On November 22nd, Daryne Gailey, age 29, and his seven-month-old daughter Charley Hendrick were murdered by Daryne’s mother, S. Majewska. Daryne was cognitively disabled. He and his daughter left behind full lives with years left to them, and we mourn their loss.
We are particularly disturbed by the fact that Daryne’s mother was widely known in the community as an abusive guardian. In his life, Daryne encountered numerous mandated reporters and concerned community members; that no one intervened and put a stop to an escalating pattern of abuse is a travesty which calls into question the efficacy of Michigan’s Adult Protective Services and guardianship courts, and the larger system of guardianship itself. This was a preventable tragedy. There is a code of silence which discourages individuals from reporting abuse, particularly the abuse of people with disabilities at the hands of family members, and it seems clear that this silence ultimately cost Daryne and his daughter their lives.
S. Majewska has been arraigned on two accounts of first-degree murder, and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network urges a vigorous prosecution. This crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, in accordance with the standard of justice we see for murder victims without disabilities. Until the lives of people with disabilities are treated as equal to all other lives under the law and by our society, we will not see an end to this horrifying pattern.