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Published: Friday, 9/1/2006

Teen gets jail for assault on foster mom, girl

VAN WERT, Ohio A teen who stabbed his foster mother and her daughter earlier this year was sentenced in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court yesterday to 18 years in prison on attempted murder and felonious assault convictions.

Judge Charles D. Steele, who called Dionntai Reshawn Holyfield-Geiger a dangerous person, gave the youth the maximum sentence.

Holyfield-Geiger was 15 on March 9 when he attacked his foster mother, Karen Dull, and her teenage daughter, Darcy, at their rural Van Wert County home.

The court is well aware of the young age of the defendant and the clearly violent tendencies, Judge Steele said.

The judge noted that the youth s intelligence and his ability to control himself makes him even a more dangerous person.

Karen Dull was stabbed in the face with a kitchen knife and suffered serious injuries. Her daughter also was injured and was treated at Van Wert County Hospital.

Holyfield-Geiger, 16, was bound over to a grand jury in May after Van Wert County Juvenile Court Judge Rex D. Fortney found that Holyfield-Geiger had a long history of violent behavior, including alleged physical and sexual attacks on family members and other students.

Despite years of treatment, counseling, and excessive placement, he has not shown any ability to assimilate what is required to safely be in a community setting, Judge Fortney said at the time.

Mrs. Dull and her husband, Tim, spoke at his sentencing.

I just didn t understand why we were ready to be your parents. We knew the past and [gave] you everything or anything that you wanted, she said. I would spoil you as much as my own kids.

Tim asked you just the night before if you wanted to live with us and you chose yes, but maybe that is why you wanted to live with us because you were planning to do this, she said.

Mrs. Dull recounted how Holyfield-Geiger heard her talking to her daughter, whom he thought was dead, and began hitting the girl too.

They tell me I m not right because I am not mad enough at you, Mrs. Dull said. I just want to beg you that to please never come back here to be successful in what you tried.

Mr. Dull told the youth that regardless of the length of his sentence, he should consider himself lucky because you sentenced Karen and Darcy to a lifetime of nightmares and scars.

We will never be able to help other foster kids again, Mr. Dull said. I hope you someday realize that the first 16 years of your life all that people have did was to try to help you and I hope over whatever time you spend in prison you can somehow learn how to help yourself.



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