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Judge grants custody to slaying victim's mother

Faye Reeves of Thomson got one of the two things she wanted most last week - permanent custody of her 2 1/2 -year-old grandson, Joseph.

Senior Superior Court Judge Stephen E. Boswell of Jonesboro, Ga., granted Mrs. Reeves custody of Joseph, whose mother, Robin, was slashed to death in her Thomson home 14 months ago.

Joseph, then 16 months old, was found in his crib by Mrs. Reeves when she went to check on her daughter the morning of Feb. 28, 2001.

No one has been arrested in the slaying - the other thing Mrs. Reeves wants.

Police questioned Robin Reeves' former husband Robert Standridge twice and said he had an alibi.

On Monday, Mike Seigler, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent in charge of the Thomson office, said the GBI is investigating new information in the case.

Mrs. Reeves filed for custody of Joseph in March 2001, alleging that Mr. Standridge was unfit to have custody of the toddler.

Mr. Standridge and Ms. Reeves were divorced in September 2000. Before the divorce was final, Ms. Reeves, whose maiden name was restored the day before she was slain, was granted a protective order, which Mr. Standridge "repeatedly violated," according to McDuffie County Superior Court records.

In November, Mr. Stand-ridge was convicted of stalking Ms. Reeves and sentenced to 10 to 14 months in detention. He is in the Central Probation Detention Center in Cadwell, Ga.

In his order, Judge Boswell said that there is evidence that Mr. Standridge has used illegal drugs and that he has caused fear of physical harm to other people, including his 14-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

The judge said that he found "clear and convincing evidence of parental misconduct" and that Joseph would suffer physical or emotional harm in his father's custody.

Weighing in Mrs. Reeves' favor was her role in fostering a good relationship between Joseph and his 4-year-old half sister, Hannah Neville, by arranging for them to visit. Hannah is Ms. Reeves' daughter from another marriage.

The judge granted Mr. Standridge's sister Sylvia Evans visitation two weekends a month and on some holidays. Once Mr. Standridge is released, he may visit with the child in Mrs. Evans' home under her supervision.

The judge barred Mr. Standridge from contacting Mrs. Reeves or from coming within 200 yards of her residence or within 200 yards of any person or institution caring for Joseph.

From the April 23, 2002 print edition of The Augusta Chronicle.

Web posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2004

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