Don and Barbara Biehn, Kingman
Son, Steven John Wood, 16, murdered by “Freeway Killer” William George Bonin in California, April 11,1980. Bonin was an early parolee and should not have been out of jail. He was convicted of murdering 14 young men and suspected of an additional seven murders. In addition to the first tragedy, the Biehn's eldest son, Carl, 29, committed suicide January 8, 1989. His death was attributed to his brother's murder and the slow process of the California Criminal Justice System. Bonin was on Death Row from March 1982 until he was executed by lethal injection, February 23, 1996 at San Quentin State Prison.
NOTE: The trial of their son's killer was a nightmare for the family. Steven's Mom was removed from the courtroom. At the sentencing, the family was not allowed to speak. The family received their information through the media during the long delays. The defendant had originally been paroled through negligence by which the parole board and all concerned were not held responsible.
James and Sally Goelzer, Phoenix
Sally’s brother, Harold Bone, Jr., 53, ambushed and shot to death as he was getting into his car on Thanksgiving eve, November 23, 1995. Hal was shot four times and died at the scene. The gang member and his accomplice were both arrested and tried. Taking nearly six years, they were finally sentenced in 2001 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Fred Goldman, Scottsdale
Son, Ron Goldman, 25, savagely stabbed to death, along with Nicole Brown Simpson, 35, outside of Nicole's condo, June 12, 1994. Ron was dropping off Nicole's mother's glasses which had been left at the restaurant where Ron was employed. Nicole's ex-husband, O. J. Simpson was arrested a few days after the murders, tried in criminal court and found not guilty on both counts of murder, October 3, 1995.
(In the civil suit brought against him by his victims' families, O. J. Simpson was found libel on eight counts, February 4, 1997)
Beth Hendrickson, Phoenix
Pregnant daughter, Tanya Ramsdell, 19 and her boyfriend, 25, were shot in the head and killed by an acquaintance, Tracey Hampton, May 2001. The cold-blooded killer was arrested and in April 2002, was charged with two counts of first degree murder and one count of manslaughter. Due to a decision requiring jury instead of judge sentencing, a second trial began January 2003 with a new jury. Hampton was again convicted of two counts of first degree murder, one count of fetal manslaughter and is currently on Death Row.
NOTE: Tanya's mother, Beth wrote, "The family had to prepare and submit to the judge and the defense, two weeks in advance, a copy of the impact statements from each member of the family. The judge required that we, as victims, be sworn in and take the witness stand when we read our statements. Five minutes prior to taking the stand, the family were given edited copies of their impact statements and told that they could not deviate from their script. We were forbidden from referring to the defendant in any way, nor were we allowed to address him personally. Tracey Hampton was not required to provide a copy to anyone prior to his allocution. His statement was not edited. He was free to refer to my daughter and my family. How is it that a man convicted of taking three lives can say whatever he wants and the surviving family can not?"
Kathy M. Schofield Hernandez, Peoria*
Son, Ruben C.K. Hernandez, 21 shot in the head when two men entered the family home in the middle of the night, December 17, 2005. Ruben's Mother, Kathy was also at home. She was held at gunpoint as the suspects tore through the home. Ruben was asleep. There was a struggle and he was shot in the head. One suspect ran out on foot and the other drove off in the car. During the police pursuit, the shooter's car had a blowout, there was an altercation and the police killed him. The accomplice turned himself in two days later. He was convicted and sentenced to Second Degree Murder, which is twenty years with time served.
NOTE: Ruben's Mother, Kathy was allowed in the courtroom as she was there when her son was murdered and was also a victim that night. There were two trials and many postponements. Kathy reported that she and Ruben's girlfriend were treated terribly.
Tim Jeffries, Scottsdale
Brother, Michael Jeffries, 22, was kidnapped, beaten and murdered in Colorado, November 3, 1981. Michael was taken up into the mountains by four males. Two of them stabbed Michael 65 times, slit his throat and crushed his skull. The two murderers fled to Sioux Fall, Iowa and the driver and another assailant fled to Boston, Massachusetts. Michael's body was discovered one month later and the four suspects were apprehended. The lead murderer hung himself in prison one year later; the other pled to 1st Degree Murder with a life sentence and the possibility of parole in 20 years. The driver and the other assailant pled to lesser charges.
