Tuesday, October 14, 2008


First off, let me just start this out by posting a disclaimer -
The opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone and I am writing it from the comfort of my couch therefore my work has absolutely nothing to do with it. I am writing it as a mother, a grandmother, and a human being - not as a dispatcher or member of the EMS community therefore I would appreciate it if no one would call my place of employment and try to get me fired for having an opinion and expressing it.
There - that should do it, I hope ...

The parents of Wyatt Matteau, the blonde-haired 2-year old little boy who accidentally shot and killed himself in late August when he got his hands on his father's unsecured and loaded gun entered their plea in court today and, even though I shouldn't be, I am somewhat surprised as they have plead not guilty at their arraignment and are going to a jury trial. Inconceivable.

Having read the court affidavit along with probably most of Connecticut, I'm not exactly sure how they had the guts to plead not guilty to the charges of risk of injury to a minor and negligent storage of a firearm or how they found two lawyers to encourage them to do so. Sometimes in life we screw up and break laws even when we don't mean to and if that court affidavit was the truth that's exactly what happened here. People screwed up, laws were broken, and a little boy will never see his third birthday because of that.

Again as in the past, I've got to ask where the responsibility for this tragic preventable accident lies? If the parents of Wyatt aren't guilty of breaking the laws that would have prevented their son from being killed, then who is? Even when you accidentally screw up and break the law - you still broke the law - and that usually means that you pay the penalty for having done so.

I'm not saying I'm better than anyone else and I'm not saying that I haven't screwed up in my life but were I either Jason or Becky Matteau, I would have plead guilty and thrown myself on the mercy of the court because I would expect and want to go to jail for having provided the means for my own son to kill himself. The last thing I would be doing is proclaiming that I wasn't guilty when it was obvious that I was. I would owe my son that much.

I'm surprised that the Matteaus don't feel the same way.

Guess it's a good thing that there's no way I'd ever be on the jury that they're hoping will vindicate them being the "cruel, heartless, self-righteous, liberal vulture, hate-monger" that I am. Of course, if I'm so heartless why does it bother me so much that a little boy will never be there to tease his younger sister, lose his first tooth, climb trees, go on his first date, graduate from high school, or maybe even be the one to find the cure for cancer? That shouldn't bother me, should it? And yet ... it does.

Anyhow ... just my own opinion on my own blog ... fire away with your own opinions.


  1. Every time something horrible happens in the world, doesn't it always provoke thought and discussion. As surely you wouldn't want something like it to happen again.

    That's how I see blogging, a place to voice your own opinion, but also a place to talk about things.

  2. I get really really upset with people who don't use the brains God gave them. When that results in injury to others, I just get plain pissed. I have no problem with people having guns and using them, but you have to learn how to drive a car and you should damn well have to learn how to use and store a gun and prove that you know how to someone before you are allowed to have it.

  3. It astounds me that they would plead not guilty. I have no other words about this-it's just so crazy.

  4. Anonymous9:05 PM EDT

    I agree with you, and alot of other people in town. For those that say they have suffered enough- then why have any law that when broken may cause the offender to feel terrible and live with that decision for the rest of their life. I have known people that have had a lapse in judgement and killed innocent people while driving drunk and felt terrible about their actions. They felt terrible in jail. BTW - I own shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Okay I'll take my little soap box and be on my way now.

    P.S. Claire great pics ;)

  5. would someone really try to cause you trouble at work for having an opinion on your own blog!!?

    that is crazy

    I can't imagine how these people could plead not guilty!!

    I hate guns (I know that is a separate discussion!) and don't see why they should be anywhere near children

  6. A loaded gun was not locked up in a house with a minor.
    Guilty of child endangerment.

    Unfortunately, in this case, the child was not just in danger, he was in the morgue.

    May God have mercy on those parents, for I have none.

  7. This is my opinion and my opinion only... http://mdc20smthng.blogspot.com/2008/09/disclaimer.html

    They ought to be ashamed of themselves for even thinking about pleading Not Gulity.

    But alas... we live in the world of damage control.

  8. I understand what they are doing. A good attorney can put a spin on this in court and if there is a weak district attorney then the defense may have a chance to prevail. I've seen it happen before.

    The violation of the law is done in their minds, now it's damage control they are focusing on. They have switched from their dead child to self-preservation. I've seen it many, many times throughout my career.

    I too see your point as well, but you are an exception to the rule. That's exactly why I like you so much. Have a great day. Big hug. :)

  9. Everyone looses in this story, everyone. This needless tragedy has changed many lives forever never to return to it's former self... I sincerely hope that everyone this story touches will put all their weapons in a safe place... I am for the right to bare arms. But, do it responsibly..no one would want this in their life..

