On June 9, 2000, while walking home from a neighbor's house in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, 12-year old Katie Lovelace was struck and killed by a speeding vehicle.
Appeal From Katie's Mother
Tribute to Katie
Janet Lovelace's Victim's Impact Statement
Narrative of Events
On June 9, 2000, while walking home from a neighbor's house in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, 12-year old Katie Lovelace was struck by a speeding vehicle. The driver did not stop. Paramedics were unable to save Katie. The driver and his passenger returned to the scene and blended in with the crowd.
For days law enforcement officials appealed for the driver to turn himself in. The Lane County Sheriff's Department used a helicopter to search for the vehicle. The media was all over the story. The hit-and-run aspect of this tragedy caused a furor in the community.
Meanwhile the driver kept the vehicle out of sight. After several days, he purchased deer fur and applied it to the vehicle, which he then took to an auto body repair shop. A repairman tipped off police. On June 14 the driver, Lee Russel Stubbs, was arrested.
On June 17, 2000, the Eugene Register-Guard ran an article entitled "Bad record no bar to truck driving - License reinstatement gave a hit-and-run suspect a 'clean slate' with the DMV". Articles from June 16 and June 17 detail Stubbs' atrocious driving record:
1990 Stubbs receives his driver's license. 1990-1991 Stubbs receives two speeding tickets and is convicted of reckless driving. September, 1991 Stubbs' license is suspended. 1992-1993 Stubbs is charged with driving while suspended. July, 1993 Stubbs' license is reinstated. 1994 Stubbs receives more speeding tickets and is convicted of driving without insurance. May, 1995 Stubbs' license is suspended ("he voluntarily gave up his license"). August, 1996 Stubbs' license is reinstated. February, 1998 Stubbs receives another speeding ticket. September, 1998 Stubbs receives another speeding ticket. March, 1999 Stubbs receives his commercial driver's license. May, 1999 Stubbs receives another speeding ticket. July, 1999 Stubbs receives a warning letter from DMV. June, 2000 Stubbs kills 12-year old Katie Lovelace.
Despite indications that Stubbs' had been drinking and speeding, there was not enough evidence to prosecute him for Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Measure 11 charge with a minimum sentence of six years and three months. Instead prosecutors charged Stubbs with Criminally Negligent Homicide, a non-Measure 11 charge with a presumptive sentence in Stubbs' case of 20 months. By the end of July, Stubbs' had accepted a plea agreement.
On August 14, Judge Lyle Velure filed his judgment and Stubbs was sentenced on three counts:
Count 1: Criminally negligent homicide, 20 months
Count 2: Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver ("hit-and-run"), 18 months
Count 3: Tampering With Physical Evidence, 2 months
He was also ordered to pay a judgment of $605. The two month sentence on count 3 was considered served because Stubbs had spent two months in the Lane County jail, awaiting trial. The sentences on counts 1 and 2 were to be served consecutively. This left 38 months to be served.
There was widespread outrage in the community. Many people felt that the sentence was woefully inadequate considering Stubbs' atrocious driving record, his abandonment of Katie Lovelace, his successful gambit to avoid testing for intoxication, and his deceptiveness in trying to conceal evidence.
Katie's mother, Janet Lovelace, assumed that Stubbs would be released in October, 2003 - 38 months after the August, 2000 sentencing. But in fall of 2002, she received a notice stating that Stubbs would be release on 12/25/2002. Janet was at a loss to understand.
Janet wrote to the Oregon Parole Board to inquire how it was possible that Stubbs was to be released on 12/25/2002. This letter was forwarded from the parole board to the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC). DOC's reply, dated October 10, 2000, informed Janet that, under ORS 421.121, the offender was "eligible for a reduction in the term of incarceration for appropriate institutional behavior". The reduction, typically called "earned time" or "good time", was limited to 20 percent of the entire term of incarceration.
