Following a judge's ruling on Friday, the maternal grandfather of fallen officer Martoiya Lang's children is now their judge appointed guardian.
As guardian, Marvin Woods will recommend to the court who should have custody. That hearing is expected to happen within 45 days.
Woods was not one of the two parties fighting for guardianship. Judge Benham said neither Darius Lang, Martoiya's estranged husband, nor Vivian Woods Taylor, Martoiya's mother, were appropriate guardians.
Taylor adopted two children, has a gambling history, and the judge said she's among the most hostile witnesses he's ever seen.
Benham says Darius has bad judgment and has not abided by the courts orders. Despite owing $11,000 in child support, Darius spent Police Association money on a new truck, which doesn't seat his 6 kids. Plus, the judge says Darius has had little interaction with his kids in past few years, and there are testimonies of physical abuse between Martoiya and Darius.
Judge Benham says he always loses sleep over controversial cases and that his focus in this case was the best interest of the children.
Vivian Taylor and Marvin Woods divorced about 30 years ago, but are reportedly on good terms. The Judge says Woods seems to be friendly with everyone.
As for Martoiya's youngest child, two-year-old Xaria, Darius Lang is not the biological father, but is the legal guardian. He will be responsible for child support for all four children. The Judge says the court doesn't know who her biological father is.
Attorney Judy Self is the guardian of Lang's estate, which includes Lang's life insurance money and death benefits. Nothing can be taken out of that money without the court's approval. The money from the estate will be paid to the probate court office and most will go to the kids' college fund.
Judge Benham says the $300,000 collected by the Memphis Police Association may go to a separate trust.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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