William Matthew Jones 12-30-85 to 11-06-05 "Always in our Hearts"
This site is dedicated in memory of my son Matt. A mother should never have to design a website for a lost child. Reality is there are millions of mothers just like myself who do this. Through this journey since Matt was murdered I have learned there are far more people traveling this journey than I ever dreamed about. I am not alone and the bad thing is it continues to happen everyday in this country. No one is immune to it. We certainly never dreamed it would happen in our family but it did. You are chosen for whatever reason to be on this journey and you handle it the best way you can. Some days are okay, some days are not. You take one day at a time, you smile and try to go on but deep inside your heart has a hole that will never mend. Your life as you knew it is and will always be different. A part of your future is gone forever. What once may have been will never be. Now you decide which way to go. Most importantly for me was a question I use to ask myself. What would Matt do? I know the answer to that and everyday I live, laugh and love it is for Matt who is always with me in my heart.
Now for the story:
Matt was born on December 30, 1985. A bouncing baby boy who weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz. Of the four children I had Matt was the smallest. He out grew that though and everyone of them. At 19 when Matt was murdered he was 6'5 and 205 pounds.
During Matt's childhood he was your typical "all boy". Always getting into something, always trying something new. He was the only child I had who always ended up in the emergency room getting stitches for doing something he shouldn't have been doing.
Matt was an honest child, no matter what he did whether it was good or bad he would tell you he did it. That honesty continued as Matt grew and somethings he told me as a teenager about personal things he probably should have kept to his self. Matt knew he could always talk to me and we sure had some colorful conversations especially around the dinner table. I wouldn't trade a one of those for anything now. I think about them and it makes me laugh.
His personality and his smile were a part of him that will always be treasured. If you knew Matt you couldn't help but like him. If he liked you he would pick and tease but you couldn't get mad with him because he would give you that look and flash that smile then say something to make you laugh and you would forget all about being ill. Matt loved people, he trusted people and he always tried to see the best in people. Even when I had a question about some kids he would bring home he was always standing up for them convincing me it was okay. I wish on the last one he convinced me was okay he would have took my advice. Trusting that friend cost Matt his life.
Matt was like most teenage boys, loved his car. He concentrated more on tires, rims, systems, speakers, intakes and seeing how fast he could go far more than on his school work. I am sure he raced most everyone here at least once and some twice. He use to scare me to death driving but defensively I have never seen a better driver. I had always thought if something ever happened to Matt though it would be from a car wreck. Never did I dream someone would take his life. That doesn't happen in small towns. Guess what it does everyday.
Of course like all boys girls began to play a big part of Matt's life. There were times he would leave with one and come home with another. He was a flirt to say the least. Then one day he brought home a young lady named Erica and he said Mom this is the one everyone thinks I am seeing. I didn't say anything but I was thinking and I bet you are too. Erica was different for Matt. She calmed him down. She complimented Matt and what they had even though they were young is what people look for all their lives sometimes. Matt told me after him and Erica decided to get engaged that she would always be in his life. She was to the end and she still loves him today as much as she did then. It's been almost 3 years and Erica is as close to our family as she always was. We love her too and I see why my son loved her so much. He made a good choice.
Out of the love Matt and Erica shared came a precious little girl. Mattison Kayleigh Jones was born on April 13, 2006. Five months and one week after her father was killed. I prayed everyday for those 5 months that this baby would be just like Matt. God answered those prayers for me. She is exactly like him. When I look into her eyes, I see Matt's eyes. Her personality, her smile always makes me laugh like he did. She has certainly been a god send for our family and she will carry on the memory of her daddy. The saddest part is knowing she will never experience the love he could have given her. Matt was proud he was going to be a father. He carried that ultrasound around in his car showing it off to everyone that would look. He went to the doctor when Erica had to go. He felt his baby girl move the first time the night before he was killed. How ironic God gave him that chance before he died.