This came as a shock to Janet. She thought that 38 months meant 38 months. Knowing that neither she nor Katie would receive any "good time", Janet was outraged. On October 13, 2002, she distributed an email explaining the situation. In it she wrote "The sentenced of 40 months is still outrageous to myself, Katie's family and friends. But that Stubbs be granted one hour of early release is unacceptable." The email asked that people contact the DOC, legislators and other officials to protest this early release.
Janet consulted with the prosecutor in the case, Erik Hasselman. They calculated the dates, taking the 20 percent "good time" into account. They calculated that, after the 20 percent, the 38 month sentence was 30.4 months, which would put the release date at February 14, 2003. This still did not explain the DOC's 12/25/2002 release date. On 10/30/2002 and again on 10/31/2002, Janet emailed the DOC and spelled out her calculations.
The DOC sent a letter of reply to Janet dated 11/1/2002. This letter confirms Janet's 30.4 month calculation. It further states:
"Pursuant to ORS 137.370(2)(a), the term of confinement includes the time that Mr. Stubbs was confined by any authority after the arrest for the crime for which the sentence is imposed. Therefore, DOC must apply time served credits for all time that Mr. Stubbs was incarcerated in the county jail on case number 200011795 prior to delivery to DOC. DOC has applied 64 days of pre-DOC incarceration credits for time the Lane County Jail has certified Mr. Stubbs was in their custody. The application of these 64 days arrives at the projected release date of December 25, 2002."
Still perplexed, on November 11, 2002, Janet emailed the DOC again and asked for an accounting of exactly how DOC arrived at the 12/25/2002 date. DOC sent a letter, dated November 12, spelling out the calculations, including the nominal sentences for counts 1 and 2, the earned time credits, and the 64-day time served credit which was applied to Count 1.
Janet asked Crime Victims United to review the issue and to give an opinion about the DOC's calculated release date. She faxed to us a copy of her correspondence with the DOC and a copy of the judgment issued by Judge Lyle Velure on August 14, 2000. We noticed that, for counts 1 and 2, the judgment states "The Court recommends that the defendant receive no credit for time served on this charge".
On November 14, 2002, Crime Victims United sent a letter to the DOC with copies to the judge, the DA, the parole board and other interested parties. We pointed out that DOC's calculations gave credit for time served, against the recommendation of the judge expressed in the judgment. We asked DOC to recalculate the release date and to inform us of their decision as soon as possible.
On November 18, 2002, Janet Lovelace sent a letter to Judge Velure to ask for his help. On November 20, 2002, Judge Velure sent a letter to DOC stating "It appears that the Department of Corrections' calculations of the Defendant's release date are inconsistent with the Court's Judgment. Please make any necessary corrections."
On November 26 Crime Victims United received a call from Herb Lovejoy, an attorney with the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) who represents the DOC in such matters. Mr. Lovejoy said that he was consulting with the District Attorney and would send a letter to DOC with a copy to Janet Lovelace and Crime Victims United the next day.
In the letter, dated November 27, 2002, Mr. Lovejoy states that ORS 137.370(2)(a) requires that the defendant receive credit for time served on Count 1. Therefore the DOC calculations are correct:
"ORS 137.370(2)(a) mandates that ODOC apply the 64 days of pre-sentence county jail time towards Mr. Stubbs' felony sentences, notwithstanding the language in the judgment that the misdemeanor be concurrent to the felony sentences.
Janet Lovelace consulted with the District Attorney. They did not agree with the DOJ opinion. Judge Velure sent a letter to DOJ stating that DOJ was misinterpreting the sentence. A hearing on the matter was held in Judge Velure's courtroom on December 11. Judge Velure ruled that DOC was in error and that Stubbs had to serve an additional 60 days for Count 3, Tampering With Physical Evidence.
A few days later, Stubbs' attorney, George Derr, filed a motion for emergency relief with the Oregon Court of Appeals, asking the court to order that Stubbs be released on 12/24/2002.
