Speight Victim Vigil Brings Closure for Families
Appomattox, VA - Following Christopher Speight's hearing Friday, family and friends honored those killed with a candlelight vigil.
Loved ones prayed and sang together to honor their memory.
The organizers called it a candlelight life celebration. There was no mention of murder, of Christopher Speight, of dying.
This was a true celebration to remember those who lost their lives, now three years ago.
One by one their names were read, "The first is Bo Scruggs" read a presenter at the vigil.
One candle lit for each of them "Joshua Sipe, Lauralee Sipe, and Dwayne Sipe" he continued.
The small flicker lit up a dark night.
"This helps some, but the missing him doesn't" said the father of 16 year old Bo Scruggs who was gunned down by Speight.
The family of Scruggs organized the event. For his father, Ronnie, it means one thing, "This is closure about him. But this is for our son, and the other seven victims" he said.
"Sometimes we forget the victims, and it's important to remember their loss and the pain that they've suffered" Captain Paul Kvasnicka of the Virginia State Police, was a first responder during the shootout with Speight in 2010.
Three years later, he says the case has taken on a different meaning.
"And while it is about some of the things that were said in the courtroom about Christopher Speight, it's more about those that we lost and the healing that's taking place now" he said.
"I think it brings closure. It's finally finished for them. There's no more lawyers, no more court dates, no more hearings coming up, that now they can move on" said Cheryl Ellis, a friend of a victim.
But for each of these families, missing a daughter, brother, sister, or son, their lives are forever changed.
"We'll never, as a family, we will never get over this, because a big part of it's gone" said Scruggs.
Anger among family earlier in the day, about Speight receiving life and not the death penalty, was entirely absent from the vigil.
In fact, throughout the ceremony, there was little to mention at all of Christopher Speight.