Matt was one of four children. The third born. He loved his older sister Leigh better known to him as "sissy". Leigh use to always scratch his back and his arm for him to go to sleep. You would watch Matt sleep as he grew up and he would hold his arm up in the air scratching it like his sissy did for so many years. I guess he was dreaming she was doing it. Matt's daughter loves her back and arm scratched too. Leigh left home when Matt was still young and he missed her so much but their bond never changed. She was always his sissy. Matt has an older brother Rick. One he admired and looked up to. One he confided in, shared things with and who became his best friend. They counted on one another. They shared a special bond that only brothers can share. Rick has enlisted in the military and I know Matt would have followed his example but he never got the chance to see Rick do this. He wanted to be like his brother to him he was a special kind of man. Then there is the baby sister, Brittaney. Lord they use to fight like cats and dogs with each other but you better not let anyone else say anything about them or they were ready to fight them. Then when Brittaney turned about 14 or 15 they teamed up as best buddies. Matt was her protector, he tried to be her daddy looking after her. He decided whether he liked the boys that liked her or not. He wanted everything for her car he got for his. He ran interference for her so she wouldn't get in trouble. Most of all he was so proud of her accomplishments. Matt was taken from her when she wanted to share her life with him more than ever, it was her senior year. Her first day of college, her wedding and now she is expecting her first child and her best friend can't be there. Brittaney misses him so much but she remains a constant figure and example in his daughter Matti's life. Matt I know watches over them all and is so proud.
Matt and I had a wonderful relationship. He was a momma's boy and he didn't care who knew it. He was proud of it. I spoiled him and I know it. Matt never left me without his last words being "I love you Mom". Matt and I shared everything. He was there for me through a lot of hard times being alone with two kids. He always kept my head up about it. I miss our talks, I miss his jokes and most of all I miss the best hugs in the world. I even miss the aggravation. One thing I am most thankful for is even though I will always be lost without him I will never regret anything about our relationship. He knew how deeply I loved him, he knew he could always count on me to be there through the rough times and the good times. There was nothing Matt and I could have said or done that we didn't do and I am thankful for that. Matt was a son I was proud of and I always will be. Everyday of my life for 19 years Matt spent with me, what a blessing.
Matt was 19 years old when his life was taken. He loved life. He loved his family and he loved children. Matt was the best uncle in the world to MacKenzie, Jackson, Carson, Devin and Lil McKenzie. He played with them just like he was their age. If he was gone and they came over, he immediately came home to see the kids. They are lost without their Uncle Matt as we all are. They haven't forgotten. Jackson still wants to be just like Uncle Matt. What a compliment.
Since that fateful night, myself and the children, Erica and Matt's friends have endured the length process of a trial. I have moved all that information to "His Legacy" page. It's time to move on and for us to remember Matt for his love, his life and the difference he made in us all.
That's the story of my life right there in black and white..... You should have seen it in living color!!!!!
Below I will update pictures of Matt's daughter as well as our family. There are people who have been with us from the beginning that like to keep up with our progress and even though this site is for Matt I somehow think Matt likes that idea too. Some of these people are our friends, some are complete strangers that have become friends. To everyone who visits here please know that it touches our heart to know how much you care. Every candle that is lit, every tribute that is wrote is read by our family. It always helps to know that Matt is remembered not only by his family but by others. May God Bless You All.
Matt's daughter, our hearts this picture was taken December 09 she is 3 1/2 now
Matti and Grandma
She is Grandma's girl....no doubt
This look and these kisses make it able to go on.
Me and Rick at his graduation from Basic. Matt would be so proud of him I know.
Leigh, Brittaney and Matti......use to Matt would have been here and making sure their hair was wet.
Loss of a Child (author unknown)
The moment that I knew you had died, My heart split in two, The one side filled with memories, The other died with you.
I often lay awake at night, When the world is fast asleep, And take a walk down memory lane, With tears upon my cheek.
Remembering you is easy, I do it every day, But missing you is a heartache, That never goes away.
I hold you tightly within my heart, And there you will remain, Life has gone on without you, But it never will be the same.
For those who still have their children, Treat them with tender care, You will never know the emptiness, As when you turn and they are not there.
Don't tell me that you understand, don't tell me that you know. Don't tell me that I will survive, How I will surely grow.
Don't tell me this is just a test, That I am truly blessed. That I am chosen for the task, Apart from all the rest.
Don't come at me with answers That can only come from me, Don't tell me how my grief will pass, That I will soon be free.
Don't stand in pious judgment Of the bonds I must untie, Don't tell me how to grieve, Don't tell me when to cry.
