South Georgia law enforcers and court officials are reaching out to support crime victims and their families. Folks in Colquitt got an early start to National Crime Victims Rights Week.
The mother of a Moultrie murder victim shared her story at a luncheon for crime victims Friday. She says her victim's advocate has been there for her every step of the way.
Dorothy Jones holds a picture of her son Billy Hewitt. He was gunned down by a robber in her backyard three years ago. Jones says her son always helped others.
"Everybody that I talk too they always tell me good things about my son," said Dorothy Hewitt Jones, a Victim's Mother.
Two men convicted of the crime are in prison. Jones says victim's advocate Karen Ambrose encouraged her to tell Billy's story.
"She has really been there for me, at any time. She even gave me her cell phone number to call her whenever I needed her, Anytime of the day or night," said Jones.
Ambrose has been a crime victim's advocate for 14 years with the D.A.'s office in Moultrie. "I'm the shoulder that they need when they're going through a difficult time."
She learned the type of person Billy was throughout the criminal proceedings. "I don't get to meet the person before the crime, so with her I got to know her son through her. Her sharing through their crime victim impact statements, through the family and the trial that we went through."
District Attorney J. David Miller says the 1984 Victims of Crime Act brought balance into the criminal justice system. "Because prior to that it was all focused on the defendant and the defendants rights. These victims they are hurting and they are entitled to justice too."
A Colquitt County Investigator who worked on Hewitt's case, Michael Murfin, was named the law enforcement officer of the year today. Assistant District Attorney Brian McDaniel received the Hero House Luminary Award.
Ceremonies for the State's Crime Victims' Rights Week will begin next week in Forsyth, Thomasville and Valdosta.