The short version:
Bobby is back in jail. We still are standing behind him. While he’s not without fault in the situation, I am convinced that he did not do what he is accused of. We are fairly certain that the situation was a manipulation by his ex to get back at him.
The LONG version:
As I was getting ready for work, Carrie got a call from Bobby’s daughter’s mother. She and Bobby were fighting and she said that she was afraid. Carrie kept telling her that if she felt unsafe that she should get in her car and come to our place. She could hear Bobby (clearly angry) telling her to get out of his place and to never come back.
I was concerned enough about the whole thing that I swung by his place on my way to work, but her car was gone so I didn’t stop in.
Carrie talked with both Bobby and his ex during the course of the day, and Bobby came over for dinner (his first hot meal since last week.)
In the 9 months or so that we’ve observed and gotten to know Bobby and the people around him, it’s become clear that his ex is a manipulator and (to be blunt) a liar. She tells people what they need to hear to get the on her side so she can use them. Throughout the day, her stories seemed increasingly suspect to Carrie. And she mentioned calling the police.
When I picked up Bobby after work, he was clearly distressed. As he did his laundry at our place and we ate some venison (thanks to Pennsylvania family!) he told us his side. His ex had a falling out with her mother who stopped subsidizing her life because of her drug use. She and their daughter had no place to stay, so Bobby allowed them to stay temporarily. Without getting into details, it quickly went south, and Bobby had had enough. He told her Sunday night that she had to leave. He would pack her stuff and she could get it the next morning.
When she showed up she was (as usual) in a rage and demanded that he take her stuff downstairs to her car for her. When he came back up, she had a pair of scissors and was slashing some of his stuff. He got the scissors away from her and told her to get out. This is when she called us, yelling “He’s trying to stab me with scissors!” She left, but not before scratching his face and hitting him with her phone.
After she left, so did Bobby — he had job interviews and a meeting with his Probation officer. A neighbor later told him that the police had been there looking for him, and he wasn’t sure what to do.
We decided that after dinner we would go back to his place and tell the police that he was there now and wasn’t trying to evade them.
The police talked to both of us then asked to talk to Bobby alone. I stood outside and prayed; while we were waiting for the officers to show up we had listened to a Charles Spurgeon devotional (it was talking about the Refuge Cities in ancient Israel, where inadvertent offenders could flee for mercy). He was afraid and was on the verge of tears as we talked.
When the police officer came out, he told me that they were going to take him in on a charge of Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon (the scissors). They admitted that they were simply were choosing to believe her side of the story because he wasn’t there when they looked for him earlier. They did say it was a positive that he called them and that they didn’t have to track him down.
So, for now Bobby is in the Orange County Jail again.
I took the key to his place (it has to be vacated by Wednesday) so that when he gets out he’ll still have clothes and won’t have to track down his birth certificate, social security card and everything else from who-knows-where before restarting the job hunt.
Like those who fled to Cities of Refuge that God established in Deuteronomy, Bobby is not COMPLETELY without fault. It was a bad decision to let his ex back into his life and home again. It was not the last option for his daughter; her grandparents would have cared for her regardless. His anger management is still an issue and he should have called the police himself after everything she did.
Please continue to pray for Bobby as he still desires to follow God and believes he has a plan. The money that people gave to care for him (THANK YOU!) will still be set aside to help him out. And, if (God, please forbid) this means that Bobby is incarcerated for a long time, we will set it aside to help out his precious daughter.
Pray for us, too. This severely affected my ability to sleep last night. Carrie and I are both struggling to love Bobby’s ex the way that Jesus calls us to. All of the ‘revenge’ Psalms are very close to mind this morning, and it’s hard work to remember that SHE is not the enemy and to love her also, in spite of mental, emotional and spiritual illness (Think Romans 1). The words of a social worker friend come to mind: “When you choose relationship with her, you have to know you WILL get hurt.” And yet, Christ was more than hurt by and for the Whelpleys while we were still sinners… (think Romans 2:1).
If anyone has any questions or advice, feel free to comment, call, email, or message us.