Ahh, Fall. 22 of September, 2021. I was supposed to have court today but lawyers felt like it could be delayed another 3 months.
The first day of fall started off as any odd day would. Molly and I decided to take the newly minted 3-year-old to the Strong Museum of Play, eat some food and then come back to Buffalo. We jumped on the 490 in Rochester, sailed west to hook up with the Interstate 90, and then cruised at the normal pace. Due to the gas tank being a bit low we decided to turn into the reservation at Pembroke and fill up.
Travelling northbound into Indian Falls Molly noticed a tan pickup truck on the right side of the road, and I had noticed a huge white semi truck in the field and what appeared to be a mess/entanglement of a vehicle below the rear of the truck. We did not realize what we were driving by, and we thought it odd for such a situation to exist. Obviously there were not emergency vehicles around, no sirens or lights, and we were both questioning what we thought we saw, arguing over the existence of the semi truck/pick up truck. Regardless, we drove the next 4 miles off to the reservation, got some gas, and then departed.
In my randomness of youtube videos that play in the background while I mindlessly work I found one that seemed harmless. Little did I know this would be another one of those difficult videos.
The first video is about Daniel Villegas who was incarcerated for 25 years, which started from a false confession at 16 years of age.
The second one turned me into tears. It was about the sentencing of Trey Alexander Relford who pled guilty to robbing and murdering Salahuddin Jitmoud, a 22 year old Pizza Delivery Driver. The father, Abdul-Munim, was able to make a statement before sentencing, and that statement is something that every person wants to say but has more trouble finding the justification:
“Trey Alexander Relford. I feel so, so sad for you that you have to be in this situation. I wish I could help you as I helped my son to be a good citizen. If Salahuddin were to be here, if he alive he would forgive you. That’s the way he was, that’s the way he is. I’m not angry at you for being part of hurting my son. I’m angry at the Devil. I blame the Devil (the Devil) who misguided you and misleading you to do such a horrible crime. No I don’t blame you. I’m not angry at you at all. I want you to know that. I forgive you on behalf of Salahuddin and his mother.”
Then Mr. Relford made a statement apologizing, admiring what a father could do and not comprehending the pain of losing his own 4 year old daughter. He thanks him for his forgiveness, and they proceed to openly shake hands, then embrace.
The third one is about James Roeder and his wife Ashley. Ashley was pregnant during the robbery, and the judge placed a no contact order. While they were separate Ashley gave birth, and the Judge allowed, contrary to the no-contact order, a temporary exception for James to meet his son. He was sentences to 4 years, and Ashley got probation.
The fourth and final is about a Justice of the Peace and the marriage of Dean Berkenhoff and Monica Morrison. There was an objection at the end, and it was because of the need to want Colton Berkenhoff present. Colton was their 11 year old son who passed away suddenly in 2012, and his organs were donated. The ceremony revealed the heart recipient, where mom and dad got to hear Colton’s heart again. Simply an overwhelmingly emotional event.