BELIEVE THE MOTHERS!!!!!BELIEVE THE MOTHERS!!!!!BELIEVE THE MOTHERS!!!!!BELIEVE THE MOTHERS!!!!!!!!!
A judge in San Bernardino is fighting for his political life. Critics say it was his decision on the bench -- to give joint custody to a man who threatened his own son's life -- that was truly a life and death decision.
And that decision, could have led to the baby's death.
The baby was murdered. And the baby's father described the horrific crime on facebook.
Dave Bryan spoke to the judge, Superior Court Justice Robert Lemkau, for his first TV interview. Bryan also spoke with the man who wants Lemkau's job. Literally.
"When Judge Lemkau gave custody back to him, that was it. I just knew that my baby's death sentence was signed that day." -- Katie Tagle
The him was Tagle's ex-boyfriend, Steven Garcia, father of the couple's 9-month-old son, Wyatt.
And he had written her long, rambling E mails saying he was going to kill the baby and himself if she didn't reconcile with him.
But the judge didn't believe the E mails.
Tagle said the tragedy didn't have to happen.
Tagle asked the judge for a restraining order against her ex in January.
She said she supplied the court with the E mails as well as a temporary restraining order and "a mountain of evidence" including police reports.
Lemkau told Bryant he saw the E mails but they were signed "by a John Hancock, not Steven Garcia and he denied signing them. It could not be authenticated that he signed them."
Lemkau went on to tell Bryant that he thought Tagle might have even made up the E mails. "I made comments based on my comments based on the file and based on their demeanor...and prior history."
Lemkau restored joint custody.
Ten days later, Garcia poisoned the boy and shot himself in a murder-suicide. Just as he promised to do.
Lemkau says he was "shocked and very traumatized by what occured."
He apologized to Tagle in open court.
The judge feels like he made the right call. "We don't have crystal balls," he said, "there was no abuse, no history, just an allegation. You have to be cognizant of the rights of all parties."
Tagle isn't having it. "I do blame him," she says.
The judge defends his action. "A restraining order is not a magic shield. Steven Garcia was a homicidal, suicidal psychopath. A restraining order would not have stopped him."
Asked if he felt guilty, Lemkau said, matter-of-fact, "No. I mean, I made...I made the appropriate decision based on the facts and circumstances that appeared before me at that time."
James Hosking, the deputy D.A. in San Bernardino was so outraged by Lemkau's decision in this case, he decided to run against him when he realized no one else was.
"He showed an absolute callousness, I cannot fathom," says Hosking.WordPress Tags: BELIEVE,Judge,Lemkau,Baby,Murder,Father,Rights,Childs,Inland,Empire,Dave,Bryan,Wyatt,Garcia,Bernardino,life,decision,bench,custody,death,crime,Superior,Court,Justice,Robert,Katie,Tagle,Steven,tragedy,January,mountain,reports,Bryant,John,Hancock,comments,demeanor,history,Just,crystal,allegation,action,fact,James,Fathers,Critics,balls,himself,didn