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Crime victims honored at rally

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Too often, as the criminal justice system works to find, punish and rehabilitate criminals, the victims of crime get lost in the shuffle. Those whose lives have been the most affected by criminal acts are left to their own devices to reclaim their lives, while society gives constant attention to the people who committed the cr

imes.
Monday evening in Caldwell County, a group of citizens gathered with community leaders, law enforcement officials and the Caldwell County Victim”s Assistance Team to say, “We care.”
The tribute, in celebration of the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan”s Task Force on Victims of Crime was held on the north steps of the Courthouse and included speeches, songs and a presentation of wreaths by two of Caldwell County”s crime survivors. Two victims, Kristy Wheeler, the victim of an aggravated robbery, and Shirley Estrada, the victim of a family violence assault, presented wreaths decorated with blue ribbons as a reminder of the county”s many victims.
“I really don”t have anything to say about it,” Wheeler said after the ceremony. “Except that I”m glad they got them.”
One of Wheeler”s attackers was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year, after being convicted of attacking, stabbing and robbing Wheeler at a Lockhart car wash.
Estrada”s case did not have the same success, according to the Lockhart Police Department. Her attacker was tried by the court system, but the jury was unable to return a verdict.
District Attorney Chris Schneider showed the crowd of about 50 that his talents do not stop in the courtroom. He performed a touching version of “Over the Rainbow/What a A Wonderful World.”
County Judge H.T. Wright and Commissioner Tom Bonn participated in the ceremony, recognizing the Victim”s Assistance Team for the important work they continue to do in Caldwell County, providing emotional, psychological and courtroom support for victims of crime. Bonn also encouraged citizens to be constantly aware of their surroundings in this sometimes dangerous world.
To close the ceremony, participants tied blue ribbons to the branches of a tree, which will be planted at the Lockhart Police Department as a constant, living reminder of crime victims in Caldwell County.

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