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Mon Apr 4, 2016, 09:31 PM

Road Rage Trial Update



“One man come in the names of love
One man come and go
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow.”
-- U2; (Pride) In the Name of Love



April 4 is always an important date for me. I remember 1968 all too well. It actually took a struggle to get Martin Luther King, Jr., to be “officially” honored with a holiday. And I remember when, in the 1990s, during union negotiations with the county board of supervisors on a contract. We discussed holidays. When Martin Luther King’s holiday was mentioned, one republican supervisor told us we didn’t need it off, as “there aren’t many Negroes in the county.” Seriously.

I know, I know ….. I should have said, “Yeah, but we’re a communist union!”

I think it is more important to think about the accomplishments, and the meaning, of King’s life, than about his death. But, it is important to think about what he was planning, in those final twelve months of his life, and about how he was killed.

Today was also the first day of the man who shot my cousin and his son, on October 27, 2014. I think it must have weighed on my mind last night, as I would break off a tooth while sleeping last night.. Maybe it was a premonition of how brutal a day we were in store for.

The District Attorney, who I’ve known and respected for years, did an outstanding job with his opening statement. Now, I have far more, and much closer, personal relationships with defense attorneys -- and civil attorneys -- than prosecutors. But I’ve followed DA’s in a four-county region in upstate New York, and I have long considered this one to be the best. In fact, I helped run one of his re-elections, against a tea party candidate.

The defense attorney opted not to give an opening statement. I don’t know this fellow, but he seems pleasant outside of the courtroom. I appreciate that everyone is entitled to a fair trial, which demands a competent attorney to represent your best interests. He has a job to do, and I do not resent him for that.

The first witness was my cousin. He did very well on direct. The prosecutor pre-empted a topic we knew the defense attorney planned to focus on …..that my cousin, who worked as a carpenter for 33 years, and is retired in part due to physical injuries sustained on the job, at times smokes pot to ease physical pain. Now, please -- before you decide never to talk to me again because my cousin sometimes indulges in the demon weed (he doesn’t play piano, though), try to keep an open mind. His primary doctor has prescribed strong “pain-killers” for him, but he is not willing to take them. His doctor is aware that my cousin smokes pot to relieve pain, and he’s okay with it.

Indeed, on cross-examination, the defense attorney did spend a significant amount of time and energy focusing on pot. There are a heck of a lot of ways for a person to ask the same question. But this got beyond where it seemed like overkill. And it eventually got to my cousin, and he reacted with emotion.

There was then a series of other witnesses -- one gentleman who drove by, and four women who were nearby, hadn’t witnessed the shooting, but attempted first aide before the EMTs , ambulances, and state police arrived. They all told the same basic story. One mentioned something that the thug isn’t being tried for: he placed the gun at the back of my cousin’s head, but the bullet jammed, just before he sped away from the scene.

The final witness today was a BCI Investigator for the NYS Police. She was the first person to interview the murderer. Her testimony really only had just gotten started, when a series of “in chambers” discussions took place. She’ll be back on the witness stand in the morning.

Perhaps the most painful part for me today was to listen to the tape of my cousin’s 911 call for help. I’m glad that I heard, but wish that I never had. It was something that I will not soon get out of my head.

The strangest part was when, during the BCI Investigator’s testimony, a series of photos were introduced (and then projected upon a large screen). The gunman had taken a lot of blood, and smeared it strategically on himself, to indicate serious injuries. He was taken to an area hospital; upon being washed, he had actually sustain zero injuries from the two people he shot.

Other information included that he was well beyond the legal limit for intoxication, when tested more than two hours after being placed in custody, and the description of his massive, entirely illegal arsenal. This creep had an unreal amount of weapons in both his car, and his home.

I was also struck by the defendant’s almost absolute lack of emotion. On several occasions, he would sneer at my cousin. This included a look of utter contempt, when my cousin wept while describing his son dying in his arms. I am convinced that this creep actually feels that he is the real victim here, and was entitled to do exactly what he did. I found myself remembering that, after being arraigned in court, he asked the judge, “Can I leave now?” He saw no reason for them to put him in jail.

