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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Killing Rumors

Today in The Leader, in The Police Beat section of the paper a “brief” headlined- “Child Endangerment”- dateline Lindley read:

William Deming, 41, of 9441 Morgan Creek Road, Lindley, was charged January 18 with endangering the welfare of a child. He will appear in Lindley Town Court at a later date.

I took one phone call concerning the issue soon after the paper came out. From the caller’s inquiry and assumptions, I knew possible damage to a local businessman’s reputation had begun via the misinterpretation of the charges in the vague brief. However, it’s standard procedure for newspapers to leave out the details and only publish the charge unless it’s a serious felony case or a misdemeanor case involving high profile people like politicians- then barrels of ink are used covering the cases.

Bill Deming in some ways “has” a high profile in Lindley and that’s why I’m using cyber ink and blogging power to do a “follow-up story” The Leader would never do to get the facts out. Vicious rumors are starting and in a small town, rumors live long and they die hard—if ever.

I’ve interviewed all parties involved, including the investigating officer who gave me the legal definition of “endangering the welfare of a child” which is: Any act likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or morale of a child less than 17-years-old. This is a Class A Misdemeanor.

Bill and Monica who was not mentioned in The Leader police brief were both charged with endangering the welfare of a child for “arguing in front of their children” due to domestic problems that resulted in them splitting up.

Unfortunately, the fact that newspapers do not usually publish the specifics of each charge compounded by the public’s ignorance of the law opens the door for misinterpretation and rumors to flourish. Bill and Monica deeply regret the incident and both were eager to set the record straight.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for clearing up what could have been a nasty stigma for Bill Deming. I bet most people don't ralize that arguing in front of your children is a misdemeanor. People are always quick to jump to conclusions.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife and I were talking about all the arguments we had in front of our four childdren. Mom and I have been married for 40 years and we argued a lot. We're wondering if we'd still be married had we been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and stopped arguing in front of our kids. Our kids saw lots of fights but they saw happy times to.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's the world coming to if a husband and wife can't argue in front of the kids without getting arrested?

6:51 PM  

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