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Vigil honors Johnston County domestic violence, abuse victims

Posted July 22, 2010

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— A candlelight vigil was held Thursday to honor the lives of four people who died recently of domestic violence or abuse in Johnston County.

Harbor, Inc., a non-profit shelter, crisis and counseling group which helps victims of domestic violence, sponsored the vigil at the Johnston County Courthouse. The group typically holds a vigil in October but said that wouldn't help the people who need help now.

Joli Barnette says she lived with domestic violence for nine years. She shared her story of leaving an abusive husband.

"I know the fear. I know the terror. I know everything that they experienced. It brings it all back," she said.

Barnette encouraged victims to do "whatever you have to do to get out of that situation."

"Really, just take the first step, because you will never regret it," she said.

Barnette says she is happily remarried and sleeps a lot better knowing her ex-husband is in jail. She noted, though, as a survivor of domestic violence, the physical scars heal but the emotions remain.

One of the people honored at Thursday night's vigil was the most recent victim, 4-year-old Teghan Alyssa Skiba, who died at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill Monday night.

Investigators said the girl had been sexually abused, beaten and bitten in a barn behind a Smithfield home. Her mother’s boyfriend, Jonathan Douglas Richardson, 21, has been charged in her death.

Devinee R. House, 41 and her 14-year-old son, Dakoda Johnson, were also be honored. Authorities said House’s husband, William House, shot the two inside their home, at 640 Castleberry Road in Clayton, in the early hours of July 13 before turning the gun on himself.

Neighbors said William House told them the day before the shootings that he planned to shoot his wife and the man he believed to be her boyfriend.

Investigators haven't commented on a motive for the shootings but said the Houses were in the process of separating. Deputies had been called to the home four times since April.

Elizabeth Holmes Reyes, who was shot and killed on July 1, will also be remembered. Investigators said Reyes was living in a Smithfield home with her mother and step-father when her estranged husband arrived with a shotgun.

Deputies arrested Aldolfo Reyes Maldonado, 45, on the front porch of the home while he held the couple’s infant son.

In May, Maldonado was charged with communicating threats to Reyes. According to arrest warrants, Maldonado told Reyes he would kill her.

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  • ncmedic201 Jul 23, 2010

    boatrokr, it doesn't matter if you own the home or not. You have to evict someone to get them to leave. A landlord owns a home too but they can't just come in one day and tell a person to move out now. That has nothing to do with Johnston County...it's the law

  • boatrokr Jul 23, 2010

    Johnston County is HORRIBLE to domestic violence victims. I had bleeding scratches down both arms, and the cops wouldn't arrest him. I owned the home prior to the marriage, and showed them the quit-claim deed he signed when I refinanced last fall, but they STILL insisted he could stay "because you're married." They wanted ME to leave MY house, which my lawyer says can be viewed as my relinquishing the property to him in the divorce.

    When he kills me, they'll be there. Until then, I'm on my own.

  • pmsinvestigator Jul 23, 2010

    It is so sad when a little girl finds herself in a situation like this and probably felt as though no one could help her. It is terrible that no one saw any signs of this man's mental violence before this happened. As for Jolie that spoke at the vigil, she also stated that her husband that abused her fell through the cracks of the law...I don't understand when these people are called on by the law, are given restraining orders, and such, why do they keep abusing and possibly killing and getting away with it...mostly because "they don't have any priors" which is senseless. Instead, we wait for them to go and kill someone. Punishment should be much more severe and we might could attempt to stop the violence. Until then, when the law doesn't or can't do anything to these people, then nothing will change! This death should not have happened if there were people in this little's girls life that should have noticed something was wrong. Richardson doesn't deserve to continue living either. As

  • lindy1217 Jul 23, 2010

    People and reporters should get the real facts....Joli Barnett that made a grand performance on your news last night at the Johnston Cty vigil, with tears in her eyes, is a 22 count convicted felon that shot her husband 6 times. Barnett is one of many names that she goes by and the only victums in her life are all the x-husbands and her poor children!

  • lindy1217 Jul 23, 2010

    I don't understand why officials don't help more...most of these families have called 911 more than onec.

  • colliedave Jul 23, 2010

    This was a headline this morning in the N&O. Once again I wonder just what purpose does a vigil serve? fishon

    Morris Albert enters stage left and starts singing: "FEELINGS, NOTHING MORE THAN FEELINGS...."

    Domestic violence is evil beyong measure. But having feelings without a proper response achieves nothing. Look at how popular culture treats women. There must be total disgust at messages that treat women anything other than objects of value and worth

  • lh Jul 23, 2010

    It breaks my heart to know that humans can harm others with violence as this. I am thankful for a loving husband and great kids. I pray for all those families who have lost loved ones daily. May you have peace.

  • twoboys Jul 23, 2010

    The entire living situation is strange. What grandparents would let their grandkid sleep in a barn?

    The "grandparents' were not related to the child. The boy was their son, he was the mother's boyfriend, not the sweet child's father.

  • fishon Jul 23, 2010

    This was a headline this morning in the N&O. Once again I wonder just what purpose does a vigil serve?

  • poohpdoo2002 Jul 23, 2010

    Lot of stuff goes on in Johnston County. What is the deal?

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