FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
CALCASIEU, NO. 2018-3534 HONORABLE LILYNN CUTRER, DISTRICT
Hillary L. Nixon Law Office of Hillary L. Nixon, L.L.C.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Shari Bishop
M. Hudson Larry A. Roach, Inc. COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: Jerry Israel Cummings
composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Shannon J. Gremillion, and Van
H. Kyzar, Judges.
defendant, Shari Bishop, appeals from the trial court
judgment granting a protective order in favor of the
plaintiff, Jerry Israel Cummings. For the following reasons,
OF THE RECORD
matter is a companion case to David Michael Craig v.
Shari Bishop, 19-166 (La.App. 3 Cir. 10/23/19), ___
So.3d ___, which was rendered by this court this same day.
parties, Jerry Israel Cummings and Shari Bishop, were married
in Calcasieu Parish on November 10, 1996. Four children were
born of their marriage: Israel Josiah,  date of birth
September 10, 1997; Benjamin Taylor, date of birth June 3,
2000; E.F.C., date of birth February 5, 2004; and S.E.C.,
date of birth May 11, 2007. D.M.C., date of birth November 7,
2011, was also born during Jerry's marriage to Shari;
after which Jerry filed a petition to disavow paternity on
November 22, 2011. After filing a petition for ex parte
custody, Jerry was granted temporary custody of his four
children on July 23, 2010. Following a hearing on September
20, 2010, the trial court rendered judgment based on the
parties' stipulations, which ordered mental health
evaluations of the parties and granted Shari supervised
visitation with the children. Thereafter, Shari filed a
petition for divorce against Jerry. Although the trial court
record of these proceedings was introduced into the record as
an exhibit, it does not contain a judgment of divorce.
However, based on Jerry's testimony during a custody
hearing in proceedings between Shari and David, he and Shari
were divorced in December 2013. Subsequent to their divorce,
Shari married David on July 4, 2015.
August 23, 2019, Jerry filed a petition seeking protection
from abuse, which is the subject matter of this appeal. In
his petition, filed individually and on behalf of his minor
children, E.F.C. and S.E.C., Jerry alleged that Shari
slapped, punched, shoved, stalked, threatened with bodily
harm, threatened his life, threatened him with a weapon,
abused the children, and attempted to have him killed. He
alleged that the most recent abuse occurred on July 23, 2018,
when Shari did the following:
[A]ttempt to have Jerry Cummings murdered by a third party.
On this date, [E.F.C.] (daughter of the parties) saw Shari at
the L'Auberge Casino with a man she did not know.
[E.F.C.] was introduced to this man by Shari as a friend, and
[E.F.C.] was told by Shari and by this man that Shari was
going to have this man and his friends kill Jerry and David
Craig (Shari's most recent husband) as revenge for prior
incidents of abuse, including incidents of ritual satanic
abuse, which Shari has repeatedly alleged were committed by
Jerry and David. [E.F.C.] has repeatedly denied such abuse
ever occurred, and she denied it again on that date. She was
told that the man and his friends were ready and willing to
kill Jerry and David. A criminal investigation is ongoing
regarding this solicitation of murder by Shari against both
Jerry and David.
further alleged the following past incidents of abuse by
Shari against him as follows:
On multiple occasions in recent months, following the custody
trial between David Craig and Shari Bishop, Shari has
attempted to have Jerry murdered by multiple third parties.
[E.F.C.] has spoken on multiple occasions with Shari and with
a former boyfriend of Shari named Joshua Martin, and they
have both spoken to [E.F.C.] about their plans to murder
Jerry or have him murdered by others. They have also spoken
to [E.F.C.] about plans to murder David or have him murdered
by others. [E.F.C.] has been told that Jerry and David will
be killed as revenge for prior incidents of abuse, including
incidents of ritual satanic abuse, which Shari has repeatedly
alleged were committed by Jerry and David. [E.F.C.] has
repeatedly denied such abuse ever occurred. It is believed
that Shari has previously attempted to seriously harm, and
possibly kill, Israel Cummings (child of the parties, now an
adult) by arsenic poisoning. Israel became seriously ill
following an incident with Shari and he later tested positive
for arsenic poisoning. This was testified to by multiple
witnesses during the recent custody trial between David and
Shari. It is also believed that Shari has previously
attempted to seriously harm, and possibly kill, David by
arsenic poisoning. David previously became seriously ill
during the marriage with symptoms indicative of arsenic
poisoning, and since the final separation of David and Shari
he has tested positive for arsenic poisoning and has been
receiving medical treatment. A criminal investigation into
this poisoning is ongoing and Shari is the only known person
of interest. This was also testified to by multiple witnesses
during the recent custody trial between the parties.
