“Here We Go – Again!”

One of the very frustrating parts of the criminal trial in my son, Christopher’s, murder was the delays.  I’d get my mind around a date and think I was ready for it and then it would be changed.  Re-trenching when I have something all planned out is difficult for me.  This change in dates happened around six times before we actually went to trial.  Once, I showed up for a hearing in Oakland and the hearing had been changed to another date.  No one notified me.  I found out Mark James Taylor was out on bail only because I called my victim advocate to find out about a court date (she was supposed to call me).  I felt like the biggest job in my life– being there to represent my son, who could not defend himself, would never start.  And, of course, I wished this all had never happened in the first place.

I never thought this would happen with Parole Hearings.  But here we go again; the date has been changed to July 26th at 8:30 in the morning.  Because of the change, my husband, Gary, will not be able to attend.  He has had a trip planned for over a year, and I want him to go.  The first Parole Hearing will be a formality, and I will be fine.  My two dear friends, Jaimee and Lorie will be coming, along with my darling daughter, Christina.

I am hoping that we will not have any more changes.  I want to get this experience behind me.  It looms on my horizon and I want it over!

In the meantime I will be writing my Victim Impact Statement and meeting with people familiar with the parole process to get ideas of what we will face in the Parole Hearing room at Avenal State Prison…..doing my homework!

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13 Responses to “Here We Go – Again!”

  1. Mervyn Regan says:

    So sorry to hear about the ongoing stress created by the legal system. It seems the victims and their families receive little or no consideration. It’s all about the purpetrator and his rights. I will be thinking about you and keep you and your family in y prayers.

  2. Anne Voilleque says:

    Keeping you in my thoughts.

  3. Xenia says:

    The justice system is complex enough, but now you have to light a fire under ‘people’ to do their job! How may wars do we have to fight? Take a few deep breaths and know we love you.

  4. LAURIE WAGNER says:

    I understand the feeling, the same thing happened to us in our ordeal. I did not understand the waste of time and emotional energy for all the people concerned. It felt like it was a big political game at our expense. I am sorry Gary will not be there to give you the loving support and I would come in a minute if you needed me. I wish with all my heart this pain did not happen to you, and sometimes I do not understand why people have to be hurt so deeply. I do not have a good effective filter to block the pain of those people that I love so much. I think our message is to try to be strong and positive every day and hope our loved ones will be safe from harm. It is not easy.
    Hope the 26 goes the way you desire and this part can end for you, I know the hurt and loss will never ever end. laurie

  5. Sandor Burstein says:

    Behind you all the way – –

    S & B

  6. Shirley A. Sloan says:

    So sorry to hear about the delay but never you worry the system cannot
    beat you believe in you and in Christopher and it will happen. He will not
    be released in my heart I am positive he will not be walking the streets.
    Your strength and prayers from all your family and friends will see you
    through this. I promise.

  7. Michael Ferrari says:

    You will never be alone. Hundreds of thousands of victims and their families empathize and will be with you in spirit. You will also be representing those that do not have the ability to be as strong as you.

    The last I checked, it is almost unheard of for anyone to be granted parole at the first hearing, especially involving violent crime and with any opposition.

    One suggestion. The reality is that parole can become numb… they hear so many horrific accounts. If the judge made any helpful comments during sentencing, bring a transcript. They should have it, and should have read it, but it never hurts to have it handy and reiterate key points. .You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. John Koeppel says:


    Good luck. I know this is more difficult than I can imagine. But, having dealt with more postponed hearings than I can count in the course of my job, I know your persistence will be worthwhile.


  9. Antje Steinhoff says:

    Dear Radha,
    I am reading your griefprints always with great interest and I am moved by all the deep thoughts you share with us. Your life´s journey with Christopher living in your heart is moving and touching so many souls and also mine. You do such a wonderful and brave work visiting prisons and confronting the prisoners with the follwings their dark doings are causing to their victims and their families. Its an astounding way to cope with your fate.
    I can understand that you are so fierce what will happen at that parol hearing and that you would have liked Gary to be with you at your side. But I have the strong feeling that evrything will work out well: Mark James Taylor who never showed any remorse will not get free. Your familiy is holding together so strongly that nothing is getting in between you. Try to let go a little bit for your own sake: On your side you have done everything you could have ever done to defend Christopher.
    My thoughts and prayers will be with you. Let all of us help a little bit to carry the load.
    Antje as Annikas Mom

  10. Carrol Chrys says:

    Dear Radha,
    I am going to think of you and keep you in my daily prayers. I have never had this tragic experience but I can still empathize with you. Some of us have had other sadness in our life and the most helpful thing is to know that other people are thinking about us and care. I know we have not talked in a long time but I still love and admire you and Gary.

  11. Radha, Antje has said everything I could say, and so beautifully. I will be there with you in spirit on the 26th.
    Much love,

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Radha, this justice system certainly doesn’t seem very just does it???
    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayer.

  13. julia odaly says:

    Hi Radha, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I have faith that Mark Taylor will not be granted parole, as he should not. I also pray that through the courage and dignity by which you live your life, (demonstrated by the work you do with offenders, only one example) that he might somehow come to a place where he has the courage to accept 100% responsibility for his actions and begin his healing journey. You are truly a beacon of love and hope!

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