On the morning of June 2, she said, he screamed at her, cursed, and called her names. He followed her around the house and when she tried to hide in a closet, he found her there. Emotional abuse can sometimes be worse than physical abuse. It affects your psyche so much. You lose all your confidence. You become isolated from your friends. In the report filed on June 2, Lofgren mentioned that Hardin owned two guns.
She filed a protection order soon after her first visit, which forced him to leave the house, but, according to Lofgren, the harassment continued. Police reports support her claims and Hardin was once cited for violating the protection order.
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She became unmoored. Then as Hardin prepared to move out of their family home, Lofgren wanted someone there to keep watch, and a friend at the hospital dropped the name, Darryl Burgess. That and his criminal record made him intimidating. Lofgren called and offered him the job. On that first day and in the coming weeks, Lofgren confided in Burgess about her divorce, and how scared she was. The more she thought about what Burgess said, the more she found comfort in the fantasy, and over time she became convinced that it was the only way she would be free of Todd Hardin forever.
Children in Prison
Jimenez would need hard evidence, and that meant Burgess would have to get Lofgren to self-incriminate on tape. I am highly skeptical of [redacted] intentions. I have also spoken with [redacted] former probation officers about [redacted] admission, and they have also wondered what other motivations [redacted] may have which would cause [redacted] to bring this matter to the attention of authorities. He targeted sex workers. One alleged he used a weapon; according to his indictment, three of them were sodomized. He was sentenced to months in federal prison, and after serving more than seven years, he was placed on supervised release and paroled in When he met Lofgren, he had about four years left on his probation.
While it is tempting to wonder why his probation officer, a US attorney, and Pierce County detectives felt it wise to both believe in and deploy a man with such a criminal history, allow him into the home of a woman with no criminal record presumably around her daughters , you might ask the same question of Lofgren. Though she claims to not have been aware of all the details around his crimes, she knew they were sexual, yet still maintained close contact.
The case turned on a series of meetings and calls recorded by law enforcement. They have a back-and-forth where he threatens to call it off, and that stops Lofgren. As the conversation progresses you can feel Burgess waver, and at the midway point he offers her a way out. However, she was soon consumed with guilt and regret, and phone records indicate that she attempted to call Burgess at least four times and texted him at least once around the time of the meeting.
She says that she was attempting to call off the hit, but he failed to answer. She left messages with increasing urgency.
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Hey, will you please call me? I need to talk to you about something.
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So will you call me, please? Lawyers I spoke with argued that is a major violation of Brady v. Maryland , a Supreme Court decision that declares that all material evidence favorable to the defendant must be turned over to the defense team.
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Discovery receipts filed in Superior Court on March 29, , prove that they were. Yet the first time Lofgren ever saw them was when Dawson found them in a public records disclosure in Nevertheless, Lofgren did not make any effort to call the police herself, and on February 23, the day she assumed her husband would be killed, she was arrested without incident — relieved, she said, that Hardin was still alive.
When she finally did visit, she found herself staring through Plexiglas at her sister in a county jail jumpsuit and speaking to her through a phone receiver. His was a crime so brutal and dissonant, two families were sent spinning. She adored those girls, and hated that man for what he did. How could she possibly ignore his crimes? But the next morning, a family member recommended she open her Bible to:.
If her analysis seems Pollyannaish to you, consider that she said the same thing when she spoke about forgiveness at his funeral. Her intervention helped the families overcome rage and bitterness and grieve for the two girls as one. She picked up the phone. Dawson exited jail that afternoon certain she had taken the first step on a long journey. The front deck juts over a deep-green finger of the Puget Sound, and the view is mountainous and postcard-perfect.
Seals lounge on their dock. Whales exhale vapor trails in the summertime. Dawson, 54, is petite and fit.
Lofgren apologized, but she also spoke about how she felt trapped and controlled first by Hardin, then by Burgess. Her ruling was met with an audible gasp.
Even Burgess was shocked. Yes, I do.
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The gavel fell and Lofgren removed a silver necklace with a Coptic cross from around her neck and gave it to Fricke, who passed it to Dawson. A deputy then gently cuffed her hands behind her back. She sobbed as she was led through intake, where another woman serving time handed her a prison uniform. It felt just like those old prisons in the movies, bars and all. She was now a ghost living at Purdy, as the medium-security prison is known.
Among the hundreds crammed into a jigsaw of brick and concrete, wrapped in chain link and razor wire, set on the invisible edge of one of the prettiest towns in America, a country with an underbelly hidden under lock and key that reveals much about how we as a nation feel about one another, our capacity for empathy, and that one inalienable right ignored in our constitution.
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The natural-born right to human dignity. The United States leads the world in mass incarceration. Of those, 56 percent are people of color, and 33 percent are Black. African Americans are the most overrepresented racial group in the prison system, while white Americans are underrepresented, which is no surprise to those with even a base knowledge of American criminal justice.
About 83 percent of all incarcerated people are arrested for a subsequent crime within nine years. The American prison system grew out of an earnest quest for mercy. Philadelphians established the first brick-and-mortar penitentiary in the United States in to stem such violence. In the early 19th century, Massachusetts did away with whipping and branding, and started building prisons too, and in short order each state had a prison system.
None of them were well-funded, which is why most resorted to providing goods and services. Prison labor in the Confederacy was considered a necessity during the Civil War, when those held in the South churned out uniforms and shoes for troops. American prisons were an economic albatross that also never worked as an agency of rehabilitation. His words were a siren call. Studies were mobilized, and in the middle of the 20th century rehabilitation became a buzzword that resonated within both political parties. Then in the late s, two progressives weighed in on the issue of how to better use prisons to rehabilitate, and came up with opposite conclusions.
Robert Martinson, on the other hand, became an academic star.