Terrifying Video Shows Man and Daughter Viciously Attacked, Judge Orders Shared Custody Despite Abuse
UPDATE: 6/27/2017, 4:32 P.M. – New information has developed that may conflict with earlier reports that Judge Stephen Toner denied Mr. Artura custody.
RNRF has requested audio of the court hearing and will update this story further at a later date.
SPRING HILL – When victims of domestic abuse take steps to end violence in their homes, they expect the law to protect them after an arrest has been made or when a Judge orders an injunction, but that’s not the case for one Spring Hill Man who says a Judge refuses to protect his family, even after presenting video evidence of a violent attack.
Joseph Artura contacted RNRF on Wednesday, after receiving a call from the State Attorney’s Office, advising him that his ex-girlfriend, 32-year-old Dawn Shannon, would be released from jail within the hour. Shannon was arrested in March 5th of this year for domestic battery and ordered to have no contact with the Joseph and their young daughter, upon her release.
After her arrest, Artura says Shannon ignored the Judge’s order and contacted him on several occasions. On May 25th, Artura says deputies finally arrested Shannon at her home on Trellis Ave, after she admitted to the prohibited contact. Due to violating the Judge’s order, Shannon was held without bond until her unexpected release on June 15th. Artura says a representative at the State Attorney’s Office told him just hours before Shannon’s release, “She is being released because she is too much hassle and cost too much money – so we’re letting her go.” Artura says even the representative seemed perplexed by the news and apologized for the short notice. She also advised that Shannon would not be on probation and there would not be protection from the court. Artura says Shannon has numerous medical issues due to a history of drug abuse and that she had to be transported to the hospital at least three times to undergo dialysis treatment. RNRF attempted several times to speak with Assistant State Attorney Shannon Jaungbauer but she has not returned our calls.
Court records indicate that Judge Kristie Ruppe accepted a plea deal on June 15th and sentenced Shannon to 20-days, time served, for Battery and Violating the Conditions of her Release. Judge Ruppe tells RNRF, “If there are victims in the courtroom we always give them an opportunity to speak before a plea deal is accepted.” Artura says he didn’t know that he had to attend the hearing because he had already communicated with the State Attorney’s Office and made it very clear that he was cooperating with the investigation. Artura is shocked by the ruling because he expected Shannon to at least receive probation and maybe have some continued protection.
Adding insult to injury, Artura says after Shannon’s arrest he petitioned the courts for an order of protection. Surprisingly, and despite submitting horrifying video evidence of the violent attack, Judge Stephen Toner denied his petition and even chastised him in court for recording the incident. In addition to denying his petition, Judge Toner gave full custody of their daughter to Shannon. Artura says the custody agreement was later modified to allow equal time sharing, even though Artura says he cares for their daughter more than 70% of the time.
I asked Artura if he planned to petition the courts again for an order of protection but he said, “I’m scared to go back in front of Judge Toner after what he did to me last time.” Artura continued, “What if he takes my daughter away from me again?”
Shannon did not return our call for comment.
Click below to watch a portion of the terrifying 17-minute video that shows Shannon attacking Artura and his daughter. WARNING: This content may be too disturbing for some viewers.
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