Nebraska's biggest and most famious "safe haven" case is "officially" closed.
Yesterday, Gary Staton, 36, appeared before Douglas County Juvenile Court judge Elizabeth Crnkovich to settle guardianship of his two oldest sons, 16 and 17, "safe havened" last September at Creighton University Hospital during the Nebraska Fiasco. Crnkovich, who has worked with the family for the last six months, did not terminate Staton's parental rights, but appointed unnamed legal guardians for the boys " who are currently in foster care and attending high school together. Calling the Statons a "good family" Crnkovich told Gary Staton, "I've worked with you a long time and through that have known the challenges and have known the circumstances that brought us to this place... What you've done today, oddly enough is very generous."
On March 12, Staton voluntarily terminated parental rights to his seven youngest children, "safe havened" at the same time. Those children are currently living with his late wife's aunt in Lincoln. According to Action 3 News Omaha, she plans to adopt them.
After the hearing Action 3 decided to stalk Staton, forcing him to sneak out down the backstairs of his new house without comment. A reporter, however, managed to nail Staton's father-in-law, Jack Manzer, who said the kids are in school, making new friends, and doing OK.
"Any hard feelings toward Gary? I'd like if things would have come out better, but no he's their father and that's just the way it is."
If anything good came out of this case at all, it's that the Statons have been able to stay together, more or less, though I can't even imagine to begin to know how these kids feel.
I'll include additional details if they come out tomorrow.
In the meantime, still no expected newborns thrown into the maw.