The restraining order Mary that was in place against George was set to expire in a few weeks. Mary wanted the judge to renew it for another year.
Mary: He has stayed away for the past year, but he promised me that the minute it expires he is going to kill me and bury me so no one will ever find my body.
Judge: Did you hear him say that?
Mary: No, I didn’t hear him say that. But he told that to someone who he knew would relay the message to me. I don’t know for sure, but I think he has been following me. I have not seen him, but sometimes when I am out on the street or shopping for groceries I feel his presence. And I have seen a car that looks like his parked outside my job. I have spent the last twelve months living in a shelter with my kids. I have found an apartment. I just do not feel safe moving out of the shelter without the security of a restraining order. He beat me almost every day before I finally decided to leave him. And when he got tired of hitting on me, he would turn his anger on our children.
Mary said her children were scared to death of him.
Mary: I have heard them crying in their beds at night. They have begged me to make daddy stop being so mean. My oldest said she has prayed that God would make daddy die because death is the only thing that will stop him. That is when I knew I had to get us out of there.
George said Mary doesn’t listen to him anymore.
George: She doesn’t make our children listen to me. I work hard to support her. I work hard to support our children. For seven or eight years, I paid all of the bills. I give her money. I give her whatever she wants. She wanted to work, and I don’t want her to work. I want her to stay home with our babies. What kind of mother would rather work than stay home and take care of her babies? She wants me to pay money to someone to do what she is supposed to do. I should have kept her in Nigeria. I believe we would have been happy there.
George said Mary is a liar.
George: She tells lies. Nothing but lies. I brought this woman to this country from Nigeria. This is the land of opportunity. I brought her here to make her life better. She lies when she says I abuse her. I never touched her. After she came to this country she totally assimilated into the American culture. If I wanted to abuse and control her in the way that she says I have, I would have kept her in Nigeria. In my country, the man is he head of the household. She comes here, she watches Oprah, she reads magazines, and she no longer wants to be my wife. She makes friends with women I don’t know.
Jackie’s Note: The cases posted in Courthouse Chronicles are real-life court cases that involve real people. For the record, I do not include any of the cases I have actually worked. If I hired a lawyer to represent me I would not want him or her writing about me so that’s why I don’t write about any of my clients. My research for these posts consists of sitting in the back of courtrooms listening to the testimony and witnessing the antics of other lawyers, their clients and people who chose to represent themselves.
Photo Credit: Visual Hunt