Friday, May 23, 2008

Woman pleads guilty to killing abusive "partner"

A woman who shot her boyfriend to death last year did so because of the abuse she endured just before the rape and also because he threatened to kidnap, rape, and kill kids, her defense attorney told Judge Deborah Bernini on Monday.

Details of Damien Blaine Thorn's life and death were revealed Monday when Danielle Marie McFarland, 26, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Pima County Superior Court.

Assistant Pima County Public Defender John Seamon told the judge that Thorn, 42, and McFarland were a live-in couple for the five years, with the last two of those years featuring increasing physical and psychological abuse.

Thorn, armed with a Desert Eagle .44 Magnum, picked up McFarland from work on Monday, July 9, Seamon said.

He told her that if she hadn’t been at work, he would have hunted her down and killed her, Seamon said.

Over the next five days, Thorn kept McFarland naked and restrained, only releasing her to complete certain chores, Seamon said.

Thorn repeatedly told McFarland he would kill her unless she helped him kidnap small children so he could have sex with them and murder them, Seamon said.

That Friday, Thorn released McFarland from her restraints so she could sign a contract in blood and perform her duties, Seamon said. McFarland was able to retrieve Thorn’s gun from another room after receiving permission from him to turn off the lights, Seamon said.

When McFarland pointed the gun at him, Thorn laughed and told her if she didn’t shoot him, he was going to restrain her, kill her mother, kidnap, rape and kill a child and then kill her, Seamon said.

It was only at that point, Seamon said, that McFarland shot and killed Thorn.
McFarland called 911 from the couple’s home in the 9200 block of East Tanque Verde Road

When the case was presented to a grand jury, court documents indicated that Thorn and McFarland were engaged in a “consensual” master-slave relationship, but that there were witnesses who would testify that McFarland was a victim of domestic violence.

One of these witnesses, Thorn’s ex-wife, told detectives that he changed his real name to Damien Thorn from Richard Meager because that’s the Antichrist’s name from the movie “The Omen.”

The former wife also told detectives Thorn was extremely abusive during their marriage, liked “little girls” and required her to stay in a dog kennel, court documents indicate.

Other witnesses confirmed that McFarland was often covered in bruises, and that Thorn had an “unhealthy interest in small children.”

Seamon told Bernini that the defendant planned to move to New York, and Bernini gave McFarland permission to travel to New York before sentencing on July 18. McFarland faces a sentencing range from probation to 5 years.

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