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Letter to the Editor: Plea bargain leaves many questions

Friday, August 6, 2004

To the editor:

I have many unanswered questions about the death of my brother, John Mayabb, who was brutally murdered in his Scott City home in July 2002 by his stepson, Christopher L. Jones. I waited for two years for answers to my questions about why this happened. I waited for justice. I waited for the case to go to trial on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

On July 14, two years to the day after my brother was buried, there was no murder trial, only a plea hearing for a lesser charge. I was under the assumption that the Scott County prosecutor had to abide by the family's wishes to take this case to trial. Instead, the prosecutor offered a plea bargain to the defendant without the consent of the victim's family or any knowledge of it. As a result, I was not offered any explanation of why Jones murdered my brother. I received no apology. I saw no remorse. And I received no justice from the system.

In my opinion, Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd dropped the ball on this case by offering the defendant a plea bargain. I had to learn of the plea hearing on the Internet. The Scott County victims advocate, Taryn Meredith, did not contact me. As it stands now, I have no answers, no justice, and no closure. It appears everyone has forgotten my brother. He was a good man and worked hard for what he had.

PEGGY J. KELLEY, Killeen, Texas