Over the past several years, while David and Shari were
together, Shari spoke repeatedly about her desire to murder
Jerry. She also asked David to kill Jerry for her at times.
She has a long history of making false, and often completely
unbelievable, allegations of abuse and criminal behavior
against others. Shari has a long history of unstable and
unpredictable behavior, and she has exhibited extremely poor
judgment on numerous occasions.
During the prior relationship and marriage between Jerry and
Shari, Shari was physically violent and abusive on numerous
occasions. She yelled, broke various objects, threw various
objects at Jerry, slapped Jerry, punched Jerry, shoved Jerry,
and abused the parties' children by beating them with
wire clothes hangers. Since the final separation of Jerry and
Shari, Shari has stalked Jerry, threatened to kill him,
threatened to have him killed. She has also asked Jerry to
kill at least one other person before, namely Danny Meyers.
separate petition was filed by David against Shari on the
same date, which requested a protective order based on the
same primary factual scenario alleged by Jerry herein.
August 23, 2018, the trial court granted an ex parte
temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of Jerry. The TRO
ordered that Shari not to abuse, harass, assault, stalk,
follow, track, monitor, or threaten Jerry, E.F.C., or S.E.C.;
not to contact them by any means, except for court-ordered
visitation; not to go within 100 yards of Jerry or the
children, except for court-ordered visitation; to stay away
from Jerry's place of employment and the children's
school; not to damage any of their belongings or property or
shut off their utilities, phone service, or mail delivery, or
interfere with their living conditions; and not to interfere
with the physical custody of the children. A hearing was
scheduled in the matter for September 7, 2018. A second TRO
was issued by the trial court on September 7, 2018, effective
through November 2, 2018, with a hearing set for October 29,
matter was consolidated for trial purposes with David's
request for a protective order. On October 31, 2018, the
trial court heard testimony from E.F.C., Jerry, David, Shari,
and Shari's mother, Rhonda Bishop.
primary factual scenario supporting both petitions was
recounted by E.F.C., based on a meeting between her and Shari
on July 23, 2018, at the L'auberge Casino. E.F.C.
testified that she met Shari and her grandmother, Mrs.
Bishop, at L'auberge, despite the fact that she knew she
needed her father's permission to see them. She stated
that Shari had texted her that she and Mrs. Bishop were going
to the casino and asked if she wanted to meet them there. She
said that although she was staying with a friend, she was
picked up by Mrs. Bishop and taken to the casino. She
initially stated that both she and her friend were picked up
by Mrs. Bishop, but then later claimed that her friend did
not go with her. She further claimed that after visiting with
Shari and Mrs. Bishop, she planned to meet up with her
friend, who was spending the night at the casino with her
testified that after she and Mrs. Bishop arrived at the
casino, they ate and then walked around. She stated that they
met Shari when they walked in front of a bar. She stated that
Shari walked up to them, hugged her, and then pulled her into
the bar. According to E.F.C., Shari was drunk. E.F.C. stated
that Shari introduced her to a man, whom she said was a
friend, and they sat down at a table. She stated that Mrs.
Bishop did not accompany them into the bar.
testified that the man first asked her if she, her siblings,
and D.M.C. were being abused by their fathers and then stated
that he was in a biker gang and that he could have Jerry and
David hurt or killed if they were being abused. E.F.C. stated
that Shari was there for part of this conversation, but that
she walked away after advising her to tell the truth about
the abuse. E.F.C. testified that after Shari left, she told
the man that none of the allegations were true. She stated
that the man then asked her if Shari was telling him the
truth or if she was crazy. E.F.C. said that she replied that
Shari was not telling the truth. E.F.C. testified that at
this point Mrs. Bishop walked up and told the man,
"Well, I know that something's happening[.]"
E.F.C. stated that she replied, "No, nothing's
happening. It's not like that[.]" E.F.C. said that
after these comments, she left the bar with Mrs. Bishop and
then later met up with her friend at the casino. She stated
that she did not see Shari again that night.
testified that her conversation with the man lasted from
fifteen to thirty minutes and that she felt threatened by the
conversation. She stated that she thought Shari had said that
she had known the man a long time. She further stated that
both Shari and the man were drunk. E.F.C. testified that she
believed Shari was capable of having Jerry and David harmed
and that she definitely believed that Shari asked this man to
harm them because of her allegations of abuse.
testified that she told her father about this conversation,
when he picked her up from her friend's home the next
day. However, she admitted that she told him that she and
Shari had met up accidently because she knew he would be mad
further testified that Shari asked her to recant her
testimony from the child custody hearing in which Jerry was
granted custody of her and her siblings. She stated that she
was pressured by Shari, Joshua Martin, Shari's former
boyfriend, and his daughter to contact Shari's attorney.
