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Deputy prosecutor fired for errors in handling protective order violation

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The employment of an unnamed St. Joseph County deputy prosecutor has been terminated after deciding not to prosecute a man following his May arrest for violating a protective order. Several days later, that man allegedly stabbed and killed his young daughter.

According to a press release issued by the prosecutor’s office Wednesday, the deputy prosecutor didn’t prosecute Edward Mwaura because the deputy prosecutor’s review of the Protective Order Registry under “Mwaura” revealed an invalid protective order. Mwaura was arrested May 30.

On the morning of June 2, police responded to a 911 call at an apartment complex involving Mwaura and Lucy Munida. She was bleeding from several knife wounds and told police that Mwaura, her ex-husband, was inside the apartment with their 6-year-old daughter.

When police entered the apartment, they saw Mwaura stabbing the girl. Lt. Steven Noonan shot Mwaura and killed him. The girl later died from her injuries.

The deputy prosecutor’s decision to not prosecute the misdemeanor crime of violation of the protective order would have been correct if the protective order was invalid.

However, the deputy prosecutor didn’t examine the Protective Order Registry under the Munida’s last name, which would have shown a valid protective order existed. Mwaura’s last name was misspelled on the valid protective order as “Mwawra.”

The arresting officer indicated in his report that there was a valid protective order but didn’t note the cause number.

“It is the responsibility of prosecutors to seek justice and enforce the laws. This does not end with a cursory review of the evidence,” the release from Prosecutor Michael Dvorak says. “Clearly, Mwaura should have been charged with the misdemeanor crime of ‘Violation of a Protective Order.’ This DPA failed to exercise the thoroughness expected, particularly in crimes with women and children as victims of domestic abuse. Accordingly, this individual is no longer employed with the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.”

The prosecutor’s office found Noonan and the other officers were justified in using deadly force in shooting Mwaura.

 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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