Accept me in my ups and downs, I need someone to share, Just hold my hand and let me cry, And say, "My friend, I care."
MATTI VISITS HER DADDY REGULARLY AND SHE KNOWS WHO HE IS EVEN THOUGH SHE NEVER GOT TO MEET HIM.
IT BREAKS YOUR HEART THOUGH WHEN SHE LEANS DOWN TO KISS HIM AND PATS HIS PICTURE CALLING DADDY! HE WOULD HAVE BEEN SO PROUD OF THIS LITTLE GIRL!
SJE ALWAYS SENDS BALLOONS TO HER DADDY ON EVERYONES BIRTHDAY
They Murdered You and Took Away Your Dreams But They Can Never Take Our Memories
We will always remember the smile, the laughter, the joy and the impact that you brought to our hearts if only for a short while.
Seeing his picture and that beautiful smile Hard to believe he’s walked his last mile. But that’s his steps down here on earth Now he walks in the year of his rebirth. He was taken away and went up above Still sees us all, can feel all our love. Taken away by a senseless crime Those thugs souls aren’t worth a dime. Looking at him one thing they did not take; That wonderful smile God did not forsake. Just took him from us so very young; In all of our minds his picture is hung. Live your new life Matt and save that big smile; We will all see ya soon when we walk our last mile.
Written by Jeff Eisen in honor of William Matthew Jones untimely passing, Jeff this will always be special to Matt's family thank you!
This is the four children. Rick, Matt, Brittaney and Leigh. This picture was made 2 and a half weeks before the murder. The four of them made a whole and since that fateful night there is a void in their lives that can never be replaced.
Matt had a best friend in his Mom. One he always trusted and told way more than she needed to know about. He was the prankster always keeping something going and just when his mom would be about to pull her hair out Matt would look at her and say I love you mom and what could you do? He always had a smile and a joke to tell you. He was the laughter that held us all together. He was the man of the house, Mom and his sister Brittaney's protector. Since the murder our world has changed forever.
He never got to big to sit in Mom's lap or to give her a great big kiss no matter who was watching.
When Matt and I would say I love you he would always say he loved me more and then I would say I love you more. I miss those days so much.
This was written to me by one of Matt's friends this is the type of person he was and shows the memories he left with them:
Hey Mama Jane, I thought about something this morning, thought I'd share.
Once when Matt and I were riding around, me and my mom got into it on the phone and I had a few choice words, then hung up. Matt told me that I should never end things like that with my mom because if something happened to us, that'd be the last memory she had of me. I was like "Well you always squall tires out of the driveway and yell when you and your mom argue." He said, "Yeah, but I always come back and tell her I love her, don't never leave things bad, she loves you, she's your biggest supporter and you need to tell her you love her."
He pulled off the road and sat there and made me call my mom back and tell her I was sorry and that I loved her. At the time, I felt like a 4 year old, but looking back, I realize that's just the way Matt was. You and him had a solid bond and he loved you so much. Y'all didn't always get along but he always made sure you knew he loved you. Submitted by: Matt's friend Ricky Marositz
Matt was the greatest uncle of all to six wonderful nieces and nephews.
Matt had a new nephew that never got to meet. He was born September 12, 2006. He was Matt's namesake and born to his brother Rick. On December 5, 2006 Lil Matthew passed away of SIDS and we know he is in heaven now and being taken care of by his Uncle Matt. To view his website please go to:
The interior stayed as clean as the outside
Special Thanks to Quinn for creating this picture so a little girl would have a picture with her Daddy.
This picture was made that day 4 hours before the murder
We will see Matt again one day and the reason for that is
Matt made the most important decision of his life at the age of 16. He asked the Lord to come into his life and save him. He was baptized at Piney Grove Chapel Church and we have no doubt now that Matt is in heaven watching over us all.
What a relief to know that we will see Matt on the other side one day where there is no evil.
The last thing you buy your son should never be a coffin and a tombstone
A message to all who are reading this tragic event in our lives we would like to tell you that the ONLY way to get through this is by the grace of God. Without him we are nothing.
BUT EVEN WHEN OUR WORLD SEEMED SO DARK AND LOST A NEW LIFE BEGAN.................