NOTE: The victim's family was only notified of the court proceedings about the sentencing of the remaining murderer since the other murderer had hung himself in jail. Michael's brother, Tim feels that since he was not notified about the various hearings, he was therefore excluded from the courtroom. Tim was not allowed to be heard at the sentencing of the remaining murderer. However, Tim was allowed to provide input on the various plea bargains to the Chief Deputy District Attorney.
July 2014: Parole was denied for Michael’s killer and he must continue to serve his Life Sentence. His next parole hearing was set for three years instead of five years so it will probably be in July 2017.
Dan Levey, Phoenix
Brother, Howard Levey, 40, approached while seated in his car and shot to death by two gang members who wanted to carjack his vehicle, November 3, 1996. Howard had been waiting for his friends to arrive for their weekly basketball game. The killers shot Howard at point blank range, threw him out of his car and left him to die. The suspects were arrested several days later. Co-defendant (non-shooter) was convicted, tries and sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter. The shooter was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to no less than 25 years, eligible for parole after 25 years.
NOTE: Howard's family was not notified of the arraignment nor were they given their rights until the case went to the County Attorney. There were many continuances, taking the case two years to go through the court system.
Duane Lynn, Sun City
Wife, Nila, 69 and another woman, who were attending their Homeowner’s
Association meeting, were shot and killed by Richard Glassel, an angry resident, April 19, 2000. Nila died on the floor in the arms of her husband Duane. They had been married almost 50 years. The killer also wounded three men. He was arrested the same day, convicted and sentenced to the death penalty, February 2003.
NOTE: Duane Lynn was not allowed to make a sentencing recommendation. Duane wanted the killer to be sentenced to life without parole, rather than endure lengthy appeals.
Beckie Miller, Glendale
Son, Brian Ray Miller, 18, robbed and shot to death October 19, 1991 as he walked his girlfriend home from work. The three perpetrators, an 18-year-old, a 21-year-old and a juvenile were arrested a few days later and all plea-bargained. One plea-bargained by testifying against the shooter and served only seven years. Two were released in October 1998, including the killer. One is still in prison but not on the murder charge, it was for hitting a guard.
NOTE: All defendants were ordered to pay restitution but as customary, none has been paid. The family was not notified of a time change at the sentencing hearing so they arrived late. They still were allowed to be heard.
Debbie and Doug Parnham, Phoenix
Son, Brent Lorentz, 16, shot in the face as he was walking down the street with two friends, December 5, 1992. A car pulled alongside them and a single shot fired at close range from a 12-gauge shotgun struck Brent. Brent was hospitalized and survived for seven days before succumbing December 12, 1992. Six months later, after the TV "COPS" show aired, a tipster turned in the 19-year-old suspect. He was tried and sentenced to twenty-five and one-half years, June 14, 1994.
Bobbi Sudberry, Phoenix*
Daughter, Kaitlyn Marie, 17, murdered in cold blood by Daniel Byrd, her ex-boyfriend as she was coming home from school, January 28, 2008. Kaity had been dating him when about six months into the relationship he became abusive, emotionally and physically. After dating him for almost a year, Kaity broke up with him. He assaulted her at school on two separate occasions and had threatened to kill her five days before he murdered her. He then committed suicide.
NOTE: At the time of Kaity's murder, her 17 year-old killer was on probation for being caught with stolen liquor in his backpack. Instead of finding him in violation of his probation and incarcerating him, he was out and killed Kaity, then committed suicide.
Loretta Winn, Phoenix
Son, Ryan Winn, 16, shot to death while attending a backyard party, July 4, 1995. Ryan had gotten involved in a fist fight when another juvenile pulled a gun and shot Ryan three times. The juvenile was arrested, adjudicated to adult court and set free after posting bail! After being free for nearly a year, the murderer was taken into custody. The charge of 2nd degree murder was pleaded down to manslaughter - aggravated and sentenced to 18 years June 1996 to serve 85% of the sentence with no early release. However, Ryan's family were notified that the murderer will have the right to hearings for early release every two years.
NOTE: Ryan's family were not notified that his murderer had posted bail. They were awarded restitution and to date, have received approximately $10.00!