Parenting Twice As Hard For Half A Chance: Part V, When The Truth Doesn’t Seem To Matter Anymore, You Pray

Last updated:
Broken Arrow, Ok October, 26 (The Oklahoma Post)-
*WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SENSITIVE MATERIAL SURROUNDING CHILD ABUSE AND FORCED ADOPTIONS: THE IDENTITY OF SOME PERSONS HAVE BEEN CHANGED

Bill and Lisa Woolley are what many across the country would consider to be normal Americans. Oklahomans of middle-class socio-economic status, still living paycheck to paycheck but, as a family, they always managed to make ends meet. Bill worked for Delta Airlines prior to 2018 and had dabbled in a passion for real estate. His better half, Lisa, ran the home and was raising her beloved Shetland Sheepdog pups. Together they both were living a dream of being near debt free with children raised. The once-rural outskirts of the northeastern Oklahoma town of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma offered the lifestyle they could afford for their family on a modest living, allowing them to raise their children and grandchildren just outside of town.

The Woolleys have succesfully raised two (2) daughters and one (1) son, Gabriel, is their son and he’s twenty-eight (28), Glory, is twenty-two (22) now, and Desiree is twenty-nine (29). All the children have remained healthy and active in their paths through young adulthood. Desiree is the proud mother of two (2) children. Clayton, an amazing young ten (10) year old boy and Elijah, who tragically passed away at the tender age of just fourteen (14) months old. Bill and Lisa had legal guardianship of Elijah as well as his then (5) yr old brother, while Desiree was going through a difficult season. Glory, Clayton’s aunt, was once an intern with Oklahoma House 33 Representative John Talley of Stillwater Oklahoma, who has been doing all he can to advocate at the State level for the Woolley family.


The family was raised in Broken Arrow, a sprawling Oklahoma suburb, that sits within the boundaries of both Tulsa County and Wagoner County, Oklahoma. Wagoner County Sherrif Office took jurisdiction in the response in this case due to Woolley’s address. Broken Arrow is a conservative-run town, where family values clash against the backdrop of seemingly endless neon green medical cannabis signs on every streetside right of way. Once rumored to have a church on every corner, earthly things certainly have changed in the area. A now bustling community that blends finely into the urban landscape of the Tulsa metroplex, Broken Arrow has an offering for each of its citizens, a little of this and a little of that.

It is arguable whether the changes have been for better or worse, those kinds of societal waves haven’t swayed the Woolleys of their faith. Bill and his family have built their spiritual home on a rock; a foundation of faith in Christ Jesus.

The Un-Accredited Response To The Woolley Family

Only God could prepare the family for what the world soon had in store. “What’s happening to us in America should scare any family,” Lisa told the Oklahoma Post nearly five years after their grandson Elijah tragically died sleeping in his playpen of an unknown medical condition. Bill and Lisa Woolley were quickly arrested, charged, and their family was put through a legal ringer based on what experts claim is shoddy evidence and investigation by Oklahoma officials.

On the morning of March 30, 2018, Lisa yelled out to their youngest daughter Glory who was just seventeen (17) at the time. Glory came running from the bedroom next door as Lisa held Elijah’s lifeless body, now cold and rigid. Young Glory immediately obeyed her mother’s cry to “Call 911!” Elijah was just fourteen (14) months old when the family found him unresponsive in the bedroom. Elijah Woolley was developmentally delayed, and potentially the victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

According to Lisa, “The [criminal] investigator was called in to lead this specific investigation. While en route to the scene, Elliott spoke to his supervisor and allegedly said, ‘there is no such thing as SIDS so I know this was a murder.’” Recorded interview statements and transcribed hearings indicate this wasn’t the last time his medical opinion would be espoused. The day following Elijah’s death, the investigator and ten (10) other Wagoner County Sheriff’s vehicles pulled up and knocked at the door of the Woolley home. The officials were welcomed into the home graciously, as Bill and Lisa wanted to do everything in their power to help them find out why the baby passed.

The investigators confiscated all media from the home (which turned out to be clean) and then took DNA swabs from the Woolleys and their daughter’s fingernails and mouth (no DNA implicating them was ever found though they tested twice). At that time the Woolleys, still believing that the investigators’ motives were true, volunteered gladly to go down to the station for questioning, where each of the three (3) were separated and questioned one at a time.