On April 13, 2006 a piece of Matt came back to us in this world. His daughter Mattison Kayleigh Jones. She weighed 8 lbs. 7.3 ounces. It was a day her father had looked forward too and should have been there for. Not only did evil take away a loving son, brother and uncle now a dad was included in that.
Matti is growing into the spitting image of her father. Her looks are just like him and her personality is turning out to be his too. She is always the happiest baby and will go to anyone. Trusting just like her father. She has lots of family and friends of her fathers that will tell her how wonderful her daddy was.
DADDYS LITTLE GIRL HE NEVER KNEW
HOW WE WISH SHE COULD HAVE KISSED YOU LIKE THIS! Thanks Quinn
Matti we feel sure is talked to by her Daddy. You may think that is strange however there have been things since Matti was born that she has done that are unexplainable. She has giggled when she was asleep since she came home from the hospital. She will look at the ceiling and move her head like she is following something, she always looks up at the sky, she reaches for things in the air when there is nothing there the only explanation would be she sees her Daddy. Matti had never heard his voice except when Erica was pregnant and Matt use to talk to her stomach. The first time I played this website with Matt's voicemail on it Matti went crazy, crawling to the computer and patting it saying Da-Da.....she will actually wake up if she hears it playing. Here are some pictures of Matti when she looks at her Dad's website.
Thanks Quinn for this one..
It has now been over two years since our world fell apart and I won't tell you it is any easier than it was then because it's not. We have been through hell here on earth but we have had an outpouring of love from family and friends as well as Matt's friends that have stuck by our sides and become part of our family. Everyday we struggle with the loss of Matt, we will always carry him in our hearts because of the love and memories we shared. We may forgive but we will never forget.
On Sunday November 5, 2006 we had a memorial service for Matt at his gravesite to try and remember his life. What a blessing to his family to hear the stories of all who were there. The one thing all of them ended with was there will never be another one like Matt. He was always happy and joking and loved life. He was always a friend you could count on and how they have realized they are so few and far between. What a legacy our son has left. I am so proud to have been his Mom because somewhere along the way I did something right. Below are the pictures of the 1st anniversary memorial.
These are the boys that Matt knew as his friends. The ones that have remained loyal and true to our family and check on us daily to make sure we are okay.
This is the extended family Matt has brought into our lives that all call me Momma Jane along with Matt's brother and sisters. These kids have hurt just like we have hurt and there is never a day that they don't think of Matt.
This is Matt's daughter Matti now almost 7 months old. She knows who her dad is from pictures but how sad she couldn't feel his big strong arms around her.
This is the crowd preparing for the balloon release for you.
What a beautiful site when they were going up to you. We chose pink and black because they were Matt's favorite.
These are the flowers we had placed in our church that morning and then took to the cemetary for Matt. They were from Mom, Brittaney, Leigh, Rick ,Erica, Reagan and Matti
You will never be forgotten with all the cars with these stickers on them.
Thank you to all the ones that have stayed by us, who have prayed for us, brought food, sent cards, read this website everyday, made graphics for this website, followed our lives and remembered Matt we are forever thankful. You are our angels here on earth sent to help a family pull their way out of this hell. We love you all near and far. Jane, Rick, Leigh, Brittaney, Erica and Matti
This poem was written from another mother of a murdered child it is what we go through everyday.
We are the Mothers of Murdered Children, We are their Voices, speaking out for them, We are crying out in pain for all to hear us, As we want "Justice," to vail through out the world for victims,and their families everywhere.. ........
Oh! how precious our children's lives were to us, Oh! how we adored these daughters/son' s They were young, bright children, with their whole futures just ahead of them, But it wasn't meant to be --because of selfish,evil, cold-blooded killers that were on the streets on the prowl to hurt innocent ones that night,
Our beloved daughters/son' s are gone from this earth,forever, We as they Mothers, are left behind to be there "Voices," Fighting to right the wrong done to them, Oh! how we fight with community agencies, tv' s and newpapers reporters, and the red tape that we go thru with the govt........ and so forth,
Our child; life was cut down, we are striving forward to make rights out of the wrongs...... ... We scream out in pain, We scream out our child's name to be heard, We want new laws, we want "Justice," for our children's lives that were taken away from us, thru murder...... ....
Someday, maybe the laws will be changed to protect the Innocenct ones instead of protecting the Guilty Ones, until that day,we as parents must keep voicing our opinions, to change these old laws to bring new reforms laws..... So that our beloved children, did not die in vain!
