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District Attorney's Office to hold victim memorial Monday

By Robin Y. Richardson
April 21, 2012 at 10 p.m.


Three were stabbed, one was shot, two were in a car accident and one lost his life to drunken driving.

All seven are victims of violent crime who will be remembered Monday in the annual Victim Memorial Ceremony, presented by the Harrison County District Attorney's Office.

"I encourage everybody to come out," said Harrison County District Attorney Coke Solomon.

The ceremony is held in memory of victims of violent crimes and in honor of their families or survivors of violent crimes.

"It's important to remember victims and their families and what they are going through," said Solomon.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. inside the 71st Judicial District Courtroom located in the Harrison County Courthouse.

"We're remembering victims of 2011 and some prior," said Dawn Hickey Myers, the county's crime victim's coordinator.

Victims to be honored include; Robert Smith, Glenn Morehead, Brian Hardy, Pamela Greene, Gwindle Anderson, Kenneth Dillard and Charles Ledbetter.

Smith, 62, died in a car accident on Nov. 10, 2010, when his car was hit by a driver who was trying to evade state troopers. Moorehead, 49, was found dead at his residence from a gunshot wound on Feb. 9, 2011. Hardy, 31, was a victim of drinking and driving on March 6, 2011.

Ms. Greene, 44, died in a car accident on Nov. 9, 2010, when another driver ran a stop sign and struck her car. Ms. Anderson, 61, was fatally stabbed on July 27, 2011, following a dispute.

The body of 22-year-old Dillard was discovered on Dec. 16, 2011, near a cemetery in the Harleton area with extensive lacerations to the torso. The body of Ledbetter, 33, was found in a ditch - also with several stab wounds - on March 1, 2011.

Their names will be added to the two crime victim plaques that hang near the elevators of the Harrison County Courthouse. The plaque consists of victims from 2003 to date.

Monday's ceremony is in conjunction with National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which begins today through April 28.

The Harrison County Commissioners' Court recently approved a proclamation, declaring April 22-28 as National Crime Victims' Rights Week in Harrison County. At that time, Harrison County Judge Hugh Taylor invited the public to attend Monday's ceremony, calling it "very powerful."

"It's always well-attended," he said.

This year's national theme is "Extending the vision reaching every victim."

"It's extending the service a little bit further than what you normally or typically do," said Ms. Myers.

The guest speaker for the occasion will be Kathryn "Kat" Arnold, a former violent crime victim, who survived sexual abuse as a child, rape, beatings and death of loved ones.

The Shreveport, La., resident and professional fisherman uses her website, www.boughtcaughtreleased.com, to share her testimony.

"She's upbeat and positive," said Ms. Myers. "I'm hoping she can give them some inspiration and let them know that although something bad happened, you can still live through what happened.

"I hope she can uplift their spirits and inspire them… give them some hope because some are so down and depressed," said Ms. Myers. "It's something different, but I hope it does inspire people."

Ms. Myers said the speaker will be on-hand following the ceremony to talk to any victims and families of violent crime for further encouragement. Officers involved in the incidents will also be in attendance to support families.

Families of the victims will play a part in Monday's ceremony by placing a rose in the memorial wreath as a symbol of remembrance.

Ms. Myers said several entities including MADD, the NAACP of Harrison County, Child Protective Services and the Children's Advocacy and Women's Center have been invited to share in the occasion.

She urges the public to attend as well.

"I would just encourage them to please come and help be a part of honoring these victim's families," said Ms. Myers, sharing some of the victims left children and spouses behind.

"These are people in our community," she said. "These were very serious crimes where victims have lost their lives. I hope the general public can come and honor these people."

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