Dallas dad found not guilty for confiscating daughter’s iPhone

“A Dallas County jury found a father not guilty Tuesday of theft for taking away his daughter’s cell phone as punishment,” David Goins reports for WFAA. “Ronald Jackson, 36, was charged with theft of property of at least $50 but under $500, a Class B misdemeanor.”

“Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Lisa Green ordered the jury to find Jackson not guilty after ruling the state failed to present sufficient evidence to continue the case,” Goins reports. “Jackson said he took his 12-year-old daughter’s cell phone as punishment after finding inappropriate texts in September 2013. A few hours later, officers from the Grand Prairie Police Department showed up at his front door, asking for the iPhone 4 back.”

“Michelle Steppe, the child’s mother, sees it differently. ‘As a mom, I’m upset because — number one — the property belongs to me,’ she said,” Goins reports. “Steppe told jurors on Monday she called police the day her daughter lost the use of her phone for disciplinary reasons. ‘You can’t take someone’s property, regardless if you’re a parent or not,’ Steppe said. Ronald Jackson and Michelle Steppe readily admit they are not a couple anymore. Jackson said they were never married but had a child together. Steppe said Jackson didn’t become a part of his daughter’s life until she was seven.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This story is a allegory for many of the issues the U.S. faces today: Broken homes, or homes that never were, poor parenting, immature and irresponsible adults, lack of discipline, lack of self control, lack of common sense, the foolish waste of taxpayers’ money, a rampant entitlement mentality, selfishness, distressed children, general stupidity, too much swimming in the low end of the gene pool, poor role models, confused children, undisciplined children, etc. etc. etc. This sad fiasco is yet another episode in the endless Jerry Springer marathon that too much of this country has become.

Idiocracy wasn’t just a movie, it was a prophesy NSFW (Language):


  1. I’ve got a friend who had this happen:

    – his wife divorced him, left the state with his kids.
    – he bought them a cell phone so he could have contact with them.
    – she took it away “for some reason.”

    Wonder if that’s what happened here? Maybe this wasn’t about “punishing the daughter” but about “keeping the daughter from contacting the mother”?

      1. The ex-wife’s new husband is a cop — “Michelle Steppe is married to a Grand Prairie police officer.” — So the cops that showed up at the door were buddies of her current husband . . . just doing their job of course.

        1. To me, this is the biggest crime. Police abusing their special power. Police chief should put a stop to this kind of abuse. Police have enough problems without doing this kind of BS.

  2. Sounds like two parents who need to stop projecting their tired old arguments onto the upbringing of their daughter. Seriously guys, you’re divorced. We get that. Now for the sake of your child, grow up.

  3. The police officers and the DA should be fired for waisting the taxpayers money, for harassing the family for more than two years and just for being incredibly stupid!

    1. The police officers did not call themselves to respond. The DA did not file the lawsuit. Put the blame where is belongs — don’t try to shift all of the blame to the law.

      The officers were obligated to respond to the complain, but it does seem as if this whole situation could have been nipped in the bud. Perhaps the “father” sends the confiscated iPhone to the “mother”? Nope, that was too simple.

      1. I think you are incorrect: it sounds like the police officers DID call themselves:

        “Michelle Steppe [the mother in question] is married to a Grand Prairie police officer.”


        “…officers from the Grand Prairie Police Department showed up at his front door…”

  4. OK, the case makes sense now. Oh well, though not divorced in this case… 50% of America is divorced. We may see a lot more cases like this. But, that said, if it was the woman’s phone he should have given it to her and told her what the problem was. And, it is apparent then don’t get along, the court was the right place to resolve the issue.

    1. 50% of America is not divorced.

      About 50% of all marriages ended in divorce (major difference) in the 1970/80’s. That number has been declining ever since.

      The current estimate is that 75% of all marriages today make it until death.

      Those that do get divorced tend to remarry and divorce and remarry and divorce and remarry and divorce. This inflates and skews the numbers. I have an aunt who had done this five times.

      Most people stay married until one of them dies.

      1. Not only that but a huge number of that 50% were people divorcing for the second or third time.

        Most people did not get divorced, but a much smaller number of people got divorced a bunch of times.

        It’s a great example for a statistics class on ‘how not to draw inferences from simple statistics’.

