Loved ones of a Connecticut mother allegedly murdered by her former boyfriend in front of her young child say authorities botched efforts to protect the woman and have taken the first step toward filing a lawsuit against police, the Connecticut Post reports.
The allegations stem from December 6, when 43-year-old Ewen Dewitt allegedly attacked 40-year-old Julie Minogue with an ax at the woman’s home in Milford, Connecticut.
Minogue’s 3-year-old son saw the killing unfold while a teenage son was also home at the time.
Shortly after the slaying, the Milford police chief placed an officer on administrative leave until an internal investigation could be completed into how the department handled a warrant application that was not completed until after Minogue was killed.
Now, Minogue’s family has filed a notice of claim with the city of Milford, a legal requirement giving officials an opportunity to settle the matter before a lawsuit can be filed.
According to the Milford Police Department, Minogue had obtained a no-contact restraining order against Dewitt five days before the slaying, and in November, had complained to police that Dewitt allegedly sent her 200 harassing text messages in the span of just two days in violation of a pre-existing order that prohibited him from harassing her.
The police officer had prepared an arrest warrant application for Dewitt charging him with violating the harassment protective order and submitted the application to prosecutors, but the state attorney’s office denied the warrant and returned it to the officer seeking additional information.
The additional information prosecutors sought was not added to the warrant application until December 9, three days after Minogue was murdered and after the case was assigned to a different investigator, even though Minogue had alleged that she was “afraid [Dewitt’s] going to kill me,” according to WTNH-TV.
Milford Police Chief Keith L. Mello has said the officer “had an obligation to gather that information requested by the Assistant State’s Attorney and resubmit the arrest warrant application as soon as possible.”
In a statement, lawyer Michael Rosnick, who represents the family, said the forthcoming lawsuit is intended to better protect domestic violence victims.
“The family intends to make its best efforts to hold accountable those who failed to perform their respective duties,” Rosnick said, according to the Connecticut Post. “In addition, they hope that this case will serve as a vehicle to provide better protections to those who are at risk from domestic violence and abuse.”
A GoFundMe account is raising money for Minogue’s three surviving sons. In addition to the two boys who were home at the time of the slaying, Minogue has a third son who is serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.
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[Feature Photo: GoFundMe]