It’s sorta indescribable what the defendants mean to me. When I first started writing about the case my pastor friends prayed for justice for Marc AND …. the defendants! My heart was so rapped up in pain, dealing with Marc’s affairs and relatives …. the court case! I wasn’t always able to feel compassion for the boys until after I saw Andrew at his Bail Hearing, and heard Wesley at his sentencing.
I never wanted Marc’s case to be mingled with the emotions of ‘hate’, ‘revenge’ or even ‘fear’. I’ve been eternally grateful the boys were caught and Marc got that huge initial ‘justice’ but …. but I had no idea how to feel once the case was over? There was like a limbo’ stage’. I couldn’t even ‘feel’ or wonder what could possibly happen next?
After the boys were sentenced I couldn’t get them out of my mind. A few issues haunted me. I lived with my own pain, but I started to understand what the boys must be going thru. Almost 18 and 20, and not career criminals but normal boys, being involved in a murder was way beyond what they ever imagined their life would hold.
I called Andrew’s attorney to get his jail I.D. number so I could simply write and be clear with him that I understood what happened, that I knew he didn’t really wish for great harm to come to Marc that night, and I truly forgave him. I told him I was in pain but didn’t ‘hate’ him. I could imagine if one of my sons had accidentally got into his situation, and he felt what may seem like the world against him.
With Wesley, I wondered after his sentencing, ‘what’s he doing now, is he doing his probation time honorably?’ During the conference call at his sentencing I blurted out that I was going to ‘hound’ him in prayer to hopefully help him turn his life around, I didn’t know why I said that? Soon after his sentencing I even had a very weird dream about him, more like a vision, and wondered what it meant?
I had no idea how to track his progress so I got out the paper from court and used the phone number in Salem (capital of OR) to leave a message for his Parole Officer. I knew he had to report, and lo, and behold almost a week later I got an email on a Sunday from Salem with the info I needed. I called his P.O. the next day.
When I was connected to his P.O. I found out Wesley had ‘absconded’, which meant he never reported to his P.O. Technically he was ‘on the run from the law’, and there would soon be a warrant out for his arrest! I felt ‘for Marc’s sake, I’m going to pursue this situation, I want things surrounding Marc’s case to go right!’ It just didn’t seem right to not care about the boys from the case any longer. What made me so happy is that in a few weeks an Officer found him. I was so grateful for the ‘system’ being in place to help Marc get justice. Lots of things like that came our way as I sought justice in Marc’s case, I felt God’s hand in the case all the time.
I didn’t really get to know and like Wesley till I wrote him thru his P.O. The whole wall between us broke down when we spoke on the phone couple days before Christmas 2015 when I was in Portland. I’d gotten to know Andrew thru letters, but I didn’t completely understand Wesley’s culpability in the crime, that was always on the back burner. I even called the lead Detective for his ‘take’ on Wesley, so I could have a better indication one way or the other his role. I wasn’t interested in details about the incident as it’s always so painful, I was just curious of his heart??
I’d sent my phone number to his new P.O. and Wesley called. He was very polite but I felt he was expecting it would be a ‘run of the mill’ call or whatever. We just opened with a few general words and I saw he liked to share so I let him go on. He started to share how sorry he was but then became serious and emotional after apologizing. Then he blurted out deep sobs of remorse, crying over and over about ‘why did it happen,’ etc?
Wesley said when he realized a life had been lost he felt so ‘terrible’, he wanted to be so honest with the detectives! He said, ‘that’s such a big deal, someone’s life!’ He cried about all the friends he’d lost too! Very importantly to me, he said if he’d known the blow was mortal he’d have called paramedics! I was so grateful for his heartfelt 17 year old understanding of the incident and his sense of responsibility. I knew then he had never intended Marc to get hurt!
I’d wondered for months if he had a violent streak? As a parent it helps to heal with a defendant if you know their intentions. I felt great relief finding out about Wesley’s heart! I was crying over the phone too. He was totally unaware there was a serious stab, and wanted to work with the law, even tho he was in danger of having the murder pinned on him at first cause of the video that captured the crime.
I can’t wrap my head around all he’s been thru in his short life! Not having family take him in and show him the ropes of life. I don’t think he went to preschool, or went to many birthdays parties or jumped on a ‘bouncy house’? Or went to ballgames, etc. It’s truly amazing how sane in some ways he is. He’s not got a chip on his shoulder, he says he doesn’t want to be a ‘complainer’! My, my …. dear, God!’
I’m grateful so far he’s okay about my writing about him! The search for justice for Marc has never stopped revealing some mysteries of life. I’m grateful for so many new people but sometimes it seems the pain is too much. But …. God is not a bystander in Marc’s case. He brings people together for reasons we don’t always understand at first. He’s working behind the scenes to create new things!
What a walk to be on!