The Daily Scribe

Thought Provoking Issues!

As Her Daughter Watched . . .

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11-year-old Essence will never see her mother smile again. She will no doubt also never forget the man who took it away.

As Monica Paul, with Essence beside her, watched her son Noah swim in a YMCA pool, her life was cut short by her estranged husband.

The events unfolded at 6:30 p.m. on June 26, as Ms. Paul and Essence were watching Noah’s swim class through a glass partition. Kenneth Duckett walked into the observation area at the YMCA pool and fired all six rounds at close range as Essence looked on.

“A very serious domestic issue—it turned tragic,” Montclair police Chief David Sabagh said. “It’s hard to know what’s inside people’s minds.”

Difficult indeed . . .  since Ms. Paul had a restraining order that was supposed to have protected her. According to court records, the couple had a troubled history. Ms. Paul had gone to court in October to obtain a restraining order. She also filed two domestic violent complaints against Duckett in 2007.

In an ever increasing and alarming rate, women who file domestic complaints and obtain restraining orders, are finding that the piece of paper does nothing to prevent the continuation of violence.

The Paul family is trying to make sense of their daughter’s death. How a system that was supposed to provide protection in fact provided nothing at all.

“Now we’re going to identify the body, so we can send it to the funeral home,” said Lionel Paul, the victim’s father.

A family irrevocably shattered. Young lives altered forever.

“This is rough on both sides,” said Gina Nash, who is married to Duckett’s brother. “You really have to question what leads a person to do something like this.”

Perhaps Duckett, who was arrested on July 8, will provide details of what pushed him to commit such an egregious act.

As for the children this senseless killing has left without a mother . . .

“No!” Essence broke down and cried, as her grandmother told her that Mommy’s in heaven.

As for little Noah, he was asleep on top of a table and hardly moved as his sister cried.

Hopefully, Essence will be able to do as her brother, and let sleep, if only for a moment—wash away the unpleasantness—of never seeing her mother smile again.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

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