Justice for Jenny Takes a Strange Turn

Date: 
Friday, November 16, 2012
News Source: 
Author: 
Andy Fox
Citation: 

Andy Fox, Justice for Jenny Takes a Strange Turn, Wavy.com, November 16, 2012, available at http://www.wavy.com/news/local/newport-news/justice-for-jenny-takes-a-strange-turn

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - In October, WAVY brought you the story of 28-year-old Jenny Hatch, a young woman with Down Syndrome and wish to return to her community and move out of a group home. 

Jenny wants to live with a couple that hires her to work in their thrift store and took care of her after she was hit by a car while riding her bike, but a judge in a guardianship hearing wants to keep Jenny at a group home.

Jenny has said she wants to spend Thanksgiving with Jim Talbert and Kelly Morris. The couple were allowed to spend Sunday with Jenny, but according to a letter from the attorney representing her temporary guardians, that will be the last visit.

When WAVY spoke with Jenny initially late last month in Hampton, she was vehement about where she wanted to live.

"I want to live with Jim and Kelly," Jenny said in October.

Jenny is in the custody of the Jewish Family Service. She spent Sunday with Jim and Kelly.

"We went to church and she saw all her friends... then we went to the thrift store and saw all her friends... then we rode the go-cart and played ping pong, then we made dinner," Morris said, trying to choke back tears. 

Morris says it was a perfect day and Jenny felt she was at home again.

"She stayed up in her room for an hour, laid on her bed, went through her stuff, we had everything running smoothly,' Morris said.

Everything was fine until Thursday when a letter from a lawyer representing Jenny's court-appointed guardians arrived to Morris and Talbert's home.

"Jim and Kelly need to quit harboring thoughts that there's a possibility Jenny will be placed with them while JFS is Jenny's temporary guardian," wrote Attorney Greg Pomije.

"I'm just so sick of all this stuff... what does it take to fix this?" Morris said.

Pomije would not comment on the letter, but wrote Jim and Kelly, "Violated the rules to not talk with Jenny about the court case to determine her guardianship or any issues related to it." 

A claim Morris absolutely denies.

"Jenny came in and looked at the Facebook page 'Justice for Jenny.' She hasn't looked at the web in 31 days since she was taken away from us. She was ecstatic over it. She was happy, filled with joy and she read a few things. We did not speak about the court case," Morris said.

Morris was also told not to tell the media of the visit which they did not and told not to post the visit before hand  on Facebook which they did not.  

Morris says there was no discussion of the court case but Pomije claims when Jenny returned to the group home she had behavior problems.  

"I think when you are put into a cage and you are denied access and then you get free, you don't want to go back into that cage, you are going to create a ruckus," Morris said.

Now, Talbert and Morris are denied all access to Jenny until further notice.

"Jim and Kelly's home is not a proper placement for a vulnerable individual," the group home's lawyer wrote.

Thousands of Jenny's supporters would argue that's exactly where Jenny should live.

Pomije's letter also made it absolutely clear Jenny will not be spending Thanksgiving with the people she wants to spend it with, being Morris and Talbert.