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Sunday, April 9, 2017

America, The Land of the Drug Addled: The Chevonne Thomas Murder-Suicide Case

     In November 2010, 31-year-old Chevonne Thomas, a woman with a history of mental illness and drug abuse, drove to a park in western New Jersey to smoke PCB-laced marijuana. She blacked out in the park, and when she came to, couldn't remember where she had parked her car. This was a problem because her 6-month-old son Zahree was in the vehicle.

     A local prosecutor charged Thomas with child endangerment, and she lost custody of Zahree to the New Jersey Division of Children and Families, a troubled agency known for its failure to protect children from unfit parents. Since 2003, New Jersey's child protection bureaucracy, after a series of high-profile failures, has been under the supervision of a federal judge. (Did anyone actually believe that putting a useless government agency under a judge's supervision would fix the problem?) The prosecutor, due to some problem with a witness, dropped the charges against Thomas. (I guess there is no such thing as a slam-dunk case.)

     In April 2011, the state allowed this drug-abusing mother, who walked around cursing to herself, to regain custody of her son. She had supposedly been under the care of a so-called behavioral health therapist. Where was the supervising federal judge when this decision was made?  Who was looking out for Zahree?

     In 2012, Chevonne Thomas was living in a two-story house in Camden, New Jersey with Zahree and her older child. At 10:30 at night on Tuesday, August 21, she and her boyfriend were standing outside the dwelling, and according to neighbors, she was extremely upset over something. The couple disappeared into the house, and sometime before midnight, the boyfriend left the premises.

     Shortly after twelve, Chevonne called 911 to report that her boyfriend had just stabbed her 2-year-old son to death. As the dispatcher talked to the rambling, sometimes incoherent caller, police officers rolled up to the scene. Shortly after the arrival of the police, Chevonne informed the 911 dispatcher that she had stabbed Zahree to death.

     Officers entered the dwelling and searched the first floor of the house as Chevonne spoke to the 911 dispatcher from an upstairs bedroom. They discovered the corpse of a decapitated toddler, and in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator, came upon Zahree's head. On the chance that Chevonne Thomas, who was still on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, might still be armed with a deadly weapon, the police backed out of the house.

     Later that morning, when officers re-entered Camden dwelling, they found Chevonne dead from a self-inflicted kitchen knife wound to the neck. According to the forensic pathologist who examined Zahree's body, the child had been stabbed in the chest and an arm before being decapitated. The medical examiner ruled the deaths a murder-suicide.

     The fact this insane, PCP abusing mother had custody of two children (the older child was not home at the time of the suicide-murder), revealed something profoundly wrong with New Jersey's child protection system.

     The toxicological report released on December 3, 2012 by the Camden County prosecutor's office confirmed that at the time of the murder-suicide, Thomas had been smoking PCP-laced marijuana. Known on the street as "wet," this hallucinogen is known to cause extreme violence in some users.

     

4 comments:

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  2. The court gave custody of my 3 children to a perpetrator of violence who masterminded a murder for hire plot against me-there were never any charges filed against him. As a result of continued harassment I filed motion to move out of state the result reprehensible.

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