Community Report: South Burlington Addresses Domestic Violence In Midst Of Murder Case
Each week, VPR reaches out to local newspapers to talk with reporters about stories resonating in their communities. This week our guest is Madeline Clark, who covers issues in South Burlington and other nearby towns for The Other Paper.
With the help of Steps to End Domestic Violence, the city of South Burlington began a monetary fund last October to help South Burlington residents in abusive homes obtain the finances they need to leave.
The city named the fund The Annette Fund, after South Burlington resident Anako "Annette" Lumumba, who was allegedly killed by her former intimate partner in 2018.
This past week, the man accused of killing Lumumba pleaded not guilty to a second degree murder charge in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.
The accused, Leroy Headley, 38, had been on the run for nearly two years when he was detained by U.S. Marshals in Negril, Jamaica. On Tuesday, he entered a "not guilty" plea during an arraignment in court.
Shortly after Lumumba was killed in May 2018, the South Burlington community came together to acknowledge the events and find ways to prevent future tragedies. With Lumumba's family's approval, the city held a series of forums and dinners last October, during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Clark reported the South Burlington City Council plans to continue the community forum dinners in April to address sexual violence. These will be geared toward adults, although Clark said the council also plans to work directly with the middle school and high school population in the city.
If you need help: The Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-228-7395 and the state has resources available here.