09 March 2009

Someone Should Be Fired

Yesterday I spent an hour or so watching lots of kids play at a playground about 5 blocks from the VOA Pogue Center. Little did I know that they had recently kicked a violent sexual offender, Anthony Kirkland out onto the streets. In fact, I looked back on the notices that the Sheriff sends out, and found that we were never even notified that he resided here. Not that it would matter. When you get 3 or 4 a week, all the names and faces become a blur. And another reason it doesn't matter is because he committed the crime many miles from here.

But, tonight I found out that we have some tangential relationship to young woman, Esme Kenney that Kirkland apparently killed yesterday. She attended school in the neighborhood and her mother worked at a local shop. And I cannot believe that the people who are charged with enforcing the law fell down on the job to such a tragic result.

Apparently Kirkland, a man with a very long criminal record, including murder was ordered to the Pogue Center at 115 W. McMicken. But when he violated their behavior rules, they just opened the door and told him to walk down the street! Un-Believable!

The guy has a parole officer! The officer should be called, and he should be re-arrested for violating his parole, end of story. The staff person at the Pogue Center who made the decision to let him walk should be fired, at minimum. And if it turns out that this procedure is Pogue policy, then the Center should lose it's license.

13 comments:

Paul Wilham said...
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Anonymous said...

...This "center" should have its status revoked immediately, pending a grand jury investigation as to if those in change are criminally negligent and I hope the family sues the people responsible for letting this man out....
-Paul Wilhelm

columbus exile said...

Very sad. I can't help but feel this is another example of why all these centers should not be clustered in one spot.

Did the center just not care about the area? Did they just think some other center would take him in? I don't like the fact that OTR is treated as the dumping ground for the region.

Clearly this center should be held accountable.

Quim said...

According to this episode of the Fishwrap, he wasn't just released by the VOA, he was escorted out and released by the police.
This place is half a block from a church, a couple blocks from Findlay Market & right smack in the middle of a "red light district". Definitely not a good locations for sex predator types.

Anonymous said...

^I saw that new piece of information this morning. The police may share blame too, however the VOA knew his backround and were charged with holding him. Then, they waited two days to notify his parole officer!!!

distracted by shiny objects said...

This provides an ideal opportunity to fix a system that is beyond broken. There simply is no good place to warehouse all the misfits of society and our laws leave many cracks. The mental health system(usually necessary for many ex-cons) is nearly non-existent for those with insurance, let alone the homeless/poor. It's part of the infra-structure that has been allowed to rot and collapse along with the bridges and highways.
Instead of yelling, "Off with their heads" and calling for the firing of individuals let's discuss, plan out, and demand a safer and more functional way of dealing with the marginalized of society. What we've done for the last 35 years is to ignore them until they're in our back yards. Guess what...
Let's make this count for something for the sake of ALL of this man's victims. Let's think big.

Dave said...

My sincere condolences to the Kenney family for their loss, and prayers for their peace of mind knowing that Esme is in a much better place.

CityKin said...

distracted;
I agree that the system needs rebuilding, and that would help 99% of the homeless or mentally ill, however, I don't think an improved system would help someone like Kirkland. He should never have been released from the first murder sentence. But since he was released, and since he was on probation, and he was known to be a violent rapist and murderer, maybe, just maybe.. the people we pay to watch him could have done their jobs.

If someone is killed because of my mistake at work, I would expect the same.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the assertion that he never should have been let out of prison in the first place. I mean, he was 18 when that happened. I'd say the overwhelming majority of people who kill as 18-year-olds wouldn't kill again as 40-year-olds. Clearly the VOA screwed up badly, but the parole board--I'd need more details on what information they had before I condemned their decision.

distracted by shiny objects said...

CityKin--I think this discussion would benefit from a full viewing of all the facts and impediments of the system as it stands.
At this point in time people are allowed out of prison when their sentence is up. Mrs. McCafferty will be out in about 3 years after killing her husband.
You want "the people who are paid to watch him" to do their job?? I bet they'd like to stop having their hands tied by a bazillion laws and a judicial system that acts kike a revolving door.
It was a police officer that found the body and a police officer that found the suspect and a police officer that had to go to a family's door and inform them of their daughter's death. After that, they went home to their own families and children and thought about their day. I don't believe those officers deserve your disrespect.

CityKin said...

point taken Distracted.

Still, he probably killed 4 women. Think of that. Four perfectly innocent human beings. And although he was 18 the first time, he did set all of them on fire, the first time while the victim was still alive. I am one Democrat who favors the death penalty for such cases.

I have a close family member who works on abuse cases, and I highly respect those officers and caseworkers that must deal with this crap every day. However when a caseworker screws up and for example, puts a child back with an abuser, and a death results, that worker is typically fired. I think the situation at the VOA is comparable.

VisuaLingual said...

Wow... When my little sister visited me here a couple of years ago, we walked from UC to OTR, right past this place. The leering was palpable and extremely uncomfortable. I only later learned what that place is.

Amy said...

It turns out that yes, indeed, OTR and Cincinnati are dumping grounds for sex offenders. The VOA is one of only three such halfway houses in the state, a significant percentage of the residents are from out-of-county or out-of-state, and, lo and behold, residents basically come and go at will. (Google the state's report on the Pogue Center or the Pogue Center's "AWOL" problem.) Kirkland should never have been released in 2003; had he served the maximum possible sentence for his original crime (raping, burning alive, and thereby killing Leola Douglas), he would still be in jail today, and Esme Kenney would still be alive. The parole board is culpable. Also, while I respect police for their hard work, why did they not search for Esme immediately, rather than waiting hours? Her body was found in the woods literally right across the street from her house. Free non-violent offenders and, for God's sake, let's keep violent, carer criminals locked up or just exterminate them. Eighteen years old is plenty old enough to know that it is wrong to rape, burn alive, and murder a woman; such a monster cannot be rehabilitated.