I was hoping to spend some time tonight, doing housework, paying bills, and mailing out some things to friends that I promised a while back. But my mind isn’t there. I’m not trying to make an excuse for falling behind on stuff. Yet, even in the hours since I returned home, I’ve had fifteen phone calls -- from relatives, friends, the media, etc. I don’t have the energy that I had when I was young. I will get things out to a couple DU community members. Seriously. But for now, I just keep thinking about how my cousin and his son lived life, and how that young man died. And I still can’t grasp “Why?” he died like that. Maybe I never will.

Peace,
H2O Man

56 replies, 4906 views

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Arrow 56 replies Author Time Post
Reply Road Rage Trial Update (Original post)
H2O Man Apr 2016 OP
daleanime Apr 2016 #1
Old Codger Apr 2016 #2
SCantiGOP Apr 2016 #3
Gman Apr 2016 #4
renate Apr 2016 #21
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2016 #5
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2016 #6
NBachers Apr 2016 #7
Wilms Apr 2016 #8
Mbrow Apr 2016 #9
pacalo Apr 2016 #10
pablo_marmol Apr 2016 #11
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 2016 #12
Sissyk Apr 2016 #13
Gregorian Apr 2016 #14
GardeningGal Apr 2016 #15
shireen Apr 2016 #16
Liberal Jesus Freak Apr 2016 #17
Ilsa Apr 2016 #18
FailureToCommunicate Apr 2016 #19
Major Hogwash Apr 2016 #20
eggplant Apr 2016 #22
mountain grammy Apr 2016 #23
Hekate Apr 2016 #24
Liberal_in_LA Apr 2016 #25
FourScore Apr 2016 #26
Spitfire of ATJ Apr 2016 #27
Warpy Apr 2016 #28
hopemountain Apr 2016 #29
onyourleft Apr 2016 #30
Scuba Apr 2016 #31
salin Apr 2016 #32
marble falls Apr 2016 #33
kag Apr 2016 #34
LittleGirl Apr 2016 #35
malthaussen Apr 2016 #36
tclambert Apr 2016 #37
Omaha Steve Apr 2016 #38
rurallib Apr 2016 #39
barbtries Apr 2016 #40
hbhall Apr 2016 #41
Lifelong Protester Apr 2016 #42
Melissa G Apr 2016 #43
lunatica Apr 2016 #44
A HERETIC I AM Apr 2016 #45
MH1 Apr 2016 #53
rhett o rick Apr 2016 #46
yardwork Apr 2016 #47
passiveporcupine Apr 2016 #48
myrna minx Apr 2016 #49
etherealtruth Apr 2016 #50
lunasun Apr 2016 #51
Marrah_G Apr 2016 #52
msanthrope Apr 2016 #54
Ghost in the Machine Apr 2016 #55
rosesaylavee Apr 2016 #56

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 09:40 PM

1. ......

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 09:41 PM

2. great description

 

I have sat through a few trials and I know how emotional it can get sometimes it is really hard to contain the anger and sense of frustration... That description of the defendant sounds like a real solid look at a sociopath...

The part about the pot is nothing anyone should find reason to be angry about, they are proving more and more that there are some truly good medicinal reason for using it. Personally have been against it somewhat but have taken time to better understand it and ways it can be beneficial.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 09:41 PM

3. Peace to you, man.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 09:46 PM

4. And it may sound rhetorical but

You can make yourself nuts trying to make sense out of something so senseless. It is senseless. Until things change significantly in this countty, acts like this get repeated All you can do is help yourself and others affected to move forward. But you probably already know this but haven't realized it yet. You will and hopefully closure will come with a just outcome for this trial.

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Response to Gman (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 11:07 PM

21. I'll second that

"You can make yourself nuts trying to make sense out of something so senseless."
It's human nature to try to figure out some big-picture reason for why this happened but it's simply impossible.

H20 Man, I am so sorry.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 09:49 PM

5. I know what you are going through is tough, and it is likely to get tougher ...

 

One mentioned something that the thug isn’t being tried for: he placed the gun at the back of my cousin’s head, but the bullet jammed, just before he sped away from the scene.


