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Most scams, such as sub-prime mortgages and email scams, victimize adults. But custody scams victimize children. When government fails to protect children it throws open the doors to private contractors—lawyers and clinicians—who enrich themselves at the expense of children. (More about this child and the mother who tried to protect her appears below.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

When will judges stop gambling with children's safety in domestic violence cases? /news/local/kiah-father-shoots-three-children-story,0,7132460.story

Father Charged With Deaths of Three Children

Mayra Moreno
KIAH-TV, Houston, TX
September 19, 2010

A father of three young children commits an unthinkable act. He's been charged with three counts of capital murder after killing his kids while they slept. That man is now resting in a hospital bed he apparently turned the gun on himself after killing his own children but he survived.

Police found 47 year old Muhammed Goher unconscious and the three children dead on the residential side of his business The A and D Food Market is located in northeast Harris County on the 13000 block of Homestead.

A friend of the man told me he was upset he didn't have custody of his children. Neighbors claim the couple had separated for quite some time and police say there is a history of domestic violence. Goher who only had visitation rights was suppose to drop off the kids with their mother on Sunday afternoon.

"Yeah he was stressed," said Raez Muhammad, friend of the father.

Muhammad spoke to a frantic father on Saturday, a person he had met a few months ago. He was helping Muhammed Goher deal with the stress of losing custody of his three children.

"So he said okay you come tomorrow (and) we will talk that's it," said Muhammad.

Muhammad arrived at three o'clock just like he promised but instead of walking inside the home to see his friend he waited outside as police combed through a homicide scene.

"We didn't even know he used a gun," said Blanca Gonzalez, who worked at Goher's store and lives across the street. She heard when a woman ran out of apartment screaming.

"She was just screaming yelling for help," said Gonzalez.

Police say the woman was living at the home to help care for Goher's three kids. She apparently witnessed as the father shot the three children; two girls ages 13 and 7 and a 12 year old boy.

"There is a good possibility they may have been asleep when they were shot," said a Houston Police homicide officer.

Police say Goher then turned the gun on himself. They found him unconscious on the floor with a gun shot wound to the head.

"The ambulance came they took the guy out he was bleeding," said Gonzalez.

Muhammad does admit Goher didn't want his children to live with their mother. The woman, a victim of domestic violence, is living in a half way house. Goher only had court order visits on the weekends.

"He said I have (a) home (and) I have (a) business why (don't) they give me (the) kids," said Muhammad.

Still, Muhammad never imagined his friend would be charged for the murder of the three children he loved so much.

Copyright © 2010, KIAH-TV

About the mother and child pictured at the top

On February 21, 1992, Rhode Island Family Court's Chief Judge Jeremiah Jeremiah gave this two-year-old to the sole custody and possession of her father despite his history of domestic violence and failure to pay child support. The father, a police officer, brought false charges against his ex-wife, first saying she was a drug addict. (Twenty-two random tests proved she was not.) Then he had her arrested for bank fraud, then for filing a false report, then for sexual abuse, then for kidnapping. None of his charges stuck.

The child remained with her father and stepmother until 2003, when, at 14, she finally realized that her mother had not been a drug addict. The teenager persuaded Judge Stephen Capineri to let her return to her mother. There she began working on the painful issues of lifelong coercion and deception--a tangled knot of guilt and rage. Most painful has been her father’s continuing refusal to let her visit two dearly loved half-sisters, whom she has not seen since 2003.

She is one of countless children in Rhode Island subjected to severe emotional and physical trauma by Family Court when it helps abusive parents to maintain control over their families after divorce. When she turned 18 in 2007, she gave the Parenting Project permission to publish her picture on behalf of all children who have been held hostage by Rhode Island custody scams.

We are using this blog to provide links to stories that will help concerned people, including government officials, become aware of this form of child abuse and legal abuse. We must work together to improve the courts' ability to recognize the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in victims of domestic abuse who are trying to protect their children.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are looking for the story of the removal of "Molly and Sara," please visit

About the Author and the Cause

Parenting Project is a volunteer community service begun in 1996 at Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, Providence, RI, to focus on the needs of children at risk in Family Court custody cases. Our goal is to make Rhode Island's child protective system more effective, transparent, and accountable.

The Parenting Project coordinator, Anne Grant, a retired minister and former executive director of Rhode Island's largest shelter for battered women and their children, researches and writes about official actions that endanger children and the parents who try to protect them. She wrote a chapter on Rhode Island in Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues, ed. Mo Therese Hannah, PhD, and Barry Goldstein, JD (Civic Research Institute, 2010).

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Find out more about the crisis in custody courts here: provides forensic resources to end violence against women

about domestic violence in hague custody cases:

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