Grieving mom raises domestic violence awareness - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Grieving mom raises domestic violence awareness

Ruth Welborn Ruth Welborn

September 10, 2007

Albany -- The mother of an Albany murder victim wants police to pay closer attention to domestic violence cases.

Ruth Welborn says if Albany Police had spent more time on her daughter Jessica Acres' case, she might be alive today. Welborn doesn't understand why police couldn't arrest Earnest Sims when her daughter Jessica called 17 hours before her murder to report threats being made against her. Welborn said Sims had been violent in the past and police should have been aware.

Welborn says their relationship was anything but picture perfect and Jessica was trying desperately to get out, evident in a conversation two weeks before her murder.

"She walked in the house and said to me, 'Momma, if anything happens to me," she said, 'I want you to go to the police officers and tell them that Bo did it.' I said, "Baby what are you talking about?" She said, 'Momma he's threatening my life, he's threatened to kill me.'"

Welborn told Acres she would help. "I asked her to say with me for awhile, but she said no."

Jessica's 911 call 17 hours before her murder makes Welborn ask why Sims was on the street?

"She did her best to make sure that her babies were taken care of, she made sure, she worked at two jobs, why did her life have to end so soon?"

Breaking down, she talked more about the seven previous calls to police, and during one of the car thefts, bruises Sims gave her daughter. "He grabbed her and put scratches on her arm. She called me to come down where she was so I could help her find her car."

Police say with just Jessica's word against Sims' August 22 they couldn't make an arrest without evidence to back up her story, that's left Welborn with one last question. "If Earnest is seeing this I want to ask him just one question, 'Why did you take my daughter's life, why, that's all I want to know is why?'"

It's a question Ruth Welborn may never get answered.

When asked Welborn wasn't sure if her daughter had taken any other action than to call police to keep Earnest Sims away from her. We checked with the Clerk of Court who says a protection from abuse or restraining order was never filed.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=WelbornOnDoemsticViolence-JEN

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