Had this been a jury trial ... the trial would be all but over! (But, that doesn't mean the Judge didn't hear it.)

Wishing you strength and peace.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 09:52 PM

6. I wish you peace

 

criminal trials are taxing to the soul. May I recommend some tea, with some milk? At least to me, that has a calming effect. A nice Earl Gray does the trick.

And realize, many of us are behind you in spirit. Tomorrow, expect another grueling day my friend.

As to the pot... ffsss... it has medical uses, time to bury the damn war on drugs.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:01 PM

7. Thank you

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:07 PM

8. Indeed, you may never find an answer.

 

But the question, held right, can heal you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:09 PM

9. Stay Strong H2O Man

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:16 PM

10. I wish you & your family strength & peace to get through this trial.

I feel for you all. May justice prevail so that the man can't harm anyone else.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:26 PM

11. Can only *begin* to imagine what you're going through H20 Man.

In '81 I lost two cousins to a drunk driver that had killed before. His trial was out-of-state, and the public uproar ended up in sentencing laws changing in the state of Washington.

I don't think I'd have the emotional strength to sit in a courtroom as you are. I wish you peace, and whatever resolution is possible for you under the circumstances.


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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:31 PM

12. Thank you, my dear H20 Man, for updating us so thoroughly.

I hold you and your cousin in my heart.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:33 PM

13. K&R

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:37 PM

14. Thank you for sharing this.

I feel deeply sorry. Why?... It is a struggle to stay in the light. It almost overshadows the miracle that it was not both.

I very much admire your willingness to be positive. I wish I could help.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:45 PM

15. Sending you a virtual hug

I can't imagine going through this. Know that we're thinking of you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:45 PM

16. thank you for keeping us updated

I cannot begin to imagine the pain you're feeling. Sometimes, putting feelings and experiences into words can be therapeutic. I hope that's the case for you. If you're able, please continue to share your story with us. We're here for you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:54 PM

17. Peace, strength, and love...

The next few days/weeks will certainly take a toll on you and yours

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:55 PM

18. The murderer must be a sociopath to have

Zero remorse for taking a young man's life like that.

We feel bad for you, H2OMan, and your cousin. I hate that your family is suffering like this.

If updating us helps you, if it's therapeutic in some way, then by all means...but if it hurts too much, we'll understand. Sometimes your heart and brain need need to rest.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 10:57 PM

19. You have impressive courage to sit thru the trial.

The hearing for the drunk who assaulted my brother (causing permanent brain damage) is coming up at the end of the month. I don't know how I will get through it.

I wish strength for you in the days ahead.

Drunk drivers SUCK!!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 11:01 PM

20. I wasn't aware this had happened.

You may never arrive at an answer as to why this happened that will satisfy you.
That's what happened for me, many times, never being able to figure out why it happened.
Just accepting it and moving on, didn't seem sufficient to placate my reasons for wanting to know why something like that had happened.
But, eventually, I had to accept it because thinking about it a lot during my down time was driving me nuts trying to make sense of it all.



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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 4, 2016, 11:51 PM

22. "I’m not trying to make an excuse for falling behind on stuff."

Stop right there. First, you don't need to defend your own feelings or behaviors as this terrible crime continues to play out. Second, dealing with all of this IS on your list of "stuff". You spent and entire day productively doing things on your "stuff" list.

My wife deals with chronic pain. She feels defeated when she doesn't get anything on her list done on a given day. But "getting through the day" counts when she hurts. It's on the list.

There are more things on your "stuff" list than can be done in a day, and you didn't waste any of the day not doing things. "Getting through the day" counts for you, without apology or excuse. You have your priorities straight.

Thank you for sharing your feelings.

*hug*

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 12:07 AM

23. Thank you for keeping us updated

And peace to you. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts as you struggle through this ordeal.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 12:38 AM

24. Peace...peace....peace....

peace....peace....peace.... is all my prayer for you and yours.

