Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Mother's Tears and a Letter of Grief

     You could have heard a pin drop last week in a Montgomery County courtroom when a mother's anguished words, read by a prosecutor to a judge, filled the courtroom where one of the men responsible for her son's murder was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Montgomery County Courthouse/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
    Gloria Watson's grief was palpable.
    While Watson, of New York, was not able to join other relatives in the courtroom on that day, Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Strubel read a victim impact letter penned by Watson, whose son, Vincent Taylor, also known as Victor Baez, was gunned down outside a Pottstown bar on March 22, 2013. With each word uttered, the eyes of some of Taylor's relatives shed another tear.
     The entirety of Watson's heartbreaking letter could not be included in a typical news account of the day's events. So, I thought I would share all of those sorrowful words here to give readers a better understanding of the pain that is suffered by those left in the wake of the tragedy of murder.

"To whom it may concern,

     Where do I start? This is the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. My eldest son, Vincent Taylor, was murdered on March 22, 2013. Everything in my life changed that very moment I got the news. I have not been the same since.
     I have cried every day since that day. Every time I remember him I cry. If he was sick for a long time I would have at least had time to prepare myself that may be, may be he could die. How does a mother accept the death of her child? You bond with that child from the womb and see that child growing up and becoming a man, only to lose him so senselessly.
     An empty void has been left in my heart that will never ever be filled. There was only one Vincent and to me he was everything. He loved life and loved having fun.
     To you who murdered my son, I say to you, you did not only put my son in the grave, but the family who loved him and cared for him, our lives have changed also. I don't imagine that you even gave thought that your life would have changed too. The only difference is you are still alive and if you have a family they can still come and talk to you, but you are obviously dead inside to yourself and to the world for you have committed murder.
     Your life has changed also from that moment because you will no longer have a freedom to make something of yourself, but that your every dignity will be taken away from you and you will now become part of a world of an animal and to be caged. I hope you will have that time to experience all the indignities that you switched your very life for.
     May God have mercy on your soul." - Gloria Watson

     (NOTE: Michael Romain Hinton, 27, of Norristown, was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence for his role in Vincent Taylor's death. Hinton's cousin, Maurice Laverne Andrews Jr., 20, of Pottstown, was convicted of third-degree murder in connection with the slaying and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.)

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