August 18, 2004
Talmadge Heflin in custody battle

This is a very strange story.

A state lawmaker and his wife are to face their former maid in a Houston court today in a battle over custody of the woman's 20-month-old son.

State Rep. Talmadge Heflin and his wife, Janice, contend that they have cared for the boy since shortly after his birth, according to court documents.

The parents, however, say there is no reason he should be taken away. Mariam Katamba and Fidel Odimara argue that Heflin, a Houston Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, is using his "political position to threaten" them.

The Heflins say the boy has spent most of his life with them and that they "are the only care-givers the child has known," court papers show. They also argue that the parents might endanger the boy and "have shown little or no interest in the child since birth."

The parents said Tuesday they provided for and took care of the child, including staying with him during a two-month hospital stay, while the Heflins visited once.

Katamba, a native of Uganda who lived with and worked for the Heflins, said Janice Heflin later offered to baby-sit the boy after Katamba found another job. Katamba said she never wanted to give him up.

"They always take my child to Austin, Texas, whenever I am off," Katamba stated in an affidavit. "When I protested about their denying me my child, they then brought the (lawsuit)."

Yeesh. This is like a storyline out of The Practice. I don't really have anything to add to this, but I'll be very curious to see what happens. Very strange.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 18, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack

Oh... never mind, as Emily Litella (sp?) might say. At first, I thought your headline was
"TALMADGE HEFLIN IN CUSTODY." Hope springs eternal!

Posted by: Steve Bates on August 18, 2004 2:36 PM

From The Practice to Judging Amy -- The parents got their child back. Will Talmadge Heflin EVER get his dignity back (assuming he had any)? The greatest "Idiot Quote" of all time came from this case (issued by the Rep), "We all know the trouble black boys have growing up and staying out of prison." Perhaps it's time he should see the doctor and be checked for Alzheimers.

Posted by: Dana C on August 25, 2004 12:15 PM