With love,

Hekate

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 12:56 AM

25. k&r

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 01:02 AM

26. There are no words...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 02:47 AM

27. Sounds like it went well.

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 04:20 AM

28. I am so glad we didn't have to face a murder trial

The cops wheedled a confession out of the guy with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. He refused to cop to the other two eerily similar murders in that town, but he didn't need to. He went to prison and eventually died a natural death there. I was only 16, but I felt justice had been served as long as he couldn't kill anyone else.

I don't know what a full jury trial would have done to my family.

The defendant in your case probably thinks his former and present jobs put him above the law. I hope the jury doesn't buy that, he really needs to be off the street for as long as possible.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 04:43 AM

29. this is traumatic even to read

and no doubt it is a drawn out traumatic event for you and your family.

when you are not there supporting your cousin and family - and one another - please do not neglect self care - breathing fresh air, drinking nourishing drinks, sustaining yourself with nourishing foods. go for a walks when possible (if possible). spend quiet time with a pet or whatever soothes your soul.

get some magnesium and calcium in you before bed to relax the tension in your jaw.

the smoke from the sage and cedar today was thick and pungent - more so than yesterday and the day before - may the prayers and intent be carried through the ethers to keep your hearts strong. be at peace.

in a good way, hopemountain

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 06:52 AM

30. Thank you so...

...much for the update.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 07:49 AM

31. Peace and love for you and your family.

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 07:54 AM

32. Peace to you and your family

or what ever form of it you can find through this horrendous ordeal.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 08:03 AM

33. Powerful stuff, man. You need to put it together in a book.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 08:40 AM

34. Thank you so much for keeping us updated...

Peace to you, your cousin, and your whole family.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 08:52 AM

35. Thanks for the update

I hope that typing all of that helps you heal just a bit. Hugs from Europe.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 08:56 AM

36. I could understand the defense attorney harping on the pot...

... if there were a jury to influence, but there is only a judge, and one would think he had already made up his mind about the Evil Weed. But I guess counsel isn't allowed to get up there and say "I got nothin'." What a nice commentary on our society that the victim "sometimes" smoked pot for pain relief, and that's terrible, while the fact that the thug was drunk is no big deal.

The attitude you describe reminds me of the guy in Florida a couple of years ago who shot and killed his next door neighbor. When he was arrested, he said "What's the big deal? I only killed a nigger!" (note to jury: that is a direct quote) He apparently had no concept that such an act was a bad idea.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 10:10 AM

37. Those "in chambers" discussions puzzle me a little.

Usually such discussions regard evidence or testimony one attorney wants to present to the jury but the other doesn't, and the judge may rule against presenting it to the jury as "too prejudicial." How does he rule against presenting it to himself, though? Doesn't he have to hear it to decide?

The blood the perpetrator smeared on himself seems like it proves "knowledge of guilt" through a feeble attempt at a cover-up, kind of like fleeing the scene before authorities got there. Hell, if he were innocent, he would have called 911 himself.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 10:49 AM

38. I forgot to say K&R


OS

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 11:47 AM

39. have been following your story and am just overwhelmed by what you are going through

All I can say is best wishes for a just outcome and may you have the strength to see this through.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 12:32 PM

40. thank you for keeping us updated.

after my daughter was killed that "why" seemed to inhabit my entire mind. i don't think you get to know. at one time i decided, not sure if i still believe, that after we die we still don't know "why" - we stop being tormented by it. peace and love to you and your family. hope you don't mind; here is a poem i wrote not long after Bekah's death.

today’s paean to why

There's like a why ocean,
from which waves of why
either tease or soak
my grief-addled mind.
During why's high tide,
nearly drowned in why,
The world abounds with why
All I hear is the sound of why
If it tells me it will have to kill me

When why recedes it is still a mystery
Still cannot know it
while I must respect its immense power over me
Riptides of why swamp me regularly
when I'm rolled crazily around in why,
Powerless to dive away from why
Useless to try dominating why.

