Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Officer Vanaman Murder Trial of Wife Barbara-Drags On

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.
Questions :
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)


Anonymous said...

When this finally reaches trial, Robert will be found not guilty but the jury, you can bet your life on it!

LarryHarriet said...

I can smell a big victim bashing smear campaign in court to distract the jury from the evidence. The defense attorney will dig up any thing they can, anything in her past to drag her memory through the mud like OJ did with Ron and Nicole and Robert Blake did with Bonny Lee Bakley. IMO, judges should not allow that. Its not relevant. If your client is so innocent, you shouldn't have to resort to smearing the victims to prove it.

Levi said...

Larry Harriet, you are preaching about "bashing the victim." The same person that attacked Natalee Holloway's behavior the night she was killed??? ::rolls eyes::

This defense is just stupid. And what is it? Is the woman a suicidal cutter, or an abusive controlling woman? I've never heard anything so stupid in all my life. I think the defense of Phil Spector was better... At least it would be consistent in this case, if they went with the theory she was a cutter. (It would still be stupid.)

I predict a guilty verdict. Too bad New Jersey outlawed the death penalty...

LarryHarriet said...

My sources told me that the actual numbers in the Phil Spector jury room were at one point 11 to 1 to convict. Their was this one hold out who was IMO a Phil Spector fan and just couldn't convict anybody. The Phil Spector defense blamed the victim. They brought out these fake e-mails and tryed to bring these people with fuzzy stories about Lana being depressed. It was totally blame the victim. The defense was rediculous. The prosecution had 5 witnesses establishing a pattern of behavior as well as one witness that said he heard Phil Spector say "I think I killed somebody."

If they jury believed those witnesses in their moral heart and reasonable head... the state met the burden.

In this case, I predict a guilty verdict as well. I just predict an uphill battle because the blame the victim defense will be in full force.

Levi said...

Your sources are idiots. I don't know a single person who is a "Phil Spector fan" ::rolls eyes:: Phil Spector was a producer who worked behind the scenes, not someone who worked in front of the camera, was a house hold name, and who many people knew. People might know the songs and albums he produced, but not him.

What a great "investigative journalist" you are. You might need some medication to keep your "sources" quiet.

LarryHarriet said...

You know... you have a good point and I wanted to believe that. But just think about how lady justice was tricked in the Robert Blake case. I was sure the jury could care less about Beretta and wouldn't know Robert Blake from the moon. But I had to eat crow on that because the jury proved to be starstruck.

Just because these celebrities are not "on the scene" like an OJ or Michael Jackson does not mean that they are still not celebrities. It does not mean that the judges don't still give them celebrity treatment in their rulings. And its starstriking to the jury because of who they are, the people they bring into the courtroom, and the people they associate themselves with.

Just think of all the great singers Court TV had on during the trial that testifed to Phil Spector's character (and why Court TV is bringing that in during a criminal trial makes no sense to me)... but don't tell me that the juries don't go home and watch the television coverage of the cases and read the newspapers.

Even if they had not known Phil Spector before, they quickly learned... theres a celebrity in the courtroom!

From what my sources told me, 11 of the 12 prevailed in the jury room to hand down the right verdict. At one point it was 11 to 1 to convict, at another point it was 10 to 1 to convict, according to my sources.

But from my analysis of the case, it was really this one hold out who was really strong and just refused to look at the evidence. He was starstruck. He just could not vote Guilty.

So, the reality is that juries are starstruck. We've seen it time and time agian... even in places where we think it won't be a problem like Robert Blake.

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