Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Justice is Finally Served

On October 16, 2003, Jason's cousin, Taylor Blanton (a Virginia state policeman), was murdered in his home. Three days later, we attended what was one of the saddest and strangest funerals ever imagined. Hundreds filled the building for Taylor's eulogy, packing several rooms.

What was so bizarre about the funeral was watching the murderer, there in attendance. Hugging OUR family. Most of our family suspected who it was, but hadn't had the heart to confront Taylor's dad, Jason's uncle Ray. In fact, Ray and his wife were watching the dog for Donna, Taylor's wife and his murderer, at the time. I shuddered as she was carried past me when she "collapsed" outside of the funeral, and my brother-in-law, who is a firefighter and "in the know" about her pending charges, nudged me and told me to "watch the show."

The procession continued to the graveyard, where many in Jason's family lie. Only a short month before Taylor had been a pallbearer for Jason's brother's funeral, in the same cemetery. The irony was not lost on us. Though I didn't know Taylor any more than a casual acquaintance, I could not hold back the tears as I watched his mother and father, his children and Donna kids in front of the grave. I will never forget was when the police presented the American flag - not to Donna, who stood expecting it - but to Taylor's mother. I knew then that the police had confirmed that she was the murderer.

In the days that followed, we heard the hideous details of Donna's plan for murder, from staging a break in two days before, to a note left on the porch. She even said that Taylor had been shot while she'd been in the shower that morning, preparing to have sex with him, and that she came out when shots were fired, saw Taylor's gun lying on the floor, and fired shots at the fleeing intruder. We held our breaths and hoped that there was enough evidence to nab her.

Four days later Donna was arrested. She finally was convicted in 2005 to 28 years. Our family was appalled and sickened at the light sentence. Then came another blow - she won an appeal based upon the media coverage of the incident in the local area she was tried in, and got a retrial. That trial has been taking place for the last few weeks in Virginia Beach.

This past week, the jurors heard testimonies from two Taylor's kids and Donna's OWN children. (I have the highest respect for those four kids!!) They heard about Donna's web of lies, saw physical evidence and heard the investigator's reports.

Today, the jury recommended life in prison. Finally, a bit of conciliation.

Rest in peace, Taylor. Justice is finally served.

3 comments:

  1. I had no clue that Jason was related to Officer Blanton. I followed that case closely when it happened because I just couldn't imagine that a wife could be so cold-blooded. As soon as the evidence began to be reported, it became so clear and that was heart breaking to me.
    I couldn't believe when she got a retrial and that the verdict was heavier. It was nice to see our court system work at its finest.

    Prayers are with you & the family!

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