HOUSTON - “She’s living her best life while Martin is in an Urn,” “said Irma Perales.
“If my brother would have done the things that she did to him he would be in jail,” said Myeshia Isaiah.
“If it was the other way around and she walked into a police station with a black eye without question I believe I would have been arrested,” said Jamie Thompson.
These three people share two things in common.
Their lives were indelibly changed within a 7-month period last year, and they say they believe justice is elusive when the so-called bad guy in a domestic abuse situation is female.
Martin Lopez, Jr.
“I have screenshots where my brother tells me she hit him,” Perales said.
Martin Lopez, Jr. was in a long-term relationship with a woman his family says physically abused him.
“He didn’t want to leave especially after his son came,” said Perales Lopez’s sister. “He didn’t want to leave because she wouldn’t allow him to see their son.”
Last year that woman shot and killed 26-year-old Lopez.
“We were told that she admitted to accidentally pulling the trigger, that she didn’t mean to, that she thought it was unloaded,” Perales said.
That is what the police report shows the woman told police. Lopez’s family doesn’t buy that, but a Harris County Grand Jury did.
She wasn’t charged with anything, but Lopez’s mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her.
"And no one interviewed my family to ask about the domestic violence history,” said Perales.
"If a man did what she did to him, Martin Lopez would be in jail," said community activist Quanell X. "But now that the roles are reversed he’s in the graveyard and there’s no justice.”
Kenneth Benjamin, Jr.
“We encouraged him multiple times to go to the police but he didn’t want to make it more of a problem,” said Ashley Benjamin, Kenneth Benjamin’s sister. “He was just trying to have a civilized co-parenting relationship.”
According to his family, Kenneth Benjamin, Jr. had no romantic relationship with the mother of his son.
But they say she felt differently and would physically assault him.
On March 3, 2019, Kenneth’s mother says she got a text from him shortly before he was shot to death allegedly by a friend of the baby mother’s son.
“He had sent a text message informing us that she had stabbed him,” said Kenneth’s mother Michelle Johnson.
The family says the baby’s mother lied to investigators claiming she was his wife.
They say they had to file a civil suit to get custody of Kenneth’s body. They had to wait two months before they could have a funeral and bury him.
“Sat on the bench in a civil proceeding and admitted she stabbed him twice that’s when the judge stopped the proceeding and awarded custody of that young man’s body back to his family,’ Quanell X said.
The man accused of shooting Kenneth is charged with murder awaiting trial.
The mother of his son, who admitted in civil court to stabbing him first, is facing no charges.
“When she hit me she started laughing and said 'Hit me back that’s exactly what I want you to do hit me back',” said Jamie Thompson.
Thompson knows what it’s like to be accused of domestic violence. He says two years ago in another state he was named in a protective order.
He says the tables turned in his next relationship. Thompson says he would call the police but his ex would say he started it.
He says the cops would call it mutual combat and leave.
“Because it’s a man nobody is taking it seriously,” Quanell X said.
Last October, Thompson’s ex-girlfriend shot him five times.
“After she shot me she actually jumped on me and started fighting me,” said Thompson.
Her charge was aggravated assault of a family member, not attempted murder.
“Luckily three of the bullets only grazed me,” Thompson said.