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Thursday, September 15, 2011

WP: More on the Wheeler Homicide

The Washington Post has more information on the murder of Alecia Wheeler (42) who was stabbed to death Tuesday shortly after picking up here four children from a recreation center. Her accused killer, Claude Kinney, is also the father of three of her children. They had a history of domestic violence, and Kinney had threatened to kill her before. She had sought help from the courts. On August 12th she sought a one year protective order that would have barred Kinney from coming near her. The court granted her a two week protective order, but at an August 29th hear the judge declined to grant a one year order. Wheeler returned to court last week and obtained another two week order. Her children are now in the District's care. Kinney has been arrested at least 17 times in DC since the 1980s, but has only one minor drug conviction.

[Editor's note: I'm not entirely sure of the spelling of the names on this one. I've also seen the victim's first name spelled Alicia, and the suspect's name spelled Kenny]

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Arrested 17 times and only 1 minor conviction. Just sad.

diane said...

I hope that judge feels like a shit now

Robby said...

I am completely worried about the kids, some outlets say he was the dad of three of them. Reportedly they may have lived near my home (needs further verification). The system failed them. I hope those kids don't end up in foster care. This is a terrible situation all around. It's beyond crazy that someone would do this and at 1530 with their kids there.

inked said...

Robby,
Agreed. This is a very horrific crime. Let's hope the kids have family that can care for them. If there's a hell, I think we all know where dad is going.

Anonymous said...

I have doubt that the Judge even connects his decision and this mother's death.

Chris said...

Anonymous 6:19 -- Not that the judge wasn't an idiot -- but from my reading of the article, the failure to grant a year-long restraining order didn't matter. She _did_ get a second two week order, which was in effect when the killer attacked. So she was covered by a protective order at the time of the attack; the killer just didn't care. So I don't know what the connection is between the Judge's decision and this killing . . .That's what I got from the article, anyway; is that wrong?

What bugs me: arrested at least 17 times, with one conviction? No, I don't believe the cops were just picking him up on a whim. Far more likely is that the US Atty's office decided not to paper the cases.

Anonymous said...

Really Robby, "The system failed them." What about personal responsibility here?

Anonymous said...

This is pathetic. This man clearly should have been behind bars long ago. It's just so sad that the police can't do anything until someone is hurt or killed.

And honestly, a protective order is BS. It's just a piece of paper that says he can't go near her. Unless she has a 24/7 bodyguard it really doesn't do any good. Just an awful situation- especially for those poor kids.

Dave B said...

Anon @ 9:13:

I agree. Those kids should have grown up faster, gone to college, or become professional athletes, actors, or musicians, and gotten away from this mess. Or maybe they should have just killed the dad preemptively. 9 years old? Hell, he is halfway to voting age.

Anonymous said...

@anon 9:30: Sounds like the *police* did do something...arrested him 17 times. however, the *US Attorney's Office* frequently chooses to not prosecute for a huge number of crime committed, as they don't see it worth their time.

MiCoBa said...

Is any vigil taking place for Ms. Wheeler?

oboe said...

From wikipedia:

The District of Columbia has a complicated criminal prosecution system. The Attorney General of the District of Columbia only has jurisdiction in civil proceedings and prosecuting minor offenses such as low-level misdemeanors and traffic violations.[27] All federal offenses, local felony charges (i.e. serious crimes such as robbery, murder, aggravated assault, grand theft, and arson), and most local misdemeanors are prosecuted by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.[28] United States Attorneys are appointed by the President and overseen by the United States Department of Justice.[29] This differs from elsewhere in the country where 93% of local prosecutors are directly elected and the remainder are appointed by local elected officials.[30]

The fact that the U.S. Attorneys in the District of Columbia are neither elected nor appointed by city officials leads to criticism that the prosecutors are not responsive to the needs of local residents.[31] For example, new felony prosecutions by the U.S. Attorneys in the District of Columbia have fallen 34%; from 8,016 in 2003 to 5,256 in 2007. The number of resolved felony cases has also fallen by nearly half; from 10,206 in 2003 to 5,534 in 2007. In contrast, the number of misdemeanor and civil cases prosecuted and resolved by the D.C. Attorney General's office has remained constant over the same time period.[32] The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia cites the drop in prosecutions to a 14% cut in its budget. The cuts have caused the office to decrease the number of federal prosecutors from a high of 110 in 2003 to 76 in 2007.[33]

Efforts to create the position of D.C. district attorney regained attention in 2008. The D.C. district attorney would be elected and have jurisdiction over all local criminal cases, thereby streamlining prosecution and making the justice system more accountable to residents. However, progress to institute such an office has stalled in Congress.[34]


If this effort had half the support as the Quixotian effort to get Congressional support, we might actually get a real system of justice in DC rather than a revolving door that nurtures and cultivates violent criminals.