Murdered children were removed by CPS in 2013, but returned to home a month later

Was there a missed opportunity to save 6 of the 8 people gunned down in home on Saturday?  Family court records suggest that might be true.

A court document from September of 2013 lays out a nightmare scenario.  In it, a CPS case worker testifies that Valerie Jackson's 6 children should be removed from the same home where they would be murdered, less than 2 years later. 

The case worker states that the 6 children suffered abuse, at the hands of David Conley, the man accused of gunning down 8 members of the family, and were also abused by Dewayne Jackson, Valerie’s spouse, and the father of 5 of the 6 now-deceased children.  

"The children are in immediate danger,"  said the case worker, who, in her testimony, lays out a series of alleged physical abuse and neglect incidents, dating back to 2011.  Many of them are described by the children. 10 year old Nathaniel Conley said: "they are left home alone all the time while his parents are out." He also stated that, "he gets whooped all the time for things he does not even know about." 

A CPS investigation found:  "the mother would leave all the children at home alone multiple times, and not supervise the children when she was in the home." It also determined: "seven year old, special needs child, Caleb Jackson, has walked out of his home on two different occasions, within a month and a half, unsupervised."  

Despite receiving "in-home therapy to address her lack of decision making skills," and signing more than one "safety plan," stating that she "will be protective of her children and not allow David Conley any contact with the children," the case worker determined Valerie Jackson was an unfit mother.  Just a month after signing one safety plan, Jackson, "recanted her version of events"  involving an assault with a knife by David Conley, and, "the case was dismissed as a result."  That allowed Conley to leave jail.  

In September of 2013, 6 children were removed briefly, but Judge Glenn Devlin ordered them returned just one month later.  Fox 26 has not heard back from the judge yet, but has sent a request for comment on the ruling.  Mike Craig, the attorney who represented David Conley at the CPS hearing said CPS was in favor of the children returning to the home, and that’s why they went back. 

Here is the statement from CPS:

“On  September 19, 2013, CPS sought Temporary Managing Conservatorship (custody)  of the six Conley/Jackson children because of concerns of lack of supervision and ongoing domestic violence in the home. All six children were placed in foster care.
On October 10, 2013, at a custody hearing, the CPS custody case was dismissed by the Court and all the children were returned home. Part of the CPS case was continued, as Valerie Jackson and David Conley were ordered to participate in services to include domestic violence counseling in a Batterer's Intervention Program, random drug testing, and  family and individual counseling. On March 19, 2014, the Court dismissed that part of the case because Valerie Jackson and David Conley had successfully completed all court-ordered services.
CPS continued to monitor the family by periodic visits to the home and interviews with children. The case was closed by CPS on  May 27, 2014, which ended CPS involvement in this case.”