Unit 1012: The Victims’ Families For The Death Penalty, will show their utmost sympathy and empathy to the parents of 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale, who died on this date, October 20, 2012. We will weep for her and remember her on this date every year.
INTERNET SOURCE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2441756/Autumn-Pasquale-Murdered-girls-family-sues-juvenile-killers-parents.html
'If you're going to raise a murderer, you're going to take responsibility:' Murdered girl's family sues juvenile killer's parents
- Justin Robinson, 16, was sentenced this month to 17 years in prison for 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale's death
- Justin lured her to his house in New Jersey just a couple blocks from her home with a promise to exchange bike parts and strangled her to death
- Autumn's father, Anthony Pasquale, has filed a lawsuit against Robinson's parents claiming negligence
- Pasquale claims in the lawsuit that Robinson's parents should have known that their son was troubled and should have sought treatment for him
The father of a 12-year-old girl killed by a teenage boy has filed a lawsuit against the boy's parents for negligence.
Anthony Pasquale filed the lawsuit against the parents of his daughter Autumn's murderer, Justin Robinson, in Gloucester County Superior Court on September 23, according to NJ.com.
'If you're going to raise a murderer, you're going to take responsibility for it,' said Kathleen Bonczyk, Anthony Pasquale's attorney for the civil complaint.
Off to jail: Justin Robinson, who pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the death of Autumn Pasquale, leaves the courtroom after being sentenced to 17 years in prison
Autumn Pasquale was brutally murdered in October in her hometown of Clayton, New Jersey,
Clues: Justin Robinson 'liked' the Facebook page set up to find Autumn despite knowing she was already dead
Pasquale claims in the lawsuit that Robinson's parents, Anita Saunders and Alonzo Robinson, should have known that their son was troubled and should have sought treatment for him.
Specifically, the lawsuit claims the parents should have been aware that their son was 'possibly engaging in the theft of bicycles' and had been negatively affected by witnessing domestic abuse in their home.
Robinson, 16, was sentenced to 17 years in prison this month after pleading guilty to aggravated manslaughter and admitted to strangling the Clayton Middle School student to death in October last year.
He apologized to the family and said, 'This was not supposed to happen,' as he called the killing a 'mistake.'
The New Jersey teenager had lured Autumn to his home with an offer to trade bicycle parts.
Prosecutors faced difficulties during the trial including a lack of physical evidence to determine whether he or his brother Dante Robinson, then 17, killed Autumn and they struggled for provide a motive for the killing.
Devastated: Autumn's mother and father, Anthony Pasquale and Jennifer Cornwell, said their daughter was treated 'like a piece of trash'
Life cut short: Authorities found some of Autumn’s belongings in the teens' house including the white BMX bike she was last seen riding when she left her West High Street home in the New Jersey town
Grim discovery: Gloucester County prosecutors found the body of Autumn Pasquale in a bin just blocks from her house
Death wish: Autumn Pasquale's mother Jennifer Cornwell and father Anthony Pasquale say they wish her murderers could be given the death penalty
The teenager will now spend the next half of his life in prison for the crime, however he will be eligible for parole after 14½ years.
'I'm sorry. I never meant for this to happen,' he told Judge Walter Marshall. 'This was all a big mistake.'
Relatives of the girl did not see it that way, and some wanted the judge to issue a tougher sentence than the one agreed to in a plea agreement.
More than 8,500 people signed an online petition at change.org demanding a stiffer term, but Superior Court Judge Walter Marshall Jr. in Gloucester County accepted a plea deal agreement and the sentence of 17 years.
During Robinson's sentencing, family and friends of Autumn — many who were hoping for a harsher sentence — packed one side of the courtroom.
Autumn's parents spoke of their pain since losing their daughter.
Addressing the court, Anthony Pasquale said that Robinson's sentence was not nearly long enough and called him a 'murderer who does not deserve to live.'
'I believe the defendant deserves more than 17 years,' said Mr Pasquale, who as a mail carrier had delivered letters to Robinson's family in Clayton, where the families of the victim and her killer had deep roots. 'I believe his fate should be nothing but death.'
Emotional: Jennifer Cornwell, mother of slain child Autumn Pasquale, leaves the courtroom table after making a statement about her daughter during the sentencing of Justin Robinson
When he pleaded guilty, Justin Robinson said he acted alone. During a sentencing proceeding, neither he, his lawyers, nor prosecutors shed light on a motive for the killing, or even what happened beyond what was already known: Pasquale went to his house several blocks from hers after receiving a Facebook offer to trade bike parts on Oct. 20. When she didn't return home that night, her family, then the entire community, set off in a frantic search. Two days later, her body was found in a recycling bin behind the home next to Robinson's.
A break in the case for investigators came when the boy's mother, Anita Saunders, called police after seeing something troubling in a Facebook post from one of her sons.
Speaking briefly during the sentencing, Saunders told the judge that media accounts of what happened were incorrect. 'Nobody knows exactly what happened the day of the accident,' she said.
Robinson's lawyer, Jean Faulkner, told the judge that the boy had post-traumatic stress disorder from being physically abused as a young boy and seeing his father strangle his mother more than once.
'This is a learned behavior,' Faulkner said.
Pasquale's family told the judge about Autumn, whom they described as a loving tomboy who wore mismatched socks and loved to ride her BMX bike.
They talked about how her disappearance and death touched the town, located 25 miles southeast of Philadelphia. Her old soccer team, once known as the Clayton Comets, is now Autumn's Angels; her jersey number, 14, has been retired from the Clayton Middle School sports teams; a bike path and a park are now named for her.
And they told the judge how members of the family, including her siblings and young cousins, are in therapy and dealing with nightmares about her death.
'When I see the blue recycling bins out, I cry to think Autumn's innocent life was so easily discarded like a piece of trash,' said the girl's maternal grandmother, Mary Pasquale, who had taught Justin Robinson in school.
A slide show of pictures of Autumn were projected onto a screen in the courtroom.
About a dozen family members recalled her as happy, lively young girl who made others laugh.