Personal Responsibility. Jason Bohn.

We just don’t want to take personal responsibility for our actions. And why should we?  As long as we can blame someone else for the choices we make, AND get away with it, why not keep up the good work.
The story of Jason Bohn is one such story.  To be clear, this is NOT the golfer Jason Bohn.
Once upon a time there was a wealthy lawyer, with an Ivy League background, who had it all.  Or at least at first glance, he appeared to have it all.  But we know that things are not always as they appear, and even if they are, there is someone to blame when things don’t turn out like you plan. His story is very similar to that of Oscar Pistorius , Jared Remy, Jovan Belcher, and countless other men who killed their girlfriends and wives. What is up with this–everyday in the news there is another account.  But the story of Bohn stands out because of his defense, “My mommie made me do it.”
Bohn graduated from Columbia University, and his mom, Maureen O’Connell, is the chief financial officer for Scholastic Publishing.  She earns over 1 million dollars annually.  But delve a little deeper into this fairytale picture and a much darker side is revealed.
Jason Bohn is currently on trial for the murder of his girlfriend. In June of 2012, Danielle Thomas, 27, an executive with Weight Watchers was found in the bathtub of the Queens apartment she shared with Jason Bohn. The young woman was strangled and beaten to death. Prosecutors claim that Bohn then fled the scene and was eventually captured in White Plains, a suburb of New York City.
According to the prosecution, Bohn and Thomas had a tumultuous relationship filled with fights that were often triggered by Bohn’s jealousy. One of the key pieces of evidence against Mr. Bohn is an alleged recording from a phone that accidentally went to a friend’s voicemail from the night of the murder. In the recording, a man who prosecutors claim to be Bohn is heard threatening Ms. Thomas and interrogating her about a phone-number she was being accused of calling. At one point in the recording a male voice is heard saying “’you have five seconds and then, and then I’m going to kill you.”
In a tragic twist to her senseless death, Ms. Thomas was offered a place to stay on the night of her murder but went back to the apartment because she feared for the safety of her dog, who Mr. Bohn had allegedly threatened to kill on numerous occasions.
After the murder, Bohn allegedly used his girlfriend’s cell phone to leave text messages to her parents saying that all was well. He also allegedly called an ex-girlfriend and confessed to getting drunk and striking Ms. Thomas up against a wall. The message also asked the former girlfriend not to speak to law enforcement until his attorneys had a chance to contact her.

Mommie Made Me Do It.  Law and Order SVU.

Mr. Bohn’s defense will attempt to show that he is suffering from mental illness and did not understand what he was doing when he killed Ms. Thomas. They will attempt to show that Mr. Bohn suffered an abusive childhood and that he was abandoned by his mother at age 10 so that she could go chase after her corporate career. Adding intrigue to this case is the much anticipated appearance of Alexander Sasha Bardey, a renowned forensic psychiatrist from Los Angeles, who is slated to testify for the defense. Dr. Bardey is a consultant for the hit television show ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.’  Essentially, Bardey and Bohn’s defense team will help him prove that his mommie made him do it.

This case shines light on several important issues that we face as a society:

  1. Domestic violence (as we see from the Pistorius murder trial);
  2. The responsibility of one to address these issues before a fatal incident occurs;
  3. Can an adult blame his or her violent behavior on their childhood? Should they?  If so, to what extent? Is it ever their fault?
  4. Can a woman who chooses her career over motherhood be held responsible for the behavior of her grown children?
  5. Is there a role society plays? If so, what? If not, why not?

I’m Attorney, Speaker, Author Francine Ward.   Feel free to join the conversation on my Esteemable Acts Facebook Page, my Esteemable Acts Twitter Page, or in one of my LinkedIn Groups.

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