Sheila Irons, the man's mother whom he is accused of killing, had taken out a protective order him, prohibiting him from being in contact with her and her minor children. However, as we counsel women every day, a protective order is just a piece of paper that relies on fear of arrest and imprisonment to make it effective. Men who do not fear being arrested often do not fear a protective order.
Police arrested the 21-year-old [Eugene Quatron] McCoy as he was walking away from the house Sunday night. According to jail records, McCoy lived at the Rockland Road house even though there was a restraining order prohibiting him from being in contact with his family.
McCoy was booked into the DeKalb County jail early Monday on three counts of murder and one charge of aggravated assault.
According to court records, there is a history of family violence.
McCoy has been arrested six times prior to Monday, including twice for allegedly violating family violence orders. All the cases were before DeKalb County judges.
The first arrest was in 2007 when McCoy was sentenced to 12 months' probation for burglary, but that case did not involve family violence.
Last May 26, McCoy pleaded guilty to violation of a temporary protective order and was put on probation for a year and ordered to have no contact with the victim.
McCoy pleaded guilty last Sept. 8 to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 23 days of confinement and 12 months probation.
Then on Dec. 8, McCoy pleaded no contest to family violence battery, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. He was sentenced to 14 days in jail and two years probation.
He was ordered on Dec. 21 to undergo a mental health evaluation.
He also was told he could have no contact with the victim, a different woman, and to attend 12 anger management classes.
His last previous arrest was on Jan. 8 on a criminal trespass charge. Court records show McCoy pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months probation. He also was sentenced to jail time but received credit for the 67 days and was released on March 16, the day he enter the plea.
McCoy clearly did not fear arrest again, because he learned in prior arrests that he would get minimal jail time. Instead of putting the burden on the victim to protect herself, it would have been much more effective to hold McCoy accountable for his past uses of violence and his past protective order violations. If he had ever been shown that our legislators and our courts take violations of protective orders seriously and been given real consequences (other than the inconvenience of anger management classes and probation), he might not have violated another protective order and these three people, two of whom were children, would still have their lives.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' family.