Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Below Former Police Officer Robert Vanaman, out on Bond while awaiting trial for the
murder of his wife Barbara Vanaman.
Background on Case: Barbara Vanaman was the mother of a three and thirteen year old boy. On May 11, 2006, around 5 p.m. neighbors heard the couple arguing. A few mnutes later, a shot rang out killing Barbara. All in the name of self defense of course, Robert was taken to the hospital because he needed to be treated for stab wounds during the incident.
Some General Information :
Robert has been on the police force for 15 years
Robert's father was also a Mullville police officer
Friends and neighbors say they were "the perfect couple"
My radar screen goes up based on Police response to officer related domestic violence disputes and field experience on officer related shootings:
Robert hires an attorney almost immediately following the incident; he is immune from answering any questions by police because he is represented by a lawyer; he is allowed upon leaving the hospital to return home to the crime scene where the death is still under investigation; He has not been charged and remains on sick leave. He has no restrictions on where he can go and what he can do.
Where were the children on a school day at 5 P.M.? Was Robert on duty that day? Was he still in his uniform? How long had he been home? About what time did the neighbors hear the couple arguing? Was Barbara asking to divorce her husband? Did they get into a fight over her wanting to end their marriage? Has anyone interviewed co-workers from Barbara's employment? What about Barbara's relatives have police or the prosecuting attorney interviewed them? Did Robert threaten Barbara with the gun and she grabbed a knife to protect herself and then the gun went off?
Robert Vanaman is a 15 year veteran with a police department. He went through extensive training and knows how to use a weapon. In any police home where their are problems one of the first things a neighbor or co-worker says after a tragedy is they were "The Perfect Couple". Even after an Officer kills his wife and then commits suicide. And to everyone, not one person can say anything but good things about officers and their families. That's because from experience this is the officers self created persona. He goes out of his way to make sure the world knows what a great person he is and what a wonderful husband, father and neighbor he is on and off the job.
Look at any news story on police officers and you'll see what I mean. This case needs to be removed from the county. Although I fear the investigation has been tampered beyond repair, there are many things in this case along that smell of a cover-up.
Please don't let the answers to the truth die with Barbara, she deserves more and so do her children। If you know anything, if your a relative, friend, co-worker contact,Cumberland County Prosecutor Ronald Casella.
UPDATE 2/25/08:BRIDGETON -- If expert witnesses are available, a trial for a Millville police sergeant charged with murder could take place late this summer। A defense attorney for Millville police sergeant Robert Vanaman said Monday that he and First Assistant Prosecutor Ken Pagliughi need time to check with expert witnesses to make sure witnesses can be ready within the next four to six months for a potential trial.
At a status conference Monday afternoon on Vanaman's case, Superior Court Judge Walter Marshall Jr. set a return date on the case for March 31, at which time it's expected a trial will be scheduled.
Vanaman, 39, a 16-year veteran with the Millville Police Department, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder in November 2006 in connection with the shooting death of his 37-year-old wife, Barbara Vanaman.
Barbara Vanaman was shot and killed during a May 11, 2006, domestic dispute at her Wedgewood Court home in Millville, where she and her husband lived with their two children, ages 5 and 14.
Robert Vanaman is free on $750,000 bail.
He is currently suspended without pay from the Millville Police Department.
Joseph O'Neill, an attorney representing Vanaman, says his client shot Barbara Vanaman in self-defense.
But Pagliughi has argued that knife wounds Vanaman suffered in the May 11, 2006, incident, which O'Neill claims were caused by Barbara Vanaman, were self-inflicted.
A total of 15 expert witnesses are expected to testify at Vanaman's trial.
Pagliughi said in court Monday that the prosecutor's office may hire an additional witness to testify in response to a report prepared by one of O'Neill's witnesses that he only recently received.
The expert report is most likely in support of O'Neill's self-defense theory, as Pagliughi stated in November that he had yet to receive any evidence supporting that defense.
"I should know whether there will be an additional witness within the next couple of weeks," he told Marshall.
If expert witnesses are unavailable, Vanaman's trial could be delayed.
However, Pagliughi said after court Monday he is optimistic that the trial will take place in 2008.
Both Pagliughi and O'Neill stated in past interviews that they are prepared to try the case as soon as possible। (By MATT DUNNmailto:DUNNmdunn@sjnewsco.com)