Teen Charged with Mother's Murder Could Have History of Parent Abuse

Police told Channel 8 officers have previously responded to domestic dispute calls regarding teenager Henry "Hank" Laird, who is now charged with murdering his mother Tuesday.

"There's indications throughout the investigation that this was a very violent relationship between Hank and his mother," said Officer Jillian Roberson with Tulsa Police. "Up to a couple years ago, there were reports that she had filed reports for domestic violence assault and battery and he was arrested for that."

17-year-old Hank Laird is charged with his mother's murder. She was reportedly hit on the head with the end of a shotgun. 20-year-old Josiah Sklar is also charged in her death. His arrest report cites that he was present when Laird beat his mother.

Experts told Channel 8 that Linda Laird could have been a victim of ongoing parent abuse.

"This is their child that they love and have raised and when your child turns on you, you know, I think that puts that parent then in a very bad situation," said Roberson.

Director of Programs and Counseling at DVIS, Missy Iski, agrees that parent abuse is a serious problem that people do not often discuss.

"I think family violence is underreported because a lot of parents are probably embarrassed or ashamed about what's going on in their household," said Iski.

However, she said there are many factors that can lead a child to violence, like gun violence, violence in his or her community, fascination with violent films or games, psychiatric problems, and more.

She said COPES offers services for family violence. That phone number is 918-744-4800. She said the CALM Center is a place where people aged 0-17 can receive support and help. That phone number is 918-492-2554. Also, Iski recommended the Family Safety Center. That phone number is 918-742-7480.

Iski said it is important to discuss parent abuse and admit if there is a problem.