DISTRICT ATTORNEY JOHN LAVOIE AND OUR DAY OF TRUST

ROBERT SAND TOLD ME THAT NO DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN THIS STATE WILL TAKE THIS CASE AND ANY ATTEMPT TO REMOVE HIM WILL SIMPLY RESULT IN NO CHARGES WHATSOEVER! ENTER DISTRICT ATTORNEY JOHN LAVOIE. JOHN, A DISTRICT ATTORNEY OUT OF ST. ALBANS VERMONT, VOLUNTEERED TO TAKE OVER THE CASE FROM SAND. I'M SURE HE WASN'T PREPARED FOR WHAT LAY AHEAD FOR HIM. A CASE SO COMPLETELY MISHANDLED AND IN SUCH DISARRAY IT WOULD TAKE CLOSE TO A YEAR BEFORE HE COULD SORT IT OUT. ALL THE WHILE BATTLING A VERY HOSTILE ADVERSARY...ME!

 IT WASN'T EASY FOR JOHN. I DID NOT TRUST HIM. IT WASN'T THE PERSON, AS I DID NOT KNOW HIM AS A PERSON. IT WAS THE SYSTEM HE REPRESENTED. TO ME HE WAS JUST ANOTHER DA OF THE SYSTEM OF CORRUPTION. WILLING TO BLOW A SMOKE SCREEN OVER THE ACTIONS OF A DISHONEST DA. I CHECKED JOHN OUT COMPLETELY AND FOUND HIM TO BE A HARD WORKING DA THAT TOOK HIS JOB SERIOUSLY AND HAD A GOOD TRACK RECORD AS A PROSECUTOR. SO I GAVE HIM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, AT FIRST. BUT STILL WE CLASHED. I WAS AFRAID TO SURRENDER MY SON'S DIGNITY TO HIM. AFRAID TO LET MY GUARD DOWN.

THIS ALL CHANGED ON FRIDAY APRIL 29TH. THAT DAY I MET JOHN LAVOIE THE PERSON, JOHN LAVOIE THE HUMAN BEING. HE HAD COME DOWN TO BOSTON AS WE HAD TO DO DEPOSITIONS, ORDERED BY THE COURT, FOR THE DEFENSE. AFTER THE DEPO'S JOHN WANTED US TO BRING HIM TO VINNIE'S HOME TOWN WHERE HE GREW UP, WENT TO SCHOOL, PLAYED BALL AND TO VINNIE'S GRAVE. HE SAID HE WANTED TO KNOW VINNIE AS A PERSON. WANTED TO UNDERSTAND VINNIE AND US TO GET A BETTER PERCEPTION OF VINNIE AS A HUMAN BEING IN ORDER TO BETTER DEFEND HIM. WE WERE AT FIRST RELUCTANT. WE DID NOT WANT TO DISRESPECT VINNIE AND HAVE HIM THERE IF JOHN WAS NOT SERIOUS.

WITH JOHN WAS HIS WIFE GWEN WHO SERVED AS OUR ADVOCATE AT THE DEPO'S. FOR THE LAST 2 YEARS WE HAVE HAD NO ADVOCATE. KELLY WOODWARD WAS OUR ADVOCATE THROUGH JOHN BUT WE HAVE NOT HAD TIME TO KNOW HER AND RONNIE WOULD NOT OPEN UP TO HER AT THIS POINT ANYWAY. BECAUSE, AGAIN, SHE WAS A PART OF THE SYSTEM THAT WE DISTRUSTED. SINCE THEN WE HAVE GROWN VERY FOND OF KELLY WHO HAS BEEN OUR ROCK AT THE TRIAL. BUT AT THE TIME WITH GWEN IT WAS DIFFERENT. SHE AND RONNIE HIT IT OFF ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. GWEN WAS HONEST, SINCERE, UNDERSTANDING. THERE WAS NOTHING PHONY ABOUT HER. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER 2 YEARS RONNIE WAS ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT VINNIE! SOMETHING SHE COULD NEVER BRING HERSELF TO DO. NOT WITH ANYONE! BUT HERE SHE WAS WITH GWEN SMILING, LAUGHING... ABOUT VINNIE. I WAS VERY SURPRISED AND VERY GLAD.

AT THAT POINT I DECIDED TO GIVE JOHN A CHANCE AND TRY TO GET TO KNOW HIM. WE TOOK THEM THROUGH CHARLESTOWN WHERE WE ONCE LIVED AND VINNIE GREW UP. WE THEN TOOK THEM TO SEE VINNIE. AS WE WENT UP TO VINNIE THEY SAW THE PLAQUE OF OUR GRANDDAUGHTER SOPHIA WHO IS BURIED WITH VINNIE. THEN JOHN DID SOMETHING I NEVER EXPECTED...HE CRIED! TEARS WELLED UP IN HIS AND GWEN'S EYES. HE KNELT DOWN AND TOUCHED VINNIE'S PICTURE AND BURIED HIS FACE IN HIS HANDS! I KNEW THEN THAT VINNIE HAD TOUCHED HIM. WE STAYED FOR A BIT AND AS WE WERE LEAVING JOHN STAYED FOR A FEW MINUTES MORE, ALONE WITH VINNIE. AT THAT MOMENT A WARM FEELING CAME OVER ME. I CAN'T EXPLAIN IT BUT I KNEW THEN THAT VINNIE HAD ACCEPTED HIM.

WE WENT TO PIZZA REGINA'S IN THE NORTH END AND REALLY GOT TO KNOW EACH OTHER. GETTING HIM AWAY FROM THE PERSONA OF THE SYSTEM AND KNOWING THE PERSON WENT A LONG WAY TO CEMENTING OUR RELATIONSHIP. IT MEANT A LOT TO RONNIE AND ME THAT HE TOOK THE TIME TO GET TO KNOW US AND OUR FAMILY. AS WE WAITED FOR OUR CAR TO COME I GAVE GWEN AND RONNIE EACH A SINGLE ROSE AS A SYMBOL OF OUR NEW FOUND TRUST. WE DROPPED THEM OFF AT THEIR CAR AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER 2 YEARS FELT COMFORTABLE THAT VINNIE WOULD FINALLY GET JUSTICE. VINNIE WOULD FINALLY BE ABLE TO REST IN PEACE!

JOHN HAS WORKED AND FOUGHT HARD FOR VINNIE. HE IS DEDICATED TO GETTING JUSTICE AND FOR THAT WE WILL FOREVER BE GRATEFUL. WHEN THE DAY OF JUSTICE DOES COME IT WILL BE BECAUSE OF OUR LOVE FOR VINNIE. AND BECAUSE OF ONE SPECIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S PROMISE OF JUSTICE TO OUR SON AND HIS DEVOTION TO SEEING IT DONE!





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