On January 9, 2003, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled on the motion for emergency relief. The court ordered that Stubbs be released immediately. The court wrote:
"It appears that the trial judge entered the amended judgment from which this appeal was taken because he was mistaken as to the legal effect of the sentence originally imposed."
. . .
"The court tentatively determines that the trial judge's mistake as to the legal effect of the judgment originally imposed is not a 'clerical error', and the amended judgment did more than merely remove the provision about credit for time served, but rather replaced a sentence originally to be served concurrently with another sentence to be served consecutively. Thus, it appears that the defendant has shown a substantial likelihood that he will prevail on appeal."
Although Stubbs was released on January 9, Janet Lovelace was not informed of this until January 13. The VINE system, which is supposed to notify registered victims about any change of status, including release or escape, failed to notify Janet.
On September 27, 2004, the Oregon Court of Appeals held a hearing on the matter of Stubbs' sentence. Attending the hearing were Janet Lovelace, her friends Molly Culligan and Janet Harris, and CVU members Steve Doell, Anne Pratt, Janyce Iturra, Marie Armstrong and Howard Rodstein.
The Oregon Attorney General's office, represented by Tim Sylwester, argued that Stubbs' was not entitled to the 64-days credited against Count I. Stubbs' defense attorney, George Derr, argued that DOC interpreted the letter of the Judge Velure's ruling correctly although he acknowledged that this was not the judge's intent.
On October 13, 2004, Janet received notice that the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state - Stubbs' was incorrectly credited for time served.
On November 15, 2004, Janet received notice that Stubbs was filing a petition for review by the Oregon Supreme Court.
On January 4, 2005, Janet received notice that the Oregon Supreme Court denied Stubbs' petition for review. The denial was issued on December 21, 2004. According to this ruling, Stubbs is expected to report to DOC to finish serving his term.
|The following letter was written by Janet Lovelace, the
mother of Katie Lovelace. Katie Lovelace was killed at age 12 by a
October 13, 2002
PLEASE PRINT THIS AND SAVE.
I need your help! Please read this email and write a short
paragraph either via email or by regular mail and let your opinions be
heard. Together we can let it be known that victims and their
families have rights too, not just the criminals.
According to the Lane County Sheriff's office's investigation of the homicide, Stubbs was traveling at 57 miles per hour; his front right tire was in the gravel in the shoulder of the road. Stubbs, along with his arrogant accomplice and passenger, Aaron Woods, left the scene of the homicide, disposed of their open beer cans and returned 10-15 minutes later, asking if anyone knew who was responsible. Learning that no one could identify them, Stubbs and Woods left the scene again and set a plan in motion to cover their guilt.
Katie's picture and the crime were widely covered on TV, newspapers and
radio, but over the next four days, while our shocked family, friends and
community grieved, Stubbs and Woods devised a plan to make it appear
as if the vehicle they were driving had hit a deer. They actually
attempted to hide the damaged vehicle by purchasing deer hair from a
sporting goods store and gluing it to the front of the vehicle.
Stubbs was apprehended four days later, only because of an auto body
technician who called police after suspecting something amiss.
The sentenced of 40 months is still outrageous to myself, Katie's family
and friends. But that Stubbs be granted one hour of early release is
On October 3rd, I received a letter back from Diane M. Rea, present chair for the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. Under Oregon law, the Board does not have the authority to change Stubbs' release date because the crime was committed after November 1989 and they only have authority over inmates that committed crimes before that time. Now inmates who committed their crimes after this date, are automatically released after they serve the sentence ordered by the court minus any earned time as calculated by the Department of Corrections.
The Sentencing Calculation Unit of the Department of Corrections especially needs to hear from us. We need to state that the Katie Lovelace case is extraordinary. Stubbs should not and does not fall into this "standard procedure" issuing earned time for early release.
I do not believe Stubbs should be again "rewarded" and given credit for "good behavior" while serving the minimal time he was "rewarded" for the crimes.
It is WRONG.
Thank you so much for your support and prayers.
I need your help; in numbers, we CAN be heard. Please forward this on to as many people you know.
