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Victim's mother seeks custody
Thomson resident contends her slain daughter's ex-husband is not fit to care for 17-month-old son

While investigators try to solve the February slaying of 35-year-old Thomson resident Robin Reeves, her mother has gone to court to gain custody of her daughter's 17-month-old son.

Faye A. Reeves filed a petition for change of custody against Robert Standridge, her daughter's former husband and father of toddler Joseph Reeves Standridge. She is contending Mr. Standridge is not fit or the proper person to have custody of the child.

On March 26, McDuffie County Superior Court Judge Roger Dunaway Jr. ordered that Joseph be taken from Mr. Standridge's parents' home in Dearing and be returned temporarily to the custody of the Department of Family and Children's Services.

The judge also appointed Thomson attorney Lucy J. Bell guardian ad litem of Joseph. The child was taken into protective custody by DFCS immediately after Ms. Reeves was found stabbed to death in the hallway of her Gordon Street home while Joseph was in the house. The department later placed him with Mr. Standridge's parents.

Police questioned Mr. Standridge the day Ms. Reeves' body was found and determined he had an alibi for the hours during which police say the killing occurred. They also processed two of his vehicles for evidence.

Judge Dunaway's order calls for Mr. Standridge, 38, and the victim's mother to undergo psychological evaluations.

The judge further ordered Mr. Standridge to complete classes in anger management and psychological counseling as directed by DFCS.

According to Judge Dunaway's order, Mr. Standridge presented evidence during a March 23 hearing showing a strong bond exists between him and Joseph and that he has cared for the child's physical needs, has never committed or threatened any act of violence against him, and has ``generally has been a good father.''

Evidence Faye Reeves presented at the hearing showed that after the victim and Mr. Standridge were divorced in September, Mr. Standridge engaged in a course of harassment against his ex-wife, according to the judge's order.

A temporary protective order had been entered against him, and a restraining order was in the final divorce decree.

Despite these orders, Mr. Standridge would drive by Robin Reeves' home, made multiple harassing phone calls, and asked the police to search her home to see whether his child was OK and whether there was a man in the house, according to court documents. He also made threats against her and had charges pending against him for aggravated stalking and harassing phone calls at the time of her death, according to the documents.

According to hearing evidence, Ms. Reeves, whose maiden name was legally restored the day before her death, had bought a gun because she was afraid of Mr. Standridge.

In addition, Mr. Standridge went to the workplace of Ms. Reeves' boyfriend, Ralph Alexander Sanders, and made obscene comments and threats toward him, according to the order.

Ms. Reeves was stabbed multiple times after returning from a church social Feb. 27. There was no sign of forced entry, and police have not found a weapon.

Her mother found her body the next morning after her daughter did not show up for work at the Thomson branch of Augusta Technical College, where she was the vice president's secretary.

A $10,000 reward fund has been raised from donations, and residents of Thomson are tying black ribbons to their mailboxes, which they say will stay until Ms. Reeves slaying is solved.

Anyone with any information about the slaying should call the Thomson Police Department or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

From the April 2, 2001 print edition of The Augusta Chronicle.



Web posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2004


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