Family Law

Mom Loses Custody Battle with Ex, Who Is Married to a Child Killer

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An Oregon woman is appealing a child custody decision that allows a child killer to help raise her two sons.

Trisha Conlon of Silverton, Ore., fought to keep the boys out of her ex-husband’s home after a private investigator confirmed he was living with Kristine Cushing on Vashon Island, Wash., near Seattle, the Associated Press reports.

Kristine Cushing was married twice to John Cushing Jr., both before and after he married Trisha Conlon. During Kristine and John’s first marriage, she killed their two daughters, ages 4 and 8, and blamed her actions on temporary insanity caused by Prozac, the story says. She was hospitalized nearly four years in a mental institution and underwent nearly a decade of psychiatric monitoring before receiving an unconditional release in 2005, when she remarried John Cushing.

A parenting plan gives Conlon custody of her 14-year-old son during the school year, while John Cushing has custody of their 13-year-old boy during that time, the AP story says. The teens split holidays and vacations between the two parents.

Conlon learned in 2007 that her one-time husband was living with Kristine, but he said they were getting divorced and she was no longer living there. Conlon’s suspicions that John and Kristine had reconciled were confirmed when she hired a private investigator early this year.

Conlon then sought a permanent modification of the parenting plan with John Cushing, but Commissioner Leonid Ponomarchuk of King County, Wash., refused the change, the story says. Ponomarchuk reasoned that the boys had been spending time with Kristine Cushing since 2008, although Conlon wasn’t aware of it, and there had been no problems.

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