Please email or write a short one or two paragraph comment/letter to
the following email address or postal addresses. Long emotional letters
don't get read. Short, strongly worded letters do. Also, you can write or
email as you have a new thought as often as you want.
This is the judgment of the Court, filed on August 14, 2002.
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR LANE COUNTY
THE STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff, v. LEE RUSSEL STUBBS, Defendant.
Case No. 20-00-11795
JUDGMENT (Incarcerative Sentence)
THIS MATTER came on to be heard on the 14th day of August, 2000; defendant having previously been indicted for the crimes of "Criminally Negligent Homicide (Count 1), Failure To Perform The Duties Of A Driver - Felony (Count 2) and Tampering With Physical Evidence (Count 3)," and having previously been found guilty of the crimes of "Criminally Negligent Homicide (Count 1), Failure To Perform The Duties Of A Driver - Felony (Count 2) and Tampering With Physical Evidence (Count 3)" by change of plea, and the Court having accepted such plea;
IT IS HEREBY ADJUDGED and entered that defendant, LEE RUSSEL STUBBS, dob June 26, 1973, is convicted of the crimes of CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE (Count 1), FAILURE TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF A DRIVER (Count 2) and TAMPERING WITH PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (Count 3), committed on or about June 9, 2000, and this being the time fixed for sentence; the State appearing by Erik Hasselman, Assistant District Attorney, the defendant appearing in custody and by attorney George L. Derr; and victims were given the opportunity to be heard; these proceedings having been reported by Carol L. Summers, Official Court Reporter, and the Court being fully advised,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the defendant shall pay to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, in the manner specified, the amounts set forth in the Money Judgment section which follows, which section is hereby made a part of this judgment. The Court finds defendant to be an able-bodied person with the ability to secure and maintain employment.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendant is sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections of the State of Oregon for the crime of CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE for a period of twenty (20) months, as established in the Guidelines Sentencing Report. The Court recommends that the defendant receive no credit for time already served on this charge, but the defendant shall be eligible for consideration under Section 14, Ch 313, OR Laws 97.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendant is sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections of the State of Oregon for the crime of FAILURE TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF A DRIVER - FELONY (Count 2) for a period of eighteen (18) months, as established in the Guidelines Sentencing Report. Sentence imposed for Count 2 shall be served consecutive to the sentence imposed for Count 1. The Court recommends that the defendant receive no credit for time already served on this charge, but the defendant shall be eligible for consideration under Section 14, Ch 313, OR Laws 97.
THIS COURT DOES NOT APPROVE THIS DEFENDANT FOR ENTRY INTO THE SUMMIT PROGRAM.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendant is remanded to the custody of the Lane County Sheriff for transportation to the Department of Corrections for the State of Oregon for service of this sentence.
The length of post-prison supervision shall be thirty-six (36) months for Count 1 and twenty-four months (24) for Count 2. If defendant violates the conditions of post-prison supervision, the defendant shall be subject to sanctions including the possibility of additional imprisonment as provided by law.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that for the crime of TAMPERING WITH PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (Count 3) the defendant is sentenced to serve sixty (60) days in the Lane County Jail, concurrent with the sentences imposed for Counts 1 and 2 above, with credit for time already served, considered served.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that for Count 1 and pursuant to ORS 809.410(1) the Department of Transportation, Driver and Vehicle Services, shall revoke defendant's driving privileges for a period of not less than eight (8) years.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that for Count 2 and pursuant to ORS 809.410(4,5) the Department of Transportation, Driver and Vehicle Services, shall revoke defendant's driving privileges for a period of not less than one (1) year.
Thereupon the defendant was advised of the rights of appeal.
The State of Oregon is the judgment creditor. LEE RUSSEL STUBBS is the judgment debtor. The following shall be paid prior to defendant's release from post-prison supervision as part of the Money Judgment. If the balance is not paid in the time allowed, the Court may take other collection action, which may include referring the matter to the Department of Revenue.
