Posted by: kathyhugs | January 14, 2010

30 months 13 days after Tonia’s death; legal journey almost over

This morning at 10:00 am Rick and I sat in a courtroom in Lisbon, Ohio. JC pleaded guilty to all counts of killing Tonia. The state agreed to accept a reduced plea of voluntary manslaughter with a weapons specification. He also pleaded guilty to the charges of possessing firearms and pipe bombs. After 30 months of phone calls, paperwork, delays and the emotional roller coaster we can know move on with our plans to remember Tonia by setting up the memorial foundation and we can allow the healing to continue uninterrupted by the legal stuff.

We are satisfied with the terms. All along we were concerned that JC would be found not guilty due to all the ups and downs in the case. This way he will serve 8 years with no chance of early release plus be on post release supervision for 5 years. He also will have two felony convictions on his record which means he will never be able to own, operate or live in the same house as any type of gun! This was important to me. We do not want him to be able to hurt another woman.

Hearing him say the words, I’m guilty, found me breaking down into tears. On the way to the court Rick and I agreed that it felt like we were going to Tonia’s funeral all over again. The emotions were just as strong and it hurt just as much. I am satisfied that this part of our journey  will be finished. The sentencing will take place on March 5, 2010. We will be there to see this through until the end.

I will write more later after I have the opportunity to process everything that has happened!

Thank you!

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