Mandate that my grandpa's killer serve the maximum sentence and don't lower the bail.
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Although there were eyewitnesses of the murder, my Grandpa's killer, Santiago Vasquez plead not guilty and his attorney James Stapler requested the bond be lowered. Honorable Judge Martha Jane Trudo, please do not allow a bond reduction and please require Santiago Vasquez to serve the maximum sentence in prison!
Over a decade ago, my Grandma Valree and my Grandpa, Vietnam War Army Veteran, John Wesley Seth Jr. moved to a nice neighborhood in Killeen, Texas. Some things that attracted my grandparents to this location were the manicured lawns, friendly faces and the fact that it was a quiet area where they could live among residents their own age. My Grandpa John loved working on home improvement projects and you could always catch him outside taking care of the yard and scratching each project off of his to-do list. Little did they know, shortly after moving in, their next door neighbor would start harassing them and eventually be the cause of one of their deaths.
For years after moving in to their beloved home, they endured the derogatory statements of their next door neighbor, Santiago Vasquez. Vasquez's hatred toward them was so deep that he even installed a camera to spy on them. He aimed it at my grandparents' backyard so that any time Grandma would go out to enjoy some fresh air or Grandpa would work on the yard, he would know. He would then proceed to hurl racist and sexist insults at my grandparents over a loud intercom system. My grandparents never caused any problems with their neighbor and always did the right thing by calling the police for help instead of taking matters into their own hands. They took the high road and Vasquez had no reason to do what he did.
On May 30, 2017, in the street in front of my grandparents' yard, the unthinkable happened when Santiago Vasquez, 84, struck my Grandpa John, 80, over the head with a cane twice and knocked him down. As my Grandpa struggled to stand back up, Vasquez killed him by shooting him three times in the chest and abdomen.
There is a bulging folder at the Killeen Police Department that contains the stack of reports with all of the times my grandparents called 911 on their neighbor, fearful of what he might do next. That folder is filled with complaints and cries for help. In that folder also lies their hope that something would be done to either subdue the torment or make Vasquez leave the otherwise peaceful neighborhood. Nothing can be done now to turn back the time and prevent this heinous crime from happening, but Judge Martha Trudo, you may be able to stop Santiago Vasquez from committing a crime like this again.
The thing is, Grandpa John still had his to-do list hanging up in his office and a cold-blooded killer robbed him of completing any more of life's tasks. Yes, my Grandpa John Seth is gone now and no petition can ever bring him back. But, justice can still be won for his family. Everyone impacted is struggling right now, he was an extraordinary father, husband, grandfather, great-grandfather, and a wise friend to a multitude of people. Above all, he had honored his vow to take care of his wife through sickness as he was the primary caregiver for my Grandma Valree who has been recently diagnosed with dementia. She now wakes up in the middle of the night crying because she misses her honey and is scared that the man who killed him can come back at any time and move right back into that house next door.
I am asking that the killer of my Grandpa be brought to justice. Please do not allow this murderer the possibility of regaining his freedom by lowering the bond currently set at $1,000,000. Judge Trudo, please let justice win and require Santiago Vasquez to serve the maximum sentence in prison. Remove the possibility for Vasquez to ruin any more lives by hurting more people and destroying more families.
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