Violence victims remembered - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Violence victims remembered

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Albany- More than 20 million people in America are the victims of violent crime every year. For the victims and their families, the healing process can take a lifetime.

Thursday, as part of National Crime Victims Rights Week, Dougherty County remembered and honored some victims of violent crime, in hopes of easing their lasting pain.

During this time, Dougherty County law enforcement honor the victims and their families that bravely report crimes, take the stand, and confront their attackers, to bring the assailants to justice. For one Dougherty County mother, this battle for justice continues.

"My daughter's name was Tiffany Lashawn Hill Smith. She was murdered in her sleep by her husband." A happy wedding photo no longer brings back happy memories for Nettie Hill Wilson. Her son-in-law, Tavaris Smith, is accused of murdering her 27 year-old daughter Tiffany last June in their Macon home.

"I just miss her being here, just being around me. That's what I miss the most." Around her neck, Wilson wears Tiffany's picture-- and plea to angels. "Angels East and West, North and South, do your best. Watch over her while she rest."

A ribbon is Tiffany's honor was one a many placed on this wreath at Dougherty County Victim's Rights Week ceremony. "I pin this ribbon on behalf of all the victim's of crimes across America," Wilson said.

Blue and white ribbons surrounded Tiffany's, all in memory of victims a violent crimes. "It makes me feel good to know people care," said her mother.

For Wilson, the healing continues as her son-in-law awaits trial for her daughter's murder. The first trial ended with a mistrial. "There's no closure. We're still waiting to see what is going to happen. It just doesn't seem fair. I know you have to be patient and wait on the Lord."

Wilson, other victims, and their families were joined at the ceremony by the advocates, counselors, and law enforcement that do their best to help the victims find strength to report their crimes and bring their attackers to justice.

So they can find closure and hope for a better tomorrow.

Tavaris Smith's re-trial is set May 2nd. Nettie Wilson is now raising her daughter two sons-- proof that violent crime the lives of more than just the victim.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com