This is decidated to all the murdered children in Gp :Feliccity,Mack, Megan Mae, Moniqa Shyle, Matt, Heather, Denise,Wendy, Daniel,Kriss, Aaron, Kathryn-Mary, if I miss anyone child please, know,that they are in my heart,this evening also........ .....I was just trying to add the names as they were coming to my mind, As if some of these children names here or not listed here; will not be forgotten as they are forever loved by their parents,families/ friends.. ...and shall be forever missed! My heart goes out to there families/parents/ friends.. ........
Written by Linda S.Morton copyright@dec27, 06 Linda Morton, Mom-Heather Lynne, Beaten/murdered/ mulilated 04/19/99
This was read at Matt's memorial and is so true of him. HIS SMILE
His Smile was his trademark wherever he went. A room would brighten when MATT came in Cause the first thing you saw, would be his grin.
A Son and a brother so precious, A friend so true. Whatever he had He would share it with you! A thought, a deed, a kind word for a while But always, oh always, he'd share "His smile".
Our hearts are breaking, our thoughts are going wild. We've lost our friend, We've lost our child.
But only for alittle while I heard Jesus say I have chosen him for the Master's Bouquet.
Hand selected by Jesus from this garden of life, Gone to heaven, he's through with this strife.
Why is he gone? God only knows, but oh what a treasure A "smiling rose."
This was the poem I wrote of my thoughts and feelings that night:
It was November 6, 2005
A day where the family had been together all day No one would ever have expected for it to end in this way. My daughter calls me and tells me they have found Matt’s car But they cannot find him and I think surely he can’t be far. Then she says they have a body out there, All I can think is a body out where? I tell my husband the best I can remember of what she has said And I am convincing myself that Matt can’t be dead. We take off to the scene not knowing what we will see It seemed like forever before we could get there to me. I called his cell phone and it went to his voice mail on the way Hoping and praying that we would find out he was okay As we pull up this long dark road I see my daughter in tears Police cars all around but no one will tell us what we fear. I stood there thinking this can’t be true So where is Matt and what did he do? Thinking he was going to call me on my cell phone And tell me all this time he was really sitting at home. I call Raeford and Connie and tell them to come down there They rushed to the scene and showed us how much they care. The detective calls us inside this big RV She asks us what Matt was wearing so she could go see We told her a white t-shirt with Ecko and jeans was what it would be She comes back a while later and calls my husband down the hill She tells him it is Matt who has been shot and killed They call the rest of the family to the RV And I can see in my husbands eyes what I don’t want it to be. She looks at me and tells me it is Matt who has died It can’t be my son, No Not Matt I cried. My world fell apart from that moment on Who would have shot and killed my son while he was all alone. No answers were known to us at that time But his daddy had to see him to identify him one last time. The sight he saw brought him to his knees How could anyone do this to his son God tell him please. The house was full of people we loved But still it was empty because Matt had gone on above. The love we have been given from that night on Will never be forgotten until the day we go home. Three days later we had Matt’s visitation that night, At 12:15 am the phone rings and they have the killers in custody on site. They are searching their homes for any evidence and clues But nothing will ever take away the hurt no matter what they do. The arrest are made and in jail they remain no bond allowed It just doesn’t seem just for the life they have taken away from this crowd. Now we’re in to court appearances, motions and trials With lawyers and judges who go through the courtroom with smiles. Defendants who sit at the table and look all around They forget the pain they caused when I laid my son in the ground, No justice will ever be served not on this earth But my father will take care of that when he decides their worth. As a mother who will never get over losing her son My heart and soul will ache everyday until my work is done. But the one good thing I have in my life. Is a heavenly home where I’ll see Matthew again in the light. Forever in heaven where only happiness reigns Is where we’ll be reunited one day again. Until that day rest in peace my sweet son Your work on earth here is done But I still have some things to do And when its my time I’ll be joining you. I will love you forever, MOM
To be able to remember Matt we have to remember the smallest things. This is a list of Matt's favorite sayings and things:
HOLLA AT CHA BOY
Let Me Find Out........ Say Word................... It's A Wrap............... Who????Matt Jones Nigga Please Crazy driving that would scare you to death A smile that lit up the room Always something crazy to say Racing Systems Rims The E-Brake That sh-- is HOT! Look at my lights... Everyday at the store Riding through Walmart The Honda Civic, The SVTS, The Jeep Riding forever His love for children Washing Cars Pink Shirts Airforce One G-Unit Echo
NEVER FORGET THE SMALL THINGS
FOR THEY COUNT THE MOST
Its up to us to clean up the streets, it aint the same Too many murders, too many funerals & too many tears Just seen another brother buried plus I knew him for years Passed by his family, but what could I say? Keep yo head up & try to keep the faith & pray for better days -Tupac
Taken Too Young
But Always in Our Hearts
I would like for you to visit these additional sites that have touched our hearts as these families know our pain and are going through their own pain right now. Please pray for them as you pray for us we have become attached to them through this tragedy.
