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North Carolina Victims

for Logan

With the Merrifields of Dunbar, N.C. child abuse is a family affair. A grand jury indicted Dr. John V. Merrifield and his wife, Diane, on one count each of gross negligence resulting in the death of two-year-old Logan Shane Goodall. The doctor was also charged on two counts of treating Logan for serious wounds and failing to report them to the proper authorities.

John and Diane Merrifield are the parents of Michael Kent Merrifield. Michael Merrifield was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, child neglect resulting in death, sexual abuse by a parent or guardian and first-degree sexual assault. He is believed to be responsible for the abuse and injuries that resulted in Logan’s death. Logan was the son of Michael Merrifield’s girlfriend, Pepper Dawn Eren.

Eren was sentenced to one to 10 years in prison for child neglect causing injury. She said she believed Michael Merrifield when he told her Logan’s injuries, including bruises, burns, and a severe wound on his scrotum, were the result of accidents. She said she also relied on information from her longtime family doctor, Dr. Merrifield, when he told her Logan’s injuries were not serious.

The indictment charges that Dr. Merrifield knew Logan was being abused because he sewed a wound on Logan’s scrotum and treated the boy for serious burns to his heels and buttocks. As a physician, Dr. Merrifield should have reported the injuries to the Department of Health and Human Resources but failed to do so. If convicted, Diane Merrifield faces up to five years in prison and fines of up to $3,000. Dr. Merrifield faces an additional 20 days in jail and additional fines if convicted.

Logan’s father Jeremy Goodall filed a lawsuit that claims that John and Diane Merrifield planned a conspiracy to protect their son, Michael, from being discovered as Logan’s abuser.

Logan’s death stirred up enough controversy in North Carolina that the Legislature passed a bill referred to as “Logan’s Law,” which lengthens jail sentences for convicted sexual predators.


Rest in Peace
Ashley, Gregory and their Father

Custody Battle Ends in Double Murder-Suicide


Posted: Mar. 12, 2007
Updated: Mar. 13, 2007

Clayton A father and two children were found dead Monday afternoon at a Johnston County home in what authorities are calling a double murder and suicide.

Authorities said Steven Henry, 35, from Garner, shot his 6-year-old daughter, Ashley, and 4-year-old son, Gregory, before turning a gun on himself.

The slayings occurred outside the home of Dawn Henry -- Steven Henry's estranged wife and the children's mother -- on Vinson Road between Clayton and Wilson's Mills, authorities said.

The couple was engaged in a bitter custody battle, authorities said, and Dawn Henry contacted the Johnston County Sheriff's Office Monday morning after seeing her estranged husband's car in her driveway as she was returning home.

When deputies arrived at the house to see what Steven Henry wanted, they found all three bodies inside the car, authorities said.

Authorities spent Monday afternoon collecting evidence from the scene, and Dawn Henry was taken to the Johnston County Sheriff's Office late Monday afternoon to speak with investigators.

Dawn, Ashley and Gregory Henry had been living the house for about six months, and neighbors said Monday they were stunned by the slayings.

"It just disrupts the whole flow of life," neighbor John Benson said. "It's unbelievable. It's just unbelievable."

Authorities said Dawn Henry is an employee of the Johnston County School System. It is unknown what job, if any, Steven Henry held before his death.

According to Steven Henry's neighbors in Garner, he was rarely seen outside his home and didn't interact with anyone in the neighborhood

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