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Monday, March 30, 2009

[NJ] Vanaman's guilty plea - Admits he's a liar but still gets to say Barbara picked up a knife?

Millville Police Sgt. Robert Vanaman "surprised" folks today with a guilty to manslaughter plea - and there is no sign that anyone questions his rendition that Barbara PICKED UP A KNIFE before he "just lost it" and shot her twice. And nobody asks why the gun was in his hand. Nobody will be able to ask why twice? No one will be able to grill him about the wickedness of cutting her after he killed her. No one will be able to ask why the children were down the street when this happened, and the defense attorney has now been able to mumble, as they all shuffle out of the courtroom, that his client really did feel threatened by dangerous Barbara before he murdered her ( and lied and lied and lied for all these days, weeks, months, and years). The attorney can and did imply that

Vanaman was just a man afraid
rather than a killer.

NOBODY ASKS, after the months of lies rolled into years of lies - why anyone should BELIEVE Robert Vanaman.

I don't.
People think today he admitted the truth,
but all I smell are more self-serving lies.
...Robert Vanaman, during his question session with the court and his attorneys, grew red faced and teary eyed with his voice wavering at points....

Barbara didn't cry today in court.
She didn't contradict his story either.
Barbara - couldn't be there today.

How easy is it for others to walk away from murder charges - and just SHAVE a couple of decades off their sentence this way? Is it really this easy?

I understand Barbara's family agreeing to the plea, but my heart will always interpret this as justice left undone. Robert will still be cute when he gets out - not even old.

From the time Sgt. Vanaman shot Barbara, he was allowed for six months to refuse to talk to police, he was allowed to LIVE IN THE MURDER SCENE, his POLICE CHIEF TOLD HIM HE COULD RETURN TO WORK WHENEVER HE WAS FEELING UP TO IT, and and worst of all - back and forth - he was allowed to have and lie to the children.

Every mother that I have talked to that was in fear for her life has had one major fear - that her feared one can kill her and still have the children.

Children deserve truth when someone, anyone, murders their mother.

Now the past - how Barbara's life was stolen - will always be muddled and blurred with the interpretations of whoever's telling the story.

I release this for today, and lift a prayer for all of those involved.

To see previous entries on Barbara's murder click here.

The Press of Atlantic City
By John Martins Staff Writer, 856-794-5114
Monday, March 30, 2009
5:22 p.m. Update - BRIDGETON - Suspended Millville police officer Robert Vanaman admitted to a judge Monday afternoon that he wasn’t acting in self-defense when he shot his wife twice in the chest almost three years ago... “I lost it,” Vanaman said. “I over-reacted and I shot her two times.” Vanaman’s guilty plea came abruptly Monday afternoon as attorneys were preparing to begin another round of jury selection... Vanaman pleaded guilty to one second-degree count of manslaughter and one fourth-degree count of evidence tampering. He told Herman that he cut himself with the blade of the knife after he shot his wife. [Full article here]

Greg Browne ( gbrowne@nbc40.net )
3/30/09 11:10 pm
BRIDGETON---The murder trial was scheduled to get underway next Monday, but in a Cumberland County courtroom today, Robert Vanaman pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in connection to the shooting death of his wife Barbara, in May 2006... "We're satisfied with the manslaughter plea," said Cumberland Co. Prosecutor, Ronald Casella, "....it was one that we discussed extensively with the family of the victim, they understood it and said that they were satisfied with it"... Today in front of the judge, Vanaman admitted that during a heated argument over "who was going to leave and who would stay with the children," "....she grabbed a steak knife," "....I lost it and shot her." Vanaman also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence, admitting that after the shooting he took the knife and cut himself, in an attempt to show defensive wounds. Additionally it appears that the prosecution was going to introduce testimony that would show that Vanaman also made cuts on his wifes hands... [Full article here]
Monday, March 30, 2009
[Excerpts] ...The prosecutor tells Action News the family of Barbara Vanaman is pleased with the plea, saying they were concerned Vanaman would not be convicted of first degree murder. Sentencing is set for May 1st. Vanaman remains free on bail... Vanaman faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for manslaughter. A murder conviction could have meant 30 years to life. [Full article here]

The News of Cumberland County - nj.com
by Matt Dunn
Monday March 30, 2009, 3:13 PM
[Excerpts] ...Vanaman spoke in a soft voice as he confirmed this afternoon that he wished to enter a guilty plea. In accepting the guilty plea, he described what happened on May 11, 2006, the night his wife was shot and killed... "Barbara and I had a heated argument in the home. She grabbed a steak knife. I lost it. I overreacted and shot her two times," Vanaman said. "I knew that all shootings as a Millville police officer are investigated. I realized it was a stupid thing to do, (but) I picked up the broken blade of the knife and cut myself"... Vanaman was visibly and audibly upset. O'Neill placed his hand on his client's back. Vanaman told Superior Court Judge Martin Herman that he was making this plea of his own free will and was not coerced into pleading guilty.= "Are you in a clear mind?" Herman asked. "Absolutely, sir," Vanaman replied. Nodding in agreement as Herman spoke, Vanaman said he understood that he would have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole. First Assistant Prosecutor Ken Pagliughi said that he has requested the two sentences be serve consecutively. That could be a potential 11 1/2 years in prison... His sentencing is scheduled for April 27 at 9 a.m. Pagliughi asked that the sentencing be expedited, to which Vanaman's defense attorneys objected... Pagliughi said he was concerned because Vanaman was out on bail. His passport has been revoked. [Full article here]


March 30, 2009
[Excerpts] ...O'Neill said the offer to plead guilty was made because the "exposure" to a life sentence, if convicted, was too great given the duel of confilicting expert witnesses that would have ensued at trial... Robert Vanaman, during his question session with the court and his attorneys, grew red faced and teary eyed with his voice wavering at points. O'Neill said his client did feel threatened by Barbara Vanaman's action that day. [Full article here]

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