Family forced to remove memorial

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

RUSK COUNTY, TEXAS (KLTV) - A makeshift memorial has stood on the corner of Don Leverett Road and Highway 135 in Rusk County for more than four months.  Saturday morning, that memorial was removed at the request of the property owners.

"It should be here," said Serenia Clinton.  "There are crosses everywhere on the roads, so why do I have to take mine up?"

Piece, by piece, family and friends broke apart Justin Clinton's memorial.  It was too much for Serenia Clinton, Justin's mother.

"This is where he took his last breath, and I don't see why we have to take it down," said CindaSue Freeland, one of Justin's cousins and classmates.

Justin's sister, Jessica Clinton, said she crossed the street everyday from Leverett's Chapel School to visit the memorial.  Her brother's friends and classmates put it up after he died.  She said it's cruel to have the memorial removed.

The owners of the dogs which attacked Justin, said the memorial was placed on private, leased land.  They asked for the memorial to come down.  They declined an interview.

The memorial may have to move, but Serenia said her mission has not changed.  She's working to have the breed banned, or for stronger leash laws.

"What happened to my son could happen to any child," said Clinton.

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