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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. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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