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Ohio Teen Killed Weeks After Opening Up About Domestic Violence In Facebook Post

17-year-old LaShonda Childs was trying to move on from an abusive relationship when she was murdered.  

With October being Domestic Violence Awareness month, the murder of 17-year-old LaShonda Childs is another crushing and tragic reminder of the number of black girls who suffer through intimate partner violence. Childs was shot and killed earlier in the week following a fatal run-in with her ex-boyfriend, Trendell Goodwin, who has been arrested and charged in her murder.

“If you see the signs don’t ignore it y’all. Domestic violence is real not just in movies,” Childs warned on Facebook on Sept. 21 in a detailed post sharing some of the many instance of abuse that she experienced during her relationship with Goodwin.

Nearly two weeks later, on Oct. 2, Childs was seated in the passenger side of a 2006 Chevrolet Impala driven by her boyfriend as Goodwin fired multiple shots into the vehicle. Childs’ boyfriend transported her to Grandview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, where she was pronounced dead the following morning. Her death was ruled a homicide by a gunshot wound to the head.

Moments prior to the shooting, Childs called 911 to report that Goodwin “pointed a gun” at her boyfriend’s head. She also told the dispatcher that she had a restraining order against him.

“I’m scared," she said. “He’s got a gun. I can’t talk...I’m in a bad situation.”

The Cycle Of Abuse

Childs was trapped so deeply in the cycle of abuse, that she battled between protecting Goodwin, and moving on with her life. Her death reiterates the fear of being stalked and even killed, that contributes to why a number of domestic violence victims stay in abusive relationships.

Regardless of their partner's ethnic background, Black women experience intimate partner violence at a rate of 35 percent higher than whites and up to two-and-a-half times more than other races. Black women are four times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner of any ethnicity, and black teens are more like than white teens to be hit by a boyfriend or girlfriend. The most common age when women (of all races) first experience intimate partner violence is between 18-34, followed by girls ages 11-17.

In April, Childs wrote a letter asking Dayton Municipal Court Judge Daniel Gehres to release Goodwin from jail, after one of at least a dozen reported incidents of abuse dating back to 2017. According to the excerpts of the letter published by the Daytona Daily News, Childs’ insisted that Goodwin was a “genuinely kind hearted, family oriented man,” and described the assault as a “rough patch in a life together that resulted in a huge mess.”

Childs said that she and Goodwin were “good people with short tempers,” and that she wanted things to turn around. “Hopefully we can put this in our past and start over.”

Failed Order Of Protection

By early September, Judge Gehres ordered Goodwin to stay at least 500 feet away from Childs, and extended his probation (stemming from the April incident) another year. Goodwin broke the protective order within three days, reportedly showing up to Childs' home and setting one of her wigs on fire, throwing it at her and stealing her cell phone. Days after the alleged robbery, Goodwin was accused of firing shots at the home where Childs' lived with her family.

In early 2017, police were called after Goodwin broke Childs’ phone and threw her purse in the sewer, during an argument where he accused her of texting another man. Last Christmas Eve, Goodwin argued with Childs about more alleged text messages and dragged her out of a car by her feet, according to a police report. The domestic violence calls continued through April 2018, when Childs penned the letter to the judge. Roughly one month later, Childs’ mother told police that Goodwin shot up her house and threatened to kill her daughter. Childs’ mother also claims Goodwin, 28, told the teen that he was 20 years old when they first met.

“She was really in the process of leaving this time, but it was basically a fatal attraction,” her brother Jaylon said in an interview. “Whatever happens to him, we can’t get our sister back, but as long as justice is served, there may be some peace.”

Not Guilty Plea

Goodwin pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday (Oct. 5), which would have been Childs' 18th birthday. He was arraigned on two counts of murder and improper discharge of a firearm and three counts of felonious assault.

Speaking to Ohio's WHIO-TV, Goodwin’s father called the murder a “tragedy for both families,” and extended condolences to Childs’ loved ones. “It’s too late to say I wish things could have been different.”

He added that there are “two sides to every story,” and claimed that Childs’ boyfriend pulled a gun on his son. Despite defending him, Goodwin's father noted, “If it’s proven that he did it, he deserves to be punished.”

Goodwin’s lawyer requested the minimum bond available. The judge set a cash bond of $ 1 million. Goodwin's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 12.