Unitary Assessment $105.00
ORS 137.290 assessment $500.00
Total Money Judgment $605.00
Any security posted in this matter shall be applied to the money judgment ordered in this case. Any funds remaining may then be applied to any other Money Judgment existing against this defendant.
SIGNED this 14 day of August, 2000
LYLE C. VELURE, Circuit Judge
This is the basis of the DOC and DOJ claim that Stubbs must receive credit against Count 1 for time served in the Lane County jail, despite Judge Velure's recommendation that such credit not be allowed.
(2) Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4) of this section, when a person is sentenced to imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections, for the purpose of computing the amount of sentence served the term of confinement includes only:
(a) The time that the person is confined by any authority after the arrest for the crime for which sentence is imposed and;
(b) The time that the person is authorized by the Department of Corrections to spend outside a confinement facility, in a program conducted by or for the Department of Corrections.
Read the entire ORS 137.370.
Please bear with me here - I can't believe yet that Katie is gone and I am talking about her in past tense. I have provided to you, Judge Velure, just a few of my daughter's awards, honors, letters from teachers and friends that she has received in her short life.
You, Lee Stubbs, murdered my daughter, Katie Lovelace. That is what I believe today and always will. Don't refer to this as an accident - it is murder!
Your weapon was your vehicle, you ran her down from behind and then disappeared like the coward that you are. I want you and everyone here to know about the life you brutally took.
My husband and I have been blessed with 3 great children. They are hard working, intelligent, and well liked by many.
Katie was special, so, so special. Katie was the joy of my husband, Kelly and I and her older brother and sister. Being born 8 and 10 years after our after our son and oldest daughter, Katie was a wonderful gift that we had not planned on and we truly realized how blessed we were to have her.
Katie, as a toddler and preschooler, was always so friendly and sweet. She attended the Child Development Preschool at Pleasant Hill HS at age 4, attended kindergarten through third at Trent Primary School in P Hill, then attended PH Elementary School. She would be attending the 7th and 8th grade at PH Jr High had she lived. People loved her radiant smile, her curly blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes. Her can-do, outgoing attitude showed up in her at a very young age. Her brother, Jim, had Katie riding on a small bike and her sister, Jennifer, was reading and teaching Katie her letters and numbers by age 3. As Katie grew older, Kelly and I realized we had a very special child here.
Kelly and I are always so incredibly proud to call her our daughter. Katie always wanted to please Kelly and I, her family, teachers and friends. She was extremely popular with adults as well as her peers. Katie was a leader. She was the kid on the school bus that would intervene if someone was bullying a younger child, get in the bully's face and defend the younger child. She knew that was the right thing to do, wasn't afraid to stand up and speak her mind and then did it.
Katie was fearless in so many ways. She loved life. Katie challenged herself every day to do her best, and the special thing about Katie, is that she actually accomplished her best every day. This is not just a doting mom bragging on her child, look at those letters from other parents, teachers and friends. Katie was recognized by many people as an outstanding young girl with tremendous potential, a girl other parents were glad when their son or daughter had Katie as a friend. She set a wonderful example in all she did.
Katie was everything in a daughter that a parent could hope for. She was friendly, so likeable, sweet, smart, caring, helpful to everyone, compassionate, confident and full of humor and life, beautiful inside and out. And she was a terrific athlete, with so many commitments, and goals set to accomplish in the future. Again, talk to her coaches, other parents, Katie had natural athletic ability that only a few get. Katie received the Presidential Physical Fitness Award all three years at Pleasant Hill Elementary School - quite a feat for any kid. She was always in our yard practicing cartwheels and gymnastics. In fact, the day she was killed, she had called me out front to show me she finally had mastered her backflip - she had been working on that for months - self taught - she did it beautifully. I can still see her as I look out in our yard. I know Lee Stubbs saw her in our yard - she was always outside, practicing soccer moves, or shooting hoops or batting softballs with her dad or me.
