From the Associated Press (2/26/10):
A Nevada Supreme Court panel upheld a wrongful death verdict against imprisoned former Reno pawn shop owner Darren Mack in the slaying of his estranged wife….Mack is 49. He’s serving 36 years to life for the June 2006 killing of Charla Mack and the sniper-style shooting of their divorce judge in Reno.
After Mack killed his ex-wife and narrowly missed killing Chuck Weller (pictured above), the judge in his case, he fled. While on the run he tried to bring in/corral certain leaders of the fathers” movement, not including myself, to defend him in the media and explain away what he did. Some in the fathers’ rights movement speculated that Mack had been “driven to the edge and snapped” due to his mistreatment by Weller.
I would never argue that mistreatment excuses murder in any case, but I did investigate the case to see whether Mack was in fact mistreated. Judge Weller reached out to me and provided me his side of the story, along with documents and video of some of Mack’s court proceedings.
My conclusion was that Mack wasn’t mistreated by the system at all–in fact, Weller gave him 50-50 custody of his daughter over his ex-wife’s objections. Weller’s rulings were upheld by other courts.
For those who’d like to get a taste of the proceedings, below I have the video of the last 10 minutes before Darren Mack (pictured right) shoots Weller. This is from the court hearing on May 24, 2006. It was the last legal proceeding or interaction of any kind between Mack and Weller before Darren Mack killed Charla and shot Weller with a sniper rifle from over 100 yards away on June 12, 2006.
At the time of this hearing, the Macks shared 50-50 joint physical custody of their now 10-year-old daughter Erika. The Macks were still working out remaining issues in their divorce, and a subsequent hearing was scheduled for September 2006.
Readers can watch the interaction between the Macks, their attorneys, and Judge Weller and decide for themselves. Did Weller mistreat Darren Mack? Is the “tyrant in black robes” who pushed Mack over the edge?