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UPDATE: SC Couple, Grandparents Work Out Custody after Chicago Shooting

The grandparents of a shooting victim and the sister and brother-in-law of the alleged shooter have worked out a custody agreement for the two sons involved.

The uncle, aunt and grandparents have agreed on a custody arrangement for two boys whose father allegedly shot and killed their mother in a Chicago suburb this spring.

At a Lamoreaux Justice Center hearing in Orange, Rea and Jason Richmond of San Clemente came to a general agreement with grandparents Catherine Peters and Dave Bird to allow visits with the shooting victim's two young sons.

The Richmonds are the sister and brother-in-law of George Kleopa, 33, who is in custody in Illinois on charges of shooting his live-in girlfriend and mother of his sons Michele Peters, 30, in March.

"I think I'm going to back off on the custody thing," Catherine Peters said after the hearing Monday. "Their willing to work on visitation. We were going to try and see the kids now, but I have to get a flight out of LAX."

The children's grandparents, Dave Bird and Catherine Peters, have filed assertions of custody rights in Cook County family court.

Kleopa and Michele Peters had been a couple for 14 years and had two young sons together. Witnesses reported that on the night of her death they heard the couple arguing about Kleopa seeing another woman, according to statements in court hearings.

Chicago Heights police said that Kleopa changed his story several times of how Peters came be to fatally shot in the face when he was first taken into police custody in March, a Cook County prosecutor told the judge at Kleopa's arraignment.

Kleopa allegedly told police that Peters had shot herself, then said that Peters was bringing him the gun for him to clean and "it went off."

The Peters family have been vocal in the media about their situation, including Oak Lawn Patch in the greater Chicago area, which has been following this story closely.

Currently, attorneys in Illinois are preparing for trial; Kleopa has pleaded "not guilty" to the charges.

-- Oak Lawn Patch Editor Lorraine Swanson and Bridgette Outten contributed to this report.

DJ October 14, 2012 at 05:26 PM
The children need to stay with the family of the mother. Blood relatives tend to side with the accused no matter what, and those boys need to be away from that situation. Domestic violence needs to stop and families need to fight for the women and their children against abusers.
Charles October 14, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I asked my pastor what my opinion should be about this. He told me that I should feel that the children come first. So, with that, I feel the courts should do whatever is in the best interests of the children.
Auju Sazu October 15, 2012 at 12:11 AM
@Charles - you have to ask your pastor what to think? Really?
Barbara Cole Miller October 24, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Adam, 4th paragraph> Their willing to work on visitation. Really? Whatever happened to >they're, as in they are? After the weather/whether thing at week, reading your stories is just getting annoying. Just because it SOUNDS okay, it still needs to be spelled correctly if it's in print.

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