06/24/2024

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‘Stand up and be counted’: Nancy Grace Rallies CrimeCon Nashville Attendees to Help Domestic Violence Victims

‘Stand up and be counted’: Nancy Grace Rallies CrimeCon Nashville Attendees to Help Domestic Violence Victims

CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace shared powerful stories of domestic violence victims while urging the public to get involved during her “Til’ Death Do Us Part” session at CrimeCon Nashville on Friday.

“Too poor, too weak, too illiterate to fight back,” Grace told attendees, referring to certain victims of family violence, including, in part, children who didn’t have the voice needed to get help in time.

One particular case Grace touched on was 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell, who spent 11 days hiding in a basement while New Jersey investigators searched for him. Police discovered him behind a pile of boxes in the in the basement on June 25, 2014, following extreme abuse by his father, Charlie Bothuell IV, and stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuwell.

His father and stepmother later faced charges of torture and second-degree child abuse after the boy was found “very thin, with marks on his upper body,” according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.

“I didn’t think that anybody would believe me,” the boy later testified.

Charlie Bothuell IV, left, and Monique Dillard-Bothuell appear in court in Detroit, Tuesday, April 14, 2015. Charlie Bothuell V, now 13, was missing for 11 days last June before authorities found him in his father and stepmother’s basement during a highly publicized search. His father, Charlie Bothuell IV, and stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, are charged with child abuse and torture. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Charlie didn’t attempt to escape and stayed silent when police searched the basement out of fear, explaining during questioning by an assistant county prosecutor, “my word didn’t really matter over hers [Dillard-Bothuwell].”

Grace, who said the victim tried to commit suicide, called the trial a “fight to the finish.”

In 2016, Bothuell IV accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to fourth-degree child abuse, while Dillard-Bothuell took a plea deal on misdemeanor charge without any jail time.

Grace also touched on the case of Savannah Hardin, who died “because she snuck a candy bar,” Grace said.

Savannnah’s grandmother, Joyce Hardin Garrard, forced her to run for hours while carrying sticks outside her Alabama home, after Savannah ate a candy bar without permission and allegedly and lied about it. During the run, Savannah collapsed, vomited, and was hospitalized. After being taken off life support several days later, she died.

The autopsy cited extreme physical exhaustion as the cause of death. Garrard was subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

Savannah Hardin/Family Handout

Corey Micciolo, 6, who was just a few weeks shy of his seventh birthday, died in April 2021 after his father, Christopher Gregor, forced him to run on a treadmill set on high speed. Security footage from a New Jersey gym depicted the victim falling several times while Gregor picked him up and put him back on the treadmill.

Footage also showed what appeared to be Gregor biting Corey on his head, apparently frustrated that he couldn’t keep up with the strenuous exercise.

“Can you imagine doing that to a sweet baby’s head?” Grace asked.

In September 2021, a forensic pathologist concluded that Corey’s death was a homicide, attributing it to enduring chronic abuse. This included blunt force injuries to his chest and abdomen, along with a laceration on his heart, a left pulmonary contusion, and liver lacerations and contusions.

Corey Micciolo/GoFundMe

Grace urged the public to get involved when witnessing or hearing about domestic abuse, and to “protect those less powerful than predators.”

“We have the opportunity to stand up and be counted,” Grace said. “Or will you just pretend you didn’t see it?”

“If not here, where? If not now, when?”

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