www.adam-lutz.memory-of.com Adam was shot and killed in NC in 2006. Adam had a six month old son named Christopher who will also grow up without his father. His fiancee Brooke faces the same challenges Erica does. Adam's case is a lot like Matt's. They too will be enduring a trial in the future and we pray for justice for Adam just like we do Matt.
www.kevinwengert.memory-of.com Kevin was 17 when he was stabbed to death in a mall parking lot in PA. His mother Deb lost her only child. His killer was 16 and tried as a juvenile and will only serve a year for Kevins death. This is injustice to say the least but the way our sick system works.
www.matt-jones-1977-2006.memory-of.com This Matt Jones also lived in NC, him and my Matt share the same full name William Matthew Jones, their mothers birthday are very close together and the same age, both of them had namesakes that went to heaven to be with the Matt's in 2006 at 2 months old. Matt was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Everyday we find more and more people that share our heartache and our pain. There are so many young angels in heaven that no one ever realizes. Please pray for these families and their angels. There are so many more out there we haven't listed. Please realize it happens in every town and can happen to everyone. The sad part is it continues everyday.
Nothing will ever bring our Matt back to us but our faith in God allows us to know we will see him again on the other side one day when our time is over. What a blessing that will be.
Matt I love you son and I always will. I have done everything I can to make sure justice prevailed in your case. Our system is so messed up though no one has rights except the killers. No matter what happens here on earth though God has a judgement day coming for all involved that will be far worse than anything here. I am proud that you were my son and I thank God he allowed me to be your Mom for truly the best years of my life were spent with you son.
8 years today / Jane Tew (Mom)
8 years ago today our lives changed forever. A hole was put in my heart that I could never imagine would be so painful. Even though we have been through so much the one thing we have never forgot are the things you taught us in your short...
8 years / Erica (Fiancee')
Even though its been 8 years, it still seems like yesterday. In these last 8 years times have been tough. I sit back many nighys and wonder where we would be today. How Matti would react to having both parents, how we would be as a little family. So...
Miss you bro / Big Rick (Friend)
Miss and love you so much brother! Went to see you today, wish I didn't have to go to the cemetery to do it though! Merry Christmas, love you!
7 years today / Mom (mother)
Well today makes 7 years since you have been taken from us. To be honest it is as painful today as it was then. The only difference is we are learning how to deal with that pain. I spent a lot of time talking to you at the cemetary ...
NEVER THE SAME / Mom Will Always Love You (mother)
People say time heals everything thats not true. It will never be healed losing you. There are times when I seem to do real good and then days like today all I can do is cry and wish so much you were here. I would give anything to b...
Shawn Tatum was sentenced on April 4th, 2008 to 7 1/2 years to 8 years 9 months for being an accessory to Matt's murder. Shawn never got out of the car so technically his punishment was more harsh than the actual killers. The DA of Harnett County refused to let me talk to Shawn even though it was okay with Shawn and his lawyer. I am planning on writing him and visiting him. We did review the evidence in the case and were shocked to find out that 2 of the people (supposedly were Matt's friends) had made phone calls to someone and told them that if Matt got hurt not to say anything to anyone. One phone call was made at 3 the other at 5 well before Matt was killed. One even told her that it would be worth it in a couple of weeks and she thought she was going to get paid for it. What an idiot! What an idiot of our local judicial system that they don't prosecute them with that evidence for being accessories before the fact. The guy that made the phone call to her couldn't pay to get his self out of trouble that's why my son was killed and she thinks he was going to pay her....I sure would hate to be him or the other people that knew what was going on though because what a bad way to live when you have to look over you shoulder every minute. When you send someone to prison though for 25-30 years it gives them ALOT of time to think about what you did and what kind of mistake they made and I am sure he has a lot of friends on the outside looking out for him too. I wouldn't get too comfortable if I was in your shoes. Karma is real!