The headlines were loud and clear in 2018, Oklahoma authorities discover case of child sexual assault while investigating the death of 1-year-old” with fresh mugshots of the then fifty-nine (59) and fifty-six (56) year-old couple flashed across Oklahoma afternoon newscasts. The case was immediately tried in the local media with bits of information from the very early stages of a multi-agency investigation.

These initial criminal allegations were indicated to be partly based on a fishing expedition for disclosures from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), third-party child welfare support contractors, Wagoner County Investigators, and the initial ME report at the time. A whirlwind of information for any prosecutor to pause and collect. The examiner first determined the cause of death to be a homicide. During the autopsy, the state medical examiner “discovered that the baby appeared to have been physically and sexually assaulted,” the Sheriff’s Office stated in their own news release, although no evidence was actually available to anyone at the time to suggest such nonsense. The local Sheriff immediately started information upload to the public, putting the Woolley family on edge, fearing for their safety.

Since the Tulsa Medical Examiners (ME) office is not accredited, the agency was lacking in oversight. According to the Chief ME’s office, re-accreditation by the National Association of Medical Examiners is anticipated by 2023. The agency lost its accreditation nearly twenty (20) years ago today. The inadequacy of the agency was revealed when contrasted by the Woolley’s first expert. In a conversation with one of the nurses in the Tulsa medical examiner community, it was charged that the ME, Dr. Niblo, had never performed an autopsy on a child, and it was first noted that Wagoner County Detective Elliott also was allowed to be in attendance, at his request, during the exam. The written description of Elijah’s X-ray was either not completed or intentionally not included in the ME written report, and thus the facts regarding the death would be omitted from the discovery process for the defense, leaving as few findings as possible with which to argue against the ME findings. The omitted facts; the non-existent written description of the x-ray seen below, were not consistent with baby rape, torture, and death. Yet the prosecution continued.

In the majority of cases, infant mortality is a result of natural causes. SIDS is the sudden, unexpected/unexplained death of a baby younger than one year of age that does not have a known cause even after a complete investigation. While Elijah was over twelve (12) months of age, unfortunately Elijah was not developing normally due to his premature birth and the prenatal care of the baby prior to birth. SIDS might also be associated with defects in the portion of an infant’s brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep. Health practitioners and criminal investigators carry out full investigations in each case to look for possible medical causes, including infectious or genetic causes, which may have wider implications for the family or community. Little study of this type was done in this case. There is no SIDS response handbook for the Wagoner County Sheriff’s office, the Oklahoma DA’s, nor OKDHS and likewise; there was no support provided to the family.

About 2500 deaths occur annually in the U.S. due to SIDS. While infant mortality has fallen dramatically over the past decades, every death should still be seen as a tragedy. The State is charged to do all it can to further reduce mortality rates and reduce the risks of future child deaths. In order to do this effectively, the State needs to learn lessons. For example, infants exposed to smoking, while in the womb or after birth, have a higher risk of SIDS than infants who are not exposed. Lessons that can only be obtained from real data, not an assumed position.

A book entitled SIDS Sudden Infant and Early Childhood Death: The Past, the Present and the Future teaches medical professionals to bear in mind varying and, at times, potentially conflicting obligations, in their responses to unexpected infant deaths, specifically:

  • to establish, as far as is possible, the cause or causes of the infant’s death
  • to identify any potential contributory or modifiable factors
  • to provide ongoing support to the family
  • to ensure that all statutory obligations are met
  • to learn lessons, in order to reduce the risks of future infant deaths.

The truth of the matter is that when Elijah was born, he was just around 4.5 pounds and died of natural causes. The State of Oklahoma, led by what the Woolleys claim is a misguided investigative team has attempted to destroy the family in hopes that they give up their youngest family member. The mother smoked and admittedly experimented with drugs, got hooked, and experienced a brief spiral of addiction. She’s a beautiful woman and is becoming all God planned for her to be. Unfortunately, her son had risk factors for infant mortality that uneducated, often addicted parents, can face in the prenatal care of their children. Desiree, with strong family backing, faced her problems head-on, joined a help group, and eventually became a leader in that small, but important, outreach organization.

