So many facts are being ignored in the case of Mikey Cardena. This editorial outlines many of them. The best interests of the child are being ignored. Links to two court documents are below
By Lisa M. Boudreau
I’m trying to understand how a mother would request to have the father of her child arrested, quite possibly in front of him, and sent to jail for 6 months as is the current status in the Amber Buck verses Michael Cadena case. Would this traumatizing circumstance not go against all medical recommendations from those currently treating the child? Yet, she still sought a request that would distressingly remove him from his current home that is arguably the most stable he has resided in. This, adding to trauma he already sustained while previously in her care after being exposed to drugs, domestic abuse, arrests, child abuse, and neglect. A mother, mind you, that although she may now be deemed “fit”, is still on probation. Not completed with probation, still on probation. If she solely believes that her actions are in the best interest of her son, then why would she go about it in the most harrowing of ways that could cause him greater harm? One would think it should instead be done in the most leniently stressful way possible. I also have to ask, why haven’t we heard from psychologists on her side to weigh in on if this distressing removal would damage the child or set him back developmentally? Why has no transition plan been established should this change end up happening so as to prepare the child prior to a relocation? Why not seek to do supervised visitation in Massachusetts? Why not try to establish a relationship in an environment that he is already thriving in beforehand?
Moreover, why is the McLean County Judge dismissing a pending case where emergency jurisdiction is being reconsidered? A reconsideration due to the MA Judge realizing his original ruling may have been in haste. Per UCCJEA law “a court may not exercise jurisdiction if a proceeding is pending elsewhere.” Yet, Judge Hill continues to still hold hearings. In his original ruling, Judge Casey stated “there exist legitimate concerns about the safety of the child in Illinois.” He then went on to say he didn’t feel it “necessary for Massachusetts to exert jurisdiction to lessen those risks”; a position he is now reconsidering as he realized there are more factors to consider.
Also, forgive me as I am not versed in Illinois law, but can someone explain to me how a person charged with 5 Class X felony charges could end up with only probation and still get full custody of a child that was previously removed on an emergency order due to child endangerment and neglect in her care? Class X charges she received while already on probation from two other felonies. Apart from first-degree murder, which has no classification, the most serious type of offense in Illinois is a Class X felony. A defendant who is convicted of a Class X felony cannot be sentenced to probation. The only way for an individual to be eligible for probation is if the prosecution amends the charges to lower felony class. So because she entered a plea to testify against her then boyfriend, the county lowered her sentence drastically enough to just give her probation? Also, can someone explain to me how regardless of overwhelming evidence, a neglect charge was never implemented by McLean County?
In May of 2017, Judge Freitag is quoted as saying “I’m impressed, frankly, with your drive and determination. Such effort is not commonly seen from defendants in similar situations.” This he said in response to a 460 page binder that was submitted to the court detailing Amber Buck’s recovery efforts. This, Judge Freitag said is what helped convince him to give her the chance of probation. Now I’ve vetted this binder of so called redemption, and what I found was nothing short of interesting. I found that it included numerous certificates or awarded merits that were from her childhood and not during her time of recovery. To me, this should have been deemed irrelevant. Additionally, there were many certificates of achievement from a company that research shows her own father owned; thus, these seem clearly biased and intriguingly were issued during times that she was actively involved in criminal actively. This leads me to think that they were perhaps falsified. I also found certificates from Locks of Love that only show she donated hair after a cut and letters of achievement or recognition from a foundation that her family has a local chapter. For example, one letter of recommendation on behalf of Project Share was from her grandmother who does not carry the Buck name, which could very easily mislead anyone who would not know of the relationship otherwise. Furthermore, there are many unsigned letters with suspiciously the same style, font, and exact verbiage from people who I could not validate their existence. Other letters were from family, friends, and church acquaintances. Over 200 remaining pages of this binder are pictures of her with her family. Several of them, however, are of her children that I found were from Michael Cadena’s Facebook page.
There is a letter dated 1/2/17 that states she had been receiving treatment individually and within a group setting since 8/3/2016. It states that she has attended 19 of these treatment groups for a domestic violence program as ordered by the court in which they “taught her to take responsibility for staying in unhealthy relationships and putting her children at risk.” It goes on to say that “she is able to identify red flags and power and control behaviors in past relationships” and “she has become a leader of the groups and that many of the women have benefited from her insights”. At that time she only had 5 more classes to qualify for graduation. She completed this program on 2/16/17.
What I find particularly interesting is there is no mention in any of the letters or progress updates from Chestnut Health Systems that she was in violation of the program’s teachings when caught in December 2016 secretly still involved with Colin Dameron. Public record of these jail calls detail her discussing tactics to secretly send him money so as not to be discovered by DCFS or authorities as it would negatively impact her getting her children back should she be caught lying about their interactions. There were also several calls detailing disputes between the two over his alleged affair with another girl. And yet, she still continued these conversations; dismissing that she was again putting herself and children at risk. An arrest in December 2016 soon followed the discovery of these calls. Despite all this, she still graduated this program when she clearly should have failed. It was not addressed as a part of her ongoing treatment, nor was it suggested she repeat the program.
So I must ask, did anyone from the McLean County judicial offices check the validity of the information submitted to the court prior to the Judge’s review; especially, if this would weigh heavily in his decision of her sentence? I would assume had they done their due diligence they would have discovered the numerous discrepancies as I did.
Is this supposed negligence common practice within the court system in McLean County? The more I dig into this case, I am shocked by the outcome and curiosity has me wanting to look into similar cases to see if there is a pattern or if this was something suspiciously different.
This is your community, Bloomington/Normal. What are your thoughts? Let’s discuss.