SEATTLE (AP) - An Oregon mother asked a judge Thursday to overrule a family law commissioner's decision letting her two teenage sons live in the same house as a woman who killed her own daughters 20 years ago.Yes, I do think that having a child-killer move into the household is a significant change of circumstances.
Trisha Conlon of Silverton, Ore., had two boys with her former husband, retired Marine fighter pilot Lt. Col. John P. Cushing Jr., in the 1990s. But they split up several years ago, and John Cushing has since gotten back together with his first wife, Kristine, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity after shooting their 4- and 8-year old daughters in California's Orange County in 1991.
Conlon has said she learned only this year that Kristine and John Cushing were once again together at Cushing's home on Vashon Island, south of Seattle, a fact her attorney, Todd DeVallance, argued should warrant changes to the boys' parenting plan. But a court commissioner found last month that even if Conlon didn't know about it, John and Kristine Cushing had been back together for some time, with no apparent detriment to the boys and thus, there was no change of circumstance that would require the plan to be modified.
Personally, I think that I would trust a convicted murderer more than a mom who killed her own kids out of temporary insanity. Most murderers repent and do not commit more crimes. They understand what they did, and the penalty, at least. But a mom crazy enough to kill her own kids can never be trusted for anything.
"The sole evidence presented by the mother is one tragic episode that happened 20 years ago," Sorensen told the judge. "The court is required to deny (the motion) if there is not current evidence." ...There is a certain twisted logic to that. No conviction in the criminal court, and hence no intervention by the family court.
Cushing has emphasized that Kristine was considered temporarily insane at the time of the killings and thus, "There was no crime committed, there was a horrible tragedy that resulted in the deaths of our two daughters. (Conlon) and her counsel seem to feel that anyone who suffers from temporary insanity is incapable of recovering from that condition. Kristine's doctors disagree."
I actually think that would be a good general rule. The family court gets wild accusations every day that could never be proved in a criminal court. Usually they are not even actionable in some real court. The family court could simplify a lot of its work if it would just ignore any criminal accusation that was not backed up by a criminal conviction.
But if there were ever an exception to the general rule, this case would be it. Even if this woman was not convicted of murder, she was adjudicated to be dangerously insane. Casey Anthony was also acquitted, but you sure would not put any kids in her care.