Possibly the most impactful evidence was when the Chief ME Dr. Carl Schmidt of Detroit, Michigan, a renowned and published child abuse expert, provided key unrefutable evidence. The state’s top prized witness was now the Woolley’s top witness. The doctor evaluated all of the records, reports, ME photos and tissue samples then shared his findings in court and proved to all how none of the accusations could be true. Dr. Carl Schmidt, along with Dr. Robert W. Block, the revered DHS expert witness for many decades, who had many years of testifying on behalf of the prosecution and DHS, found no evidence against the Woolleys. Dr. Block stated that to the contrary, he only found evidence that showed that the Woolleys took great measures to ensure Elijah was well taken care of.

These experts showed that the accusations against the Woolleys were not true and they laid out the faults, oversights, discrepancies, and errors in the original Tulsa ME’s report from the unaccredited office. Over the past week, the Tulsa ME, responsible for the original report, has resigned from her position.

There was nothing in the Tulsa ME’s report that could support or confirm the ME’s own assessment and accusations of abuse and murder in the Woolley’s case. Ironically, the same detective who decided before arriving at the scene that he was coming to a murder scene since SIDS did not exist, personally attended the autopsy, present with the ME, watching the whole thing.

The Woolley’s contest that all of the family trauma could have been prevented in just a matter of days had the crime scene and other officials acted appropriately and done their jobs correctly, bringing ALL evidence forward to decision-makers at the get-go. According to Lisa Woolley, the two most strongly exonerating interviews of Clayton were hidden and one was actually lied about. “The DA’s office said it did not even exist when questioned about it twice. These interviews could have ended the fiasco in the very first week if they had been honest and forthcoming with ALL evidence.” The taxpayers have spent nearly $1,000,000 prosecuting a case that never should have come forward from the District Attorney. So much exculpatory evidence was intentionally left behind at the scene and discovered a few days later. There were two weeks of dirty diapers from Elijah that the Woolley family asked to be taken by investigators. The Woolleys asked why they wouldn’t take the diapers to see the difficult constipation problem the baby had and to analyze for DNA evidence or blood? The investigators by this point wanted nothing more than what they had decided was needed.

Sea Lioning For The Truth

Regardless of the facts, the original detective, Danny Elliott (no relation known to Sherrif Chris Elliott) thought he had a smoking gun, but the evidence just didn’t add up; so he decided something else was missing, needing to obtain a statement from someone in the home that would fit his narrative. Unbeknownst to the family, while they were at the police station, their grandson, Clayton, was being whisked away to Kid’s Space, a claimed non-profit child welfare agency in Muskogee, Oklahoma contracted by the County to conduct children’s forensic interviews. 

The State of Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) investigators had arranged for forensic interviews and examination by a specially trained nurse who specialized in sexual assault investigations and evidence collection. Directly following the earthly death of Elijah, a second child, the Woolley’s other grandson, was taken out of their home by DHS officials and placed in the State of Oklahoma’s foster care system.

The sea lion feigns ignorance and politeness while making relentless demands for answers and evidence (while often ignoring or sidestepping any evidence the target has already presented). It’s a tactic often used by undercover agents when fishing for information. It’s also a commonly used tactic by Oklahoma DHS to gain information from children. After numerous interviews, specifically a 2018 interview with Oklahoma City’s KFOR-4, Sheriff Detective Chris Elliott put the Woolleys in grave danger when he stated that the child’s disclosures broke the case, saying “You just never know what a thorough investigation will uncover,” and going further to say, “We went in with open minds and eyes wide open, and in trying to determine how we lost one innocent child, we learned we needed to protect another.”

Given the charge of interviewing young Clayton, M. Lambert was the expert forensic interviewer, and the physical examination was completed by M. Sinclair. The evidence provided by Sinclair could not be proven due to the lack of a referenced recording of the interview. Sinclair stated three important things; first that Bill had touched his grandchild’s privates in the “shower,” second, at the preliminary hearing Sinclair stated that she didn’t recommend that Clayton go for any mental health aftercare because “Clayton hadn’t been affected and wasn’t traumatized,” and finally, Sinclair stated that Elijah had been raped daily. This while Grandma must have eaten ice cream in the living room while the neighbor kids ran in and out of the house. The Judge accepted her ridiculous testimony.

