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not so heartless as to think their sentiment isn't genuine.
It's a parental learning curve bought with the blood of a toddler.
"He just wants to get this behind him," James Martin's father said after his son pleaded guilty in May to charges reduced from the original second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.
A 'What If' Mental Checklist Is NecessaryTamara Dietrich
"Bad parenting," Circuit Court Judge Carl Eason Jr. told them, "resulted in the death of your son."
Maybe it's paranoia or maybe it's a nightmare mental checklist that parents can't help but run through at odd moments imagining the unthinkable so you can take steps to prevent it.
If I were Frango or Martin, I would agree, with a whole, heavy heart. I would tell the judge to skip the three years in prison and hand me the entire 20.
Like many parents, sometimes I picture the worst. What if something awful happened to my son? What Nike Air Uptempo Olympic For Sale
The Suffolk couple pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child abuse or neglect and Nike Air Max Uptempo Black Bronze
I picture this and compare it to Heather Frango and James Martin at trial and sentencing for the gruesome death of their son, 21/2 year old Jonathan Martin, who was killed just this way last October.
Then I imagine myself growing pot in the backyard, taking in a combustible pair of pit bulls to guard the crop from others, and finally getting so stoned one night on pot and cocaine that I don't hear the pit bulls downstairs the next morning ripping my son apart after he pours himself a bowl of cereal.
And a "good mom"? What on earth constitutes bad mothering in this family?
Certainly Frango and Martin are grieving over their dead child. Frango told the judge she misses her son every day. Martin said he would gladly trade his own life for his son's.
were sentenced to three years in prison.
Good moms and good dads call animal control if they spot any mutt fitting that description. They don't throw open their doggie doors to them.
I imagine I would never make it to trial they'd been burying me in the cemetery plot right next to my son's.
Punished enough? Jonathan's little body was mauled by 100 or so pit bull Nike More Uptempo Pippen Retro bites, his scalp ripped from his skull. So I figure his parents are about 200 bites short of parity here.
A 'What If' Mental Checklist Is Necessary
"It's ridiculous," Frango's stepmother said at last week's sentencing. "They have been punished enough. . She is a good mom."
The Frango and Martin families may be willing to dismiss the errant couple with time served and lesson learned. Thank goodness the commonwealth's attorney and the judge were not.
He didn't get rid of them. And neither did she.
It's just a day late and a dollar short.
Remember, too, that these were dogs taken on for a particular job. Aggression preferred. House pets need not apply.
Were these parents chastened? Were they riddled with guilt? Wracked with remorse?
if he left for the bus stop one morning and never returned? What if he tripped and fell down the stairs? What if he darted into the street and was hit by a car? What if? What if? What if?
And it's not as if this tragedy were a bolt out of the blue. One dog had already nipped young Jonathan earlier. Frango claimed she had asked Martin to get rid of the dogs several times because of it.
September 08, 2006By TAMARA DIETRICH Daily Press
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