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Family questions why protection orders were denied before murder

Loveland police questioned about attempts for protection order before murder
Family questions why protection orders were denied before murder 05:13

"She had done the things that you should do in these situations. She had done those things," Garin Daum said.

He's talking about his sister, Lindsay Daum

"Her children were her life," he said. 

Lindsay Daum was at home with her five children when her ex, Javier Acevedo, shot and killed her and her 16-year-old daughter, Meadow Sinner.

"It just seems like it was all so preventable," Garin Daum said. 

Twice, a judge in Larimer County denied Lindsay Daum's request for a permanent protection order against Acevedo. 

RELATED: Family of murdered Loveland woman question police response to "threat" made 2 days before shooting

"She was constantly dealing with him," Garin Daum said.

Transcripts of those hearings obtained by CBS4 show in September 2021 Lindsay Daum went into court alone, unable to afford an attorney. 

Acevedo could.

Daum struggled to present her case at one point pleading to the judge: "They just want to humiliate me. This not right."

"If she could have afforded an attorney, would that have saved her life? That is as bad as any of it," Garin Daum said.

The order was denied, despite Acevedo being on intense supervised probation with an ankle monitor for violating a different protection order against another woman in Denver.

He agreed to relinquish any firearms, but police believe a gun purchased in March 2021 was never surrendered.

"The system is just going to take his word for it right? You just- oh, you don't go to his house and check? You don't- what does the system do to make sure? And obviously, the answer was 'nothing,'" Daum said.

In June of 2022, Lindsay Daum made a second attempt to obtain a protection order.

She presented evidence of threatening emails, texts and calls.

RELATED: Domestic violence: Where to get help in Colorado

"This is a person who is on intensive supervised probation," she said 

The judge said, in part, "if I can't decide who's telling me the truth, I have to rule in favor of a defendant."

The order was denied again.

Lindsay Daum's response was more like a premonition: "it's just a matter of time when he's going to kill me."

Less than a month later, on July 28, Garin Daum got a call from his mother.

"She hadn't even finished telling me and I knew what had happened," he said

He rushed to his sister's home to a horrific scene.


"The people you talk to at the scene they are all social workers and victims' advocates and whatever," he said. "They will be the first one to tell you, 'hey look, the system is broken.'" 

Jennifer Eyl is the executive director of Project Safeguard, a legal advocacy group for domestic violence survivors.

"We do put way too much of this on survivors to get help to get a protection order, to find resources, to find a lawyer, to pay for a lawyer when they are not the ones causing the harm," she said.

Not only is it difficult to navigate alone, but she also says there isn't one consistent way to track domestic violence cases across the state. But her biggest concern is those behind the bench.

"Judicial officers who are hearing these cases are not necessarily trained in domestic violence," Eyl said. "They don't understand what it takes for someone to leave, they don't understand that once someone leaves their abuser, that is the most dangerous time."

A state review board that was formed to look into the issues that lead to fatal domestic violence cases recommended a change this year. And in June, a law was passed requiring increased training for judges, the same month Lindsay Daum was in court.

"The risk to our justice system is, if judges don't understand the trauma and the complexities around victims of domestic violence, we might mismanage cases," Eyl said.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser says Colorado can do better.

"It can't just be, 'law enforcement, act differently' or 'judges, act differently,'" Weiser said. "All of us have to ask, 'what can we be doing better?'"

Garin Daum and his family say it needs to be a priority now. 

"It's absolutely going to happen again," he said. "It's probably happened today. It's probably happened while we are having this conversation. It's absolutely going to happen again."

The state review board has also recommended starting a domestic violence court, focused on these cases only, but says it would take a significant amount of resources.

The Daum family is now caring for Lindsay's four children and has launched a GoFundMe page.

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