READ MORE: Serena Williams On Domestic Violence: “This Is A Human Rights Issue”

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Ex-Cop Pleads To Manslaughter After Leaving Toddler In Hot Car To Have Sex

Former Mississippi cop Cassie Baker may spend 20 years behind bars for leaving her toddler in the backseat of a police cruiser while she had sex with her supervisor.

Little Cheyenne's body temperature rose to a scorching 107 degrees before she died on Sept. 30, 2016. When Baker returned to the vehicle four hours later, Cheyenne was unresponsive. Baker, 29, pled guilty to manslaughter in a reduced plea deal Monday. (March 18) It's unclear if she intentionally left her 3-year-old in the backseat of the car.

“I don’t know what I could ever do to you that could be worse than what you’ve already experienced,” Harrison County Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois told her. “You will forever be entombed in a prison of your own mind.”

Cheyenne's father says he's still tormented by his daughter's death and often pictures her final moments.

“Every time I close my eyes, I picture her suffering, and then I picture her laying in this coffin,” Ryan Hyer said Monday. “I still see her smiling and laughing in my head, and I would assume that smile and laughter turned to pain and suffering in that instance.”

Baker and her supervisor Clark Ladner were fired days later. While speaking with the Associated Press, he was able to avoid charges after telling authorities he was unaware Baker's daughter was in the car. Judge Bourgeois will consider the prosecution recommendation at Baker's April 1 sentencing.

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8-Year-Old Nigerian Chess Champion's Big Win Helps His Family Out Of Homelessness

An 8-year-old Nigerian chess prodigy is helping his family out of homelessness. Tanitoluwa “ Tani” Adewumi, won the New York State Scholastic Chess Championship last week, beating out more than 70 of the state’s top young chess players, all while living in a homeless shelter.

Tani, who was recently profiled in the New York Times, and his family fled Nigeria in 2017, reportedly out of fear of being targeted by Boko Haram. The family applied for asylum, and have since been living in a New York shelter.

The third grader learned to play chess a year ago at his elementary school, P.S. 116. Tani’s coach, Russell Makofsky marveled at his ability to learn chess so quickly. "His intellect, his aptitude, his capacity to learn chess is off the charts,” Makofsky said. “From not playing to beating the best of the best in one year is unheard of, all while living in a homeless shelter.”

Tani has been getting a lot of attention for his big win. A GoFundMe page launched on March 15 with a goal of raising $50,000 to help Tani’s family “secure a home where he can continue his journey,” has raised more than $182,000. An attorney has also agreed to work on the family’s asylum case for free, CBS News reports.

The family now plans to move into an apartment, and posted an update on the GoFundMe page Tuesday (March 19) sharing their gratitude for the donations, Tani’s chess coach, and the media for publicizing the story. “Our big shout out to the whole WORLD for all your support financially, morally, spiritually and many more can't [be] mentioned. You are all awesome. God bless you all.”

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Connecticut School Employee Resigns After Racist Grocery Store Video Goes Viral

A  Connecticut resident has resigned from her position at the Hamden Public School District after a video posted to Facebook shows her using racial slurs and spitting on two black people while at a local Shop Rite.

According to The New Haven Register, Corinne Terrone who was a clerk in the district's central office, is seen with her two children when the confrontation erupts. Terrone uses the N-Word three times and spits at a black man and black woman. It's unclear how the clash begins.

After Terrone's first use of the slur, the man on video rushes toward Terrone as she attempts to take her phone out and record. “Put your hands on me, come on!” she says. He then slaps the phone out of her hand. That's the only physical encounter between the two caught on video.

The Facebook post, which has received more than 180,000 views, overwhelmingly supported the black man and woman. A spokesman for the school wrote on the district's website that Terrone "has been separated from employment effective immediately.”

“While it appears as though this happened after work hours on Friday evening, the Human Resource Director contacted the employee and arranged an investigatory meeting with her. Shortly after final arrangements were made for the investigatory meeting, the employee rendered her resignation effective immediately.”

Due to the fact that Terrone's children were present during the verbal assault, the district filed a report with DCF services.

Republican State Sen. Len Fasano and state Rep. Joseph Zullo released a joint statement condemning Terrone's language and behavior.

“What we saw in this video is repulsive and deeply offensive and does not represent the people of East Haven or our values. The behavior is shocking and upsetting and has no place anywhere, including in our community,” Fasano and Zullo said in the statement. “We understand Hamden Public Schools has acted quickly to seek this employee’s resignation. East Haven police are also seeking more information and urging any potential victims or witnesses involved to come forward. Hate speech and violence will not be tolerated in our community.”

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