Custom Search

Saturday, June 21, 2008

[MI] Police & alleged assault victim not told when judge releases County Commissioner Vaughn from jail

...Kent County Commissioner James Vaughn is accused of physically assaulting his girlfriend. Now questions are surfacing on how he was released from jail... Grand Rapids Chief District Judge Benjamin H. Logan did not follow the county's "fast-track" inmate release policy when he freed Kent County Commissioner James Vaughn from jail... Vaughn was not eligible [for fast-track release] because he was arrested for an alleged violent crime... The 46 year old victim did not want to be identified but says her boyfriend, Kent County Commissioner James Vaugn, and another 38 year old woman are responsible for multiple cuts on her arms and face... It does not appear the allegation would threaten Vaughn's status as a commissioner. He can only be removed from office because of neglect or confinement in a state prison...

Kent County Commissioner James Vaughn charged with domestic assault
The Grand Rapids Press
Ken Kolker and Nate Reens
June 17, 2008
A Kent County Commissioner arrested Tuesday for an alleged domestic assault was later released from jail pending further investigation by police. James Vaughn, who has represented Southeast Grand Rapids in the county's 17th District since 2000, is accused of attacking a girlfriend, 46-year-old [IC], inside his 1288 Cambridge Drive house about 1 a.m., police and the victim's family said. Vaughn, 65, has not been formally charged with a crime but was booked at the Kent County Jail on a misdemeanor domestic assault offense, jail officials said. He was released about six hours after he was brought into the lockup, authorities said. [JB], a brother of [IC], said his sister is recovering from a "busted eye" as well as cuts on her arms and an injury to one of her ears. She was treated at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital and may have to undergo surgery... Family members said after a fight inside Vaughn's home, he later drove her to her residence. Once there, the woman's son noticed the injuries and called one of the victim's sisters, who took her to the hospital... [IC] told hospital employees that she did not want to press charges, her sister said. Police interviewed [IC] at the hospital, and further investigation is expected. Police searched the home and left with four or five bags of evidence... It does not appear the allegation would threaten Vaughn's status as a commissioner. He can only be removed from office because of neglect or confinement in a state prison... [Full article here]

Arrested: Preferential Treatment?
WXMI, MI
June 19, 2008
GRAND RAPIDS - Kent County Commissioner James Vaughn is accused of physically assaulting his girlfriend. Now questions are surfacing on how he was released from jail. James Vaughn was arrested Tuesday after an incident inside his Grand Rapids home early that morning. He was released the same day, and now the alleged victim says he was able to get out without having to go to court because of his official ties. The judge in the case, who knows the commissioner, says that's not the reason. The alleged victim wants the most serious charges brought against him, but right now Vaughn is facing Aggravated Assault charges. The Prosecutor's Office will determine if the case moves forward. "I was choked by James Vaughn, and hit in the face numerous times.", says the alleged victim. She doesn't want her face shown, but says she was hurt by the man she loved most. Her now ex-boyfriend, Kent County Commissioner James Vaughn. He's been a commissioner since 2000, representing the southeast side of Grand Rapids. She claims it all started Monday night when Vaughn allegedly asked her to have a threesome with another woman who was with him at his Grand Rapids home. She refused. "It made me feel like he didn't have respect for women at all.", said the alleged victim. Even more surprising to her, a judge signed an order to release Vaughn from jail early. That's without arraignment and just a few hours after he'd been booked. All of it was also without the city attorney's office or the Grand Rapids Police Department being notified. "He didn't receive any preferential treatment.", said District Court Judge Benjamin Logan. Logan admitted to "fast tracking" the case, which means moving it along without an official arraignment. He says it's not because he personally knows Vaughn, but because Vaughn isn't a threat to the community and doesn't have a criminal record. The Judge says the "fast tracking" method is used fairly often, especially on weekends when court workers are off or there's problems with the jail being overcrowded. "It peculated up as a result of the rumors going on throughout the court and of course, any high profile situation it percles up, and you probably look at it a little stranger.", said Logan. Vaughn couldn't be reached this evening, nor could the other woman involved in the case. The alleged victim says her physical wounds, like this cast, don't compare to the emotional pain she's going through right now. She hopes Vaughn's early release doesn't mean he won't be charged in the case. Vaughn was released on a $5,000 bond which he doesn't have to pay unless he doesn't show up for court. But for now, no court date has been set because he hasn't been officially charged with anything. He's been court ordered to stay away from the 2 women involved in the case. [Full article here]

