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May 18, 2013

Dangerous Caregivers

Award Winning Non-Fiction Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog DirectoryApril-May 2013 Trial of Matthew Alexander McDuffie, Caregiver Convicted of 2 Misdemeanors for Abusing Our Severely-Autistic Son.

Welcome to the criminal justice system.

On April 22, 2013, before McDuffie’s trial began, his San Diego Defense Attorney, Karolyn E. Kovtun, revealed her defense strategy by telling Deputy District Attorney and a Sheriff Detective, “My client (McDuffie) is a saint for having to put up with that retard (referring to my autistic son, Jamey).” On same day, Kovtun marched upstairs to the DA’s floor, and announced to another Deputy DA, “I’m here for the retard case.” Wow.  How low can a defense attorney go. No worries, because KARMA is a bitch. And just like the cold dried out bitch Karolyn Kovtun is, when she's old, crippled and needs a caregiver, that caregiver is going to abuse her and some defense attorney, just like her, is going to defend that abusive caregiver and blame Karolyn. Karolyn will get dementia. She will need care. She will not be able to defend herself. She will be dependent on caregivers. And God help her. 

During trial, presided by Judge Bowman, Kovtun, not a site for sore eyes, lifted videos off our youtube accounts and edited them to show a compilation of non-stop self-injurious behavior, as if that is all our autistic son is. 

And when agenda-driven-histrionic defense witnesses painted Jamey as a "battleground" and an aggressive person, the prosecution tried to counter this false portrayal of Jamey by showing videos where Jamey is sitting calmly with dogs, cradling his newborn nephew and watching TV with his toddler niece, as if a toddler himself.

Judge Blaine Bowman, in McDuffie case, wouldn't allow these videos to be shown to jurors. Forget about Jamey's rights to be shown in a FAIR light. After all, he's the crime victim, remember? 

Hence, all the jurors were allowed to see is Jamey hitting himself, the defense's  diabolical way of dehumanizing our son, as if society should expect to get away with abusing the elderly, sick and disabled if they have any special needs. Suffice it to say, that reasonable and prudent caregivers know that the more unique and individual the patient/client is, the more care, protection and compassion is required. 

Not so with McDuffie and Garritson. To them, the more delicate and unique the vulnerable adult is, the more they feel justified to abuse them. Imagine your 89yr old mom, in a home health setting. You hire caregivers. They abuse her. When you take the abusers to court, they justify the abuse by saying your mother has dementia, and as such, can't suffer mental suffering. And if she is challenging, which many dementia patients are imagine the caregiver saying, well, I had to shove her over a wooden headboard or punch, kick and eye gouge you mom, because I was afraid of her, and even though you see on a Nanny Cam that she's NEVER doing a damn thing the entire time she's being abused, just like Jamey never exhibited any threat to the caregivers in any video clip shown of them abusing him. 

 Blake Garritson,  son of convicted eye gouging nurse Michael Garritson, testified during trial, showing his true colors, a true nut like his dad. Excuse after lame excuse to justify, downplay and minimize the abuse of his father, Michael Garritson. 

But not even half as bad as his nutcake brother, Jarrod Garritson, a guy who imagines he's a "survivalist type", but couldn't survive ONE shift with with our autistic son. 

That's right, Jarrod Garritson, the self-proclaimed survivalist,  put on the performance of his life, one that would make any real man ashamed to be a man while watching Jarrod whine and whimper on the stand about how hard it was to care for Jamey. Recall he only worked ONE shift per week. 

It was all an act. All to downplay the abuse that his daddy, Michael Garritson did to our son. "I love you daddy," we'd hear Jarrod say on the phone to his pops when he was working. We always though that was weird, given he's in his 30s'. 

One of the most pathetic displays of emotional weakness that would make any woman want to vomit, came when Jarrod, in the middle of his testimony, pointed to the female detective sitting with the prosecution and whimpered to the Judge, "She's making faces at me!" 

Keep in mind Jarrod Garritson is a man in his 30's. 

Jarrod Garritson, while sitting on a bench before one trial day, chased us in the hallway saying, "They said mean thing to us." This is a 30 something year old man. Acting like a child. Forgetting that  the reason we're there in court, is because his demented daddy is caught on tape eye gouging our autistic son. 

I would've have so much more respect for the defendants had they portrayed Jamey for the person he really is: a very vulnerable person who relies on the care and compassion of those who are trusted to care for him. And know full well how vulnerable he is and what to do to comfort and protect him. 

These caregivers chose to abuse instead. And in every video poor Jamey is just sitting on his bed, trying to get up, or engaging in mild self abuse when he gets repeatedly eye gouged (Garritson), violently shoved back in bed(garritson and mcduffie), kicked in shins and has his bare feet grinded (mcduffie). When he gets his hair yanked and slammed to floor, Jamey was in state of distress trying to get Garritson to simply give him a drink of water. Jamey was frustrated. 