Katie loved to challenge herself on the soccer field, she was the sweeper and stopper position for FC Willamette. Her coaches and teammates recognized in Katie her natural leadership, her coach told us that she was the foundation of the team. Katie was the fastest on the team, soccer was her favorite and she excelled at it. Last Friday, we received another card from her teammate, who plays goalie - she wrote how much she missed Katie as a friend, and how the defense misses her, how much she counted on Katie to make her job easier. So many people miss Katie. She touched so many lives in her 12 years.
Katie wasn't boastful or conceited about who she was, she understood she was blessed with talent and shared that with her teammates. Katie played first base and pitcher in softball, and was an excellent hitter. I can still see her stretched out at first base, one foot on the base, body extended, reaching out to make the play. She was a natural. Her first and only softball game Katie got to play this season, she pitched and struck out several players, had two homeruns and at first base, was part of a double play.
She was something to watch. Everyone loved to watch her, other parents would say, oh it's OK, Katie's in and she will make it happen. She gave that confidence to her teammates as well and was always encouraging them. I still can't believe she is gone. She was just too special.
With Katie's older siblings being out of the house, Jennifer being married and busy raising a family, and Jim away at college, Katie has been the center of Kelly's and my lives, almost like an only child. Katie kept us so busy with school, homework and sports activities. Katie and I were near constant companions, I was her personal chauffeur. At one time in May, Katie was playing basketball, practicing softball and soccer all at the same time. In addition, Katie had weekly piano lessons, a piano audition and recital, a school concert and other school events. Katie enjoyed school, was a straight A student, and was recommended to be in the TAG (talented and gifted program) at the Jr. High in 7th grade. She loved the social part of school. Teachers liked Katie, everyone liked Katie.
Katie and I were, and will always be, best friends. I love her so much, and am so lonesome for her. There is such a void, an empty spot in our hearts for Katie - I still can't truly believe she is gone. It's like a bad dream - I can't wake up from.
As I read this letter, I just can't truly believe that this has happened - that I am talking about Katie in past tense - that my Katie-Girl who had such plans and such ambition for her life, is gone. She wanted to play professional soccer, be on the US Women's Soccer Team, she wanted to be a doctor, then an architect - she had huge plans for her life. I still look for her every day - still thinking she is just overnite at a friends or off at a soccer camp, but her room continues to be empty and quiet, no more laughter in our house, no more noisy girlfriends overnite, the phone is no longer ringing for Katie, the piano is quiet - only Katie played piano. We miss her friends - we miss our life with her.
All we have now is photos, her stuff in her room and memories.
Since June 9, since Katie's murder, Katie has missed out on 27 soccer practices, 2 soccer tournaments, soccer games, 11 softball games, 3 birthday parties, over 440 kisses and hugs from her mom and dad, seeing her cousin's new little boy born, many sleep-overs, driving combine, sleeping out in the playhouse with her best friend, going to movies, camping trips, 264 phone calls ( that is her average of 4 a day), planting flowers with her mom, swimming parties, BBQ's, shopping trips to Old Navy, making new friends, countless hours spent with her brother, sister, brother-in-law, Russ, and her nephew, Tommy who is just under 3 and her baby niece, Kari. Katie was Tommy's hero - she would always play ball with him - now he comes to our house and has no Katie to play with. Kari will never remember Katie - she will just hear us talk about her.
Katie has been robbed of a wonderful life because of the actions of Lee Stubbs.
Katie was my helper, she would vacuum the house, dust, clean bathrooms, mop the floor, go grocery shopping with me. She was a cheerful worker - her dad and I taught all our kids to have a good work ethic - not to be lazy but always chip in and help. Katie climbed on the roof every year and helped put up the outside Christmas lights. She would help me cook dinner and be interested to learn more. Katie and I baked a lamb cake for Easter - we carefully decorated it and had such fun, and it turned out great. We were so proud of ourselves. She would help her sister with Tommy and Kari by entertaining them. Katie and Jennifer would go shopping, do sister things.
