Did judicial system fail victim in Glynn County triple homicide?

Did judicial system fail victim in Glynn County triple homicide?

GLYNN CO., GA (WTOC) - Body camera footage shows the moments police responded to a domestic call involving, at the time, Lieutenant Robert Sasser with the Glynn County Police Department.

His wife, Katie Sasser, said they were separated and he showed up threatening her, trying to kick the door down.

Court documents show weeks of Robert's violent behavior reported to authorities by his wife, Katie. Cheryl Branch is the Executive Director of Safe Shelter, an organization devoted to protecting victims of domestic violence. She looked over the court documents over the last month.

"In my 22 years of experience, I've never seen a situation between an abuser and a victim get better," Branch said. "I've only seen them get worse.

Divorce papers show the couple separated in March 2018. On May 13. That's when Katie Sasser called the police saying Robert Sasser threatened her. He was charged with two misdemeanors including simple battery. A few days later, Glynn County Police Department placed the lieutenant on administrative leave after looking at the body cam footage.

"He threatened. He's upset. Just get him off my property, please," Katie Sasser said in body camera footage.

"Statistically, the most dangerous time for a victim is when he or she is planning on leaving the abuser," Branch said. "That's because the one thing that that person fears the most is that person leaving him."

On June 26, two days before the triple homicide, Robert Sasser was in Glynn County court for divorce proceedings. Hours later, his wife filed another police report. This time, she said he was threatening her at a local restaurant by motioning gun hand signs at her.

"This was obviously a young woman who was terrified and that is reflected in the court documents," Branch said. "The law does offer remedies and she took advantage of every remedy there was."

Divorce papers that included a restraining order said: "Plaintiff believes that the Defendant is a danger to himself and others and that once he is served with this Complaint for Divorce, his conduct will be unpredictable."

Some people now question if every reported incident was taken seriously. From the body camera footage released by the Glynn County Police Department, it shows officers laughing with Robert Sasser about the domestic incident minutes after leaving Katie Sasser's house.

Branch tells me why reporting every threat is important in domestic violence situations.

"You have put people on notice in superior court that you are terrified of this person," Branch said. "You have put law enforcement on notice that you are terrified of this person."

Hours after the murders, WTOC asked the Glynn County Police Department if they did enough to protect Katie Sasser and Johnny Hall.

"Glynn County Police Department specifically has not been monitoring him. He was out on bond. He was being monitored in a pre-trial bond status, but not by the Glynn County Police specifically," Sgt. Brian Scott with the Glynn County Police Department said.

Glynn County PD and the District Attorney's office has declined interviews until the Georgia Bureau of Investigation concludes their investigation.

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