According to the Woolley’s, Clayton over the first few days after the incident was put through six (6) interviews and, in the weeks and months that followed, one (1) or two (2) more. Each interview consistently exonerated the Woolleys except for the one hearsay interview that was allegedly unrecorded, had no witnesses present, and was argued against being allowed in court due to it having many extreme discrepancies. In the meantime the clock was ticking on the number of days Clayton was being withheld from his family and the State was in full attack mode against a grieving family. The interviewer claimed in her one-page report, relying on memory, that Clayton made many wild accusations and spoke in a way that was far advanced for his age. She claimed to have spoken to no one else, not even the detective, but it was later learned that the interviewer had in fact spoken with detectives.

The Woolley’s daughter Glory was then subject to a subpoena to testify at a multi-county grand jury against her parents as they were seeking an indictment. After Glory testified, the jurors refused to bring an indictment against the Woolleys.

Within the continually emerging new evidence, the two (2) interviews of little Clayton which had been hidden from the defense for a year or more were discovered. These were of course the strongest and most directly exonerating. The psycho-sexual evaluations administered to Bill by leading experts in Oklahoma which were sent to the prosecution but went unacknowledged and undisclosed were also unearthed. Bill took two separate polygraphs and cleanly passed both, one being a physical response polygraph.

In the name of protecting children, the Wagoner County Authorities said in a statement: “Once Wagoner County Sheriff’s investigators uncovered the facts in this case, we have been committed to justice for Elijah and the young relative who helped us uncover facts that have led to the charges in this case.”

Through the OKDHS-managed interview process, sealioning for information during countless contacts with the child, it is alleged by a representative (interviewer) for Clayton, that Bill had sexually assaulted him, and that Lisa had witnessed it. This brought on the first arrest. The supposed disclosure and other unchallenged and supposedly corroborating evidence led to the Wagoner County District Attorney’s Office submitting an affidavit to obtain arrest warrants for Bill and Lisa Woolley. Just two weeks after Elijah’s passing, the pair were first charged with sexual assault of Clayton. The grandparents remained in jail, isolated, while awaiting their preliminary hearing for four (4) months.

Each were originally given a bond amount of $500,000, which meant an estimated $100,000 dollars would need to be obtained to ensure bond services. An additional $400,000, a number which is still growing, would eventually be needed to prove their innocence. The months behind bars were difficult for the aging grandparents, but they made their way.

Bill and Lisa were finally let out of Wagoner County Jail after a long stint and a preliminary hearing, but rearrested just four (4) months later only to be incarcerated for another four (4) month stint with allegations of murder and awaiting a 2nd preliminary hearing. Lisa was offered a bond of $500,000 and Bill was given no bond. After expert testimony, each had their bond lowered to only $12,500 each. The Wagoner County Sheriff’s Department had arrested Bill, and his wife Lisa, for first-degree murder involving the death of a child. Bill was also served a warrant for sexual abuse of a child under twelve (12), and Lisa was served with enabling child sexual abuse. The family was lacking in resources to assist in exercising all of their legal rights which played a part in the cherry-picked set of information that was introduced as poisonous fruit to initial decision-makers.

Child death experts brought in by the Woolleys, who usually testify for the state, have since concluded no harm was done to the child and that SIDS is the likely cause of death. Sources close to the medical examiner’s office, who chose to remain anonymous, stated, “We had no intent on making the family now have to show that when the autopsy was in progress a full body x-ray showed in the pelvic region his rectum full of feces.” We have seen a copy of the x-ray and have chosen not to post it until the parents give a final ok. It is a saddening photo and, according to experts, nothing in the photo is indicative of the harm claimed against the family.

In conversation and review of evidence with the Woolleys, Lisa made the observation, and pointed it out to media, “You can see it [feces] coming out into his diaper, that part of it [feces] is in his diaper. And so, the question came up, how could a baby be molested or abused to death, but none of that poop is displaced and the pattern internally and externally, you can still see the twists and folds in the poop and stuff. You know, the pattern and position of the feces not be broken.”

