• July 25, 2014

Local family tragedy turns into case study

‘Be One With Courage’ conference to focus on domestic violence

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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 4:30 am

Family members of Salado resident Lou Tretter were unaware of the problems at her home until it was too late.

Tretter was 53 when she was killed in October 2009 by her husband, Donald Lee Tretter. In public, their marriage appeared happy and healthy, but during Donald Tretter’s trial, the family learned that police were called to their Salado home multiple times. Donald Tretter, 62, was found guilty of murder in August 2011 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

On Oct. 5, members of the Central Texas Family Violence Task Force will look at Lou Tretter’s story as a case study as the lead-off event to their “Be One With Courage” conference in Killeen.

The all-day event will include speakers from local agencies and nonprofits that deal with domestic violence on a daily basis. Organizations involved include Scott & White Healthcare, the Temple Police Department, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas and Families in Crisis Inc.

The lead-off speaker is Shay Eubanks, Lou Tretter’s daughter who gave emotional testimony in her mother’s murder trial that prosecutors used as the closing point to their case.

“‘Be One With Courage’ is the idea that it takes courage to report family violence when it happens to you. It takes courage to prosecute it, and it takes courage to leave it,” event co-chair and Bell County prosecutor Anne Jackson said.

That courage goes beyond a victim, but to neighbors and others who may witness some form of family violence, Jackson said.

Scott & White Trauma social worker Chelsea Menn said the event is not strictly for professionals involved in family violence work, but even those involved on a day-to-day basis are sometimes unaware of the local resources at their disposal.

“We’ve had a lot of people come forward saying, ‘I don’t know how to deal with this. We need training,’” Menn said.

The event’s keynote speaker is Jan Edgar Langbein, the executive director of Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas.

Langbein has served as a presidential appointee as a senior policy adviser for the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.

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