Today, in the Camden County Courthouse, the trial was scheduled to begin in the matter of Denny Lagares’ parental rights. This trial, in Missouri’s 26th Judicial Circuit, has become one of the most important cases in the state. The Lagares case has been the centerpiece of the ongoing investigation into ‘Child Trafficking and Missouri Schools’ conducted by Citizens for a Better Camden County and Guerrilla Radio with American Spring.
Denny Lagares stood in open court this morning, in order to protect both his children and their rights and his own parental rights. A campaign, with roots in the Lebanon school district, has been mercilessly waged against the rights of the Lagares family.
Denny’s case, presided over by 26th Circuit Judge Aaron Koeppen, began this morning with motions filed by Denny Lagares. Denny is acting as his own attorney at this time.
These motions, as filed by Denny Lagares, can be read in their entirety below. Among those motions that were made was one that Denny filed with Judge Hayden, Presiding Judge of the 26th Judicial Circuit. This motion, calling for the removal of Judge Aaron Koeppen from Denny’s case, was ruled upon by Judge Koeppen himself. In what appears to be a questionable move, Judge Koeppen denied this motion himself, ruling unilaterally that he could continue in the case.
Judge Koeppen made another ruling on a motion asking for the removal of Brad York as GAL in his case. Denny’s argument, which can be read in its entirety above, cited both the conflict of interest York has in matters related to the custody of the Lagares children, but also York’s not being qualified to serve as GAL, per both the Missouri State Supreme Court rules and the higher standard set by Judge Kenny Hayden in 2011 regarding the protection of children.
York was removed as GAL from the case, but not before Judge Koeppen, in open court, stated that he would ‘make sure that York was paid for all his work’ on the Lagares case. This would appear to be a strange statement, given the fact that York was not qualified to serve as a GAL in the first place, a fact Judge Koeppen himself confirmed by removing him.
A continuance was ordered by Judge Koeppen, in the wake of the motions filed by Denny Lagares. The trial will resume in July of this year.
This turn of events did not seem to sit well with one Shawn Patrick Colgan. At the conclusion of the proceeding, in the hallway in front of the courtroom, Colgan began verbally harassing Denny Lagares. After Denny called the bailiff’s attention to the situation, Colgan’s voice raised and he began stalking toward Denny. This caused the court bailiff to shout commands to Colgan to stop his actions while moving to intervene.
Join us tonight at eight on Guerrilla Radio with American Spring for more on the Lagares case and today’s proceedings, with the Lagares’ themselves….