My name is Stefanie Wall.  My husband was Dewayne Wall.  We were married four and a half years when he was killed by his second cousin.  

He was the most wonderful man.  We have a two-year-old daughter.  He died May 6, 1999.  He was born November 22, 1974  and he was twenty-four at his death.  I was left a twenty-five-year-old widow and single mother. 

His second cousin shot him with a thirty-thirty hunting rifle from three feet away, directly in the chest.  He was LifeLined to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville TN.  We live in a small community in Southside, Tennessee.  He was dead by the time he got to the hospital. 

I still see his face in my dream every night. 

On the night of the funeral, my daughter, then two years and seven weeks, told me that "My daddy ok mommy, my daddy a ghost and I not scared of ghosts." She had been waving and speaking to furniture all day.  

I really miss my husband and would give anything to have him back.  The last words that he spoke to me were "I'll be right back." 

I am still waiting, hoping that this nightmare will go away; however, it seems to just get worse. 

The day after the funeral, I found out that the district attorney saw fit to only charge his murderer with voluntary manslaughter and reduced his bond from $500,000 to $24,000.  The district attorney did not call me to tell me this - I had to hear from friends that this murderer was bailed out by his mother.  I went myself to speak with the investigator who handled the case and he thought that the case could be a second degree murder case but that this would have to be decided by the grand jury.  I spoke to the district attorney and the assistant district attorney that will be handling this case in court.  They informed me that the most they felt they could get a conviction on was voluntary manslaughter and that the maximum he could get was 15 years.  He could parole and be out sooner.  My heart broke. 

I went and spoke with my attorney and she felt that the charges should be second degree murder and has agreed to be with me at all the court proceedings and charge me nothing.   She has known me and my husband for several years and thought the world of us. 

I am now left with nothing but my daughter and a broken hart.  I cry daily and pray that God will see me through until the time that I die and lay beside my beloved husband for eternity.  There is no relief for me here on earth.  Each and every thing reminds me of him.  He was truly my mate.  He was my best friend.  He could look at me and see into my soul.  He made me laugh.  He was my only love.   

We met in high school.  He was 16 and I 17.  We were in love from the moment our eyes met.  We dated for three and a half years and were married November 23, 1994, the day after he turned twenty. Eight years we loved each other.  He held my hand through three miscarriages and was with me when our daughter was delivered c-section.  We had our ups and downs but always loved each other.  

He stopped by my work the day that he died and brought me a dozen red long-stemmed roses and told me that he loved me and wanted to give me a Mother's Day present early.  I wish I could tell him now how much I love him and how much our daughter looks like him.  His memory will forever haunt my dreams and his love will forever fill my heart, for it is better to have thirty minutes of wonderful than a life full of nothing.

Stefanie Wall


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