  10. Why am I not so surprised that they would claim "not guilty"??

    Now I think I'm going to go get sloppy-faced drunk with a bunch of my friends, drive them into a telephone pole, and kill a couple of them. Then I'll claim "not guilty" because I'm so distrought over the fact that my actions led to the deaths of my friends...

    Jesum Crow, people now-a-days!!

  11. I'm glad you chose to do the follow-up to this story. It should be read by all of us who own guns.
    For some people, justice just doesn't happen in this life.
    (At least that idiot Anthony woman was indicted today!)

  12. I'm not surprised that they plead not guilty. It seems like a formality regardless of evidence or guilt. Now to save time and money the court system will work out deals with them. IE reduced charges, reduced sentences, staggard sentences, etc...
    I have to laugh that everybody screams about free speech but when they don"t like what you say or print they try to intimidate you by calling you names or your job etc...

  13. I think almost every defense attorney will usually plead not guilty and hope to be able to build a case, unless the client insists on pleading guilty.

    Thanks for keeping us updated on this case, Linda. It's heartbreaking all around. One can only hope that it has raised awareness to the owners of guns with small children in the house, and that it has caused them to make safer choices to protect the kids from a horrible event such as this.

  14. Anonymous9:34 AM EDT

    As a mother of three small children with a husband who owns guns, this story really hit home to me. For, I can never imagine my husband being so careless as to having any guns in our home that were loaded in their locked case much less within an arm's reach of our children.

    It is our responsibility, as parents to protect our children. Clearly, this was not done for this child. The sad thing is that he has a younger sibling (if I read that correctly). In my opinion, this little girl will do the most suffering at the loss of her big brother.

    There is no happy ending to this story. Thank you, Linda for keeping us updated on this story.

    Now, I'm off to clean my face of tears...

  15. tish is right, there is no good outcome to this. what a tragedy.

    smiles, bee

  16. You know my opinion by now :o)
    But I'm still amazed by how many people refuse to stand up and take the responsibility for their actions...

  17. Anonymous10:33 AM EDT

    I nod my head at Sandee's point. She wrote what I was thinking.

    My thoughts an prayers are with everyone surrounding this case. It's just sad all around. Sad...

  18. Anonymous1:55 PM EDT

    Our culture discourages taking responsiblity, Linda. We live in a litigous (sp?) society bent on blaming someone else. Who do we blame here? The two year old?
    Yeah, right.

    The only peace we have is knowing that he's in the arms of his Savior, healthy and whole.

  19. Anonymous2:41 PM EDT

    Tis a sad thing that has happened. If I could throw in some insight as to why the parents would plead not guilty. It seems to me that selfish desires would be the reason that they plead not guilty. They do not want to be in trouble for what they did and don't want to take the blame.

    You are right, they owe it to their boy and admit that what they did, whether accident or not, was their fault and no one elses.

  20. Had I made that tragic mistake I would plead guilty. There is no punishment a court could impose on me that would be half as bad as the punishment I would inflict on myself for the rest of my life. :(

  21. they are following the advice of their lawyer who
    A) thinks they can get acquited
    B) thinks he can make a name for himself through a jury trial that's going to be well publicized.

  22. Akelamalu had the perfect comment. I don't think this was intentional, mind you. I do, however, see it as law breaking neglect.

    sad sad sad

  23. The posts we make are always our own thoughts.

  24. another waste of time and money for a clean cut case. idiotic system.

  25. Anonymous6:05 PM EDT

    As so much of the foundation of morality has eroded over the past generation it comes as no surprise to me that the parent(s), guardians and protectors of little Wyatt would choose this avenue to mock civility and society's laws of the land and because of it further erode what made life so special. It truly saddens me.

  26. Anonymous8:36 PM EDT

    I wonder what happens to a person's conscience when they do something that is so hurtful? How can they live with themselves? How can they sleep? Do they just deny and lie to themselves? I can't even imagine it.

  27. I agree with those that have said nobody wins in this case. And I applaud you for continuing to stand up for your right to express your opinion, which I find to be well grounded and well defended.

  28. It's hard to imagine that they would plead "not guilty," but then again not so surprising in today's crazy world.
    Their attorney probably does want to make a name for himself in what will be a well-publicized case.

    You certainly have a right to express your opinions on your blog.

  29. this is the way the system works...innocent until proven guilty....and attorneys making an awful lot of money.

    still a tragic tragic story.

    keep posting whatever is on your heart and in your mind.


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