# Custody cases
Former Sutter County Sheriff’s deputy awarded custody of teenage daughters, despite their wishes
Kanitra Heard says she was in an abusive marriage to Will Simmons, a former Sutter County Sheriff’s deputy, since moving to Yuba County in 2007. In January of 2021, Kanitra left her home with her three teenage daughters because Will’s abuse and threats became too much for her. Now a Yuba County judge has awarded Will full custody of his daughters who themselves say do not feel safe with their father. Kanitra feels that because Will is a former Sutter deputy and now an agent with the Department of Homeland Security, he was shown favorably treatment by Judge Melanie Bendorf at the expense of her and her daughter’s safety and well-being.