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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Sheriff: No charge for wife in intruder-husband killing
The Charlotte Observer ^ | December 4th 2004 | EMILY S. ACHENBAUM

Sheriff: No charge for wife in intruder-husband killing

Protective order issued; wife's door forced open

EMILY S. ACHENBAUM

Staff Writer

The Anson County Sheriff's Office will not press charges against a woman who killed her husband Wednesday after weeks of domestic violence against her.

Joy Burgess had a protective order against estranged husband Brian Gathings. Gathings had been convicted of threatening Burgess before, and jailed several times for charges of violence against her. But as with other recent domestic violence killings, none of it was enough to keep her safe.

When Gathings broke down his wife's back door with a shovel Wednesday, Burgess had reason to fear him, said Anson County Sheriff Tommy Allen. Burgess shot Gathings once in the chest, killing him.

The district attorney is still reviewing the case, but agreed charging Burgess wouldn't be appropriate, Allen said.

"There's such strong evidence of self-defense," Allen said.

District Attorney Michael Parker said he wouldn't comment on the case until he finalized his decision.

Allen said a family member of Burgess' gave her a large-caliber handgun after Gathings tried to break into her home Nov. 22.

Another relative drove screws into her windows for reinforcement.

"They had done things to protect her from him coming back," Allen said.

Gathings, 29, had been arrested five times since July on charges against his wife that included harassing phone calls and assault on a female.

The couple, who have a 6-year-old child, had been separated for about a year.

On Nov. 16, Gathings was released on a $5,000 bond after police charged him with pointing a gun at Burgess.

On Nov. 22, Gathings was charged with criminal trespass, and his parents signed a $15,000 bond.

On Wednesday, Gathings is believed to have disconnected the phone in his wife's home, Allen said. He broke down her back door with a shovel. Burgess, who works at an Anson County prison, shot him.

The couple had been scheduled for a hearing on the protective order Thursday.

"This is a sad case for all involved. There was a pattern here that tended to escalate," Allen said.

Domestic violence experts say violence typically escalates when a victim tries to leave an abuser, and that laws aren't strong enough to help.

The results can be devastating.

On Oct. 28 in Union County, David Wyzanowski killed his wife, three others and himself within 24 hours of being released from jail on a $1,000 bond. He had been charged with violating a protective order barring him from his wife. Two weeks earlier, he had been accused of raping and kidnapping her after luring her to his home with the promise of child support money.

According to the N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, at least 56 people have been killed in domestic violence-related homicides this year statewide.
 

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Custer said:
On Nov. 16, Gathings was released on a $5,000 bond after police charged him with pointing a gun at Burgess.

On Nov. 22, Gathings was charged with criminal trespass, and his parents signed a $15,000 bond.
I think the lady deserves a pat on the back. If he broke down the door with a shovel, he wasn't there to talk. What I want to know is why this nut was let out of jail this early? I mean if the government wants so much control, then why don't they start controlling convicted criminals?:rant:
 

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I love a story with a happy ending.

It sounds like she took out the trash and solved the problem. If this scum got shot more often it would stop happening. I think the police should issue a shotgun to any woman that is having this problem with a violent man. If that happened they would either get smart or get dead. Either would be an improvement.
 

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fal_shooter said:
I think the police should issue a shotgun to any woman that is having this problem with a violent man.
That was Archie Bunker's theory on stopping hijackings. He said "You pass out pistols to the passengers when they get on the plane and take them up when they get off. Case Closed."
:2guns:
 

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On Nov. 16, Gathings was released on a $5,000 bond after police charged him with pointing a gun at Burgess.



This line says it all, screw him, This type of guy needed one to the head, not the chest.
Good for her.:thumbup1:
 
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