Sophia Putney-Wilcox a high school student was the prey of a horrible assault by her former boyfriend.
The assailant, Adam Shigwadja, busts into Putney-Wilcox’s space and attacked her with a knife prior to putting her space on fire. He was detained and charged with attempted arson, murder, unlawful imprisonment and home invasion.
The history of Putney-Wilcox and Shigwadja’s started some years ago when they began dating. They have relationship for seventeen months before Putney-Wilcox realized Shigwadja was double crossing on her. She ended the association straight away, and Shigwadja has been inflicting trouble on top of her life ever since.
Putney-Wilcox was assaulted last year, when Shigwadja forced himself into her house and place a knife to her gullet. He strived to force her outside whilst holding her at knifepoint. Shigwadja was detained after the event and freed on $10,000 bail on circumstance that he refrain himself from Putney-Wilcox.
A personal protection order by Putney-Wilcox against Shigwadja was filled, but her request was not granted.
Recently, Shigwadja forced himself into Putney-Wilcox’s space another time and assaulted her with a knife prior to setting her space on fire. Her brother overhears the uproar and entered her space with a baseball bat and made used of the bat to brawl off Shigwadja. At a particular point during the uproar, the bat hit Putney-Wilcox and pieced her skin open. After the incident she was injured with more than twenty stitches on her head, but she’s grateful for everything. Without her brother’s assist, she says, she may not be living today.
I wouldn’t be here, “If it wasn’t for this scar” she told MLive.
Putney-Wilcox is taking the horrifying event as a chance to talk about domestic violence. She’s all too known that a lot of people around the globe are being hurt from similar torture she did.
I would like to let girls aware that they don’t have to pass through it. You merit so much better,” she mentioned” “Every single individual warrant good than what I passed through and a lot of women are passing”.
Calling him a danger to society and the young girl he tormented and abused for years, a Kalamazoo judge ordered Adam Shigwadja on Monday to serve consecutive sentences that will put him in prison for a minimum of almost 30 years.
“You’re a very disturbed man,” Circuit Judge Pamela L. Lightvoet said Monday. “… You are out of control and you need to be put away for a very long time to protect the public.”
Lightvoet on Monday sentenced Shigwadja as a second-time habitual offender to 175 months to 30 years in prison for first-degree home invasion and second-degree arson in the Sept. 15, 2014 attack on his ex-girlfriend Sophia Putney-Wilcox.
Lightvoet ordered Shigwadja to serve the sentence on each charge consecutively, meaning he will spend at least 350 months behind bars before he’s eligible for parole and could remain in prison for as much as 60 years.
The judge also ordered Shigwadja to serve a concurrent term of 83 months to 15 years in prison for assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder.
“I would hope deep in your heart you would understand why I believe this sentence is appropriate,” Lightvoet told Shigwadja on Monday.
His sentencing on Monday followed a march and rally in downtown Kalamazoo that was led by officials from the YWCA of Kalamazoo, including the organization’s CEO Grace Lubwama.
The event was a show of support for Putney-Wilcox and served to draw attention to the Shigwadja case and what Lubwama said is a needed “change in attitudes and perceptions surrounding domestic violence in our community.”
A ruling by Circuit Judge Pamela L. Lightvoet at Shigwadja’s bench trial in August drew a criticism from Putney-Wilcox, as well as Lubwama after Lightvoet determined that while evidence showed Shigwadja broke into Putney-Wilcox’s Kalamazoo home, cut her across the chest with a knife and set her bedroom on fire, he did not intend to kill her.
That led Lightvoet to find Shigwadja guilty of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder in place of assault with intent to commit murder, which carries a stiffer penalty.
Monday’s march began at the YWCA on East Michigan Avenue and a crowd of more than 60 people walked to the Bronson Park bandshell.
Those who took part in the march carried signs and chanted loudly, the echo of their voices bouncing off the buildings that lined East Michigan Avenue.
“What do we want?” leaders of the march said.
“Justice,” the marchers responded.
“When do we want it?”
“Now,” came the reply.
Many of those in the Monday’s march wore orange and white shirts from the YWCA and carried signs with an array of messages.
One of the signs read, “#RespectSurvivors.” Another read, “There Is No Excuse for Abuse.”
And there were others that read, “Standing with Sophia” and “Control (does not equal) Love.”
“Today we are shouting and telling this community that jealousy is not love,” Lubwama told the crowd at Bronson Park, just outside the county courthouse where Shigwadja was sentenced by Lightvoet. “Domestic violence is real, not only in our community, but nationally and globally.”
Monday’s rally drew several local officials, including County Prosecutor Jeff Getting, County Commissioner Stephanie Moore, State Rep. Jon Hoadley and District Judge Christopher T. Haenicke.
Also in attendance were Kathy Hagenian, executive policy director with the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, and Rick and Martha Omilian whose daughter, Maggie, was murdered by her former boyfriend in 1999 while she was a sophomore at Kalamazoo College.
Hagenian spoke to the crowd Monday at Bronson Park and opined that Lightvoet’s ruling in the Shigwadja case was troubling and that some of Lightvoet’s comments were “dangerous.”
“It implies that the survivor is somehow complicit,” Hagenian said. “Domestic violence is not a sign of love. The confusion of love with abuse is what allows abusers to kill.”
In her ruling in August, Lightvoet sided with the contention of Shigwadja’s defense attorney, Alan Koenig, that Shigwadja went to Putney-Wilcox’s home on Sept. 15, 2014 intending to kill himself. Lightvoet spoke of more than 100 texts Shigwadja sent to Putney-Wilcox prior to the attack threatening her with his suicide and pining over unrequited love.
“Obviously, he very much loved her,” Lightvoet said in August. “It went way overboard to a ridiculous number of texts and a ridiculous attempt to get her attention.”