Retrial would mean reliving moments many are trying to forget

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - The expected retrials of Patrick "Booger Red" Kelly and Jaime Pittman, accused in the alleged Mineola child sex ring case, will force all involved to relive moments that many are still trying to forget.

While many of the defendants are waiting in a jail cell, the child victims are left in search of their childhood.

A foster parent of three of the victims says she is staying strong for her children as they revisit painful memories.

"I'll stand by them to the day I take my dying breath," said Margaret Cantrell. "That's just the way it is."

She has taken the place of the mother who is now in jail. Cantrell says her children who have taken the witness stand now have a childhood.

"They're happy, they're fishing, they're playing, they're doing things that kids do and that's good," she said.

For Cantrell the phone call interrupting playtime Thursday was not good.

"Their reaction wasn't real good, but I just feel like my job is to be strong and help them get through it," said Cantrell.

The trial experience is one they learned all too well the first time.

"It hurts," said Cantrell. "It hurts really deep you know those kids they deserve their future, they do. They deserve their future, and everything I can do to give them that future...They just have to sit there for eight hours, nine hours...You could do it, I could do it, but they're kids...One of the girls had to spend 11 hours...on the witness stand being grilled, but she's strong. She knows her own mind and that's really all that matters."

In tough times, Cantrell says all that matters to family is faith.

"God, absolutely I give it to him," she said. "It's his. They're his. I'm his. I just give it away and he blesses us so much. He takes good care of us."

Which leaves them ready to face a jury a second time and tell their story.

"Things that maybe weren't brought out can be brought out," said Cantrell. "Things that need to be clarified the Smith County D.A. will just get to clarify it. I 100% believe the children so I believe the results will be exactly the same. I do."

While Cantrell says she wishes the appeal had gone the other way, it did provide a small bright spot in the case. The result frees one of the girl's schedules to celebrate her birthday in her home instead of a courtroom.

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