Judge: Kids Can Live With Child-Killer, For Now


As a result, Conlon says, Children and Family Services ordered Kristine not to reside with Sam, and to avoid all contact with him. In an email message to Conlon, John Cushing said he was complying with "the stipulations put in place by the King County CPS."

But, Conlon says she found out that September that her son Sam had been visiting Kristine Cushing and having meals with her. The following month, in October 2007, she says she discovered Kristine Cushing was still in the home.

"The question is whether the 'concerns' in 2007 were based on Kristine's current or recent mental state or conduct or whether they stemmed from the 1991 events," Morse said. "If there was no new basis, then everything still depends on inferences from the 1991 events."

The boys may have known her even longer than 2007.

According to court documents, John Cushing stated both Sam and Stephen had been introduced to Kristine Cushing in 2004 as "Miss M," and instructed not to mention her to Conlon.

Is Kristine Cushing Truly a Threat?

In an email to Trisha Conlon dated Oct. 25, 2007, John Cushing said his current wife was assessed by King County Mental Health Services in Seattle, who determined she is "no threat to herself or others." But Conlon states in court documents that Kristine Cushing was "released in March 2008 from the treatment to try to restabilize her mentally," suggesting she may have undergone another hospitalization.

When Conlon threatened to petition the court for a change in their custody agreement, John Cushing told her he and Kristine Cushing had already filed for divorce. Conlon dropped the matter, until she discovered in May of this year that they had been living together since 2008, the year their second divorce was finalized. In court documents Conlon calls the couple's divorce a "scam" meant to appease her and CPS.

A private investigator hired by Conlon's legal team found Kristine Cushing currently shares the same post office box as John Cushing.

Kristine Cushing's therapy records have not been disclosed in the court proceedings, and the opposing parties in the legal case differ on how she is doing. Conlon stated in court documents that Kristine is still under the care of a mental health professional, and "taking mind altering drug(s) with guns in the home." John Cushing has said Kristine Cushing is "doing well," and "enjoys life and loves me and my sons."

Complicating issues further, even if Conlon has been recently diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, it doesn't necessarily mean she would harm Conlon's sons.

"Mental disorder alone is not a good predictor of future violence," Morse said.

In addition, there are no complaints in the court documents obtained by ABCNews.com from either of Conlon's boys about Kristine Cushing.

A judge cannot make a decision simply based on doubt, Dr. Appelbaum said.

"There is some doubt about all of us. Nobody is ever beyond suspicion when it comes to the potential for violence."

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