Two Florida women slain in one month by abusive partners — after officials refuse to protect them
A Florida woman who had requested protection from her abusive partner was shot to death by him on May 27, according to the Orlando Sentinel, becoming the second woman in a month to die under similar circumstances in the Orlando area.
Maria Barreda was shot to death in front of her seven-year old daughter by Manuel Feliciano. After killing Barreda, Feliciano shot his former boss in the neck before being arrested by police.
In a similar incident in late April, Chericia Brown was stabbed and run over by her husband, who then killed their two children and took his own life. In both cases, the women had sought protection from these men. Barreda’s request was denied by a judge who said that there was no evidence to suggest a pattern of “repeat violence,” while Brown was told by Child Protective Services that her husband posed “no immediate threat.”
On May 3, “Barreda wanted a court-ordered restraining order after she said her boyfriend slapped her face, hit her eye so hard that it bruised and bashed her car’s side mirror during an argument,” the Sentinel reported. “Circuit Judge Kim Shepard denied Barreda’s request because she did not find evidence of “repeat violence,” court records show.” Her case was heard in Orange County.
Judge Shepard is currently being investigated for ethics violations for using misleading campaign materials during her re-election campaign.
In late April, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Brown’s request for help “which detailed the domestic violence incident last December that led to the declaration that Brown posed no immediate threat. Seminole County Sheriff’s Office sent its Child Protective Services out to talk to Chericia Brown after she filed a complaint on December 19 that her ex-husband had pulled her hair, dragged her into a closet and beat her in the head. He also threatened to kill her if she took the kids. He was not charged because of a lack of evidence.”
In the Barreda case, reporter Elyssa Cherney wrote that Seminole County sheriffs responded to earlier violence:
On May 1, Barreda called Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies from a 7-11 store after the couple got in a fight. Feliciano threw Barreda’s keys in a water-filled ditch, and she ran into the store to ask the clerk to call police, according to a police report. Deputies found Feliciano was the “primary aggressor” for putting his hands over her mouth, according to a report, but he wasn’t arrested because Barreda said she put her hands on his face during the fight, too.
Later that day, Maitland police arrested Feliciano on charges of making a false report and theft related to the same fight. He faces charges for telling police that Barreda tore his shirt and scratched him, which was disputed by surveillance footage, court records show. He was charged with theft for discarding the keys.
The next time police dealt with the couple was May 22 as they were fighting at the intersection of Curry Ford Road and Primrose Drive.
Barreda appeared to be intoxicated, a report states, and started yelling profanities at officers when they did not arrest Feliciano. She was arrested on charges of resisting an officer without violence.
A week after Barreda was arrested for getting mad at officers for not arresting Feliciano, Barreda was shot to death by Feliciano.
Barreda’s two children, a seven-year old girl and a three-year old boy, are now living with Barreda’s relatives.