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Randy Ertman has passed away


Purpledevil

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Randy Ertman has passed away, according to a report on Fox 26 this morning. After 21 years, the tragic and unnecessary death of his daughter, Jennifer, still remains an open wound to many of us that knew the Ertmans, and vividly remember what happened to her, and her friend Elizabeth Pena, that late Friday night in 1993, behind Spring Hill Apartments on W. 34th.

God rest your soul, Randy, and God bless the Ertman family, as they now face life without the patriarch of the family. They'll never be another one like Randy Ertman.

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I remember when that happened.  I remember too that Mr. Ertman and Mr. Pena were both in the news during the trials, making sure that their daughters were not forgotten.  I thought it was strange at the time that we almost never (if at all) saw the mothers of the two teen girls. 

 

Thankfully, the men who were responsible were caught and tried, found guilty and sentenced.  Didn't at least one get the death penalty?

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I thought it was strange at the time that we almost never (if at all) saw the mothers of the two teen girls. 

 

If, God forbid, my family was in such a situation and my wife did not want to increase the pain of her loss by making public appearances I would understand. If, on the other hand, she wanted to be very visible in her pursuit of justice and advocacy for the safety of others I would support her totally. Given the circumstances of the Ertman and Pena family's tragedy perhaps it was thought best to have other women in the family keep a low profile. The perpetrators were gang members after all.

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Hope Waltrip HS has completed the memory garden in honor of the girls. Such a tragic story.

I believe it has been, Heightsite, but I'm not sure. I haven't been to the campus in years. There are also two memorials, one for each girl, located in T C Jester park, near the spot where the crime was committed.

O'Brien, Medellín, and Cantu have all been executed. Cantu was the last, in 2010. The youngest of the group was given 40 years, which he is still serving. He's the younger brother of Jose Medellín, if I remember right, and he was the same age as Jennifer, 14, in 1993. He, unbeknownst to the fact at the time, initiated the chain of events that occurred that night by introducing his friend to Jose Medellín and Derek O'Brien to get him initiated into the gang. The rest, as they say, is history. Personally, it's been 21 years since that fatal Friday night in June. I still don't speak much about Jennifer, even to those I grew up with in the Heights that knew her as well. That was the hardest funeral I have ever attended, and I've buried both of my parents.

I still don't go into the "Stop at Joe's" on North Main and 25th. Without Jennifer leaning up against the Street Fighter, watching one of the boys play (or teaching some unbeliever that a girl can whip your butt and take all your quarters in the process, if there was any doubt), that store is empty and void to me.

Randy was a booming voice, large man, and didn't mind telling you how the cow ate the cabbage, as the old saying goes. He never was the same after that Monday when they found her and Elizabeth Peña in the park, but he spent the rest of his life fighting for his daughter. It is because of Randy Ertman that families of the victims can eyewitness the execution of the condemned. Unheard of previously in the State of Texas, but now is standard practice. He is also the first person ever allowed to directly address the killers in the courtroom, after they were convicted, as I recall. I think this, too, has become a normal procedure in the courtroom.

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It is because of Randy Ertman that families of the victims can eyewitness the execution of the condemned. Unheard of previously in the State of Texas, but now is standard practice. He is also the first person ever allowed to directly address the killers in the courtroom, after they were convicted, as I recall. I think this, too, has become a normal procedure in the courtroom.

So sad how much good can come out of such tragedy. Thank God for people like Randy.

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