Thursday, January 28, 2010

Victim or Cold-Blooded Killer?

by Diane Fanning
Under suspicion of first-degree murder, 15-year-old Jordan was arrested on July 13, 2009, by Colorado Springs Police. The lead detective, Lieutenant David Whitlock, described her as "a cold-blooded killer."

More than six months later, she remains in the custody of the state; her mother's rights as a parent have been terminated.  No charges have been filed yet against Jordan because prosecutors do not know what to do with her, even though she admitted to shooting Jon Hazard (below, right) to death.
Although I normally stand with murder victims, this case may be an exception.  Hazard is not a very sympathetic figure.  His wife didn't realize he had an obsession with underage porn until his fascination with their teenage babysitter brought it all out in the open.  She divorced him in 2001.
Hazard's sons lived with their mother in Texas, but traveled to Colorado to visit their dad.  He lived next door to Jordan and her mother.  During the summer of 2006, 11-year-old Jordan became friends with Hazard's 10- and 13-year-old boys.
At one point, when Jordan was in Hazard's home, he surreptitiously videotaped her making out with a boy her age.  He used that tape as blackmail.  He said he'd show it to her mother unless Jordan used her cell phone to take nude photos of herself and send them to him.  Soon pictures of this naked child weren't enough to satisfy Hazard's lust.
He used the images to pressure Jordan to meet him at the Hampton Inn, where he plied her with booze until she passed out.  When she woke up, he was fondling her.  She leaped out of bed and took refuge in the bathroom for the rest of the night.  It wasn't the last time they met in a hotel, though.  On later occasions, he used pills to ensure he got what he wanted.  When Jordan went to Grand Junction with Jon Hazard in July 2008, her mother found out and called the police.
In December of that year, Hazard was arrested on two counts of sexual assault with a pattern of abuse, sexual assault on a child from a person in a position of trust, and contributing to delinquency of a minor.  A forensic analysis of his computer uncovered more than 200 images and videos of Jordan, dating back to when she was 13 years old.
But there was even more evidence stored on his computer.  Analysts uncovered a video of Hazard administering pills to Jordan, a 23-page confession complete with a time-line, and inappropriate images of other underage girls.
You'd think that with all the digital evidence to back up Jordan's story of abuse, police should have confiscated Hazard's hand guns when he was released on bail awaiting trial.  But they didn't. 

According to a source close to the case, when Hazard went to Palmer Park on the evening of May 31, he took two of his guns with him.  Was it mere happenstance that those weapons were in his car when he went to meet the young girl?  Or did he intend to use them to intimidate Jordan?  Or did he bring the weapons because he planned to take his victim's life to prevent her from testifying against him at his trial on June 9?
Whatever his intentions, Hazard died that night from multiple gunshot wounds.  His body was found near the picnic area in the park.

If he threatened Jordan that night, and she managed to get the gun away and turn it on her attacker, it is clearly self-defense.  But even in the worst-case scenario for Jordan -- if she took the gun from the car and shot Hazard dead without immediate provocation -- is a first-degree murder charge appropriate?

Opinions run the gamut.  On one side: Hazard deserved it, let the girl go.  On the other: victims can't take the law into their own hands; she took a life, her own was forfeit.  I think truth and justice lies somewhere in between those two extremes.
If Jordan saw her situation as one of perpetual victimization, a nightmare with no end, isn't it understandable that she would take action to end it?
The state finally moved her to a treatment facility last week.  But since she's being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, is she really there for psychological help for her past trauma? Or is the state using that methodology to build a first-degree murder case against her?
Hazard stole this child's dignity and destroyed her childhood. Now the state is holding the threat of lifetime incarceration over her head. Prosecutors need to file charges against this girl or set her free. The limbo Jordan is living in now adds to the trauma of her short and difficult life and prevents her from getting the help she needs to rebuild her life and heal her soul.


Anonymous said...

free this child. Has'nt enough been done to her already?? get her help, not prison time

Leah said...

This just proves that out justice system doesn't take the abuse of women and children seriously. This poor child will have to live with everything that creep did to her for the rest of her life. Isn't that enough punishment for her?? Never mind the fact that she killed someone.

Anonymous said...

She was arrested in July 2009 not 2008. This happened just last summer 7 months ago. just to let you know

FleaStiff said...

Counseling? She might not have needed to be in a secure facility at all if they had given her counseling right away.
Witness Tampering? He lived next door, had sons available to him to bring her over to his place, could get her himself, had guns. What did the cops think he was going to do with the witness against him? Surely they knew her mother was not suddenly going to become watchful, alert and protective of her daughter.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:11 - No it wasnt. It was 2009.

Anonymous said...

Woops, sorry, read that wrong.

Jan W. said...

"Never mind the fact that she killed someone"???? What a frightening thought. The abuse and lack of protection for the poor girl is a disgrace and a tragedy. It doesn't justify murder. Nothing justifies murder.

TLTL said...

"It doesn't justify murder. Nothing justifies murder."

I couldn't disagree more. Nothing justifies raping and torturing our children.

Anonymous said...

How do you know she murdered him? HE brought the guns, she didnt. It could very well be self defense.

Anonymous said...

go to the Colorado Springs and read more. An article came out today on 1/29/2010 about the ex-wife and son trying to get liencey for the girl accused in this case. They are trying to help the girl who killed their ex-husband and father. What will happen?? I want to know more. Someone needs to take this national and let the world know so something can be done.

Jan said...

I said that murder isn't justified. I never said anything justified rape or torture... or child abuse or spousal abuse or abuse of any kind. I don't know anything about the specifics of this case. But I know the devastation that murder causes - to the friends and families of both the victim and the defendant who are left behind to deal with severe emotional and psychological trauma for the rest of their lives. If you gave me a gun and left me in a room with the woman who killed my family, I'd still think that murder is wrong. I think we walk a very dangerous path when we start thinking murder is ok in certain circumstances.