On Jan. 17, Selami Ozdemir, 42, shot his estranged wife, Shengyl Rasimon, 25, in her West Haven home and then turned a gun on himself, according to police.
Hours earlier, Ozdemir was arrested for the second time in four months on domestic violence charges. For the last four months, Kevin D. Lawlor, State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Ansonia-Milford, has been investigating and said it has revealed several “troubling revelations.”
“This investigation uncovered several troubling revelations at various points in the arrest, prosecution and monitoring of the original case against Selami Ozdemir and the events of January 16-17, 2010,” Lawlor said. “As I previously indicated, my primary concern is to determine exactly what happened in this situation and, to the extent possible, attempt to assure that a tragedy such as this does not happen again. It is not to assign blame to any agency or group.”
His report makes several recommendations in the hopes of preventing further domestic violence tragedies, including increasing the number of slots in the Family Violence Education Program and requiring more formal monitoring, supervision and reporting by those accused of domestic violence while their cases are pending in court.
He also recommended formalizing statewide procedures for notifying the state Department of Children and Families of potential instances of child endangerment involving domestic violence and reforming the bail bond industry to prevent a bondsman from issuing a “get out of jail free card” to someone accused of domestic violence.
“I fully understand that some of these recommendations may require additional funding in a time when all governments are being financially strained to the breaking point. While some of these recommendations may cost additional money in the short term, they may provide cost savings in the long term by successfully diverting more first time domestic violence offenders out of the system,” he said.
State Victim Advocate, Michelle Cruz criticized the report, and said it raises several questions and concerns and does little to get to the heart of the
barriers that victims of domestic violence encounter each day in Connecticut.
Cruz said her office has not received information received materials from the West Haven Police and other agencies necessary to conduct an inquiry.
“Don’t be mistaken, this is not a “turf war,” rather this “report” has ignored systemic failures and downplayed serious gaps in services in what can only be interpreted as an attempt to thwart a pending investigative report by the OVA,” she said.
“If there was a true desire to identify the gaps in services to crime victims in this case, the appropriate action would have been to instruct the West Haven Police Department to supply the OVA with the requested materials and to work cooperatively with the OVA in its investigation. Although my words may not be popular or politically correct, unfortunately the truth rarely is, especially when we are talking about saving lives,” she said.