Thursday, April 10, 2014
WILL THIS NIGHTMARE EVER END? April 7, 20 years ago I got up, got dressed in my new clothes my Aunt had made for me, and headed to a courthouse 2 hours away. Only God knew what would happen this day. We were all very confident that things would be ok, after all God was in control, he had heard our prayers and we would all be headed home shortly after we arrived. After sitting there waiting for what seemed like an eternity, they finally called my name. As I stood there before the judge, confident that all was well, the next few words that came from his mouth were the hardest words I would hear. I hear-by sentence you to 21 years hard labor in the department of corrections with sentence to begin immediately. The deputy's immediately rushed to my side, handcuffed and shackled me right there in front of my family then led me away to the jail next door. All I remember was the voice of my mama screaming wait here's her purse. I had no idea that day where this journey was going to take me or just how long it would last. All I knew was I loved my little boy with all my heart and I knew I wasn't guilty of murder or manslaughter which is what they convicted me of. You see 2 years before this horrible day, my 6 year old son was murdered by my ex-husband. It wasn't until I was arrested myself that I found out that he had been arrested for wife abuse, child abuse and suspected of killing 2 other children other than my son. The lieutenant told me that the DA said he knew I had nothing to do with what happened and he wasn't charging me with what I did but what I didn't do and that was act at the time of my sons death. What kind of mother would stay with a man who was abusing her and her child? I asked myself that question and many more over and over again. I knew the kind of mother I was before I met this man. I loved my son with all my heart and was actually over protective of him. Well no matter what the answer was to this question and the many more that I had, I now had plenty of time to think about it. My ex-husband had been found guilty of murder and given the death penalty. The DA said he was using me as an example as to what happens to women who stay in abusive relationships. It was all so hard to believe. As they led me to the jail and got me settled they let my family come see me one more time before they went home. I can't describe the feeling I had, as I stood there behind a glass looking at the pain on my mama and daddy's face and the fear of not knowing what I was going to face. As we said our goodbyes my cousin came to the glass window and read me a scripture that God had given her to share with me. It was 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. I had no idea that day that the next 7 years of my life would be spent in prison. I've been home now for almost 14 years, this tragedy happened 23 years ago. My ex-husband has been on death row all this time, and has had numerous stays of execution. 2 years ago my case was on the front page of the newspaper. The headlines read 20 Years ago today. I couldn't believe after all this time that this would be front page news again. I wondered why, is this just a ploy of the devil to get me down, and discourage me, of course this is what he wants to do to all of us who are trying our best to serve God with all of our hearts. Not long after the article came out there was another article, this time setting another date for execution. Ever since then he has been given more stays. He has filed suit against the Governor, the state of Louisiana and God only knows who else. Each time somebody listened and all I could think about was his words to me years ago when I met him. "I can talk my way into and out of anything he said." Don't get me wrong, life and death is in God's hands and he will have the final say. Does he know the Lord? Well when I met him he was lifting his hands and praising God in front of people and beating me and my son behind closed doors. He's had 23 years to get things right with God, and truly only God knows where he stands today. From what I've heard from a couple preachers who have visited him in the last 2 years they said he was the biggest con artist they had ever seen in their lives. I've been contacted by reporters, and have done several tv and radio interviews since they have been trying to execute him these past 2 years. How do I feel about the execution is the main question? Well the bible speaks of the death penalty several times in the bible, but as for me, I forgave him years ago. I had no choice but to forgive him, I knew that I was never going to heal until I was able to forgive. If you would have asked me this question right after my sons death of would have said kill him, as quick as you can. The only thing I want now is for them to make up their minds what they are going to do. It seems that the only reason they can't set a date to execute is because of the drug they plan to use. Its what they call cruel and unusual punishment to make him suffer for a few minutes before he dies. It doesn't matter what he did, not only to me and my son but to many other women and their children. The fact is 23 years after the fact we should not still be debating on what to do about someone who has tortured women and children, his fate should have been decided and carried out a long time ago. As for me, I have relived this nightmare over and over again. I wrote a book that was released in 2011 called A Time To Heal The Struggles of A Battered Woman. It tells my story from beginning to the end and I am doing all I can to help educate women all over the world on the signs of a potential abuser, and how to tell when someone is being abused. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other what they do with him, I pray he has made peace with God, I just want them to decide one way or the other. This just tells anybody out there who is committing crimes that as long as they keep filing suit against people, they can put their punishment off for a long time. For those of you who know about abuse you understand and know what its like. I've had many people tell me, "I would have done this and I would have done that." The fact is you may think you would have reacted a certain way, but you never know what you will do in a situation until you are faced with it. Don't pass judgement on a person if you've never walked in their shoes. April 7th they were planning another hearing to talk about the drug that was going to be used to execute him. They denied the hearing. They are supposed to be setting another date for the execution, maybe sometime in May. Until then, I will wait and continue to do my best to share my story. I'm asking for anyone who has read my book to please tell someone else, if you haven't read it, please do. Abuse is something that happens every day to many women and children and its so misunderstood. You can visit my website at yvonnejonesbooks.com or contact me personally through my email on my website. I am available for speaking engagements so feel free to contact me. May God bless each and every one of you.