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Sunday, January 17, 2010

[NE] It's no surprise. Officer Heyenga's wife recants and doesn't show up for court

...Prosecutor Matt Kuhse has said Heyenga’s wife was choked to the point of losing consciousness, that capillaries in her eyes had burst... She wrote that her husband was drunk when, after a disagreement, he pinned her to the floor and choked her severely. “I was afraid of that I was going to die,” she wrote. But on Monday, Heyenga asked to dismiss the protection order... The wife wasn't in court, and court documents showed that she dismissed the protection order... The wife's attorney told KETV NewsWatch 7 that he hasn't heard from her in days. The attorney said he thinks she might be terrified...

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OFFICER’S WIFE RECANTS STORY
Omaha World-Herald
By Juan Perez Jr.
January 14, 2010

The wife of an Omaha police officer has recanted her graphic account of an altercation between her and her husband just 24 days after she filed a complaint that said her husband had choked her to the point she lost consciousness in front of her kids.

She now says she grabbed his neck and squeezed before the two got in “a little arm grabbing struggle,” and that the children witnessed nothing.

Sean Heyenga, 40, was arrested in December at his home near 63rd and Blondo Streets. He later posted bond and appeared in court Thursday to contest two protection orders, one from his wife and a second from family members with temporary custody of his son — listed in that second order as a witness.

The Douglas County Attorney’s Office has filed a domestic assault charge against Heyenga, as well as one for making terroristic threats. If found guilty, he could lose his job.

Prosecutor Matt Kuhse has said Heyenga’s wife was choked to the point of losing consciousness, that capillaries in her eyes had burst. The two were fighting about children, authorities said, and both had been drinking.

The wife’s protection order filing from Dec. 18 detailed her first version of the alleged assault. She wrote that her husband was drunk when, after a disagreement, he pinned her to the floor and choked her severely.

“I was afraid of that I was going to die,” she wrote.

But on Monday, Heyenga asked to dismiss the protection order. She wrote that her husband had only grabbed her by the arm and wrapped one arm around her head while she struggled.

“He never threatened me and I never lost consciousness,” she wrote. “I was drunk and dizzy. The children saw nothing!”

“I am in no danger from Sean, nor have I ever been,” she said.

Heyenga has been with the department since June 2008, assigned to uniform patrol. He has been placed on administrative leave pending both criminal and internal investigations.

Earlier this week, Heyenga waived his preliminary hearing in the criminal case. [LINK]

WOMAN DROPS PROTECTION ORDER AGAINST OFFICER
Report: Woman Says Injuries Were Self-Inflicted
KETV
January 14, 2010

OMAHA, Neb. - The wife of an Omaha police officer accused of strangling her has withdrawn her protection order against him, saying her injuries were self-inflicted.

Sean Heyenga and his attorney were in court prepared to fight two possible protection orders. The second was filed by his former in-laws who have custody of his 12-year-old son. The boy attends a boarding school on the east coast.

The wife wasn't in court, and court documents showed that she dismissed the protection order.

In the dismissal report, the wife said she and Heyenga got into an "arm-grabbing struggle."

"I continued to fight, and in my thrashing around, I hurt my neck and told Sean he was hurting me," she said in the report.

She added that she never lost consciousness and he never threatened her.

"I was drunk and dizzy. The children saw nothing," she said in the report.

She concluded the report by saying that the arguments were never physical and that she had never been in danger of Heyenga.

The wife's attorney told KETV NewsWatch 7 that he hasn't heard from her in days. The attorney said he thinks she might be terrified.

Heyenga must wait to see how long the protection order barring his from his son will stand.

A judge has removed himself from the case, citing a conflict of interest. Another judge will continue the protection order hearing in a few weeks. [LINK]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner abuse law enforcement public safety lethal nebraska state children fear recant fear]

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