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Archive for Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Judge orders 30-year-old Lawrence man to stand trial on child abuse charges

August 9, 2011

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Stanley Burleson

Stanley Burleson

A Douglas County judge Tuesday ordered a 30-year-old Lawrence man to stand trial on child abuse charges.

A Lawrence police detective testified at the preliminary hearing for Stanley E. Burleson that the defendant said he used a belt to discipline his girlfriend’s two boys, ages 14 and 12, on July 6 at a Lawrence home because they disobeyed his instructions about going to a swimming pool.

Burleson told police he didn’t believe he abused the boys, who received treatment later at Lawrence Memorial Hospital for bruising and other injuries.

“There was a break in the beating, and then he decided to have the children remove their clothing,” said District Judge Peggy Kittel summarizing testimony, “apparently to make the children feel the beating more severely, since he felt they hadn’t gotten the message before.”

Lawrence police Detective Mike McAtee testified about a July 7 interview he had with Burleson after the boys’ grandmother called police.

McAtee said Burleson told police when they got home he struck each boy in their legs and buttocks area with his woven belt. Police accused him of striking each boy multiple times on two separate occasions and at one point standing over the older boy with his hand around his throat.

“He made the comment that he could kill the individual, and nobody would know and/or care,” McAtee said.

Burleson, who had been living in the home, faces four counts of child abuse and one count of making a criminal threat. The boys are in protective custody now.

The boys’ mother, Laura L. Sanders, 34, also faces two counts of child abuse, and she is accused of also striking the boys with a belt when she came home a few hours later that day, McAtee testified. Sanders faces a preliminary hearing in the case Sept. 6.

Kittel scheduled Burleson’s trial for Nov. 2, and his attorney, Branden Smith, said he intended to file a motion asking the judge to determine whether Burleson’s confession was voluntary and could be used at trial.

Comments

jayhawkstalk 3 years, 1 month ago

Tough to make that call, but the grandmother did the right thing. Kudos for putting those children's well-being ahead of the mother and mother's boyfriend. It is hard to turn in a loved one, I am sure, but the daughter was letting her boys down by abusing them and allowing abuse.

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jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Where is the "real" father? The breakup of the family is causing unimaginable consequences.

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madameX 3 years, 1 month ago

How do you know the "real" father isn't just as bad? It's a pretty big leap to assume that among all the problems in these children's lives, it's the "breakup of the family" that's having the serious consequences.

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4accountability 3 years, 1 month ago

Good for grandma. Far too often family members look the other way. This was severe. Hopefully grandma or another family member can take the children. They don't deserve the abuse that being in stranger care brings. There are wonderful foster families out there but if there is family they can safely be with lets hope they get there immediately. The adult social workers at the Lawrence office have been having a fit over a change in their drive to work. Maybe they can amp that feeling up about a 1000 times and feel what kids feel when they are taken from EVERTHING and EVERYONE they know and love! Sometimes kids have to be removed from their home...but we can and should do a much better job of maintaining their connections.

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bingcherrydk 3 years, 1 month ago

Do you have some sort of personal beef with SRS? Your complaint against the social workers seems a little unfounded.

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4accountability 3 years, 1 month ago

Having personally worked with hundreds of kids in state custody I find many social workers to have grown way too thick of a skin in this regard. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they cared or understood at any point in time. It is emotionally draining work. Social workers need more support and they also need to be held accountable when they veer off course.

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bingcherrydk 3 years, 1 month ago

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Your statement is purely subjective.

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4accountability 3 years, 1 month ago

Subjective = Social Work Subjective - most of the reasons kids are taken into custody into the first place. Subjective- the reasons used to allow or keep them from family placement.

And yes opinions are subjective. I base mine on considerable working experience from many perspectives within the child welfare system. I did not form that opinion in a 72 hour window nor do I base in on a isolated incident within a lifetime. Both things that social workers often do when forming opinions that will impact children for the rest of their life.

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bingcherrydk 3 years, 1 month ago

Counseling/Therapy = absolutely subjective ;-)

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justajoke 3 years, 1 month ago

The adult SW aren't having a fit over a change in the drive to work. They just want to know where they will be working. Big difference. And I know they do have feelings and want what is best for the children. It's easy to make judgement statement when you have never walked in their shoes. Hope these kids are getting all the love and care they need.

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bingcherrydk 3 years, 1 month ago

What you do every day, is not walking in the shoes of a social worker; not even close.

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sanerw 3 years, 1 month ago

My hats off to grandma for reporting this and also my hats off to DG.CO. officers for taking this case seriously as I know not all reports on child abuse are.

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cletus26 3 years, 1 month ago

WELL I BE... GOOD JOB GRANDMA. MY STEPDAD USED TO WHIP US W/ A LEATHER BELT WITH NO CLOTHES ON; IT DOESN'T FEEL GOOD. AND HE ENJOYED DOING THIS. i'M GLAD THE GRANDMA STEPPED IN. I HOPE THEY GET THE TIME THEY NEED AND HOPEFULLY SOMEONE IN LOCKUP WILL ALLOW THEM TO FEEL A WHIPPING W/ NO CLOTHES!!

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