Milford mom writes in court filing before her death, 'I'm scared he's going to kill me.'
Julie Minogue feared Ewen Dewitt, the father of her 3-year-old son, was going to kill her. Last month the Milford mom filed for a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, writing, “I am scared for the safety of my children and I. Ewen has got himself into a lot of trouble with drugs and alcohol and I'm scared he's going to kill me." On Dec. 1, a judge granted the request. Five days later, Dewitt allegedly killed Minogue in her home while the toddler and her 17-year-old son were present. At the time, Minogue also had a protective order against Dewitt that extended to her two minor children after he was arrested on assault and risk of injury charges in 2019.
“She did exactly the right thing in terms of what she felt was right for her and her children and her family,” said Meghan Scanlon, CEO of Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The organization is made up of 18 domestic violence service agencies across the state and works with lawmakers, advocating for legislation and funding to keep victims safe. Scanlon told News 12. CCADV is seeing more people who need help than ever. She said they’re also seeing an increase in the level of violence over the past year.
“This is a public health issue, and as we talk about this issue, we need to normalize talking about this issue and not just talking about it when a tragedy happens,” Scanlon said. “Why does it have to get to a situation like this, a tragedy like this for society to say, ‘Oh, wait. This is unacceptable. This is happening every single day in all our communities across Connecticut.”
Dewitt is now charged with murder, violation of a protective order, violation of a restraining order, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment. On Tuesday night, he went to Minogue’s home on Salem Walk. Ring doorbell footage from a neighbor captured him walking by with an ax just before 9 p.m.
Minogue’s teenage son was asleep upstairs at the time and initially thought the screaming he heard was from a nightmare, according to the arrest warrant. “Then I continue to hear a man screaming, and there's no man in my house to be screaming. I think I heard my mom scream once. I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. I think he was yelling, 'You didn't believe me.'” The warrant said the teen saw his mom on the floor and Dewitt holding a long brown ax. "I looked at my mom for a split second and her head was sideways next to the sink on the ground. Her body was all over. I just see blood all over."
The teen then ran back upstairs, barricaded himself in the room, and called 911, the warrant said. He told police he punched a hole in his window screen and jumped out.
When the first officer arrived, he found the home in disarray and Minogue dead on the floor in the kitchen. According to the warrant, he “cleared the residence and observed a 3-year-old child on the couch in the living room. The child appeared to be in shock, with a blank stare, not crying and not responding."
Dewitt had already fled the scene but was arrested later that night in a trailer on Ocean Avenue in West Haven. At his arraignment, the prosecutor said he gave a full confession to police. Dewitt is being held on $5 million bond and has his next court date of Dec. 14.
A fundraising effort is now underway to Minogue’s three sons. Minogue’s sister wrote, “My beautiful younger sister Julie was horrifically murdered on December 6th. She was a victim of domestic violence and had tried multiple times to keep her and her children safe. Julie spent most of her parenting years as a single parent. She navigated working full-time and caring for her boys with ease and love.” Police said the two minor children are now staying with family.
The Milford community is also remembering Minogue by adding purple bows to the holiday decorations that wrap around many street signs in the city. A social media post floated the idea to honor Minogue and stand against domestic violence.
Scanlon told News 12 domestic violence affects one in four women—which is more than diabetes and heart disease combined—and one in seven men are impacted in their lifetime.
“From an outsider’s perspective, this seems really black and white. But most domestic violence cases are not black and white. People are complicated and relationships are complicated, and I think that’s something to really remember as we’re looking at either this case or any case or even a family members or friend that might be going through it is that there is a relational dynamic. There’s a power and control dynamic,” Scanlon explained.
Scanlon said part of what CCADV does is educate and build awareness. “We need to do better around this issue. We need to make investments in domestic violence services because the trauma that’s obviously happening is not just happening to that one induvial. It’s happening to that entire family unit. It’s then spreading out into the community and how that community interacts with that individual. So, I think that’s really important to understand as we move forward and try to make improvements in the system,” Scanlon explained.
CCADV has a 24-hour hotline for anyone who’s in crisis or just needs someone to talk to. Just call 1-888-774-2900.