Tuesday, March 25, 2008
A Judge rejected request for restraining order against husband by woman killed in murder-suicide......
Just a couple of weeks ago a Detroit Judge denied Maria Djelaj and other members of her family a court order of protection. Perhaps it would not have stopped a bullet. But, the Judge heard this case, and read the pleading, he will have to live with the blood stained gavel for however, long he presides over these types of hearings. I am not blaming the Judge. But a legal justice system, badly in need of revamping, is the only solution .
All the discussions surrounding this murder will not bring back Maria Djelaj , Beloved mother of Gina, Valentina, John and Kristina Djelaj. Until the criminal justice system begins to see this as a crime, you can continue to expect many more funeral services to follow.
3/21/2008 -Christina Stolarz / The Detroit News
SHELBY TOWNSHIP -- On March 10, just hours after appearing in court with her husband for a divorce hearing, Maria Djelaj filed court papers seeking a restraining order against him.
"He came straight in my face and said, 'I will break every bone in your body,' " she wrote in the request for the personal protection order.
The request was denied by Circuit Court Judge Antonio Viviano a day later, in part because Djelaj did not raise the issue during the hearing that had just occurred, county officials say.
Nine days later, she was dead -- shot by her husband, Djerdj Djelaj, who then turned the gun on himself. The couple, who had four children, were found in a Chrysler minivan behind St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church on Schoenherr north of 21 Mile.
"It is a tragedy and it's sad that this couldn't be resolved through the court system," said Roberta Sarkis, Maria's divorce attorney. Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz confirmed Thursday that it was a murder-suicide; there was no evidence of a physical altercation.
The toxicology report is due back in about 10 days.
Maria Djelaj, 38, died from two gunshot wounds -- one to the head and one to the chest -- from a 9 mm handgun.
Djerdj Djelaj, 47, was found -- still breathing -- in the driver's seat with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He died early Thursday morning at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township.
Viviano could not be reached for comment Thursday. But county spokesman Phil Frame said Viviano did not grant the protection order because it had not been mentioned at the divorce hearing and there did not appear to be a need to act on it immediately.
"A lot of times (personal protection orders) are granted after a hearing. That would have been a good chance to raise that issue," he said. It's not clear whether the order would have made a difference, said Carmen Wargel, director of community development for the Mount Clemens-based nonprofit Turning Point, which supports domestic violence victims.
Turning Point's office for personal protection orders served 2,500 people in 2007, Wargel said. About 58 percent of the county's domestic orders were denied last year, she said. "Judges sometimes, they don't feel the PPO meets the standard for the law," she said. "They feel they need to have a higher standard for restricting someone's rights."