Parents Seek Justice - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/07/04 - Tatum

Parents Seek Justice

It's been seven months since four young girls were killed in a fiery car accident in Tatum. It happened on highway 149 in Rusk County. The driver of the truck that hit them, as well as the 17 year old man he was allegedly racing were arrested. However, a trial date still hasn't been set. The families say they can't understand why it's taking so long.

The families of Rachel Reid, Jaicey Robberson, MacKinsey Blalock and Kasey Moraw will never forget September 6th, 2003. That evening, the girls left Kasey's home in Tatum to go out. Kasey Moraw's mother, Janet Russom said, "When my daughter walked out that night, she made a special point to come back and she kissed me on the cheek and she said that she loved me. Two seconds later, we heard the most awful crash you've ever heard in your life."

The girls had been hit by Rachel's own brother, 18 year old David. All four girls were killed. An investigation revealed David had been racing, going 100 miles per hour. David and the boy he was racing, 17 year old Karl Kullens were arrested last December. They're now out on bond and Kasey's family is devastated that a trial date hasn't been set.

Janet Russom said, "Whenever you see someone out there. Whether you meant to or not meant to and they're having a good time. They're laughing and they're cutting up. You just can't help but resent it."

District Attorney Kyle Freeman says there are other cases that he's forced to make a priority over this one. Freeman said, "Article 32a of our code of criminal procedure says that we must give preference to the people that are in jail to trial settings, over people that have made bond."

Russom said, "My son saw his sister dead at the side of the road by our house. He saw three of his friends burn up in a car. It was the most horrendous thing that anyone can ever imagine going through and then we're told it's not a priority."

Freeman says he understands the families' feelings, but say he can't give them an exact date. "It's hard to tell. It could be within four months. It could be within eight months. There's no way to tell specifically when a defendant that's on bond is going to trial."

Allen Russom, Kasey's stepfather, found his stepdaughter lying on the road that night, lifeless. He tried to save her life, but couldn't. "So I've got that mental picture. And if Mr. Freeman could only see that picture. They'd be picking a jury today. They'd be going to court next week and they'd be in jail the week after that."

Amy Tatum, reporting.

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