Disturbing questions raised by murder of DC disabled veteran

A D.C. woman was stabbed to death while holding her toddler. Paula Coles was an Iraq veteran, and her family suspects authorities could have helped prevent the tragedy.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Paula R. Coles was a 31-year old mother of three who was stabbed to death Wednesday while holding her 11-month-old son. 

DC police have arrested 35-year-old Larry Fearn and charged him with second degree murder while armed.

Fearn is the father of the child, according to her mother Anquinette Coles of Upper Marlboro, Md.

The victim was an Iraq veteran who suffered seizures and PTSD while trying to raise children, according to her mother Anquinette Coles of Upper Marlboro, Md.

Coles' mother believes the murder in the 3000 block of 30th St. SE was an explosion of domestic violence that could have been prevented because Fearn was released from jail without a warning to the family.

According to online court records, Fearn was convicted in DC Superior Court on August 17, 2017 of attempted second degree cruelty to children and related charges and received a 5 month sentence. 

The case involved the baby, according to Coles' mother.

WUSA9 has confirmed the man was released from custody in mid-September.

"He should not have been out," Anquinette Coles said.

Paula Coles was also the mother of an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

The children are in custody of DC Child and Family Services, according to Anquinette Coles.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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