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Mother of murdered 10-year old pleas for more judges in Madison County

“Retired judges are volunteering their time, free of charge, and coming back to help with the backlog of cases.”
A prayer vigil was held on Aug. 13, 2021 for the family of Tate Buening.
A prayer vigil was held on Aug. 13, 2021 for the family of Tate Buening.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - One mother is begging for more judges in Madison County. Kayla Tate White’s 10-year-old son was murdered by his father. Brian Buening then shot himself.

Kayla was frantically trying to get a protective order to get her son away from her ex-husband.

In a recording from August 6, when a Madison County Deputy was performing a welfare check you hear Kayla tell the deputy, ”I just wanna made sure he is okay.”

The deputy responded by saying, “You are here and you can knock on the door just like I can. That’s what I am saying. This is a dispute between the two of you guys.”

This exchange was right before White found her son in her ex-husbands home.

Kayla says Brian suffered from PTSD and depression and would become extremely violent. Brian even once threatened to kill her in a text message. This time, it was too late.

Brian had shot Tate and killed himself. Kayla says she will never forget how she was treated that day.

“The fact that he let me find my child in that condition. That is an image that will be ingrained in my head forever,” said White.

Kayla says Tate was her whole world.

“I can’t imagine having a better relationship with a child. He was my best friend. For ten years he has been my best friend,” said White.

Kayla says nothing will bring justice to this case, but she wants an apology.

“That same deputy was still performing welfare checks a week ago at a person who I know house. That is just mind-blowing to me. I am not saying fire him. We don’t even get an apology for the way he treated us? On the day that my child died…”

Kayla filed an emergency motion to have Tate taken away from Brian in July. Due to a backlog of cases in Madison County a hearing was set for 30 days later.

In other counties, it typically only takes 3 days. She said the lack of justice is because of the lack of judges, and it’s time for a change.

”I did everything I thought I was supposed to do and sometimes I have regrets for that,” said White.

Attorney Will League says this is due to a major backlog in the court system.

“In the last 50 years, Madison County has only received one circuit court judge,” said League.

White filed an emergency motion on July 9 to have Tate taken from her ex-husband. A court hearing was set for 30 days later, the same day Tate died.

“She entered the system, followed the law. The process of the system didn’t have a chance to help her,” said League.

Currently, Madison County has a deficit of 3 judges. While other counties like Jefferson have a surplus of 8 judges.

“Retired judges that are volunteering their time, free of charge, are coming back to help with the backlog of cases.” said White.

White and League are joining together to leave a part of Tate here on this earth, and so this tragedy doesn’t happen to another family.

“State Representatives have been very helpful and we hope Tate’s Law can be introduced in a special session in the legislature. To address the severe lack of Judges in Madison County,” said League.

Kayla asks for the continued support of the community. She also asks that you call or write State Representatives to demand more judges in Madison County.

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