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Tough Child Custody Decisions: What Happens to the Children?

A judge in Charlotte will soon have to decide the fate of two siblings who recently witnessed their father murder the rest of their family in their home. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police report that the father of the children, Kenny Chapman, suffocated his wife and their 1-year-old daughter, then stabbed his wife’s daughter from a previous relationship. Chapman’s surviving 11-year-old daughter claims that he spared her and her 2-year-old brother because they were his first-born of each sex, and therefore they were special. The surviving children lived in the home for two weeks after the murders, and the daughter did not contact any relatives or act distraught, in an effort to avoid the same fate at her father’s hands.

The two children had the same father, but different mothers, which is complicating their case. The paternal grandparents want to be awarded custody of both children, but the maternal grandmother only wants custody of the boy, as she believes that she has a significant connection to him, and she is of no relation to the girl. Due to everything the children have endured together, the paternal grandparents believe that the children belong together. If the children are separated, the grandparents hope that arrangements can be made for them to see one another on a regular basis.