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After brutal murder, prosecutor urges domestic violence victims to reach out for help

A Montgomery County man is charged with running over his wife of 40 years twice after arguing about money.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Montgomery County's top prosecutor is urging domestic violence victims to reach out for help after a brutal case of a husband allegedly driving over his wife twice and killing her.

Maryland District Court Judge Sherri Koch ordered Himanshu Tanna held without bond on Tuesday on a charge of premeditated murder in the death of his wife, Alka Himanshu Tanna. The judge also ordered the accused killer to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Tanna was on closed-circuit TV from the detention center. He was stooped over, and shuffled to a podium, speaking briefly in a raspy voice before the judge ordered him to undergo a mental exam before she even considered bail.

Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy says Tanna was fighting with his wife about money just before he drove over and killed her in the parking lot of the Capital One Bank on New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring on Friday. Police say the couple was feuding over money from their failing Wheaton beer and wine store and money from the $200,000 in cash the couple had stashed away in their home.

"The number one thing that people fight about domestically is money," said McCarthy.

Police say Tanna has confessed. "Both the victim and the defendant are 59. They've been married for 40 years. And they have children," said McCarthy.

The state's attorney says domestic violence cases are up during the pandemic, and that isolation may be contributing to that.

A year ago, he put out a similar call to tell victims there's help available and says there was an enormous response. "We had a 100% uptick in calls for service for domestic violence overnight," he said.

If you need help right now, the prosecutor says, call 911. Otherwise reach out, to the Family Justice Center, to the prosecutor's office, or to the district court.

McCarthy's office sent out detailed resources not just for domestic violence victims, but for child abuse and elder abuse victims too:

With the increase in COVID-19 cases brought on by the Omicron variant, we are concerned about victims of Domestic Violence who may be suffering in silence. In addition, we have seen an increase in reports of Child Abuse in recent months and we know social isolation is one of the greatest risk factors for Elder Abuse.

  • Please call 911 now if you or someone you know is in immediate, life-threatening danger.
  • Click here for information on Red Flags and how you can get help. Free services remain open and available.
  • SUBSCRIBE to the brand-new State’s Attorney’s Office Email Newsletters for important public safety information.

CHILD ABUSE FACTS:

Children of all ages, races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds are at risk for physical abuse. Physical abuse affects both boys and girls across neighborhoods, communities, and countries around the world. Children ages 4–7 and 12–15 are at the greatest risk of being physically abused.

During virtual learning, reports of child abuse dropped drastically in Montgomery County because many victims were isolated at home with their abuser. Following the return to the classroom, we saw a spike in reports. However, the current COVID-19 surge has now forced some schools to return to distance learning, once again leaving children who may be in need of help without a safe place to report.

Services Available:

INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE:

The severity of domestic violence attacks has increased during the COVID-19 health crisis, including strangulation. Surviving victims of strangulation are 750 percent more likely to be killed by their intimate partner.....

"I think the bottom-line message particularly when it comes to those in the community that may have suffered or been the victims of strangulation, you’re at risk. You could die. Please get out, seek help, come to us, and there are a number of public and private agencies there to help you."  -State’s Attorney John McCarthy

Services Available:

  • The Montgomery County Family Justice Center - Mon-Fri, 8;30 - 5:00 pm
    • Assistance with safety planning, protective orders, legal assistance, counseling.
    • Call 240-773-0444
    • Email: safe@montgomerycountymd.gov (checked during business hours)
    • Walk-in to 600 Jefferson Plaza, Suite 500 in Rockville
  • The Montgomery County Crisis Center (24 hours)
    • Help with crisis situations, and coordinates shelter placement
    • Call 240-777-4000
  • District Court Commissioner’s Office (24 hours)
    • File for Protective Orders
    • 191 East Jefferson St in Rockville
  • The Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP) 
  • Adventist Healthcare Shady Grove Medical Center has specialized medical care and forensic services
    • 9901 Medical Center Drive, Rockville
    • 240-826-6225

ELDER ABUSE:

Elder abuse is the mistreatment or harming of an older person. It can include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect and financial exploitation.

The State’s Attorney’s Office CASVA Unit (Crimes Against Seniors and Vulnerable Adults) is designed to focus on the protection of seniors from physical and financial crimes. Staying connected, phoning older adults, checking on an older neighbor, writing a card or letter, can all be positive steps to ensure public safety and social justice.

Services Available:

  • Montgomery County Adult Protective Services
    • 240-777-3000 (24 hours)
  • The Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP)
  • Adventist Healthcare Shady Grove Medical Center has specialized medical care and forensic services:
    • 240-826-6225
    • 9901 Medical Center Drive, Rockville

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