The DA eventually dropped all criminal charges in early 2021 against Bill, Lisa, and Desiree Woolley, including murder and child sex abuse, all charges. The State of Oklahoma’s child death expert was willing to testify for the defense with his review of the autopsy, saying he found no evidence of homicide.

About six (6) weeks ago the Woolley’s representatives sent a notice letter to the Chief Medical Examiner of Oklahoma asking her to have the new report and a death certificate properly marked, with validation of her own statements, court journal entry, evidence, expert reports and other supporting information. The death certificate of baby Elijah is to read “death of unknown causes”. Lo and behold, Dr. Cheryl Niblo suddenly resigned from her position.

In addition, a pediatric colorectal specialist had agreed to review the information when a chance meeting with the doctor’s daughter opened lines of communication needed for trial. Potential information a judge would see and would be used to show that the statements by the detective and OKDHS representative on behalf of the grandson just were not true and were, in fact, impossible!

Request-to-Dr-Phiffer-C.-ME-of-OK.

The Woolley’s experts attest that Dr. Niblo erroneously concluded in the initial report that Elijah was abused and he was suffocated. She had provided poisonous fruit that could not be accepted as a persuasive fact as there was no foundation to support her assertions. Lisa went on to defend her family saying, “Her own report contradicts the facts, and then you have the slides, the tissue sample slides. You look at all the tissue sample slides and there’s no blood in any of them. You cannot have a wound without blood. Every kind of wound involves blood infiltration, but every single slide taken of Elijah had no blood in it. So, therefore, there was no injury. In addition, the typical signs that they’re trained to look for, that you would find in a struggle, you know, just all of that, no face, hand or finger marks, no petechiae you know, from holding down the back of his head or whatever, none of it could be found, none of it, and none of it’s in her report. Okay, why is there no scar tissue?”

The DA that brought the original charges five (5) years ago, recently told FOX23 of Tulsa, that “I do not have an active investigation into the allegations of child sexual abuse.” The same DA stated last week said that “the Wooleys should be seen as innocent!” According to Lisa, “this begs the question, if he believes that then why doesn’t he start by approving it and using his statutory authority to move Clayton towards reunification with his family?” Unfortunately, nothing has changed for the Woolleys and their reunification with their grandson Clayton still has not taken place. The Attorney General of Oklahoma called the District Attorney to inquire about the withholding of the children. The DA stated that Desiree can in fact see her child, but she has to prove her sobriety. There is no order stating these allowances. The wreckage left behind, damage to the families often irreparable, is often a sidenote to some commission or panel who have no intent or authority to make the change on behalf of the citizens.

Redeeming Work

In the initial response, Danny Elliott seemed to have his mind made up. When the call first echoed across the scanner radio, Elliott instinctively took the lead. According to Lisa, “He had his mind made up and he felt like he knows more than the rest. He even went to the judge’s house and asked for a warrant to have us arrested for murder before he had been to the scene or had any evidence. And the judge said, ‘where is your evidence?’ He said they don’t have any and the judge said don’t come back until you do.”

Detective Danny Elliot, who once led Christian du wap groups, had found his dream job in being a police officer. Some of his first assignments were undercover work according to writings by his wife Tammy Marler on their website. You may recognize his wife’s name from her days as a local Tulsa CBS affiliate or as a contestant from Miss Oklahoma decades ago. According to the Woolleys, Detective Elliot has actually said that his childhood made him especially “accute” to spotting sexual abusers. His admitted hypervigilance can be a difficult thing for any person to manage. Many times, behavior that has occurred in most people’s childhood can greatly affect their paradigm of any circumstance and, like dominos, that natural bias eventually touches upon their individual decisions made in response to work and life events.

Through our research and interviews, we learned that the Detective may have had unresolved childhood trauma that affected his ability to work on the case without serious guidance.

Tami-Marler-Imperfect-perfect-man

According to witnesses being called to testify, the detective was the wrong person to be investigating the case because of deep biases and historically poor performance. According to witnesses, at a young age the detective had joined a small rural church and even lived with a high-ranking member of the church until he graduated from high school. Soon after, an unfortunate tragedy struck close to his life and a juvenile relative had needed a place to live. So, from his childhood experience, Elliot had reached out to the Deacon’s family and requested they take his young relative into the home, a safe place that he had remembered from his childhood. The young woman, at Elliot’s suggestions, had started living with the church leader’s family, but that didn’t last long. Soon after, Elliot learned that his relative wasn’t staying there in the home, but had actually been molested by a member of the household, leading Detective Elliott to carry this guilt with him to this day. The man was eventually found guilty.

