Editor's note: The following is a letter submitted to the Southeast Missourian by Carol McClard, Jonathan McClard's grandmother.
To the editor:
Jonathan McClard was a Christian having accepted Jesus at an early age. He was a wonderful BOY and not a man as has been alleged. He strayed badly from God. As we all have our struggles, so did he. Because of the injustice of our legal system and some people promoting themselves instead of thinking of others, Jonathan saw no hope and saw himself going into hell on Earth. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jonathan was the third-youngest inmate being held in adult prison in MIssouri. We were hoping people in court would take the recommendation of the director of the Department of Youth Dual Jurisdiction Program who testified in court on Jonathan's behalf. Instead, he got themaximum sentence possible. Jonathan had been reading his Bible and was coming back to God. He saw a way out and a way to put himself in a much better place. He took himself directly to God where he is now. There is great comfort in that for all of his family who know God because we know we will be reunited. There is great pain and suffering now. His life has been cut short and the potential of what he could have contributed with maturity is now gone.
Jonathan McClard's grandmother.