She said that they threatened to stop communicating with her
unless she called the attorney. E.F.C. testified that when
she spoke to the attorney, she was told that she would have
to admit that she lied about Shari giving her alcohol when
she was with her. She stated that she did not recall telling
the attorney that she had embellished a little on the stand
or that she was worried about leaving her younger brother.
further recounted conversations she had the previous summer
with Mr. Martin, who lived in Florida. She stated that he had
been told by Shari that she and D.M.C. were being abused by
their fathers and that both he and Shari had said that he
wanted to protect her by getting rid of Jerry. E.F.C.
testified that near the end of his relationship with Shari,
Mr. Martin asked her if Shari's allegations were true and
then said that he did not want to be with Shari if she was
lying. E.F.C. stated that Mr. Martin told her that he would
kill Jerry and David if the allegations were true. E.F.C.
stated that she believed that Mr. Martin's desire to kill
them was based both on Shari's request that he do so and
his own feelings about the alleged abuse.
said that Mr. Martin claimed that either he or his friends
would kill Jerry and David. She stated that he told her that
he had friends who lived behind Jerry's home in Ragley,
Louisiana. She claimed that he also told her that he had
stalked both Jerry and David at their homes and that he was
armed with a gun while outside of Jerry's home. E.F.C.
testified that she felt threatened by this conversation and
that she told Mr. Martin that Shari's allegations were
testified that Shari kept advising her to tell Mr. Martin the
truth about the abuse. Although she never heard Mr. Martin
and Shari, together, say that they intended to kill Jerry and
David, she stated that he admitted that Shari asked him to do
so. She said that Shari had, in the past, said that she
wanted to kill Jerry and David and that she was feeding Mr.
Martin lies about them. At some point, E.F.C. testified that
she became scared and told Jerry about her conversations with
Mr. Martin. She stated that she took Mr. Martin's threats
seriously the last time she spoke to him.
testified that he filed his petition for the protective order
based on E.F.C.'s meeting with Shari at L'auberge
Casino. He stated that she claimed that she had accidently
bumped into Shari and Mrs. Bishop while she was there with
her friend. She told him that Shari pulled her aside and
introduced her to a man, who asked her if she and D.M.C. were
being abused. He said that the man told E.F.C. that if the
allegations of abuse were true, he had people who could take
care of him and David that night.
testified that he learned of this incident the next day, but
that E.F.C. initially told him that her meeting with Shari
was accidental. However, after he filed a police report, he
stated that she admitted that the meeting was planned. Jerry
felt that E.F.C. initially lied about the logistics of the
meeting because she knew she would be punished if he learned
of their meeting. Jerry testified that Shari knew she was
only allowed supervised visitation with E.F.C. pursuant to
the custody order. He admitted that he had allowed her
unsupervised visitation while she was married to David, but
said that he stopped this visitation after they separated.
testified that E.F.C. also informed him of threats against
him and David, which were voiced by Mr. Martin during
conversations he had with her the previous June or July. He
said that E.F.C. communicated with both Mr. Martin and his
daughter and that she said that she felt pressured by both to
admit that he was abusing her. Jerry testified that E.F.C.
reported that Mr. Martin promised to take care of him if the
abuse allegations were true. He stated that E.F.C. further
reported that Mr. Martin told her that he had driven by their
home several times, and Shari told her, "You don't
know how many times I've driven by your home." He
said that E.F.C. only told him about these threats because
she felt that she had failed to convince Mr. Martin that
Shari was lying. Jerry testified that he reported these
threats to law enforcement in both Calcasieu and Beauregard
Parishes, but was told that he should seek a restraining
order. He said that he did not seek a restraining order
because he was not represented by counsel at that point.
testified regarding various acts of physical abuse committed
by Shari during their marriage. He stated that Shari slapped,
punched, and shoved him, threatened him with bodily harm, and
threatened his life. He said that she threw a knife, a vase,
and a frying pan at him and that she hit him with a coffee
cup. He said that during their custody fight, she told him
that she would do whatever it took to take care of him. Jerry
testified that he learned that she frequently drove by his
home on the days she visited the children, and he stated that
a third party told him that Shari believed that she would be
justified in killing him based on ...