Transcript-Woolley-Police-Interview

According to court transcripts, he was mad at himself and stated, he could never forgive myself for missing the signs. Elliot was always convinced he knew there was a smoking gun he had missed. The smoking gun is a term used to describe a fact that serves as conclusive evidence of a crime or similar act, just short of being caught in the actual act. It is a term also used to describe a mindset that unethical legal professionals use to prove their worth, often at the destruction of civil rights. In the United States, the Burden of Proof is a legal duty that establishes a process for determining the presentable facts.

In establishing facts in a legal dispute, one party is initially presumed to be correct, while the other side bears the burden of producing evidence persuasive enough to establish the truth of facts needed to satisfy all the required legal elements of the dispute. There are different standards of persuasiveness where the game is to tip the balance, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the next course of action can be taken, such as in U.S. criminal courts.

People that operate under Smoking Gun mindsets are often used to prevent change and reinforce the status quo for players in the Oklahoma political game and in any organizational structure. Like cancer, the idea that the system is rigged at any point in order to steer an outcome does in itself metastasize, further spreading into agencies charged with providing public services. So, for example, if the District Attorney has the mindset that any evidence is fair game, so might the detective, the OKDHS investigators, and so on.

By this time, discoveries that the OKDHS caseworker could have corrupted this case throughout the early investigation should not surprise the reader. The more the Woolleys went through the discovery of the criminal cases, the more fabricated evidence was uncovered. The OKDHS caseworker even used fraud to initiate the DHS portion of the case. An email was discovered showing her reaching out to her supervisor, requesting advice on how to create a cause because the investigation hadn’t turned up the level of disclosure needed to write in the paperwork, documents that would be in the case files for the remainder of each family member’s life.

Without the snowball of lies, the Woolley’s grandson should have gone directly back to Desiree, the biological mother, or father, while the Woolleys were being falsely incarcerated. According to obstructed evidence finally allowed by an earlier Judge, there was no legal cause to keep Clayton from his mother in the first place. Desiree was well into her 2nd year of sobriety, on staff (NOT a participant) with Teen Challenge, and working full-time as the supervisor at a restaurant. She had safe housing for her child. None of these inconvenient facts seemed to be allowed as a defense to the charges brought by the State.

Creating a new, more indefensible smoking gun for the State’s next course of action the State appears to have set their sights on Desiree, making her the new target. For example, DHS was misrepresenting Desiree in court as only being a student in drug rehabilitation when in fact the DHS case worker had information for her report that Desiree had graduated and had been hired as a staff member. Other scathing and slanderous remarks that could never be substantiated were also shared and spread by the state-sponsored foster home, always in coordination with DHS.

As damaging as events like these can be to families, the stories, if made public, can be career wreckers for everyone involved regardless of which side of the fence a local would fall. It is estimated that over five (5) careers were ruined and employees removed or privately reprimanded for misconduct of some sort in this case; however, due to immunity and confidentiality information laws, the reasons and punishments may never be shared with the public.

We see similarities in the limits, or complete lack of analysis of evidence, examining the legal but not the ethical implications of decisions, specifically those involving children and state involvement. We see the power of promotional rewards in our legal and law enforcement system, where media and financial value is focused upon, allowing the exclusion of nearly everything else, including ethics. And we see the smoking gun strategy utilized over and over, in statements from DHS and judges that state “We can’t discuss juvenile cases” to politicians and Supreme Court justices claiming there is no clear evidence to suggest that their financial and social relationships bias their judgments. Oklahoma is one of the few states that hide behind the secrecy of closed courtrooms, a lack of media interest, and sealed juvenile records. If we realize the power of these hidden forces and identify our blind spots, we can usually stop ethical disasters before they get started.

In the case of the Woolleys and many other families in Oklahoma over the past few years, the smoking gun was particularly effective because it was used in combination with persons with axes to grind. These state and city officials were smart people but bound in their way of thinking. By limiting their examination to a subset of information, the case stunk from the beginning.