Garritson kept denying him water. A true sadistic move. You can hear Jamey crying in video clips. His pleas for water go unmet and Garritson slams him to ground. 

Attorney Karolyn Kovtun's hate and contempt for our autistic son resonated throughout the trial, illuminating a side to Kovtun people may never know she secretly harbored against people with special needs. 

She spoke of Jamey as if he were spoiled garbage that should be tossed in the trash. Not worthy of special care. Not worthy of protection. Not worthy of state funding. Not worthy of justice. The family dared to ask for proper supports. An autistic man worthy of only more abuse. My client is saint for having to put up with that retard....

Kovtun would've been the ideal solider in Hitler's army. Just get rid of these people. They aren't worthy of dignity, respect or humane treatment. Since Kovtun has no children of her own, it's no surprise. How can she understand this? All she can do is resent them for being here. 

Kovtun, networking with Garritson's adult children, Blake and Jarrod Garritson, also embarked on a back door smear tactic campaign, all of which was covert, but closely watched and documented. I guess they thought they could skate by anonymous and get away with their distorted accusations, and then, after making them, ask me about them during the trial. Indeed, they attempted every retaliation they could think of to shift focus off the abuse.

In her closing statements, Kovtun told jurors that McDuffie’s abuse of our son didn't really carry any risk of great bodily injury (GBI) because our son can fall from having seizures and hits himself. In essence, to her, it doesn’t matter that McDuffie is caught on camera kicking Jamey in the back of the legs, kicking him 6 times in chins, punching him in stomach, head, nose, shoving him against wall and forcing him to drink, yanking his hair and pulling him to the floor, pulling his hair and making him lose balance, tying his hands behind his back and shoving face first onto the bed, etc...

For Kovtun and her client, who cares, he’s severely-autistic. Abuse away.

Imagine if McDuffie did this to another person, it would be, for the reasonable and prudent mind, a matter of likely to cause GBI.

So what we’ve learned from this trial is that dehumanization of autistic people is a defense tactic used in criminal cases. That may explain why so many abusers of autistic people get off lightly.

What we further learn is how a Judge (I like the Judge, but I’m disappointed in his acquiescing to defense) can entertain the nonsense of limiting witnesses from testifying about what the abuser is doing to the victim, while shown on camera. Many people don’t realize the Judge in this case prohibited me and others from describing what McDuffie did to my son when shown the tapes in court. I was limited to describing what my son “felt.”

And though Judge Bowman said I was the expert witness for my son, I couldn’t say what I saw McDuffie doing to my son. Highly illogical, given if a mother can describe what her son “feels” being abused, a mother needs to describe the abuse that makes him feel that way. This nonsensical portrayal of what was seen on video, left jurors baffled as to why I wasn’t talking about McDuffie’s actions. Jurors were never told I was ordered to not describe the abuse seen on camera. Or that a GAG order was placed on me, so I couldn’t share this with the media. Where is the justice for crime victims? There is little justice for them. 

But the Defense Attorney sure shared things with the media. Mainly with a biased rag magazine reporter who knew the daughter of the other abusive caregiver’s Defense Attorney. Nice. 

Meanwhile, in court, the prosecution was shut down, over and over and over again. All in the name of providing the defendant with a fair trial. And to prevent a mistrial. Forget about the crime victim.

Judge further limited caregivers, Sheriff Detective who viewed the crimes on tape and an autism expert from fully describing the abuse seen on videos during trial. This left jurors relying on one doctor and the defense’s dehumanization tactics and the testimony of the abuser himself.

If you could have seen and heard the abuser, Matthew McDuffie, take the stand, you would’ve thought he was auditioning for a role in a psychological thriller. A true sociopath. Downplayed and minimized everything he did in the videos. Made jokes on the stand and played the jury. Just one big joke. McDuffie claimed he didn’t really punch Jamey in the nose, head or face. Didn’t really kick him. He used an “outside force.” Didn’t really grind his shoe into Jamey’s bare feet, no, no, he was just trying to take off his socks, by stomping and grinding on his feet.... Poor Poor McDuffie, the misunderstood abuser of an autistic patient in his care. 

Matt McDuffie is seen pulling Jamey by hair on camera, causing Jamey to lose balance, he’s heard saying, “Back little man!” showing what a sweet older bro the real McDuffie is. A sadistic abuser of defenseless people. Using humiliation and harm to control a person. Abusing Jamey was a power play for McDuffie, designed to show Jamey, a defenseless autistic person who can’t speak, who was in control. Probably because McDuffie, in his sordid life, has no control of himself, so he resorts to controlling others. On Matthew McDuffie's Facebook page, we find a comment that says really into watching American Horror Story, because it's so "sexual and nasty." oh how nice, thanks for sharing you fucking scumbag. Yeah, you are an American Horror Story McDuffie. A real horror story for anyone with a special needs child. You're what they call in German a muschi or a fotze. You never had the guts to show us your true colors, because you know we would have kicked your ass. 