Mike Hill Sentenced MIKE HILL HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 300 TO 369 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR THE MURDER OF MATT. THIS IS 25 YEARS TO 30 YEARS 9 MONTHS. CHARGES WERE REDUCED TO 2ND DEGREE MURDER WHICH WAS NOT AT ALL WHAT IT WAS BUT IT DID SAVE THE FAMILY FROM HAVING TO ENDURE A TRIAL. MIKE HAD NO COMMENTS TO MAKE OTHER THAN TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THE JUDGE ASKED AND HE DID SAY "YES I AM GUILTY". AS USUAL WE HAD A COURTROOM FULL OF SUPPORTERS FOR MATT WHICH ALWAYS WARMS OUR HEART AND HE HAD ONE PERSON. NOT EVEN HIS PARENTS SHOWED UP. EVEN THOUGH WE FEEL IT IS NOT ENOUGH, IS IT EVER. WE ARE FAR MORE FORTUNATE THAN ALOT OF FAMILIES WHO NEVER GET JUSTICE FOR THEIR CHILDREN. MY HEART GOES OUT TO THEM. NOTHING WILL EVER BRING OUR MATT BACK BUT WE HAVE THE PEACE OF MIND OF KNOWING THAT MIKE HILL WILL NOT BE COMMITTING ANOTHER MURDER FOR THE NEXT 25-30 YEARS. OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO JUDGE FRANK LANIER FOR THE WARM AND KIND WORDS TO OUR FAMILY DURING SENTENCING, TO THE ASST. DA'S, CHARLENE FRANKS AND CHARLES BULLOCK FOR THEIR EFFORTS IN SEEKING THIS JUSTICE FOR OUR FAMILY AND TO THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR MIKE HILL (ROBERT REEVES) I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR ADVISING YOUR CLIENT TO TAKE THIS DEAL AND TO STOP THE PAIN FOR OUR FAMILY BEFORE ANYMORE COULD BE ENDURED IN A TRIAL. WE WILL NEVER FORGET MATT, OUR MEMORIES ARE FOND BUT NOW WE ARE GOING TO TRY AND MOVE PAST THE ACTUAL MURDER AND ONLY THINK ABOUT THE GOOD THINGS MATT BROUGHT INTO OUR LIVES. TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN WITH US THROUGH THIS JOURNEY, NEAR AND FAR, THANK YOU AND WE LOVE YOU!
November 14, 2007 - Shawn Tatum rejects plea Shawn Tatum has rejected the plea bargain offered to him by the state. He was offered 100 to 129 months for conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree. His lawyer did not want him to take it because of the wording 1st degree and the killer was sentenced for second degree. I can understand this however what took place that night was 1st degree. They came to Dunn with guns, they came to kill someone, they called my son to hang out, then my son was shot 15 times while running for his life. There is not a damn thing about second degree in that but that's our system. Now we will have to endure the trial on February 4, 2008 something we had hoped we could avoid.
November 1, 2007 Mike Hill Pleads Guilty Mike Hill pleaded guilty to a deal offered by the Asst. DA Charlene Franks for murder in the second degree. He received 300 to 369 months in maximum security. He will have to pull a minimum 25 years and then he can only get out if his record has been clean. It is not justice for the life he took that night but we would never think it was. We are happy though that he will be locked up and not do this to another family. We do have some opinions but we will hold on to them until the second trial for Shawn Tatum is completed.
Feb 1, 2007 Update We met with the DA's office today and we have a new ADA assigned to the case. Even though it looks like we will not go to trial on the 19th as scheduled we do feel good that she will do all she can to seek justice in this case for Matt. We have found out more in the one meeting with her than we have known for 15 months so we are thankful to have her assigned to this murder case. Please continue to be in prayer for our family as we will be meeting again with her in the next week or so as well as for her that she will prosecute this case for Matt and that justice will be served.