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Archive for Monday, January 9, 2012

Manhattan murder-suicide victim had dropped protection order

January 9, 2012

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— A Kansas woman who claimed her ex-boyfriend had threatened her dropped a protection order against him just eight days before he killed her and himself.

The Manhattan Mercury reported that the deaths have led to complaints that not enough was done to protect Amanda Victoria Bonner, 23, of Manhattan. But police and prosecutors said they did what they could before Kawon Darmet Higgins, 26, shot Bonner on Dec. 30 and then committed suicide.

Bonner and Higgins had two children together, and they are with family members, said Geoffrey Burd, a friend and employer of Bonner’s.

In filing for a protection order in June, Bonner wrote that Higgins had threatened to kill her more than once and that he had keyed her car. Police records show that officers with the Riley County Police Department responded to Bonner’s home 13 times before the order was dropped because of issues with Higgins, though reports were not filed for every response.

The same court records show that seven of those calls were made in relation to Higgins violating the court order, and the cases were sent to the Riley County Attorney’s office for review.

Police arrested Higgins on Dec. 6 for violation of protection orders. According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Higgins had previous convictions of criminal threat in 2007 and domestic battery against a family member in 2008.

County Attorney Barry Wilkerson said Bonner’s case shows why the office has the policy of prosecuting abuse cases even without the cooperation of the victim, if possible, indicating that Bonner did not always favor prosecuting Higgins.

However, he said the office cannot prosecute if there was not enough cause for arrest and cannot base cases on rumor and innuendo.

Det. Julia Goggins, who handles domestic violence cases for the RCPD, worked on the complaints Bonner filed against Higgins. She said the RCPD takes domestic violence very seriously, and she does not want anyone to think they cannot call for help.

“Domestic violence is a very ugly monster with many, many ventricles,” Goggins said. “It is very complicated, especially in severe cases such as (Bonner’s).”

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