Final Victim Statement for the Final Hearing

lake, sunset, rocks

When a stone is thrown into a pond, it creates ripples that move outward and affect each part of the pond and the creatures that live within it. Each of our actions, small or big, have a ripple effect that touch, alter, and influence our lives and the lives of those around us. For most of our daily actions we do not consider the gravity of each choice we make. And yes, most actions we do day to day do not create a ripple effect that destroys a family.

I don’t know if you have ever considered your actions or how they affect others. The ripple effect of what you do and how it alters the world around you. Honestly, I have no idea what you are thinking or were thinking on March 2nd, 2018. If I were to take a guess, I would think you believe you are not responsible for murder. I would guess you believe your actions, unlike the shooter’s, did not affect other lives in the ways his did.

I want you to know your actions are equal to his. Your ripple effect destroyed our family, future, and happiness. To me, your actions are the same as pulling the trigger that day. How would the outcome have changed if you and he didn’t flee that drug deal? How would the outcome have changed if you hadn’t driven into that apartment complex by so brazenly driving through someone’s yard and finding no way through the parking lot without damaging people’s property and wrecking cars? What if you hadn’t slowed to let the shooter out?

We won’t ever know because you created a butterfly effect with your choices that resulted in my husband’s, my children’s father, Deputy Jacob Pickett’s murder. And to me, you are just as guilty of that murder.

Today, it has been 2 years and 9 months since you took him from us. You took a son, brother, friend, father, husband, and a loyal servant to this community. A community he swore to protect. A community you have only taken from.

In these years, Jake has missed out on so much. His boys are growing older and want to know more about the daddy you took from them. They want to know more about that day and why it ended it the way it did.

My oldest son has lost 2 teeth. Jake missed out on sneaking into his room to leave some cash and a note from the tooth fairy.

My youngest went to kindergarten this year and is thriving in school. Jake missed his first day of school and the successes he has while learning.

Jake isn’t here to hold my hand, reassure me, or give me a 5 minute break when parenting our 2 boys gets so darn hard.

Jake wasn’t here when my mom died in the Spring, to hold me, to comfort me, to grieve with me for the woman who was so important to him too.

Some might argue, that my boys won’t remember much of Jake because they were so young when he was killed, 3 and 4. But this I do know, they may not remember specific memories, but they do feel a gaping hole in their hearts knowing they had a Daddy who promised them forever and it will never be filled. They know he should be here. They know they have many people that love them but NOTHING will ever replace the fact that their Daddy was taken from them. By you, the shooter, and everyone else involved that day. And that will stay with them. The knowledge of what should have been.

Don’t get me wrong, my family, we have been forged in fire. We are full of strength, grit, resilience, and perseverance. We will live forever with that hole in our hearts and knowing your integral part in Jake’s murder and what should have been. In spite of the ripples, no, the all consuming waves you created in our lives on that day, we will push on and create a future to be proud of. Our family is in full support of this plea deal.