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Mom faces felony charges for gun discharge after being restrained by daughter’s boyfriend

By   /   December 6, 2010  /   15 Comments

Daughter's text message to mom shortly after mom was arrested in April. Mom was in jail without a phone when the message was sent, and a condition of her release prohibits her from talking with daughter now.

COUNCIL GROVE – She nailed her 16-year-old daughter’s bedroom window shut.

That didn’t work.

She struggled with the girl and her 21-year-old boyfriend to keep her from leaving with him.

That didn’t work either.

So she grabbed her varmint rifle, chambered a round and took aim at the right rear tire as he sped out of their driveway.

Now, high school physics and chemistry teacher and mom Karen Vondemkamp faces two felony counts for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one felony count for aggravated battery in January trial even though, she said she fired into the ground.

“As I aimed at his tire … I just decided not to go ahead and fire at the tire.  I thought ‘what if I missed’ … I thought this probably isn’t the right thing to do, so I lowered the gun, and my finger still pulled on the trigger more out of frustration than anything.”

She could spend a year in prison and pay a $100,000 fine and lose her teaching license.

She was trying to stop her daughter, Hannah, from leaving with boyfriend, Justin Allenbaugh April 20. Their home is in rural Morris County just outside Council Grove city limits.

For months Vondemkamp said she told Hannah she could date Allenbaugh only if they were supervised.

She said she told the girl he could hang out that evening at home, and even offered to order pizza.

Apparently upset with those restrictions, Allenbaugh dropped Hannah off.

Vondemkamp confronted her. She said she grabbed Hannah’s arm to turn her around to talk to her, and Hannah flipped her onto the bed.  They struggled.

When Vondemkamp left the room, Hannah texted Allenbaugh to call 911.  But, he returned to the home, according to court records.

Minutes later Vondemkamp returned to confiscate Hannah’s communication devices.

According to police reports Allenbaugh arrived minutes later. Mother and daughter battled at the front door.  Allenbaugh used his foot and “put my weight into the door a little bit.”  Vondemkamp was trying to keep the door locked and asked Allenbaugh to go away.

With a 50 lb. weight advantage, Allenbaugh restrained Vondemkamp. Hannah ran to his car.

After Vondemkamp smacked a window on Allenbaugh’s car and asked her daughter not to leave, Allenbaugh restrained Vondemkamp again, which allowed Hannah to walk away.

When he let Vondemkamp go, she ran to get her .223 caliber single-shot rifle. With Hannah perhaps a hundred yards away and the car much closer, Vondemkamp – an experienced hunter — briefly contemplated shooting out a tire.

Council Grove police and the Morris County sheriff never found the bullet.

Allenbaugh admitted in his own testimony to forcefully entering her home and restraining Vondemkamp three times, yet he was never charged.

Vondemkamp’s view is “they kind of ignored everything I said and believed everything they [Hannah and Allenbaugh] said.”   She said she wonders what happened to her rights as a parent.

One police report showed Vondemkamp as a victim and Hannah as suspect but apparently was ignored when charges were filed.

The Attorney General’s office accepted the case for prosecution but did not respond to requests for comment.

For more details from police reports and interviews with Vondemkamp and Allenbaugh, read the two-part story:


Documents cited above


Contact: Earl F Glynn, earl@kansaswatchdog.org, KansasWatchdog.org

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Earl Glynn

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  • John J

    A parent has a legal right to put restrictions on their child’s dating.

    That Allenbaugh didn’t like the restriction and dropped Hannah off shows me that this was not about long term love but about lust. IMO he wanted to get some, pure and simple.

    You might arrest the mother,but Allenbaugh needs to be arrested too. He physically restrained her at least twice. That is against the law. He was also interfering with the custodial duties of a parent. That being the case and the cause of all of this if he spends less time in jail than her that is a farce of justice.

  • Lyn Beckwith

    Are you kidding me?? The same people tsk-tsk’ing the frustrated mother who is trying to protect her underage daughter from a grown man would tsk-tsk her if her daughter turned up pregnant under age, abandoned by the boyfriend after he satisfies his lust, and living off the state.

    You can’t tie a parents hands completely and then blame them for how their child turns out! Where is common sense in law enforcement anymore?

  • LOL, WEED DAY!

    Extremely bias and f—– up article. Earl Glynn is a terrible journalist and needs to get both sides of the story before writing an article.

