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System Failure

Chanda Johnson went to court for protection from her ex-husband. She didn't get it.

While her family seeks to hold the city responsible for bungling the case, the man accused of murdering Chanda appeared in district court two weeks ago for his arraignment. Michael Garrett moved slowly, his hands cuffed to an aluminum walker. An ugly, vertical slash of scar tissue could be seen on the back of his skull.

Garrett sat quietly while the lawyers talked, his head bowed to the table. His head rose periodically only to slowly drop again, as if he were dozing fitfully. He seemed to have trouble following the proceedings and winced when spoken to, like the words were giving him a headache. His attorney says he's still suffering the effects of the gunshot wound, including impaired memory.

After a few moments, his not-guilty plea entered and trial date set, Garrett hobbled out of the courtroom. He was never quite there to begin with. Whatever poor excuse for justice he knew had already been accorded to him, worked out between him and his unheeded victim -- not in a courtroom, but in the streets.

Michael Hogue
Till death: Police say Michael Garrett ambushed his ex-wife on January 20, then attempted suicide.
Till death: Police say Michael Garrett ambushed his ex-wife on January 20, then attempted suicide.

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Hitting Them Where They Live

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