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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

[NJ] Rounding up reactions to Sgt. Vanaman's manslaughter guilty plea

BARBARA ELKE GETZ VANAMAN
JUNE 29, 1968- MAY 11, 2006
DAUGHTER OF ROBERT AND KARIN
MOTHER OF DYLAN AND DEAN

DEB MATUSOW:
"In one sweet sentence: May my close friend rest in peace; now she'll rest in peace."

...As a result of the plea, Superior Court Judge Martin Herman will be allowed to sentence [Millville Police Sgt. Robert] Vanaman up to 11 1/2 years in prison -- less if he chooses, but not more...

Previous entries:
From the news:

BARBARA VANAMAN'S MOTHER KARIN SHAFFER:
"I don't have anything to say until it's all over."

BEV GRECO
..."I have to tell you, it doesn't sit well. It's very upsetting to me that you can deprive somebody of their life and get that sentence while people commit much more severe crimes and get similar or longer sentences. It was a relief to me to hear him confess"... I think to all of us, to lose her and to be misled about the circumstances of what happened, it was very hard to swallow... Having him confess was very satisfying, and I think we all needed that, again, to have closure."

BONNIE SCHWEGAL
"I am shocked... I feel bad for all of them involved. I feel bad for the children, for his wife, and I feel bad for him. It's just bad all around."

PUNKY O'DELL:

"I feel sorry for his children, I feel sorry for whatever bull he told them... What was his excuse? That she was some overpowering 8-foot-tall woman and he's just a helpless stick figure?"

CUMBERLAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR RON CASELLA:

"The only person alive today who was in the room is Robert Vanaman... Unfortunately, Barbara isn't here to tell the story of what took place. We in essence have to be her spokesperson. But it's not possible to do it the way she might've told the story... I stand by what took place in the courtroom (Monday)," he said. "It wasn't an easy decision to accept his plea. (Barbara Vanaman's family) was satisfied that his admission meant a lot to them."

MILLVILLE POLICE CHIEF ED GRENNON:

"On behalf of the Millville Police Department, I would like to express our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Barbara Vanaman. I hope that the resolution of this case will provide some point of closure from which everyone who was affected by this tragedy can move forward."

ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR KEN PAGLIUGHI QUESTIONED ABOUT VANAMAN PLEA
NM.COM AUDIO FILE: vanaman.mp3

Links to the News:

FORMER COP'S GUILTY PLEA STUNS TOWN HE PROTECTED

The Press of Atlantic City
By Edward Van Embden 856-649-2072
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
[Excerpts] ...A day removed from the now former Millville police sergeant [Robert Vanaman]'s guilty plea before a Cumberland County Superior Court judge, local residents were mostly surprised. Some wondered why he chose to give up the fight; others wondered what had taken so long... Most agreed that the main concern is for the Vanaman children. What happens to their two school-age sons will have to be decided in the month before Robert Vanaman is sent to prison. Both boys - Dylan, 17, and Dean, 5 - continued to live with their father after their mother's death, and a Superior Court judge issued a visitation schedule for the younger boy so that he could spend time with his mother's family. Attorneys said Monday that it was too soon to tell what would happen regarding custody. If both families cannot agree to an arrangement, they said, the matter is likely to go to Superior Court... [Full article here]

REACTION TO VANAMAN MANSLAUGHTER PLEA MIXED
NJ.COM
by Matt Dunn, The News of Cumberland County
Tuesday March 31, 2009
[Excerpts] Reactions are mixed to Millville police Sgt. Robert Vanaman's decision to plead guilty to manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of his wife, 37-year-old Barbara Vanaman. At least one person is willing to state publicly that, while she is pleased with the closure Monday's guilty plea brought, she is upset with the sentence Vanaman could receive when he is sentenced on May 1. Bev Greco, a spokesperson for a yearly charity run for domestic violence created in Barbara Vanaman's honor, said it was a relief to have Robert Vanaman confess... "(Barbara Vanaman) still had another 45 or 50 years of life and (Robert Vanaman) gets 11 years for the crime?," asked Greco on Tuesday. "I have to tell you, it doesn't sit well. It's very upsetting to me that you can deprive somebody of their life and get that sentence while people commit much more severe crimes and get similar or longer sentences. It was a relief to me to hear him confess," Greco said. "It was upsetting to me to hear about that sentence. It made me angry. Barbara had a long life ahead of her. I can't quite understand how 11 years makes up for robbing someone of 45 or 50 years"... [First Assistant Prosecutor Ken] Pagliughi gave no reason why the prosecutor's office chose an open plea over a plea with a fixed sentence... As a result of the plea, Superior Court Judge Martin Herman will be allowed to sentence Vanaman up to 11 1/2 years in prison -- less if he chooses, but not more... One group that has remained silent on the issue is the law enforcement community. Across the world wide web, some law enforcement groups have spoken up in defense of Robert Vanaman, but these opinions are not necessarily shared by local police officers... [Full article here]

CASELLA: ONLY VANAMAN KNOWS TRUTH ABOUT CRIME

The Vineland Daily Journal
By Tim Zatzarinny Jr.
April 1, 2009
[Excerpts] ...[Cumberland County Prosecutor Ronald] Casella said Tuesday he was "satisfied" that Vanaman admitted to the crime, but "we'll never truly know what happened in that room because the only other person there was Barbara Vanaman... Did we believe we could prove first-degree murder?" Casella said. "We think we had a case"... [Full article here]

'BITTERSWEET' ENDING FOR RUN FOR BARB ORGANIZER
The Vineland Daily Journal
By Kristi Funderburk
March 31, 2009
[Excerpts] The words came easily for Deb Matusow when she heard the man who killed her close friend Barbara Vanaman pleaded guilty Monday afternoon. "In one sweet sentence: May my close friend rest in peace; now she'll rest in peace," Matusow said... Learning their friend's husband admitted to cutting himself with a broken blade in an attempt to make it look like Barbara attacked him gave them the insight they needed years ago, Greco said... [Full article here]

IN COMMUNITY, SYMPATHY AND RELIEF
The Vineland Daily Journal
By Joel Landau
March 31, 2009
[Excerpts] As news spread about Robert Vanaman's plea deal Monday afternoon, city residents expressed sympathy for the family, but satisfaction with the outcome... Karin Shaffer, Barbara Vanaman's mother, declined comment an hour after the plea was entered. "I don't have anything to say until it's all over," she said. [Full article here]

1 comment:

  1. Another corrupt police officer getting away with murder. There is no degree of manslaughter or murder in the state of New Jersey which only carries a maximum 11 1/2 years. The Prosecutor should himself be locked up for even considering such a plea bargain. In fact attempted murder carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years. Considering this individual was in a position to serve and protect the community he should have been sentenced to the maximum allowed by law. How many other crimes did he commit as a police officer and get away with. This is disgusting!
    I guess there are two sets of rules one set for corrupt police officers and politicians and another for everyone else.

    ReplyDelete

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