Most of the news coverage of Deanna Cook?s August murder has been rightfully focused on that horrific final 911 call that Cook made as she was fatally attacked.
What should not be forgotten, however, is that Cook was a long-time victim of domestic violence. Her ex-husband Delvecchio ?Red? Patrick, who is charged with her murder, assaulted and threatened to kill her repeatedly dating to at least January 2009, according to court documents.
Cook called police again and again. She turned to the criminal justice system for help. Patrick went to jail a few times, but never for very long. And when he got out, he came after Cook.
This is important because this is typical of the cycle of domestic violence that Mayor Mike Rawlings and other city leaders are talking so much about these days. Of Cook?s murder, Rawlings told me, ?We all failed her. The system failed her, the neighbors next door failed her, the media failed her, the mayor failed her.?
According to court records:
*On Jan. 3, 2009, Balch Springs police arrested Patrick on a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, accusing him of attacking Cook during an argument and threatening to kill her with a knife. Patrick posted bond and was released from jail the next month.
*In August 2009, prosecutors filed a motion to hold Patrick?s bond insufficient and send him back to jail because he allegedly had continued to assault Cook and threaten her life and the lives of her children and mother. He also was accused of using PCP and selling crack cocaine. It appears he was not immediately arrested.
*In November 2009, Patrick attacked Cook again, according to police documents. She told Dallas officers that she got into an argument with Patrick at an East Oak Cliff store. He told her to ?get out of my hood!? and punched her in the face, she told police. Patrick was jailed again in March 2010.
*In April 2011, Patrick ultimately pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges in each of the 2009 cases in exchange for concurrent one-year jail sentences. It appears he completed those sentences through credit for time he had already served in jail.
*In May 2011, Patrick attacked Cook during an argument, punching her, pulling her hair and threatening her with a crowbar. He was arrested on a felony assault charge and pleaded guilty in July 2012 to a reduced misdemeanor assault charge in exchange for a sentence of 120 days in jail. ?It appears he completed most of that sentence through credit for time he had already served in jail.
Scott Goldstein writes about crime. Follow @dallascrime?on Twitter and Dallas Morning News Crime Blog on Facebook.?