Protective order never delivered to murder suspect - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Protective order never delivered to murder suspect

Friends and family look on during the standoff. Friends and family look on during the standoff.
Angela Dees Angela Dees

Sandra Chapman/13 Investigates

Indianapolis - The mother shot and killed in a standoff early Friday morning had taken steps to protect herself and her family. But 13 Investigates has learned a court order warning her assailant to stay away never made it into his hands.

Angela Dees warned Marion County court officials of what her friends always feared: that she was in danger.

Through sobs and tears, Angela Dee's best friend Cheryl Wortham told Eyewitness News, "We knew, we knew, we knew," indicating they suspected their friend was in trouble.

Just two weeks ago on November 2, Dees sought and received a protective order against her ex-boyfriend Chris Allen.

In her filing she wrote: "I woke up from a deep sleep with him questioning me about numbers in my cell phone. He punched me in my mouth with his fist...beating me in my back, sides and stomach with heavy force. He would not let me leave." The date of that incident was October 26th.

"He was a time bomb," said Wortham. "He was a very jealous person. And by Angela being very attractive and as popular as she was, he couldn't deal with that."

The court ordered Chris Allen to refrain from acts or threats of abuse and to have no contact with Angela Dees or her three children, ages 21, 15 and 8. He was to stay away from her home, her job and her kids' school for the next two years. She also asked the court to take his gun away.

There was just one problem: 13 Investigates learned the protective order to Chris Allen was never served.

"We didn't have a way to serve him because she didn't give us an address. Sometimes we can look it up ourselves, but it's not usually current," said Judge John Hammel, who serves on the bench for Marion County Superior Court 21.

Hammel says Indiana law requires the complainant to provide an address and also gives the defendant the right to a hearing.

"We can't take a weapon away from him under federal law and state law as a matter of fact until we have the hearing," explained the Judge.

In Angela Dees' case, that hearing was set for the week after Thanksgiving. But Judge Hammel says it would have likely been canceled for lack of notification. Still, he says the order was on file with both the county's 911 emergency system and state police.

The court says this was not the expected outcome.

"It's rare. I've had maybe two others in the four years I've been here," said Judge Hammel, referring to the number of protective order cases that ended in violence.

In most cases, Hammel says there is no need for additional court action.

"Out of the 4,000 a year that are filed, 75 percent of those work right off the bat."

Police reports show Chris Allen had allegedly threatened to kill his own brother in 2004, but no arrest was made in that case.

Court officials say protective orders can include work addresses or addresses of relatives if the whereabouts of the defendants are unknown. Still, there's no guarantee that serving an order will prevent a violent outcome.

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