I've often wondered what goes through the mind of someone who is about to commit murder.
Is there a total loss of self control and logic or is there a complete understanding of the magnitude of what they are about to do? I wonder not for some dark and twisted reason but to try and understand how and why murder happens. What brings a person to the conclusion that ending another human's life will in any way give them satisfaction?
Vengeance, greed, mental incompetence or accident - all motives or reasons given in murder cases - do any of those reasons warrant taking another life?
Last week two of our reporters at The News covered a murder trial in which two 20 year olds were found guilty and will soon be sentenced for the murder of Tony Richardson, which occurred on Jan. 29, 2007.
According to stories that ran on Feb. 13, 15, and 17, testimony given by Liberty Harris, who is also charged with the murder of Richardson but will be tried separately in exchange for her testimony, said the group believed Richardson to be a snitch.
The prosecution claimed Harris and the other three accused murderers, Christopher "Big Boy" Rozier, Xavier "Pretty Boy" Dyer and Willie "Scooter" Dyer first tried to kill Richardson by putting rat poison in his crack cocaine. When that didn't work Rozier and Xavier Dyer, who were both convicted, took Richardson into the woods and shot him six times with a 9mm handgun.
I often wonder if folks who plan the deaths of others realize what death means. Life and death isn't a game where winners are determined by who can survive the attacks of his neighbors.
We, the human race, should resolve to disagree on some things, not to be afraid to have adversaries and to learn to solve problems without violence.
Not everyone in the world will share the same viewpoint - it doesn't matter how many laws you pass, how many guns you shoot or what ideology you shove down their throats. People are different - that's a certainty of life.
During the course of everyday life, most people are going to have enemies. They may not launch missiles at your front door, but there are those that we are at odds with - that's natural and should be something we all learn to cope with in a nonviolent way.
Killing for instant gratification is the pathway to the downfall of our society. If we all killed over petty, insignificant squabbles, we'd drive to work in armored vehicles and dress in full riot gear - not the picture of the ideal democratic society.
In closing statements in the Richardson murder trial, Assistant District Attorney Melanie McCrorey painted a picture for the jury, one that shouldn't be forgotten. She humanized what most may have forgotten by the end of the trial - a life was lost.
"This case is not about planting evidence," She told the jury. "This case is not about crack heads. This case is about Tony Richardson. He was alive and he was a human being."
She recounted her speculation of what his last moments alive may have been like and the horror he may have felt while meeting his demise.
Richardson had a family who loved him and miss him. He had friends that will continue to tell stories about their times together - he was a human being.
Now he is one of the many statistics. Another senseless murder that could have and should have been avoided.
When are we going to begin to respect and value life - no matter who's life it is?
Robby Byrd is the editor of The Covington News. He can be reached at rbyrd@covnews.