Home invasion beating of white woman caught on nanny cam
|Home invasion beating of white woman caught on nanny cam|
Screenshot from nanny cam video
|Location||Millburn, New Jersey, United States|
|Date||June 21, 2013 |
around 10:00 AM
|Aggravated assault, robbery, home invasion|
|Victim||C.R., 42-year-old white female|
|Assailant||Shawn Custis, black male|
According to local news:
According to prosecutors, on June 21, 2013, Custis broke into a Millburn home, assaulted a female resident, then stole her husband's watch, her wedding rings, a necklace, a cell phone and a baby monitor.
Prosecutors said that during the home invasion, Custis beat the woman unconscious, then threw her down the basement stairs as her three-year-old daughter sat on the living room sofa watching and her 18-month-old son was asleep in an upstairs bedroom.
The victim sustained a concussion, chipped teeth, an injured lip, facial swelling and leg injuries, prosecutors previously said.
The court case State v. Custis, DOCKET NO. A-5132-15T2 provides the following detailed description of events:
On the morning of June 21, 2013, at about 10:25 a.m., C.R. was in the kitchen of her home in Millburn Township. She was making breakfast for her three-year-old daughter, E.R., who was on the couch in the living room, watching cartoons. C.R.'s one-year-old son was napping upstairs in his crib.
We use initials to protect the privacy of the victim, her children, and several civilian witnesses who were involved in the State's investigation.
Around this time, E.R. turned off the television and ran towards her mother, saying that someone was at the front door. C.R. went to look out the front window, but she saw no one there.
C.R. then heard a loud noise from the back entrance of the house. As she turned around, she saw a man charging after her. The assailant appeared to be hunched over and swaying back and forth, like a boxer. C.R. noticed that he was African-American, about 5'8" tall, about her age (in his forties), had salt-and-pepper facial hair, and was wearing a white, short-sleeve, crew-neck t-shirt and denim jeans.
The assailant proceeded to attack C.R. in front of her daughter. As C.R. was pummeled to the floor, she remained quiet, because she did not want her daughter to scream and have the assailant get mad and start punching her as well. Her plan was to keep quiet and take the beating, in order to keep the attention on her and protect her children.
The assailant threw C.R. down, held her down with his legs, beat and choked her, kicked her in the face, and demanded to know where she kept her pocketbook. He taunted her while she was on the floor, exclaiming, "Where are you going, where do you think you're going?" The beating was so vicious C.R. thought she would die.
C.R. lapsed in and out of consciousness, and although her mind was telling her to get up, she felt limp and could not move. While the assailant was upstairs, she attempted to get to the phone, but was unable to do so. When the assailant returned downstairs, he dragged her to the basement door and threw her down the stairs.
The home invasion and assault were over within four minutes. During that time, the assailant took the jewelry C.R. was wearing, including her wedding rings and a necklace with her children's names on it. He also took a baby monitor, C.R.'s cell phone, and a watch belonging to C.R.'s husband.
C.R. lost consciousness after being thrown down the basement stairs, and she did not know how long she was out. At some point, however, she regained consciousness, crawled over to the home computer, and sent an unintelligible email to her husband. She also called 9-1-1 to report the crime.
Thereafter, C.R. crawled upstairs to find her children. She found E.R. in the living room, scared, and her son upstairs, sleeping.
Nanny cam footage
Custis had a lengthy criminal record before the attack, including 38 arrests and 17 felony convictions.
Trial and sentencing
Custis was acquitted of attempted murder, but received a life sentence for the brutality of the assault and his prior record.
C.R. testified at his sentencing that she "suffered a fractured bone in her back and had been afraid to open a window in her home since the attack."
A police officer who responded to the scene was overheard on the same surveillance video that captured the attack using a racial slur to refer to the then-unknown assailant. He testified at trial that he didn't question Custis and didn’t collect evidence in the case.
Custis attempted to appeal, arguing the sentence was excessive and that key evidence was suppressed, but he lost the appeal.