Experts concerned about domestic violence spike in Alle-Kiski Valley
A New Kensington man who allegedly used a hammer to hit a girlfriend last weekend is yet another example of domestic violence in the region, anti-violence experts say.
On Saturday, New Kensington police arrested Terrence Leroy Denny, 55, of 503 Carl Ave., for allegedly punching the 48-year-old New Kensington woman and hitting her on the head with a hammer, police said.
According to an arrest report, the woman called police just before 3 p.m. to tell them she was assaulted by Denny in his residence.
Police said the woman was hospitalized and Denny was arrested in his bed, without incident, on a single charge of aggravated assault. Her condition wasn't available on Monday.
Records show that Denny was in the Westmoreland County jail on Monday in lieu of $50,000 bond. He is awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday.
“This is yet another example of violence among intimate partners,” said Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center Director Michelle Bond.
“In the last couple of weeks, the numbers have been worse than the last 10 years that I have been doing this,” she said.“The severity of the violence is increasing,” she said, “but a single reason is difficult to pinpoint.”
According to police, on the night of Feb. 23, Michael L. Lunsford Jr., 21, of Murrysville, fatally shot Gina M. Llewellyn, 50, of Allegheny Township, and wounded her daughter, Lynall Llewellyn, 22, of Murrysville before fatally shooting himself.
Police said the shooter's estranged wife had been staying with the Llewellyn family. The Llewellyns brought the wife to a meeting at a Murrysville parking lot arranged by Lunsford, where he ambushed them.
In another case, Clinton C. Cohen, 27, no fixed address, is accused of dousing Maria Redman, 22, with a flammable perfume and igniting her at her Springdale apartment on Thursday. Their 3-month-old daughter was in the room.
Cohen was arrested after a two-day manhunt. On Monday, Redman was listed in serious condition in West Penn Hospital, Pittsburgh.
Cohen's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday in Harmar. Police said Cohen, who is charged with attempted homicide and seven other offenses, previously had been charged with domestic abuse.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence said 118 victims and 48 perpetrators died in domestic violence in 2011.
The coalition's preliminary numbers for last year indicate that 113 victims and 32 perpetrators died, according to coalition spokeswoman Ellen Lyon.
Despite the slight decrease in domestic violence deaths statewide, local domestic violence advocates are seeing more traumatic cases so far this year.
Bond believes society often doesn't handle domestic partner abuse properly.“If you or I are convicted of assaulting a stranger, the penalty would be much more than for someone convicted of harming an intimate partner,” Bond said.“This is a societal issue,” said HAVIN director Jo Ellen Bowman of the domestic abuse shelter in Kittanning.
Some people consider family business private even if there is domestic abuse, she said.
“And the victim is usually blamed. That shouldn't happen,” Bowman said. “People need to know that most of the abused have tried to leave before, but they are so incredibly threatened they are in fear of leaving.”
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Turbine touted as ‘green’ to power historic Penn Township barn
- West Deer burglary suspect arrested
- Mia Z voices no regrets after failing to advance on NBC show
- Fawn man accused in assault sentenced to probation
- Arnold family back home after gas leak
- Kiski Area students reach out to community for Global Youth Service Day
- Retired New Kensington attorney Robert McVey spent life helping people
- Bridge replacement projects set to start in Fawn, O’Hara
- SUVs collide near Laneville bridge; truck flips in Washington Township crash
- New Kensington plans to ‘party with purpose’
- New Ken-Arnold School Board appears to have violated Sunshine Law