The Criminal Revolving Door Keeps Turning

The original post on this issue is over two years old – and it’s still getting attention and comments. Here’s the latest comment from someone who wished to remain anonymous (although I do have the IP):

“excuse me but isnt the deceased man just the same like the so called murders you r talking about.hes been in prison to.i read he is a user dont judge nobody.i dont think your family is so called perfect.thank you.”

Oh, I’m so glad you commented, honey. I’m about to light into you, but before I do, allow me to regale everyone with the short-version story.

Rene Enrique Durgin and his girlfriend, Patricia Denise Mayhorn, committed an armed robbery at a car wash in Glendale, Arizona – then led police on a chase through town. They ended up crossing over into Phoenix. After Glendale police called off the chase and let them go, the pair invaded a home near 35th Ave and Dunlap where they happened upon a couple in their mid-50’s. Durgin (it is believed to have been Durgin) shot both of the residents, killing the male. The female survived, albeit barely. Police arrived to find the 9mm handgun in pieces scattered throughout the home and Durgin admitting to having fired a weapon quite recently, though not willing to admit to the killing.

I quickly wrote a piece about it. Normally the first person to stand up for the police – particularly Glendale, as a close trusted friend was the first Glendale officer to be shot to death in the line of duty – I asked why they called the chase off during a time when few were on the road and they had suspects in a violent crime who would likely go on to commit another crime.

I also asked why these two had been allowed to move in and out of the justice system so many times. Both Durgin and Mayhorn had done time before and their crimes had continued to escalate, yet judges with soft spines kept giving them slaps on the wrist and admonishments to clean up their acts. Then we ended up with this mess. Now we have a friend of Durgin and/or Mayhorn posting to this blog some of the most ridiculous tripe I have ever read in my life.

You see, hon, regulars on this blog know that I’ve been a corrections officer. I know that argument by heart. If I had a dime for every inmate who tried to put the blame for something on me because MY family isn’t perfect and his victim somehow deserved what he’d done, I wouldn’t be working in EMS today. I’d be independently wealthy. I am going to tell you all of the things I used to tell them.

Don’t give me that “I don’t think your family is perfect, either” bullshit. We’re not talking about me and mine, we are talking about YOU. What YOU did. The choices YOU made. I’m not the one in prison – YOU ARE. That’s not because I was better at hiding anything; I have obeyed the law my whole life and respected other people and their rights regardless of what wrongs they have committed. I had very little as a kid, but my family never took anything that wasn’t ours nor did we expect anyone else to pay our way. We always made the best with what we had and that ethic has paid off. You’re right, we’re not perfect – but we have done right by everyone around us. That is the only thing anyone has ever asked of YOU, and YOU have failed that task. Because YOU have stolen, robbed, assaulted, used illegal drugs, and killed people, YOU are paying the penalty and YOU are the one we’re talking about.

I do not care what the victims’ crimes may have been. It’s interesting that you mention them, because the victims’ names have not been released publicly and I haven’t even been able to get their full names from the prosecutors. Whatever their past crimes may have been, they did not deserve to be taken prisoner in their own home and murdered. You do not get to excuse yourself by pointing out that the victim may have wronged someone else. What the hell do you think the judge is going to say if you stand up in court and say, “but, Your Honor, he was a dealer! We got our meth from him! What I did wasn’t so wrong!” If I were that judge (or if the judge were Roland Steinle, and I desperately wish he were the one trying this case), I would ask, “who are we trying today? Oh, that’s right – YOU!” You know as well as I do that no judge or jury would accept such an asinine response from a defendant. Why in the hell would you dare try to use that line on me?

Do you think I’m that stupid? That childish? Do you really think that I’m going to hang my head now and go, “I’m sorry, I didn’t think of it that way…”? Should I slink away and act like my feelings are hurt? Every single time an inmate would attack another inmate or an inmate’s visitor they would always later say, “but they did…” I would always cut them off with, “I’m sorry, but how are you better than they are? Let’s recount the reasons YOU are here, shall we?” At that point, without fail, every one of them would say, “oh, and you’re miss perfect? How many relatives you got in here?”

With pride, I would say, “not a single one. They’re all out defending this country and your right to due process. You might wanna invoke your right to shut the hell up before that mouth gets you into more trouble than you’re already in.”

Take the hint.