  • Dr. Gonzo

    I think before anyone jumps to conclusions and starts pointing fingers, both sides of the story should be covered. This incident happend on 4-20 therefore a lot of the information is a little foggy. Also the Council Grove Police Department and Sheriff’s Office are the most bias and corrupt law enforcement agency i have ever dealt with. It is said that 95% percent of all law enforcement officers in Morris County are involved in the Manufacture, distribution, and consumption(through vein) of Methamphetamines. But that is besides the point. Earl Glynn should have covered both sides of the story before he went and put out an article like this. The situation as a whole was blown way out of hand. Kids will be kids parents will be parents. The age difference is not that big and its not like girls dont sneek out to go hang out with their boyfriends all the time. And what would you do if your girlfriend texted and said call 911, we all know has over emotional teenage girls can be. All he went to do was drop her off cuz she was supposed to come home. Then a mom who probably had a little to much to drink wasnt to happy with her daughter started slapping her around a little. The boyfriend gets the text comes back to see if its really “bad enough to call 911″ and the girl is getting choked out by her mom. So he holds the mom of and tells the girl to leave so her mom can sober up and realize what was going on. The mom being drunk over reacts and thinks about shooting the boyfriend, decides that murder charges are a bad idea and then just shoots at the cars tire or into the ground. Did anyone get hurt? Not really. Was the whole thing blown out of proportion because she was a teacher? Yes. Should the law enforcement be more focused on the problems of their departments corruption. Yes. And remember this did happen on 4-20.

  • Earl Glynn

    LOL, WEED DAY! and Dr. Gonzo: Did you read the two separate articles written from both perspectives?

    The dad declined comments on the record. The daughter was not called after that since she is a minor.

    The grandparents declined comments on the record.

    Justin Allenbaugh answered one question, and declined to answer others.

    The County Attorney and Attorney General declined to give comments for the articles.

    The article from Karen Vondemkamp’s perspective was based on an interview with her in Council Grove.

    The article from the perspective of daughter, boyfriend and law enforcement was based on police records and testimony under oath in the preliminary hearing.

    What sources were missed?

    The 4-20 connection was mentioned in the story from the mom’s perspective.

  • shooter

    Stories like this should impress upon people that the police are not your friends and they are not there to help you.

    She should have just shot the pedophile dead and claimed self-defense.

  • Dr. Gonzo

    Earl Glynn your article bias as f**k, you do not know any of these people personally or their backgrounds. The police are more at wrong then any of the people involved in the incident. The whole thing was blown way way out of proportion. The cops were to tweaked out to even attempt a criminal investigation and dont even get me started on the judge or the C.A.. This stupid little incident ruined a family all because of a police department who doesnt know how to do their job.

    Shooter, shut the hell up that “pedophile” is my friend and that girl is to. If any one should get shot its stupid dumbass’s like yourself who say shit when you dont know what the hell the circumstances were nor the background of the whole situation. So thank you and have a happy f**king holiday you bias bastards!!! :)

  • Jon

    Earl, I’m as conservative as they get, but your articles are blatantly biased to the point of nearly being dishonest.

    The woman ADMITTED to choking her daughter AND threatening to kill her. Last time I checked this could be aggravated battery, felony threat and possibly attempted murder. I’m pretty certain that these wouldn’t be considered proper parental discipline by most anyone.

    The same woman later picks up a gun and fired at a FLEEING vehicle. Castle Law doesn’t apply and you damn well know that. She again ADMITS she fired the shot in in frustration, probably because her accusation of kidnapping is BS. The daughter is 100 yards ahead of mom and her alleged kidnapper, running from both of them.

    I also notice that no one’s placed ANY accusation of sexual impropriety between the girl and the boy, even by the mother. Hmmm…

  • http://kansaswatchdog.org Earl Glynn

    Jon: Thank you for your comments and feedback.

    I normally don’t cover “crime” stories unless there is some aspect that deserves public scrutiny. I was contacted by a local citizen because he thought there was selective prosecution by the county attorney in the case. That was the main reason for me to research this matter.

    The article above was an “overview” article with two separate articles with many details. One article was written from the perspective of the mom/teacher. The other was written from the perspective of the daughter, boyfriend and law enforcement. This was an attempt to give balanced coverage of the story from both sides within a number of limitations. Quotes from the daughter and the boyfriend were made from their testimony under oath at the preliminary hearing.

    According to the mom, the threat “to kill” the daughter was not real and was only to get the daughter’s attention to listen.