There are parallels between varied unethical behavior. We see the players usually after the game when we look at the way judicial decisions are framed in individual child custody cases following highly contested divorce or tragic family events: “No harm intended, it’s just business,” or “That’s the way politics operate.” The statements can usually be heard down the echoing halls of the local county courthouses. The framed bar association photos do little to provide consultation to the losers of the record. In the case of DHS, the case is often framed as “We have to fall on one side of the fence for the child,” as if 50/50 custody or life without government interference were never viable options.

Not Innocent Enough To Be Family

All of the Woolleys are being prevented from having contact and guardianship of young Clayton; however, not one in the family is now officially a suspect. The term can be used with a roll of the eyes and a raised eyebrow. The case is playing out like a slow-motion train wreck. The State Of Oklahoma continues to show its true nature in dealing with Oklahoma families. Children are pawns to the State, and carry the expectation to be objectified at the expense of the people fighting for the inalienable right to possess the children.

So why is there a hold-up on reuniting this family and what steps have been taken so far to untie these knots made by the State of Oklahoma?

Desiree and her family are still fighting for the guardianship of Clayton, now 10 years old. A thin veil of resistance to being compliant with the Family First Act of 2021 still remains visible to those with a trained eye. “It doesn’t make sense morally, ethically, legally. There is no reason for them to do what they’re doing,” Bill Woolley said.

In a statement provided to The Oklahoma Post an Oklahoma family court whistleblower said: “While every case is different, these judges feel like 50/50 custody and Family First needs to be the standard option. The specific details in those cases impact decisions made by OKDHS, the courts, DA’s and others who participate in any case, suffer no punishments or accountability for what they have done. Legislation has to be enacted for family rights.” For this reason, the Woolleys want to continue raising awareness about their case to the public.

Lisa says, “I can name two other families that he’s [Detective Dan Elliot] falsely accused of sexual abuse of their child or grandchild. They’ve gone all the way to a jury trial that exonerated them, by the jurors. The current DA has a high conviction rating of 98% and then he wins DA of the year for loading up charges on people that can’t afford attornies, that are in some sort of trauma mode, to then reduce charges in hopes of fake wins because they have, you know, personal ambitions.”

The main question the couple wants to be answered is this: “Why do convicted criminals who are incarcerated allowed to see their children, but no one in our family can see our child/grandchild, whether we were ever accused of anything or not?” The family wants to raise awareness for others in the State, those that have experienced similar tragedy and injustice, and to prevent future family tragedies brought on by local and state officials. You can find the emergency hearing timeline here.

Not For A Lack Of Faith

The Woolleys and extended family, are still working with Desiree to regain guardianship of Clayton from foster care. The layered evil that has stood in the way of the family’s reunification is thick. Our research turned up correspondence from a woman who approached a local esteemed family law attorney for her expert assistance. The woman was Desiree Woolley’s aunt, Ann Savonen. The suggested help they received in return was enough to turn any stomach. After that scheduled meeting the woman was so disgusted she wrote a notarized sworn statement to document her encounter.  She relates in the letter that she was told to lie by Attorney Becki Murphy, which would induce a legal favor from the State. 

Sources confirm with the Post that Becki Murphy is claiming to be “Christian” and is an active member of Southern Hills Baptist Church, she serves on the board of directors for James Mission and previously served on the board of directors for CASA, and the University of Tulsa Law School.   On paper, this is exactly the type of attorney any family would expect to advocate for them in court, but the devil wears disguises and Prada shoes. The evil of Oklahoma family courts, the adoption system, and DHS showed itself to the Woolley family on that day. The system is represented so often by Lady Justice holding the Scales of Justice in a personification of morality, demonstrating a visual of fairness; justice. Justice depends on the truth. When Truth in the system doesn’t work anymore, to whom do the Woolleys turn?

“Parenting Twice As Hard For Half A Chance” follows a sampling of eight (8) family law cases in which we interact with the families and others in the family court system, leading the reader to have to confront some excruciating dilemmas. We want the reader to dig further and decide on their own the answers to the larger community questions of family court corruption.

Our series ends with a story of a somewhat famous Oklahoma politician, who himself has gone through a divorce with minor children, but had a much different experience. His children, health, and time were off limits from attacks by state agencies, attorneys, and judges.

