Man Accused Of Preventing Children From Going To School

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(Memphis) Police are concerned about a family in Whitehaven. A man is accused of keeping his wife from letting their children go to school and threatening to burn their house down.

Malachi Jaja is in jail, but police say his wife won't open up about what happened.

“Are you OK?” asked reporter Sabrina Hall

“Yes,” said the wife.

WREG stopped by their home on Lion's Gate Drive to talk to the woman whose husband is now in jail.

“Is he abusive to you?” asked Hall.

“No! He's not abusive to me at all. He is not abusive to me at all,” she said.

Police say the wife said the same thing to them.

Tuesday, police got an anonymous call saying the woman's husband Jaja wouldn't let their children go to school and threatened to burn their house down.

When officer's showed up, they found an assault rifle and handguns in the home and scratches on his wife.

“They said that he scratched your face,” said Hall.

“No,” she said.

Tthe woman showed us a scratch on her neck. She says Jaja pushed her, but it was no big deal.

“Do you need help?” asked Hall.

“No,” she said.

While the woman insists her husband is not abusive, WREG talked to neighbors who say they have seen police cars at their house on multiple occasions and they have wondered whether abuse was going on.

“If they admit to an abusive relationship, sometimes they are in greater danger afterwards so they make a choice every day,” said Dotty Jones, president of the Shelby County Domestic Violence Council.

Jones says this story is common and the biggest concern, of course, is the children.

“It’s not good for children in any situation to see violence in their homes.”

Memphis police called the Department of Children Services which is now following up with the family and their four young children.

Jaja is being held on a $7,500 bond.


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