A woman is on trial in Broward County for literally doing nothing. People are usually prosecuted for their actions. In this case, it is her inaction that is leading prosecutors to push forward with charges of manslaughter and aggravated child abuse.
This is actually a tragic story of a woman and her children victimized by a deranged husband and father. The accused's husband took his own family hostage back in February of this year, drove to a Deerfield Beach trailer park, and entered the trailer of an unknown man and woman. It was there where the husband killed the man, held the woman captive, and proceeded to stab his wife (the accused), kill one of his own children, and then attempt to kill another.
Before police could capture this man, he ended his own life. The wife - the victim of a brutal stab wound at the hands of her husband while being held captive - was ultimately charged criminally for her failure to act.
Now every parent has a duty to protect their children. But this woman was not only stabbed, she was held captive while her heavily-armed abusive husband who was high on drugs killed one of her children. This woman was not only physically incapable of helping her children due to her own injury, she was mentally and emotionally crippled. She was a victim herself.
Why she is on trial for her life is a travesty and an injustice. Another instance of prosecutorial abuse.
Eric Matheny is a Miami criminal attorney and Broward criminal attorney.