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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor

Letter: Court fails victims of violence

By John Ramrog, Vancouver
Published: March 29, 2023, 6:00am

Thanks to your reporting, I have read many positive stories about our community, but sadly also those of the violent crimes here. Meshay Melendez and Layla Stewart are the latest victims of local domestic violence.

What is different about their story is the failure of the Superior Court to recognize their vulnerability and to intervene on their behalf when it had the authority and chance to do so. If I follow the sequence of events correctly, Mr. Warren appeared in court 14 days after he was sentenced and released for shooting into Ms. Melendez’s apartment and astoundingly, four days after she and her daughter were reported missing.

Yet he was not confronted of these facts during this March 15 court appearance. Even if this appearance was for an unrelated extradition hearing, the judge at this time should have known Warren had violated his “no contact” restriction and that Ms. Melendez was missing. Whether this inaction was due to bureaucratic indifference, or the defendant’s legal rights makes little difference. The court and law enforcement failed to safeguard the lives of this woman and child even though they had obvious knowledge of potential malfeasance.

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