Loss of my Son
Organized by: Barbara Rushton
2015 was the worst year of my life. My son, an only child, was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy on August 21, 2015 just 7 days before his 39th birthday. The circumstances leading up to his death is a lengthy story of lies, deceit, manipulation, and adultery. In the wake of his death he leaves behind, 3 children, an adulterous wife, and me, I am his Mother. My son, realizing he needed to make some changes in his life after being laid off in 2008 from a poor economy, he enrolled for classes at the National Aviation Academy in Clearwater, Florida, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He worked nights and attended school full time during the day, sometimes even sleeping in his truck so he won’t be late for school. He was dedicated and determined to provide a better life for himself and his family. In April 2010, after an intensive testing program and interview with GE Aviation, the job of a lifetime was his for the taking, and he took full advantage of the opportunity and moved his family to Durham, North Carolina from a mobile home park in Largo, Florida. For the first year they lived in an apartment not far from GE, but he wanted a home for his family, a yard for the kids and the dog, a place they could really call home. In May, 2011 he and his family moved into a beautiful 2 story, 4 bedroom home in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He had come along way and I was proud beyond words, and anyone would have thought he had finally made it. But, it was the beginning of the end for him. When they lived in Florida he had suspected, more than once, that his wife was cheating, but she always had excuses for everything, excuses he unfortunately believed. Looking back, I guess all the warning signs where there, but he loved her so much, and frankly, so did I. She was his wife, the mother of his children, which made it easier to accept the lies and look the other way. But it didn’t stop there, the last year and half to two years of his life was filled with turmoil and pain. On July 9, 2015 he and his wife celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary, although they had been together about 20 years. On the 10th of July he caught her, in the flesh with another man, a man he worked with at GE. From there his life was in a downward spiral and no one could have predicted the outcome. Of course he kept me well informed of what was happening, and I traveled back and forth between Florida and North Carolina many, many times. I was very concerned, as I could see, with my own eyes how quickly things had deteriorated and in my gut, I knew this could end badly, but I never dreamed it would end in his death. He met with a divorce attorney on July 14, 2015 but didn’t have the $5,000.00 retainer to commence divorce proceedings, and made the mistake of telling his wife she would not receive alimony because of the adultery, which was the biggest mistake he could have made. In fact she told him she didn’t want a divorce, she wasn’t going to give him a divorce, she would contest it. Of course he was her bread and butter, and she wasn’t going to give that up. I could literally write a book, but I have more important matters on my mind. My son was my world. I held that tiny human being in my arms and we formed an unbreakable bond. His death has left me empty; it’s as if a blanket of darkness as surrounded my soul with an imaginable pain from which I will never recover. Sometimes, when I close my eyes I can see a silhouette of his face, but I can’t see his face. Sometimes I try to visualize him walking through the door, and saying “hey mom”, words I know I will never, ever, hear again. I think of him every second of every day and wonder what I could have done differently, what I could said differently, but then I realize I can’t change what happened and I can’t bring him back. All I can do now is fight to clear his name, and find some manner of justice so he will have peace. I am on a mission to raise money in order to file a wrongful death suit against the sheriff’s dept, my daughter-in-law and her lover. I don’t have much, and I will never have much, but I once had a family that was my life. My grandchildren are living with their Mother, who even to this day lies to them. It’s ironic; when they lived in Florida my daughter-in-law didn’t work for several years while the children were small and constantly bitched at my son because she “was stuck at home with the kids”. Once the kids started school she went to work, but when they decided to move to North Carolina she told my son she didn’t want to work, and he told her once they were on their feet, she wouldn’t have too. But after they bought the house, and the boys where into baseball, he really needed her help financially, at least for a while longer. Unfortunately, she didn’t see it that way, and was always bitching and complaining, horded her money making him have to beg for money to pay bills. I believe she had her own checking account and was withholding money for herself. She believed she was entitled; he should work and support the family while she played and ran around. Even told him he should work more overtime so she didn’t have to work. Bottom line, somehow, someway, I have to do this for my son, she portrayed him as a monster, he was not, he was just a man, who loved his wife and children. My daughter-in-law got exactly what she wanted, a life with no accountability, the house, paid off with his blood, life insurance, his social security, and SSI for the children. Even in death he still supports her. I have to prove he wasn’t the monster she made him out to be. I have to prove she doesn’t deserve to benefit from his death; I have to prove she isn’t the poor innocent victim. She is evil, and he paid the price. I need financial help, and I am praying, someone out there will hear me. As a Mother it was my responsibility to protect my son, no matter how old he was, and I failed. It haunts me, not only the way he died, but the fact he died alone, no family, no friends at his side, and especially no Mother to comfort him. This is the last thing I can do for my son, please, please help. I cannot fail him again.