceived. It was very real to him."

What's freaking amazing is that even if James had molested the child- Edington had the legal understanding to know that KILLING him wasn't a legal reaction. He knew the law, and he opted to break it. Yes- I imagine he WOULD want to kill someone that he hurt his child- but he had no real proof that anyone had. And no legal right to do so even if he had.

So, the lawyer turned "crazed" father turned murderer was sentenced... something tells me that James family likely felt that justice wasn't all that it promised to be:
A lawyer who stabbed his neighbor to death because he thought the man had molested his 2-year-old daughter was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter.