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Opioids and Domestic Violence Do NOT Mix

by Carolyn Woodruff, North Carolina Family Law Specialist

Opioids are the growing problem in family law. Opioids and domestic violence do not mix and yet yield dreadful consequences. From Greensboro, North Carolina, a 28-year-old woman named Marie Aman will spend many years in prison for the death of a man, who may or may not have been her boyfriend.

The problem? She ran over him, and her opioid addiction played into it.

More tragically, she already has two children. What prospects do these two children have? Life in foster care? Being adopted? Hopefully, in prison she will beat her opioid addiction which is very hard to do, but where will her children be while she is in prison? I don’t know anything about her extended family, and perhaps there are fabulous grandparents out there.

For the life of Dona Auzins, her son is dead. Aman ran over the Auzins’ son after what appears to be a domestic dispute. The story of what happened is unclear, but whatever happened, Auzins is dead. He was found on the street having been hit by the automobile driven by Aman. Her story: She put her boyfriend out of her car to walk home. She planned to drive to her own home, and she says she suddenly say Auzins in front of her. He allegedly shouted: “What are you going to do? Run me over?”

The case came on for trial yesterday in Greensboro, North Carolina. Aman took an Alford plea to second-degree murder, which has a minimum sentence of approximately eight years. The Alford plea means she does not admit guilt. She is the only one alive who was there. What she says happened is that she and Auzins argued. Domestic violence. She saw Auzins later in the road in front of her, and she ran over him crushing the right side of his brain. He was delivered to Moses Cone and was brain dead. That’s when his mother found out.

His mother’s name is Dona Auzins. She is grieving. Her son is gone. Dona is a victim of Aman’s opioid addiction and the resultant domestic violence.

Aman has a five-year-old child—another victim.

Aman has a two-month-old child—another victim, and yet probably a victim in yet another way. The child she carried was exposed to the opioids in Aman’s womb.

The victim count here is at least four people: Auzins who is dead; Dona Auzins who has no longer a son. Then there are two little ones with a mom who will be in prison. The oldest child, now five, will be a teen before Mom is released from prison.

Hopefully, while in prison Aman will get the opioid addiction help she needs. Her defense attorney Ames Chamberlin asked for a treatment program for her while in prison.

Say no to opioids! Nothing good comes of an opiate, not even a prescription one.

Perhaps Aman will beat the addiction! But, her victims will never be the same.