Today was a good day for justice. Today was a good day for the Schipsi family, relatives, friends and the Santa Clara community. It could not have come soon enough. Fragile hearts were on the line. Today the judge ruled on whether to allow Bulos (Paul) Zumont to post bail. He has been charged with the first-degree murder of Jennifer Schipsi, a warm, generous and loving woman whose life was cut down in a violent act. Today, the prosecutor revealed a small glimpse into the kind of man that is on trial for the murder of Jennifer.
Today we found out that Paul was arrested and convicted of a domestic violence related offense in Washington State in 1994. While in CA, Paul added another two convictions for domestic violence related crimes against Jennifer. In fact, he was on probation for domestic violence at the time of Jennifer’s murder. We also learned that police found the human growth hormone in his home during the search of his property. By his own admission, Paul was using the drug. This drug is known to cause aggressive behavior. Today we were reminded that domestic violence breeds in families. While on the stand testifying in Paul’s defense, his sister acknowledged being a victim of domestic violence. I sensed it was something that slipped out. She blurted it out in the context of domestic violence not being a “big deal”.
I felt great sadness for this woman. Even at this point in our history, some women and men continue to hold on to the notion that domestic violence is part of life, “no big deal”. It’s a no big deal that robs a person of her soul, her spirit and chips away at her ability to believe in anyone ever again. It strips a person of trust and joy. Yet, it’s no big deal. Some small good could come from this horrible ordeal. Perhaps Paul’s sister will find that domestic violence is a big deal, that no one should have to live a life in fear of another human being. It is unacceptable and people who beat up other people in the name of love must be held accountable and face consequences.
Perhaps if when Paul hurt Jennifer the first time, his family would have expressed their disapproval and refused to collude with Paul, perhaps we would not need to sit in this courtroom. If when he turned to them for protection, they would have said, no you must face the consequences. We will still love you but you must stop this behavior.
Today I witnessed the connection between his family’s tacit approval of his prior bad behavior and his action in court. While sitting down at the defense table, Paul raised his middle finger in an offensive gesture directed at the mother of the slain victim. He smirked. Does Paul believe he will never face consequences; that he can walk through life shredding the lives of others and not pay for his deeds? Is that what he learned from his family?
If so, today Paul had a rude awakening. Today the judge denied his bail request. Today, justice was served and it’s just the beginning. If you would like to attend hearings and support the Schipsi family, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.