MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The family of a 40-year-old woman allegedly killed by an ex-boyfriend last year in Milford has filed a lawsuit against the city and police department, claiming that they didn’t properly respond to her pleas for help before her death.
The lawsuit claims that Julie Minogue wrote “I’m afraid he’s going to kill me” about her ex-boyfriend, Ewen Dewitt, weeks before she was killed. Minogue reached out to police several times about Dewitt harassing her, including him texting her 200 times in two days. He also allegedly violated a protective order.
“The ax-attack by Mr. Dewitt on Ms. Minogue caused her death,” the lawsuit reads. “It was particularly gruesome and premeditated.”
The lawsuit continues on to state that her death was preventable.
“Mr. Dewitt had a long history of violent behavior against Ms. Minogue and others, all of which was known or should have been known, to the proposed defendants,” the lawsuit reads.
The city and police department have yet to formally comment on the lawsuit.
Minogue was killed on Dec. 6. Later that month, Milford police announced that an officer was under investigation for potentially failing to quickly gather more information to get an arrest warrant against Dewitt before Minogue’s death.
On Nov. 18, Officer Scott Knablin completed an arrest warrant application for Dewitt for violating the protective order, according to an announcement from police in December. A supervisor reviewed the application and submitted it to the Ansonia/Milford State’s Attorney’s Office. It was then denied and sent back to the officer, asking for more information to be provided.
It wasn’t until after Minogue’s death that the application was transferred to another detective, a new warrant application was written and the final warrant was signed to charge Dewitt with violating a protective and for second-degree harassment.
Her death shocked her neighborhood.
“It’s absolutely terrible news,” said Lance Lewis, a neighbor. “So close by, and there was no indication of anything like this going on. We are a pretty quiet neighborhood here. I’ve been here 42 years, and nothing like this has ever happened.”
There is “a cause for concern” around the increase in domestic violence deaths in Connecticut, according to Meghan Scanlon, the CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“The violence level, the lethality level, the threats, or use of force, has heightened over the last few years and is certainly carrying over into this year,” she said.
News 8 reached out to Minogue’s father about the lawsuit. He said he would not comment on it at this time.