After nearly three hours, a judge adjourned a hearing on an alleged personal protection order violation against Jennifer and Scott Petkov on Tuesday afternoon.
Judge Lita Masini Popke adjourned the hearing after listening to Robert Edward, 27, and Rebecca Rose, 45, describe several disturbing comments directed toward them and their family on Facebook.
Jennifer and Scott Petkov each had two personal protection orders on them from Rebecca Rose and Kathleen Edward. All live or lived on Detroit Street in Trenton.
Edward appeared in court on behalf of his 8-year-old daughter, Kathleen, who was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease six years ago. Rose, Kathleen’s grandmother, said the disease is terminal. Laura Edward died as a result of Huntington’s disease on June 17, 2009.
Rose and Edward said they believe Jennifer and Scott Petkov violated the personal protection orders by creating different Facebook profiles in order to harass Kathleen.
Some of the comments left on Rose’s and Edward’s Facebook pages were:
- “Block party when that kid dies.”
- “Now her daughter will die.”
- “How does it feel to know Kathleen will die?”
Edward said Facebook has taken down any photos of Kathleen posted alongside comments because she is a minor, but the comments remain. He said Facebook did not remove the comments or delete the many profiles created with the names of Jennifer and Scott Petkov.
Jennifer and Scott Petkov denied creating the profiles on Facebook and leaving disturbing comments on various pages. Rose and Edwards also denied creating the Facebook pages and commenting on their own pages.
Jennifer Petkov said she has not had a Facebook page since immediately after the October 2010 event and that she had not had Internet access during the time many of the Facebook comments were made.
Scott Weinberg, the attorney representing the Petkovs, said anyone could have created the Facebook pages and there was no proof it was his clients.
“You can’t prove the negative,” Weinberg said. “Just like Rebecca Rose surmised that the fake profiles weren’t hers … anybody’s page can be hijacked.”
Weinberg said there has been no contact between the Petkovs and Rebecca Rose and Kathleen Edward.
Rose and Edward also claimed Jennifer Petkov violated at least one of the personal protection orders by shouting at Kathleen as Edward helped her out of a car and placed her in a wheelchair. Edward said Jennifer Petkov shouted that she “had just seen the best thing ever” in reference to him placing Kathleen in the wheelchair.
Jennifer Petkov said she was not shouting at the girl, but instead talking loudly on her phone. Police were called and they told Jennifer Petkov to get inside her house, according to a Trenton Police report.
“There’s no restriction that she can’t be on her own property,” Weinberg said. “We deny there was any intentional communication.“
Rose said she no longer lives on Detroit Street, but did at the time the alleged violation took place.
After nearly two hours of hearing testimony Tuesday, Judge Popke said she would recess the hearing and then was called away to another trial. A hearing was scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 23 at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building in Detroit.
Popke said any sentencing that might take place at the next hearing would happen on the same day as the ruling.
Jennifer after she received 18 months probation in February on an assault and battery charge. Her probation was suspended in August.
If found guilty of violating the terms of the personal protection orders Scott and Jennifer could each serve up to 30 days in jail.
Jennifer and Scott Petkov did not want to comment on the hearing and referred all questions to their attorney.
*In the previous version of this article Trenton Patch said Jennifer Petkov was still on probation.