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September 4, 2008 - Joe Gorman
Four attorneys and a judge haggled over motions and the law for over 90 minutes Thursday and never once mentioned the 1-year-old boy who was brutally beaten and murdered.
They met in the courtroom of Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge R. Scott Krichbaum to try and sort out the quagmire the capital murder case against Terrence Tate has turned into.
Tate is accused of beating and killing 1-year-old Javonte Covington in the Griffith Street apartment of the baby's mother in April of 2006 because the baby would not stay quiet. Since then, his confession has been thrown out and a judge has recused himself from the case without publicly saying why.
Thursday, prosecutors asked that the confession be reinstated and defense attorneys argued why their client should be released from jail. They were professional and courteous.
But no one said a word about Javonte.
I'll admit that because I have young kids and buried a baby that this has struck a chord with me. I think of the little boy who will never be, who will not be able to play football in the yard or get excited about meeting new friends at school or even makes a mess out of his ice cream.
None of that was mentioned Thursday, and maybe that isn't the place for it. But it was on my mind as I constantly scribbled to try and keep up with the chatter (these motion hearings are long and tedious to cover, because so much is said and is important that sometimes it takes longer to write the story because you have to sift through everything and decide what is the most compelling and pertinent material to fit in the space you have).
Javonte's father and family were there, which was good. You would be surprised at how many times families do not show up in these cases. I know that sometimes the pain may be too much to sit in a courtroom, but at other times, I know for a fact that it is because they do not care.
But people care in this case. And that goes for the lawyers, and the judge. They are just trying to do their jobs. And apparently right now, that job does not include talking about the little boy who will never grow up to be a man with a job of his own.
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