During his trial, McDuffie sat smugly, rolled his eyes, yawned and sighed, as if being there was a big inconvenience for him. Matthew McDuffie presents with an impoverished moral sense and conscience. Arrogant. Has a callous unconcern for the pain or suffering he caused our son. He has an incapacity to experience guilt and will not prosper from this light punishment. McDuffie will go on to blame others and won't even mention he's convicted of abuse. Bu it will catch up to him. Karma is a bitch. 

Recall that when McDuffie was arrested for tossing his now ex-girlfriend’s mother down the stairs, he told arresting officers, “You’re arresting me cuz I’m black and she’s a white woman.” Okay, sure...get in the car. 

McDuffie once shared with me why he left the Navy. He claimed a black superior hated blacks, and so tried to stop him, a black man, from promoting. 

Society just can win with the Matthew McDuffie’s of the world. Everything this clown does wrong, in his mind, is because he’s black and everyone else is out to get him. 


Matthew McDuffie’s abuse against our son will not soon be forgotten. Observing the look on McDuffie’s face as he stares coldly at camera after he abuses Jamey shows a callous man who challenges camera to catch him. It’s more than interesting that McDuffie shares same traits as other abusive caregiver, Michael Dale Garritson, as if camera knew who they really were. They couldn’t fool the camera. They couldn’t hide from the camera. So they relied on fooling the court. Fooling society. Fooling us all, as they had done, so many times before the camera finally exposed them.


Be careful who you trust in your home with your loved ones. Get video surveillance, because it's the only way you'll ever know. 

Autistic people who can't talk are vulnerable. It's up to us to protect them from cruel caregivers and nurses. The state will not protect the vulnerable. Over and over again, the state system has failed to protect the most vulnerable of our society. Legislation must address the reality that abusive caregivers and nurses exist and find a way to weed these dangerous predators out of the healthcare system. 


9 comments:

H L Doherty said...

Congratulations on your well deserved victory. My respect and regards to you and your family.

SE Ford said...

This is a sad case of miss justice. Just wait for al Sharpton exploit this with cries of judge of autorney bigitory. I am a person with legitimate aspergers (I say that because aspergers is overdiagnosed), syndrome and I have a rare genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis ( many tumors on nerve and brain) who has witnessed more serverly disabled classmates and ect abused before. When I was child I was bullied by my peer especially middle school and last two grades of primary school. In the same way you describe this wicked McDuffie man the bully peers when I was child would use same technique to avoid getting in trouble. Hope this man goes to jail for a long time.

gskyhawk said...

Autism or ASD awareness month has come and gone. Has anyone been awake? What are these awful people doing! First, McDuffie hired as a caregiver fails completely 66 times (maybe more). Next, the jurors in this case haven't a clue about this disorder and how important it is to have a kind and loving caregiver (even if the ASD patient hits, bites, or otherwise hurts the caregiver). I'm appalled at the ignorance of people in how they act upon what they "know" of autism or what ASD is. Stay strong Kim. I'm with you all the way.

Anonymous said...

Wow. It's ok for a caregiver to get bit, hit by a patient?

Anonymous said...

Did you used to watch your husband with Mel? Did you enjoy it?

Anonymous said...

It is amazing the trials you have been through, but as a family you have and will continue to endure and overcome despite the cruel, selfish and vindictive acts of people that reside in this world. Thankfully, there are many more people that want to help you and continue to watch the growth, the challenges and more importantly the hope and education you offer to those around you and those that follow your blog. Of course, there are those sick, sad and sadistic mentally deranged few that continue to post comments thinking that they are unknown, but it is clearly the acts of a pathetic, disgusting individuals who have no life of their own and are leeches to society. Your family has been given many special gifts and we can see that your despite the adverse conditions at times, you will all prosper. Give James a hug for us and tell your daughter congrats on her Master's degree and to thank her husband for all he does!

George, Susan and family.

God Bless and you and your family are continually in our prayers!

Kim Oakley said...

Thanks so much.I hope people have had their eyes opened to the dangers of having trusted caregivers in your home that act so wonderful while you're around, only to be secretly abusing your loved one. And the public has gained some insight into the criminal justice system when it comes to prosecuting sociopaths who have no remorse for what they do and hide behind corrupt and hateful defense attorney's who resort to dehumanizing the autistic crime victim.

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration. This is a case of gross misjustive, but something better will happen to negate this. It sounds like both of these degenerates have a past of abuse and I am sure it will continue into their future. At least you know Jamey is safe and these animals can no longer harm him. We have all seen the videos and we know the truth. The jurors and judge were an ignorant and misguided bunch that now have to live with the fact they let sociopaths back onto the streets.

Anonymous said...

Is retard a bad word? Your son looks like a retard. I think most people probably call him retard. Even if they don't say it to your face.

When you walk down the street with him, people probably say "did you see that retard!?"

-kids probably laugh and say "retard" when they see him. They probably point their fingers and say "what a retard!"

Don't worry, not everyone can have normal kids. You were blessed with a retard.

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