Thursday, October 30, 2008

Follow The Rules And Lose Your Child Anyway? The WA State Supreme Court Weighs Arguments

THIS INFORMATION IS REFERENCED AT: WA TVW Then go to the page on the STATE SUPREME COURT where arguments are archived for later public broadcast.

On June 24, 2008 the Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of an Hispanic man who's child DSHS wanted. The man followed all the rules. He made his visits to his child. He went to all the meetings he was required to attend.

This is a very important case. Please take the time to view it. The ruling is expected this fall or early winter.

Viewing time: 45 minutes


Anonymous said...

Seems like a predetermined placement again.Too many foster parents with friends in the right places.Fosters have more rights than parents. DSHS uses parental alienation without thought of the children all over and get away with it.Truely a nightmare for the father , lets hope a family is brought back together.

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone who sees this sight takes the time to view it. Support this Father and the fight for his rights, and the rights of his family. Support the young Mother, doing all the right things to regain her daughter that Senator Roach is blogging about. Support Senator Roach for her voice for all the targeted victims. And above all remember this could be any of us! Keep all of them in your prayers!

Anonymous said...

Pam could you put this in your blog??
Home › News › Local News
Baby wasn't abused by cop dad; she died of fatal malady
By Judi Villa, Rocky Mountain News

Published October 31, 2008 at 12:05 a.m.

Photo by Cuin Family Photo

Dave O'Shell and Tiffany Cuin-O'Shell, with baby Alyssa, who died Tuesday. She suffered from spinal muscular atrophy.

If only Dave O'Shell had hung on just a bit longer.

Just a couple more days and tests would have proved he was innocent.

O'Shell, a Lakewood police officer, was suspected of abusing his 3-month-old daughter. Baby Alyssa had been taken away. O'Shell's wife, Tiffany, had been advised to divorce him if she ever wanted to get her daughter back.

O'Shell, pressured to confess, believed he was about to be arrested for something he didn't do.

"I think he snapped," said Jackie Cuin, Tiffany's mother.

"Nobody was giving him any hope," said Paul Cuin, Tiffany's father. "Everything was painted as black as it could be."

So, on June 30, O'Shell shot Tiffany to death as she slept, then put two guns in his mouth and pulled both triggers, killing himself. Turns out he was innocent all along.

Spinal muscular atrophy

At a court hearing two days after the deaths, Alyssa's foster mother said she had noticed something wrong with the baby. Genetic tests were ordered.

The results came back the day after the Cuins buried Tiffany: Alyssa had spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that prevents the muscles from developing. The diagnosis explained the 11 fractures on Alyssa's tiny body. It wasn't her father's fault at all.

"I knew, knowing both of them, that neither of them had hurt that baby," Jackie Cuin said.

"He loved his baby," Paul Cuin said. "That was his world. He adored her."

But the diagnosis came too late. Dave was already the prime suspect, "presumed guilty," Paul said.

Jackie said her daughter was "hysterical" when Alyssa was taken away, just 13 days before Dave O'Shell would end her life and his own. Dave, too, was despondent, worried that he had lost his baby forever, that he would go to jail, that he would lose Tiffany, too.

"It was horrendous," Jackie said. "They were scared to death."

'The system failed them'

After the murder-suicide, the Cuins fought for custody of Alyssa and finally brought her home. But the baby deteriorated. She couldn't eat or swallow or lift her head. She needed oxygen. Mucus had to be suctioned from her airway five or six times a day. Alyssa was dying - but it had nothing to do with abuse.

"We were hoping we'd make it to Christmas," Paul said.

Alyssa died Tuesday.

Thursday, the Cuins said it was time to talk about what happened to the O'Shells and Alyssa.

"They were innocent," Jackie said. "The system failed them."

Paul now wants to raise awareness about spinal muscular atrophy. It affects 1 in 6,000 children, but "nobody knows about it," he said.

He also wants to clear the names of Dave and Tiffany O'Shell. He knows some people still think Dave did what he did because he got caught. It's more likely he did it because he didn't have hope, Paul said.

"The minute they hit on abuse, they wouldn't look any further, even though we kept telling them there's more," he said.

Jackie feels robbed.

"My daughter's gone, and my grandbaby's gone," she said.

"It's not just that they're gone," Paul said. "They're gone for unnecessary reasons."

A dancing Elmo toy

On a counter in the kitchen of their Henderson home, the Cuins have kept one of Alyssa's favorite toys, a dancing Elmo. They bought it for her for Christmas but decided to give it to her early. She loved it.

Sealed in a bag is a blanket that still smells like Alyssa.

They miss her smile, the smile they lived for, the smile that made their world. But they picture Alyssa now, with her mommy and daddy. And she is doing the things she couldn't do here. She can move her arms and legs. The O'Shells are happy together once again.

"We decided that morning that Tiffany came down and said, 'It's time, sweetie, let's go home,' " Paul said.

"It's bittersweet," Jackie said. "But I'm happy for her. I'm happy for the kids to have her."

What is spinal muscular atrophy?

* A degenerative motor neuron disease that affects the voluntary muscles used for activities such as crawling, head and neck control and swallowing. Muscles in the shoulders, hips and back generally are the most severely affected. Patients' cognitive functions are not affected.

* Diagnosis is divided into four types, one of which is classified as adult-onset. The most severely affected babies are never able to lift their heads.

* Care depends on the type of SMA, which can vary from severe to relatively benign. Some children can stand or even walk with the aid of braces or walkers. Feeding assist tubes are used in other cases in which children have trouble swallowing.

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© 2008 The E.W. Scripps Co.

Anonymous said...

I will keep an eye on this case and support the family. Of other interest, there is another family here in Washington that has suffered a total loss of eight children. I am taking a personal interest in this case because it covers two states - Washington and Oregon. Currently, the father is incarcerated for video filming a CPS meeting with the camera in full view sitting on the table. Nobody asked him to turn it off but they are trying to get him to plea bargain for six months jail time. I am doing research on a second amendment argument for filming corruption in government. I believe the issue of a citizen filming another citizen is separate from a citizen filming government. I intend to support him along with many other family rights groups all the way up to the US Supreme Court if necessary. Here are the controversial videos:
Jan Smith
Washington State Extended Families