FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A vigil was held at a church on the city’s south side Saturday night to remember a teenage girl who died after a shooting last year.
It’s been nearly a year since Dominique Taylor, 18, died after she was shot at the Villa Capri Apartment complex on December 22, 2019. On Saturday, friends and family gathered to remember her as we approach the one year anniversary of her death. Teenagers Senaca James and Dawaan Martin, Jr. were both arrested and charged with murder in relation to her death and are currently awaiting separate trials.
“Every day she’s been gone, she has been missed like it happened yesterday,” said Brandy Parrish, Taylor’s mother.
Parrish organized a hybrid socially distant vigil in the parking lot at Come As You Are Community Church, located right up the road from the apartments where her daughter was shot. Some people stayed inside their cars and showed support by placing plastic, flickering candles on their dash boards. Others gathered in the parking lot.
Parrish also used the event to hand out meals to those in need as another way to honor her daughter’s life.
“I wanted to bring together people that loved and cared for my daughter dearly to life her spirit up today,” said Parrish.
According to Parrish, the trial dates for James and Martin have been pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic. JAVA Co-founder Amy Davis said this is the case for all jury trials on the schedule after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled to suspend jury trials until March 1, 2021 for pandemic-related reasons. Davis said not every family likes to watch the trial and learn the specifics of the crime, but for some families trial pushbacks are just another road block on the way to moving forward.
“It’s hard to get your closure if you haven’t reached that point of justice yet,” said Davis. “In this case, they’re thankful that there’s been an arrest but it’s not done until the trials are over and they hear those words: guilty.”
Davis said before the halting of jury trials, juries were spaced out where spectators usually sit. That would leave the families and friends of victims to stand in the back of the room for the duration of the trial. While it was better than not having access at all, Davis hopes that when jury trials return Indiana court systems can explore virtual options of allowing families to watch.
Parrish said it is difficult waiting for the trial but she found comfort in the support of those who showed up to the vigil.
“It’s a mental struggle waiting for people to be held accountable for what they did to my daughter,” said Parrish. “They disregarded my daughter’s life like it wasn’t worth anything and as you can see, there’s plenty of people that believe that her life meant everything.”
James is set for trial on June 29, 2021 with Martin set for an August 17, 2021 trial.
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