Authorities say a central Florida man who killed his wife, his two young children and then himself last month would have likely been wearing a GPS monitor had an officer properly reported the violation of a protective order nine days before the murder-suicide.
Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger said during a Thursday news conference that a former deputy neglected to fill out a report for an April 8 incident involving Henry Brown and his estranged wife, Chericia Brown.
Deputy Sheriff Chad Tavenner was fired Tuesday for failing to follow proper protocol and then deceiving his superiors and investigators. Tavenner failed to arrest Henry Brown or even file a police report when Brown tried to ram the vehicle in which his wife was traveling on April 8.
Tavenner "violated our core values of protect and serve," Eslinger said. "He violated public trust, but more harmful to me he violated Mrs. Brown's trust."
Eslinger said that, had proper procedure been followed, it is possible that Brown would have been jailed or under monitoring on April 17, the day he approached his wife at a restaurant parking lot and stabbed her, then ran over her with a car. Henry Brown then retrieved the couple's children, ages 4 and 1, from a baby sitter and drove to the hospital where his wife had been taken.
He was confronted by police there, fired at officers and fled. Deputies managed to track down and stop Brown on Interstate 4, but they found him and his children dead. Chericia Brown died of her injuries.
Thursday's press conference unveiled a pattern of trouble between the couple that began in November and culminated with the death of Brown and the children on April 18. Eslinger said Brown beat his wife, harassed and intimidated her and attempted to monitor her movements with a GPS device he placed on her car.
After stabbing and running over his wife, Eslinger said, Henry Brown showed up at the hospital in order to kill her, police believe.
"In my 38 years, my entire law enforcement career, I have never seen a man so determined to kill another human being," Eslinger said. "We never in a million years thought he would come to that hospital and do what he did knowing law enforcement was there."
On Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff's department released all of the official documents, 911 calls and official police footage, which included the shootout at the hospital.
"This has been a very intense and emotional case for all of us. We cannot imagine the grief both families must feel for the loss," Eslinger said. "We also found some things that we could and should have done much better."