'My fight continues' - Mother of ECSU murder victim prepares for convicted killer's appeal in CT Supreme Court
A Bridgeport nurse convicted of killing his girlfriend will have his appeal heard by the state Supreme Court in a move the victim's mother calls "a slap in the face."
Jermaine Richards' appeal will be heard Monday in the 2017 killing of Alyssiah Wiley, a sophomore at Eastern Connecticut State University.
Wiley was last seen getting into Richards' car in April 2013. Police later found her dismembered body in the woods near the Bridgeport-Trumbull line, not far from where Richards lived.
Wiley was Corrinna Martin's younger daughter. She sat through three trials before she saw Richards found guilty and sentenced to 60 years in prison. His first two juries were deadlocked.
"This right here, it's not fair," says Martin. "Even with all of the flaws, I believe in our judicial system. It's just for us survivors and victims, it's lopsided. They don't see what we suffer through."
In court documents for the appeal, Richards' attorney argued the evidence was circumstantial and insufficient for a jury to convict. Attorney Norm Pattis wrote that the state couldn't say how, where and when Wiley died, leaving the jury to convict on speculation.
Martin says there is not even a sliver of possibility that the latest jury got the case wrong.
The agony for Martin has been especially heartbreaking -- during jury selection for Richards' third trial, domestic violence shattered her world again. That time, it took her older daughter Chaquinequea Brodie and her granddaughter My'Jaeaha Richardson, who was just 9 years old.
Brodies' boyfriend was convicted for their murders.
"Tomorrow 'Nequa would be 33. And next Friday -- Good Friday -- My'Jaeaha will be 13, and we've got to deal with this in the midst of that?" says Martin. "They lie when they say time heals all wounds. It doesn't heal. You just find a way to live through it."
For Martin, that means helping others escape domestic violence abuse and navigate the judicial system. She started the nonprofit Mothers of Victim's Equality
in hopes of preventing other families from feeling her pain.
"My fight continues and it will continue," she says.