Victim says she was attacked by County Commissioner and another woman
WZZM, MI -
Posted By: Lambrini Lukidis
Jun 19, 2008
Grand Rapids- James Vaughn, a commissioner in the 17th district in Grand Rapids, is charged with misdemeanor domestic assault against his girlfriend. The 46 year old victim did not want to be identified but says her boyfriend, Kent County Commissioner James Vaugn, and another 38 year old woman are responsible for multiple cuts on her arms and face. "Everything is stitched up on my upper left eye I have a laceration and stitches I have marks on my face and my ear...the tip of it was almost cut off." The victim says she was invited to Vaughn's south east grand rapids home on the 12 hundred block Cambridge, early Tuesday morning. "He said he wanted a threesome, and that was his desire his fantasy." The victim says the three argued after refusing their advances out of frustration she shattered a vase. "He came at me and choked me and I was on the couch and for a minute I couldn't breath and she seen that I had me down and she came and picked up the broken vase." The victim says Vaughn drove her home and wouldn't take her to the hospital...and she was reluctant to press charges because of Vaugn's position as Kent County Commissioner. "He didn't want the public to know." Hospital staff reported the abuse. Grand rapids police searched Vaughn's home and arrested him. "I just want Jim and her to suffer their consequences." Grand Rapids police are still investigating and not commenting on the accounts made by the victim. Meantime, Commissioner Vaughn is not currently in custody according to Kent County online records. The Kent County administrator, and Vaughn's employer, Grand Rapids Community College, both say since his arrest has no bearing on them, his status on the commission and at GRCC have not changed. [SOURCE]

Sheriff says judge didn't follow policy in early release of Kent County Commissioner James Vaughn
The Grand Rapids Press
Ken Kolker
June 20, 2008
GRAND RAPIDS -- Grand Rapids Chief District Judge Benjamin H. Logan did not follow the county's "fast-track" inmate release policy when he freed Kent County Commissioner James Vaughn from jail Tuesday after an alleged assault, top sheriff's officials said. The county's Fast Track Release policy, a copy of which was obtained by The Press, shows Vaughn, 65, was not eligible because he was arrested for an alleged violent crime. "NOTE: AGGRAVATED AND DOMESTIC ASSAULT CASES WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR FAST TRACK," according to the only criterion listed on the policy in all capital letters. Vaughn's alleged victim, [IC], 46, said she was surprised to learn Logan had released him and that nobody had told her. "He should get the same treatment as any other citizen would get in this situation," [IC] said. "There should be no special treatment." In an interview with The Press on Friday, Vaughn denied assaulting the woman in his home and said there was no favoritism. He had been held on a probable-cause allegation of aggravated domestic assault, but he has not been charged. "Special treatment?" said Vaughn, who is staying at his ex-wife's home in Walker. "I didn't know which judge. Any judge would have done it. I thought the police were letting me out." When asked about the incident, Vaughn said that "all I was doing was breaking up a fight" between two women. [IC], who described herself as Vaughn's on-again-off-again girlfriend for the last four years, said the incident began about 1 a.m. Tuesday at Vaughn's home, 1288 Cambridge Drive SE. She was there to comfort Vaughn, who's half-brother had recently died, she said. A short time later, a second woman arrived, and Vaughn asked the women to engage in a sex act with each other in his living room while he watched, [IC] said. He said he would then join them... [IC] said she was trying to leave when the other woman told her, "You ain't all that," and pushed her. "I picked up a vase and I threw it at both of them. Everything kind of escalated." She said Vaughn jumped on her on the couch and started choking her and striking her on the face with his fist. The other woman struck her in the face with a piece of the broken vase, she said. [IC] said she suffered cuts on her face and nearly lost her ear. She was treated at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital. Police said [IC] gave them the same account. They were continuing the investigation. Vaughn told The Press he did not strike or choke [IC]. He refused to provide details of the incident on the advice of his lawyer... [Full article here]

Kent County Commissioner arrested on domestic assault charge
WOOD-TV, MI
By Joe LaFurgey
June 17, 2008
...The victim allegedly threw a vase after she was allegedly pushed to the ground by the second woman... [The victim's sister, FJ] said the second woman began cutting her sister with pieces of the vase. That is when [FJ] claims Vaughn got involved. "The second time, she must have fallen on the floor or he pushed her on the floor and he began to choke her"... Despite her wounds from the alleged slashing, [FJ] said Vaughn drove her sister home instead of taking her to a hospital. It was [FJ] who eventually took her sister to get medical help. [FJ] said while this is the first evidence of any physical violence, she claims there was emotional abuse between Vaughn and her sister. "I'm so tired of her being hurt, ya know?... Vaughn represents the 17th County Commission District , which includes a large portion of the city of Grand Rapids. [Full article here]

1 comment:

  1. Wednesday, June 18, 2008
    [MI] County Commissioner Vaughn can't lose his job if he chokes an ex.
    http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2008/06/mi-county-commissioner-vaughn-cant-lose.html

    ReplyDelete

Please post updates or email them to behindthebluewall@gmail.com. No cop-hating or victim-hating comments allowed. Word verification had to be added due to spam attacks on this blog.