On the island why I stop to see
How perseverance can still abide in me
On the mainland why I walk the beach
Hope defying why, the why of life
Is easy to see
By my side or inside of me,
Your spirit your love accompanies
With the energy of a wave
that embodies a natural eternity.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 12:55 PM

41. Please continue to keep us posted as painful as it is

I am from upstate NY, just a few counties north of you, though I left many years ago. This concerns me deeply, especially since it is in my own backyard. I think it is safe to say we all feel sorry for your loss, but, I want to see justice done and will be waiting and hoping for the day that you inform us that it is so. Hang in there.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 01:22 PM

42. What can we do for you?

Wow. Just typing all of this must be trying. Can we do anything for you and your family?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 01:44 PM

43. Wishing you Peace, Love and Light.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 03:26 PM

44. Hugs to you and your cousin and all the family

It's very, very tough to re-live it all again. There's the added memory of the grief and pain that is still with all of you.

Give yourself permission to process the trial at your own speed. It's just beginning. And if you have the good luck of being able to cry, then there's more buckets to fill.

I lost my son two years ago to cardiac arrest. I am very conscious of the fact that I was lucky to have him in my life. He was worth all the pain and grief I feel. And strangely enough feeling this makes it bearable.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 04:05 PM

45. What a complete and utter fucking scumbag


To wit;
I was also struck by the defendant’s almost absolute lack of emotion. On several occasions, he would sneer at my cousin. This included a look of utter contempt, when my cousin wept while describing his son dying in his arms. I am convinced that this creep actually feels that he is the real victim here, and was entitled to do exactly what he did. I found myself remembering that, after being arraigned in court, he asked the judge, “Can I leave now?” He saw no reason for them to put him in jail.


If you don't prevail and if they don't put this asshole away for a very long time......

Then it further proves the "justice system" is entirely broken.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #45)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 09:15 PM

53. What you said.

Thank you for finding the words I was looking for.

This scum's attitude is beyond comprehension.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 04:13 PM

46. Thanks for keeping us up to date. My best you you and your family.

 

What is the charge leveled on the "murderer"?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 04:17 PM

47. I am so very sorry for what you and your family are having to endure.

The murderer sounds like a sociopath. I hope that he is found guilty and receives a very long sentence. I know that that won't undo your loss.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 05:16 PM

48. I can't give you any comfort,

but my heart is with you during this ordeal. It's undertandable to wonder why something happens. I think we all do, when something horrible happens by "chance" to someone we love.

Have you considered getting some grief counseling for yourself? You may need it before this is over...as if it will ever really be "over".

I am so glad the witness was able to get in the fact of his attempt to kill your cousin too. The judge may have already known that, but it really needed to be part of this case. And the blood smearing? I hadn't heard about that before. That is pretty condemning. I thought he took off and had to be chased down by license number. It seems that too would be pretty condemning. I guess, even if he thought he was innocent (how could he possibly think that?), he would still want to run just because of the alcohol in his system.

I wish there was a way to make this easier, shorter, less painful...but that's not the nature of trials.

I hope for your family's sake, he is put away for a very long time. Being a police officer though, I somehow doubt that will be the result of this case. But we can hope for it.

Take care, and don't be hard on yourself. You've got enough on your plate right now without that. This sort of thing can suck your soul out, as much as all your energy.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 06:43 PM

49. I can't even imagine...

All of my love and and healing good will to you and yours.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 06:47 PM

50. Wishes for continued strength and eventual peace

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 07:08 PM

51. Please take care and update when you can. I remember your first post and it pained me then. Cant

imagine what the family is going through. Stay strong all

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 07:34 PM

52. I cannot imagine how painful this is H2O

I am so sorry your family has had to go through this.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 09:34 PM

54. Defending pieces of shit like this are what earned me my username.

 

He's evil. There's no plausible or nice reason why he did what he did, and you'll make yourself crazy trying to discern his thinking. Just think of him as a rabid dog who needs to be put in a cage lest he bite anyone else.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 09:39 PM

55. K&R!

I know it's hard, but may you and your family find Peace & Healing in your hearts & minds, H2O Man....

Peace to you and yours,

Ghost

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Apr 6, 2016, 08:53 AM

56. Again, so glad you are able to be there for your cousin.

Thanks for the update.

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