Saturday, March 08, 2008

By Right The Money Shouldn't Be Paid Out

The surviving child identifying his attacker doesn't entitle him to the $81,000 reward that was being offered. If someone just wants to show an act of kindness like Governor Bredesen did that's fine, but the victims can't demand compensation. Me and people close to me disagree strongly about this. They say I don't have any compassion. They think the children should be awarded the money. I appreciate what the Governor did, but it could be sending the wrong message to some people. As it turns out, it might not be legal anyway. It would have been better if it had been done posthumously. As not to give artificial hope. Now you have all these people planning to change the surviving three children's lives with less than 100 grand.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bredesen backs $50,000 going to child who named uncle as killer
By Richard Locker (Contact)
Monday, March 10, 2008

NASHVILLE -- Gov. Phil Bredesen said Monday afternoon he hopes the child survivor who identified Jessie Dotson as the killer in the Lester Street slayings last week can be given the $50,000 state reward.

"I asked our attorneys this morning to look at this to see if it's possible under the law," Bredesen said at an afternoon press conference.
"... Maybe putting the reward in a trust fund and using it to pay for college later on would be a wonderful thing to do and the kind of support that I think is important for victims when you can possibly do it."

The governor said he had not consulted yet with Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons, who asked him to offer the state reward in the mass shooting last week when police could find no leads in their investigation.

Four adults and two children were found dead in the Binghamton home March 3. Three other children survived and are in protective custody at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center. One of the survivors was able to tell police their uncle was the killer, according to an affidavit, and under questioning, Dotson confessed.

Police charged Dotson on Saturday with six counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his brother, Cecil Dotson, 30; Marissa Williams, 27; Hollis Seals, 33; Shindri Roberson, 22; Cemario Dotson, 4; and Cecil Dotson II, 2.

The three surviving children are Cecil Dotson Jr., about 9; Cedric Dotson, about 6; and Ceniyah Dotson, about 2 months old.

Bredesen announced the $50,000 reward Thursday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the slayings. It is the largest reward the State of Tennessee has offered and the maximum allowed under law.

Police have not said which of the older two children identified the shooter, or whether both did.

After the police announcement Saturday, the city has been abuzz about whether the child or children should get the reward money. Another $30,000 was put up by the Memphis City Council, along with the usual $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.

"It's just kind of an obvious question," Bredesen said. "...I think it's a great idea and I think it would be a good thing to help this young person."

Gibbons spokesman Jennifer Donnals said the ultimate decision will rest with Bredesen.

"They're doing some research right now. There may be some legal reasons it can't be done," Donnals said.

Donnals also stressed that any approved reward is payable upon conviction, not arrest, meaning it wouldn't be available for months or even years.

Discussing violence

WREG-TV Channel 3 will broadcast a town hall meeting tonight from 7 to 8, then stream another hour live online at wreg.com. Commercialappeal.com will stream the two hours live, and Web site visitors can submit questions.

Religious leaders are organizing a community meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 N. Bellevue.

Funerals

Shindri Roberson: noon today, Lake Grove Baptist Church, 265 Leath.

Cecil Dotson Sr. and Cecil Dotson II: 11 a.m. Saturday, Thomas Chapel Missionary Baptist, 2539 New Raleigh, burial at Forest Hill Midtown.

Hollis Seals: noon Saturday, M.J. Edwards Funeral Home, 1165 Airways.

Marissa Williams and Cemario Dotson: M.J. Edwards has charge; arrangements pending.

Fundraising

A victims' fund will pay for funeral and burial expenses for the four adults and two children killed in the attack, and the remaining funds will go toward paying for the medical costs of Cecil Dotson Jr., Cedric Dotson and Ceniyah Dotson. Any money left over will go toward the surviving children's continued physical and emotional rehabilitation and their education. Donations are being accepted at Bank of America locations. Checks should be made out to Lester Street Victims Fund.

2:37 AM  
Blogger Common said...

Now that they have found the killer and the money won't be awarded to anyone. The urgency to attack crime in Memphis has somehow lost it's luster.

At least two more murders and even more unexplained shootings have happened since Lester Street. Crime Stoppers phones still should be ringing off the hook.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Common said...

Clarity sought on who gets reward
McCormick urges council to adhere to the law
By Amos Maki
Friday, March 14, 2008

Memphis City Council chairman Scott McCormick has asked the council's attorney to explore whether a proposed $30,000 reward for information on the Lester Street murders should go to the child or children who identified the accused murderer.

"What I want to do is make sure that we are legally cleared in any actions we take," he said. "So before we make a decision one way or another, we need to know what the law allows us to do."

Gov. Phil Bredesen said Monday afternoon he hopes the child survivor who identified Jessie Dotson as the killer in the Lester Street slayings last week can be given the $50,000 state reward.

Four adults and two children were found dead in a Binghamton home at 722 Lester on March 3. Three other children survived and are in protective custody at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center. One of the survivors was able to tell police their uncle was the killer, according to an affidavit, and under questioning, Jessie Dotson confessed.

Police charged Dotson on Saturday with six counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his brother, Cecil Dotson, 30; Marissa Williams, 27; Hollis Seals, 33; Shindri Roberson, 22; Cemario Dotson, 4; and Cecil Dotson II, 2.

He also was charged with attempted murder of the three surviving children are Cecil Dotson Jr., 9; Cedric Dotson, 5; and Ceniyah Dotson, 3 months old.

Police have not said which of the older two children identified the shooter, or whether both did.

After the police announcement Saturday, the city has been abuzz about whether the reward money should go to the kids.

The state and city laws also say that any approved reward is payable upon conviction, not arrest, meaning it wouldn't be available for months or even years.

The $30,000 from the city would come from a $100,000 fund the city established in 2006 to pay up to $5,000 to individuals who provide information leading to the capture and conviction of murderers.

Because the city law mandated that any unspent funds in a one-year period be returned to the general fund, the council decided to give the funds to Crime Stoppers, which can award the funds with council approval, McCormick said.

4:21 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home