Peter Spitz, a former Marine from Englewood, Colo. who was shot in the face and blinded by his wife Teresa Lynn, has finally been reunited with his 7-year-old son after a controversial custody ruling that separated them after the original shooting took place and gave visitation rights to his wife.
According to The Denver Post, Spitz's son, Asher, had been under the guardianship of his now ex-wife's aunt and uncle since the shooting. But an Arapahoe County judge recently ended that agreement when it was discovered that the guardians were allowing overnight visits from Spitz's ex-wife, Lynn.
Back in May of 2004, Lynn took a then 10-month-old Asher to her sister's home in Aurora in the middle of the night, 7News reports. Upon returning to her home, she proceeded to shoot her husband in the face three times. Lynn then shot her mother-in-law Mariko Shida, who had been staying with the couple, in the back of the head and killed her. Shockingly, after the shootings, Lynn then drove herself to the police station and turned herself in, still holding the revolver.
Westword reports that Spitz then awoke in the hospital to discover what had just happened: he had survived the vicious attack, but was now blind, his mother was dead, his wife was in jail, and his son was in the care of his wife's family -- Donald and Sheila Reyonolds, who later became the boy's guardians.
During the trial that followed, Spitz remarkably testified on his wife's behalf -- he took the witness stand saying that she could not have possibly know what she was doing, Fathers And Families reports. Which aided in Lynn being acquitted by reason of insanity and committed to Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, rather than prison, where she remains to this day, according to The Denver Post.
And stranger still, once Asher was living with the Reynolds, Lynn got court ordered visitation rights with her son, while Spitz was denied all contact.
Spitz faced an uphill battle to get his son back after his recovery. Once Spitz had regained his health, Donald and Sheila Reynolds refused to give up rights to Spitz's son and started the process to adopt him. CBS5 reports that the Reynolds are considering an appeal of the court's decision to give Spitz full custody of his son. And Spitz's ex-wife Lynn has defended the rights of the Reynolds to continue to raise her son saying, "it’s the only family he's ever known" to the Associated Press/Denver Post and has not come to the aid of her ex-husband Spitz in his custody battle.
Spitz now has full custody of his son, thanks in great part to the aid and efforts of Fathers And Families an advocacy group that fights for the rights children to have both a mother and a father in their lives after a divorce who advised Spitz and helped him obtain legal counsel during the trial.