As objective as I try to be, I want to clarify that the termination or limiting of a parent’s, or in this case grandparent’s dignity and rights to their child is one of the most drastic decisions the State is called upon to make. However, the State of Oklahoma does so at an alarming rate with little or no public scrutiny of the legal violations that often take place under the guise of child protection, with the results often covered up, to ensure funding keeps rolling into the family and juvenile courts.

We are troubled by the State of Oklahoma’s destruction of both the state itself and its families with outright corruption. Judges continue to ignore the law, disregard parents, and practice discriminatory treatment and the humiliation of child separation toward people who are already suffering. No loving family member, parent or grandparent gives up in light of obvious fraud upon the court. Child withholding and the aiding of the criminal act is prosecutable by codified law, as well as a fraud on the court, but ethical resistance stands in the way of doing anything about it. So, how do you forgive until the change in season arrives?

Bill and Lisa Woolley shared with me why they chose Jesus in the form of scripture. “We chose Jesus because, when you are in trouble you turn to the Lord. You set your sights on him, we knew the world didn’t have the answers. God has helped us because we have to keep humbling ourselves. We just lift up our desperate cry.”

Instead of hate in response to their obstacles, which included Lisa having a massive heart attack in the midst of their fight which has led to ongoing cardiac issues, the Woolleys choose justice and the Prince of Peace. Lisa told me her favorite scripture concerning those in positions of authority, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘go and come back tomorrow and I will help you”. Also, “For I will contend with those who contend with you. And I will save your children.” Isaiah 49:25.

I asked Mr. Woolley, “what has this cost you, Sir?” He said, “It’s not about the money. Besides our good name suffering, we’ve feared for our safety as there have been death threats and our family has been completely dismembered. As for the financial cost, I’d say in upwards of half a million dollars.” I asked Bill, “Your life has been whipped in the wind for years now, how are you still standing?” Bill uttered, “Isaiah 41:10, so do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, because I AM your God.”

In the Woolley case, the family was taunted, harassed and antagonized by those in positions of authority. The Woolley’s whole purpose in life was to ensure the good care of their children,and grandchildren and to think anything otherwise is simply willfully ignorant. To take things a step further, and to harass the five (5) year old after such heartache and confusion, during a time of deep pain, and to then not make things immediately right, is a callousness that every Oklahoman should consider when voting and participating with their local leadership.

One thing an authoritarian cannot take from a person is their faith in a higher power. A terrible situation, such as the one the Woolleys face today is one that even without state oppression, will drastically alter most families. The Woolleys have since exhausted their physical strength and their financial savings. The emotional turmoil of losing a family member to an unexpected absence, whether by death or withholding, has been described as akin to feeling the soul collapse on itself. The Woolleys have not lost their faith or respect for one another.

Due to the increasing corruption entering the Oklahoma court system, many Oklahoma families are suffering from the distance created by state actors. Pain such as what the Woolleys and similar families have suffered is at times unbearable.

The one verse that carried me through so many nights without my own family, even as a child: “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27.

The Ekklesia of Oklahoma, a faith-based organization working on social justice issues, is fully involved. They have asked that Oklahomans of all backgrounds, all political ideologies, to stand with the Woolleys as a sign of strength for the Family Unit and to witness the power of prayer and Jesus. For those reasons, prayerfully consider donating to the RESCUE CLAYTON CAMPAIGN, which will help fund the cost of fighting for Clayton, getting this message out across Oklahoma and America, as well as fund the cost of laying the groundwork for the legal assistance we desperately need!

Lisa finished our interview by saying “We know that CLAYTON represents so many other children who have been kidnapped and held for ransom by the Oklahoma DHS. We know the feeling of pleading with the local law enforcement to protect your rights and family all to simply be ignored and disregarded. We know the feeling of contacting your elected officials who swore an oath to protect our constitutional rights and later being ignored and unwilling to take phone calls and answer emails. We know what it’s like to feel all alone and helpless, but this doesn’t even come close to what CLAYTON must be feeling every day he has been away from his family. “

If you would like more details and to donate please visit RescueClayton.com.

(Writing by Gregory Moyer; Editing by Robbie Robertson)

Copyright 2022 The Oklahoma Post

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