    I do not believe the mom admitted to choking the daughter – the daughter claimed that. The mom said she pulled the daughter by the front of her shirt after the daughter attacked her by throwing her on the bed.There are inconsistencies in the testimony about any “choking”. There were claims of choking bruises on the daughter’s neck. The mom said the pictures should show no bruises on the daughter’s neck. The County Attorney refused to let me see those pictures. Other bruises could have ben caused in the battle at the front door (see below).

    There were police and court documents that showed battery by the mom on the daughter, BUT also battery by the daughter on the mom. There was one police report that showed the mom was the victim of battery and the daughter was the suspect. Did you read that document? There were supposedly pictures of the bruises on the daughter, BUT there were supposedly pictures of the bruises on the mom.

    In the transcript of the preliminary hearing the boyfriend’s and mom’s testimony were mostly consistent. There were holes and inconsistencies in the daughter’s testimony.

    According to the mom, the daughter’s black eye was caused by a flashlight that accidentally struck her while the mom and daughter battled at their front door to keep the boyfriend out of the house.

    So when the boyfriend first saw the girlfriend at the door and her black eye, he may have thought he needed to rescue her from the mom inflicting injury on the girlfriend. But in fact he caused the battle over trying to keep him out of the house.

    The boyfriend admits under oath he restrained the mom – in her own home – after he entered the home against the mom’s demand that he should not enter the house and should leave. No one can explain why the boyfriend was not charged with entering the house against the mom’s wishes, and why he was not charged for restraining the mom in her own home.

    Can anyone walk into someone else’s house and restrain them with no legal consequences? Why were the boyfriend’s statements under oath ignored?

    I believe there is ample evidence of selective prosecution. Only the mom was charged when the other two could also have been charged. The mom’s description of events was entirely consistent about all the bruises, yet she was charged with battery on her daughter but no one was charged with battery for the bruises the mom received?

    Why was the benefit of the doubt given to the daughter rather than the mom? The mom’s story was consistent with the evidence but was largely ignored by the police/sheriff.

    I do my best to report facts backed up with documents. Did you read all the documents from the two detailed articles?

    efg

  • Jon

    I’ve read all the documents. Bottom line is Mom’s story is full of crap. You grab someone by each collar and hold them down you’ll choke them. Add to that the death threat (what kind of mother threatens to kill her child anyway?) and you’ve got domestic battery, aggravated criminal threat and possibly attempted murder.

    If the boyfriend’s entering the home was in order to stop the mother from further committing more felonious acts against the daughter, then there’s no crime committed on his part. That’s why he wasn’t charged with anything.

    Had Mom actually fired a .243 round into the ground from close range there would have been obvious evidence of it. I believe that based on the Mothe’rs previous threat and her statements being inconsistent with what was found at the scene it could have been successfully argued that the mother may have well taken a shot at her own daughter that night with the firearm.

    You bet on a losing horse here. She’s lucky she got a diversion, she’s even luckier given her lack of remorse at the diversion hearing the judge accepted it.

  • Martha

    This article is ridiculously one-sided. This young girl from our small-town community had come to school with black eyes, cuts, and bruises from her mother for years before she ever sought any help. By redirecting the blame to her you are just enabling other child-abusing parents with the notion that they too will be let off easy. It’s important to realize what negative effects your words have. I am sure that the emotional trauma articles like this all over the interenet have had on this girl is not something you considered to stop and think about. She can’t erase her name from this. She was bruise and bloodied by her mother and for what? To have her personal business broadcast by low-grade reporters, where anyone who knows her name can read probably the greatest tragedy in her life. I feel bad for this poor little girl. She’s a survivor. She shouldn’t be treated like a criminal.

  • http://KanasWatchdog.org Earl Glynn

    There were two articles in addition to this summary article. One article was written from the mom’s perspective. The other was written from the perspective of the daughter, boyfriend, and law enforcement. So which article is “one-sided” when we tried to give both perspectives? Did you read all three articles? Did you read all legal documents that were linked to?

  • Anne

    I completely agree with martha. At this point I almost assume that you, mr. Earl glynn, by agreeing to write this article from this view, are morally just as despicable as the mother. Is this what journalism (if it could even qualify as journalism) has really come to. I do hope you don’t have children of your own. If you do and they ever date, to them I say god speed.

  • http://KanasWatchdog.org Earl Glynn

    Anne: I wrote articles from both points of view: Did you see “Mom faces felony charges: perspective of daughter, boyfriend, and law enforcement”? See the link above near the end of the story. efg