Posted Mar 13, 2009 03:08 pm CDT
A Chicago lawyer charged with the murder of the ex-girlfriend and daughter of a basketball star had been charged in six domestic violence cases, but was never flagged for special prosecutorial attention.
Lawyer Fredrick Goings was arrested last month and charged with the murders of Nova Henry, the former girlfriend of New York Knicks player Eddy Curry, and her daughter, Ava. He had previously been accused of choking another woman and battering yet another woman on three different occasions, the Chicago Tribune reports. But the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office in Chicago did not refer him to a special unit for the most serious misdemeanor cases.
Prosecutors make referrals to the Target Abuser Call program based on several factors, such as being accused of domestic violence multiple times, using a gun when making threats and threatening murder. Trying to choke a victim is also a risk factor identified by researchers, according to another Chicago Tribune story.
Goings was punished in only one case—the choking incident in 1997—when he was sentenced to two years’ probation after a guilty plea, the story says.
The lapse illustrates the problems plaguing the overburdened unit prosecuting domestic batterers at high risk for murder, according to the Tribune. The county’s Target Abuser Call program is able to handle only one-third of the 90 high-risk offenders identified each week, according to a federal review of the program.