Date:Posted Nov. 15, 2014. Published Nov. 16, 2014
As four children slept, their parents were murdered in an adjacent room of their Memphis home in April, launching a controversial custody dispute that remains pending on appeal. The child welfare worker and the guardian ad litem either didn't conduct thorough investigations of those seeking custody of the children or they failed to brief the magistrate during a hearing that was rushed to an end. The story provides a rare look at how quickly child custody disputes can be decided in dependency and neglect cases, which by state law are closed to the public and media. The newspaper also exposed exclusions in the state's Sex Offender Registry laws that allow offenders, even those classified as "violent," to live in homes with children if the offender's victim was an adult.