The Christmas season brings thoughts of joy and wonderment for many of us but for those who have been affected by violent crimes it is a very difficult time of the year. The Wings of Love program hopes to help make Christmas a little bit brighter for the families of these victims.
A Christmas tree was placed in Springfield City Hall as a community tribute to the citizens we have lost and on Thursday night December 19th 2013 friends, family members and residents of the community came to honor these lost loved ones with a Christmas ornament. Each ornament represents a life of joy and laughter, a life that will not soon be forgotten.
This is the 1st annual Wings of Love program held in Robertson County and is similar to other programs of remembrance held in Nashville and Montgomery County. Susan Marks who lost here son John back in 1997 and John Carney, the District Attorney General for Tennessee’s 19th Judicial District helped to establish the program here in Robertson County, they plan to make this an annual event. iPhone/iPad users click on photo to play video.http://youtu.be/2aRp32Njj70
Ornaments were placed on the tree in memory of the following:
John Long Marks:
Age 24, the son of Susan Marks and grandson of John R. long; former mayor of Springfield and State Commissioner of Education.
Detective Lynn Hicks:
Detective Lynn Hicks was shot and killed after being ambushed at a domestic disturbance call on a Saturday night in May 1999
Ronald L. Chatman:
Springfield officers were dispatched to the area of 2017 South Main St in reference to a shooting. When officers arrived, Chatman was found inside of his vehicle deceased. Chatman appeared to have possible bullet wounds to his upper body. See Video/Article: VIDEO-> BREAKING: Fatal Shooting In Springfield
Age 19 was shot to death by Joseph Miles in the lobby of the Arby’s restaurant in Springfield, Tennessee in December 22 of 1995. Joseph Miles was convicted by a Robertson County jury of second degree murder.
On May 6, 2012, Rashaud Singletary was shot in Springfield, and there was a large group of people present at the time of the killing. The Springfield Police Department investigated the case, and a suspect, Mandrekus Young, was indicted. The 19th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office determined, however, that further investigation was needed before the case can move forward. John Carney, District Attorney General for the 19th Judicial District, requests that anyone with information about this case call Det. Terry Dorris of the Springfield Police Department at (615) 384-8422. See article: Original story and Rashaud Singletary Memorial Celebration/Stop The Violence
Christopher Michael Douglas “Topher” Nash, age 20 died August of 2011. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is offering a $10,000 reward from the state for any information leading to an arrest for the death of Christopher Nash. Haslam Announces Reward in Robertson County Murder
Jon Michael Goostree:
Was transported to Vanderbilt Medical center after being stabbed at a home located on Burgess Gower Road on July 6, 2013. According to a representative with Coopertown Police the incident started with an argument that escalated. Misty Estes was later indicted by the RobertsonCounty grand jury for 1st Degree Murder and arrested by The Robertson County Sheriff’s Office on September 4th in connection with the stabbing death of Jon-Michael Goostree. See article: Estes Indicted for 1st Degree Murder Of Jon Goostree
Sanford “Sandy” P. Aydlett III, 28, of Adams, was shot and killed in September 2004 in an argument. James D. Wilson, 49, was later convicted by a RobertsonCounty jury of second-degree murder in August of 2009.
Was shot to death January 14 while driving with his wife, Hannah, to Springfield for the couple’s first night out since the December 9, 1994 birth of their twins. Suspects told police the shooting occurred after they spotted a Confederate Battle Flag in the back of Westerman’s pickup truck. One of the suspects fired the fatal shot at the truck. Freddie Morrow, who fired the shot that killed Michael Westerman, and Damien Darden, who drove the lead vehicle that pursued Westerman’s truck, were sentenced to life in prison for the crime of felony murder. They both must serve a minimum of 25 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Age 19, a Metro police officer’s daughter was found stabbed to death in May of 1990. Marable was last seen with Brian Willis, who became a prime suspect, but there was no immediate arrest. A jury convicted Brian Willis of second degree murder in September 2000, 10 years later.
Jennifer Wix, 21, and her daughter, Adrianna Wix age 2:
Reported missing by Jennifer’s mother on March 27, 2004. The investigation led deputies to the RobertsonCounty home of Jennifer’s boyfriend, Joey Benton, where Jennifer and Adrianna had been living with Benton in an out building on the property. The case was recently classified as a homicide due to newly discovered information by the Robertson County Sheriff’s office. See Videos/News articles: Jennifer & Adrianna Wix
Betty Jean Head
Betty Jean Head was killed by a drunk driver in the spring/summer of 1985.
Morgan Violi age 7 abducted in 1996
Elizabeth Diane Vaughn who disappeared in 1992…
If you have lost a loved one to any kind of unexpected tragedy, feel free to mention them below. Smokey would like to convey our thoughts and prayers to those that are hurting due to the loss of a loved one this Christmas season.
Jim Ball reporting
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