      2. While this doesn’t represent a case of divorce, and while your statistics may or may not reflect divorce rates, what this does reinforce is that there is a growing rate of single-parent children. It may be that the reason the divorce rate is dropping is because fewer and fewer people are getting married, while the percentage of children born out of wed-lock is growing.

        It’d be all fine if the people that choose not to marry indiscriminately were also choosing to not procreate indiscriminately, but that’s not the case.

    1. What are you talking about, Greg?

      First, the name calling just reflects badly on you. And second, the kind of bad parenting we’re talking about here is not necessarily a liberal or conservative issue.

      That said, the lower end of the gene pool (lower income, lower education) tends to vote for the GOP. Just saying…

      1. Yeah, the blue collar union rank and file and inner city welfare recipients without whom Democrat Party politicians like Obama and Clinton would NEVER get elected are all Rhodes Scholars.

        You’re an idiot.

      2. Are you talking about the inner city like Philly who had OVER 100% voter turnout and almost every vote was for obama last election?

        Liberals just can’t let facts prevent them from pushing forward!

        BTW, you need to improve your reading comprehension. I said SOME of the worst of the liberals wouldn’t be able to grasp the truth in the comments. Just like I said, you proved me right.

    2. You idiot. Conservatives/Republicans are not somehow special when it comes to raising good kids. I have resided in Texas for a long time, and I can guarantee you that there are many, many examples of children from homes of Republican voters (wealthy, poor, and in-between) in this radically conservative state who match the description in the MDN Take®.

      A conservative philosophy and a Republican voting record do not automatically immunize a family from problems with pre-marital pregnancy, use of alcohol and drugs, various criminal or anti-social activities, or just plain greed, stupidity, and foolishness. It certainly did not help you.

      1. Told you some won’t be able to grasp the truth in the comment. Did I ever say that only Republicans could grasp the truth?

        I said SOME of the liberal cesspool wouldn’t be able to grasp it. The liberal cesspool being the radical left. Those that hate and attack anyone that doesn’t agree with them while at the same time calling for tolerance.

        But when does a liberal let facts get in their way!

  5. Children in Single-Parent Families Perform Worse on Achievement Tests than Their Two-Parent Peers

    The United States has a higher share of single-parent families than do other countries. What does this mean for academic achievement? Ludger Woessman of the University of Munich analyzed achievement differences across 28 OECD countries that participated in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test in 2000, in order to determine whether children in single-parent families performed as well academically as children from two-parent families.

    Among 15-year-old students in the United States, 20.7 percent live in single-parent families, a percentage matched only by Hungary, where 20.8 percent of 15-year-olds live in single-parent families. On average among the 28 countries Woessman analyzed, just 13.7 percent live in single-parent families.

    Woessman notes that single-parent homes tend to have fewer resources — and less time — to devote to their children, and various studies indicate that children of single parents in the United States face greater emotional distress and have lower educational attainment. What about academic achievement? According to Woessman’s study:

    • Children of single-parent families score lower than students in two-parent families, on average scoring 18 points worse.
    • In the United States, the difference is especially pronounced: the average achievement difference in math between children of single- and two-parent families is 26.6 points — roughly equivalent to one grade level.

    Woessman also adjusted the data for students’ backgrounds in order to see whether their socioeconomic background, parents’ education levels, immigration status or family language could be impacting the numbers. After accounting for these factors, he found that the disparity between single-parent and two-parent children’s scores was cut in half. In the United States, the difference dropped from 27 points to 10 points. By far, the largest factor for the achievement gap was socioeconomic background.

    Source: Ludger Woessman, Single-Parent Families and Student Achievement: An International Perspective, Education Next, January 9, 2015.

  6. Now THIS is parenting. I’ve said this before: You can’t be your child’s friend. You are a benevolent dictator. Good on this father for being a parent, and not a deadbeat dad.

    1. Yep. Didn’t start that way (7 years before he was involved), but he’s now the responsible parent, unlike the mom who called the police when Dad (seemingly very appropriately) disciplined the girl.

  7. Good analysis M.D.N. As you stated, idiotic parent who wanted to get back at the other parent, and used her daughter to do it. Amazing how the lowest of the gene pool are extremely capable of breeding.

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