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Why wasn’t previous warrant for Milford murder suspect signed? Prosecutor says police didn’t resubmit it

The next week police applied for a new arrest warrant for Dewitt, but it was never signed.

Marissa Alter

Dec 9, 2022, 11:21 PM

Updated 589 days ago


Just weeks before Ewen Dewitt was arrested for the murder of ex-girlfriend Julie Minogue, Minogue filed a complaint with Milford police reporting Dewitt had sent her 220 threatening and harassing text messages. Minogue already had a restraining order and a protective order against Dewitt, who was facing charges for an alleged assault on Minogue in 2019.
The next week police applied for a new arrest warrant for Dewitt, but it was never signed.
News 12 Connecticut reached out to the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice to find out what happened with the pending warrant. A spokesperson released a statement from Ansonia/Milford State's Attorney Margaret E. Kelley:

On behalf of the Ansonia/Milford State’s Attorney’s Office, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Julie Minogue. The Ansonia/Milford State’s Attorney’s Office received an arrest warrant affidavit for Mr. Dewitt on November 21, 2022. It was immediately reviewed by prosecutors and returned to Milford police on that same date, November 21, 2022, with a request for additional information. It was not resubmitted. At this time, the State’s Attorney’s Office is working with the Milford Police Department regarding that warrant application.

Milford police didn’t respond to News 12 Connecticut’s request for comment on that statement.
“She was doing every single thing that she could to protect herself and her children. She was going to law enforcement. She was going to the courts,” said Danielle Pollack, policy manager for the National Family Violence Law Center. “I think the failure was the system response was not strong enough. Obviously, she let the courts know she was afraid for her life and her children's life. She was afraid he was going to kill her. He was openly threatening he was going to kill her and that was several weeks before he actually did it.”
Tuesday night Dewitt allegedly killed Minogue with an ax while her 17-year-old son and the couple's 3-year-old son were home. The teen was the one who called 911.
“Many, many, many of these cases are preventable as was in this case. I mean, she sought out help repeatedly, and the protections offered to her by the system were clearly inadequate,” Pollack told News 12.
Pollack said courts need to have a stronger, more protective response when there's clearly a dangerous individual, and law enforcement needs to act with urgency when things are escalating like they were with Dewitt.
“There can't be delays in these cases,” she stressed.
Court records in the criminal and family court cases involving the couple showed Dewitt struggled with alcohol abuse. In the 2019 case, Dewitt was accused of being drunk and throwing a playpen at Minogue while she was holding the couple's child. She sustained a concussion and a gash to her head that needed staples, according to court documents.
Dewitt spent the next year in alcohol abuse treatment programs, and in April 2021, a judge signed off on modifications to the protective order, allowing contact between the two. According to a transcript from the hearing, the prosecutor said Minogue wanted the order to be modified and told the victims’ advocate Dewitt had been doing better and was helping with their child.
But in January, Dewitt filed for visitation, which Minogue fought. Her attorney filed an objection on her behalf, noting the pending assault case and a new arrest in North Carolina for allegedly assaulting a woman and emergency personnel. The objection also alleged Dewitt had been harassing staff at his son’s day care.
According to court records, both sides were able to reach an agreement a few months later for Dewitt to have supervised visitation with his son for two hours every other Saturday at Eisenhower Park or Chuck E. Cheese.
Pollack doesn’t know what led to that but told News 12 in many family court cases, a parent is coerced into giving some kind of custody access to the abuser who they’re afraid of.
In November, after Dewitt allegedly sent 220 text messages, Minogue applied for a second restraining order, 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.” The judge granted it Dec. 1, five days before Minogue was killed.
“Domestic violence is all of our responsibility. It's a social ill. It's not something that's just the problem of the individual victim and her children. It's a problem that impacting entire communities, and of course, there's a cost to everyone,” Pollack said.
Dewitt is charged with murder, risk of injury to a child, home invasion, violation of a restraining order and violation of a protective order. At his arraignment, the prosecution said Dewitt gave a full admission to police. He’s being held on $5 million bond and will be back in court Dec. 14.
A GoFundMe effort is underway to raise money for 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.

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