A Michigan dad angered over the death of his two-year-old son went to jail after targeting a local family court judge in social media posts.
In 2017, Jonathan Vanderhagen lost his son after McComb County family court Judge Rachel Rancilio awarded custody of two-year-old Killian to the boy’s mother.
Before that, Vanderhagen had pleaded with Judge Rancilio not to turn the boy over to his mother, who had on multiple occasions demonstrated she was incapable of keeping him safe.
“His lawyer said something is going to happen to this child,” Vanderhagen’s mother, Deborah, told local media WXYZ. “You need to get him away from the mother. There are too many red flags. And the judge said, ‘Oh, that is in the past.’”
According to Vanderhagen, Killian’s mom used drugs during her pregnancy and was responsible for a medical condition the boy suffered when he was born, but police said it was unprovable.
The boy later died while under his mother’s care. A medical examiner deemed the cause of death undetermined.
So, Vanderhagen took to Facebook to get his story out.
He blamed Child Protective Services and the broken court system for his son’s death, and he also blamed Judge Rancilio for awarding custody to the mother who had a long history of dealing with CPS.
Here’s a screenshot of some of what he posted, courtesy of WXYZ:
Evidently, Judge Rancilio saw the posts and claimed she felt “uncomfortable” and “possibly threatened,” WXYZ reports, prompting the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.
“The Macomb County Sheriff’s office responded and found he criticized what Judge Rachel Rancilio pinned on Pinterest as in his opinion inappropriate, posted videos saying he feels she and others responsible for Killian’s death, and blamed the court system for his loss,” reports WXYZ.
Police found Vanderhagen at no time issued threats to the judge, however, they still took him to jail on July 24 claiming he was in violation of “bond conditions.”
He was also charged with malicious use of telecommunications services and his bond has been raised to half a million dollars.
Vanderhagen’s mother says her son is locked up for exercising his rights under the First Amendment, and that he only wants for those responsible to face justice.
“He just wants justice. He don’t want to kill anybody. He don’t want anybody physically hurt. He wants them to acknowledge what they’ve done and get justice,” she said.
Vanderhagen will face a jury trial later this month on September 13.
Read the entire account of what happened to Killian, according to Jonathan Vanderhagen, via Facebook:
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