Katie would go with her 21 year old brother to the movies when he was home from college, always wanting to ride in his pickup. Why would a 21 year old guy be OK with hanging out with his 12 year old sister, that would be because Katie was COOL. Katie was FUN. Jim and Katie were buddies.
We all got robbed of such goodness and joy, and we are left to question repeatedly WHY!!
Why Katie - not just a 12 year old girl but a girl with such a wonderful future. She was so excited to attend 7th grade, have her own locker, be at the Junior High. She would be on the high school honor roll, she would be the homecoming queen at Pleasant Hill, she would drive a little red Wrangler Jeep, she would be able to play soccer at any college of her choice, she would enjoy life to the fullest. But Katie won't graduate from Pleasant Hill High School in 2006 with her classmates or graduate from college. Kelly won't be walking her down the aisle at her wedding, we won't ever hold her children or be able to celebrate her 30th birthday. So much we all looked forward to, taken from us so violently, so brutally, so senselessly, by the inhuman actions of Lee Stubbs and Aaron Woods.
Our family is forever different. We don't sleep, no one is interested in anything. No laughter, no conversation - we look at each other knowing we are each thinking of Katie. My son Jim relives that night, feels guilt and so much pain. Kelly as a father, who is accustom to being in control and the boss, is at a total loss - he can't fix this like he does everything else - he is in shock. Our daughter Jennifer, must push on through her pain - having two children under three and in diapers takes all the strength she has to be a mom.
I haven't been to work in weeks and don't care if I go back.
Our lives have been devastated - I spend my time thinking of Katie, of what we would be doing, what we would have been doing next month, thinking of school, and sports. We sleep with Katie's pink bear, Huggy, who has been part of our family since Katie was a toddler. I do the bare essentials of my daily life and wait for Katie to appear by some miracle.
Katie and I go to the county fair every year with her best friend Marianelly and her mom - it's a tradition. What will we do when the end of August comes and I don't get to register Katie for 7th grade, what will we do on her 13th birthday on October 1, and her 14th and her 21st birthday, what will we do at Halloween, Thanksgiving or at Christmas, her favorite holiday? We will suffer!! We will cry, scream for her and suffer more pain, year after year. Everyone else will live on, go forward with their lives, but Kelly and I, as Katie's parents will continue to be in pain for who we lost and all Katie would have been had she never met up with Stubbs and Woods.
Throughout the rest of my life, I will never watch a soccer game and not think of my Katie, or go to a shopping mall and not remember Katie, or mow our yard and not think of Katie or take a breath and not think of my Katie!! We will never cease loving Katie or missing Katie - we are left to wonder what would Katie be doing? I know she would have been making a wonderful difference in this world.
You, Lee Stubbs, murdered my daughter, Katie Lovelace. This was no accident - this is murder - that is a fact. That is what I believe today and always will.
Your weapon was your vehicle, you ran her down from behind and then disappeared like the coward that you are. There is no different to me if you had shot her in the back with a gun. You never even hit your brakes and you killed my daughter in a cold, calculated action that was so sick and so inhuman that there are no words that do justice to the act. You, Lee Stubbs and your stupid buddy, Aaron Woods murdered a innocent, 12 year old girl and took so much from me and so many others that the likes of you and your family can never understand or comprehend with your small minds.
Lee Stubbs lived on Mathews Road on June 9, 2000. I had seen him drive his beer van by our house daily. He KNEW the road- he was familiar with the pedestrian travel - he lived on this road!! There is no reason that he hit Katie - except that he wanted to play games with innocent people. In the 11 years we have lived on Mathews Road, all the neighborhood kids used the road both at day and night - riding bikes and walking back and forth between the nearest 3-4 houses near our home. Like her older brother and sister, and all the other neighborhood kids, including a police officer's kids, people walk this road. Katie had every right to be where she was when she was. Only Lee Stubbs is to blame for taking my daughter's life - no one else. How can the justice system not recognize the facts of this case and sentence this man to years in prison for murder??
We are left with such gut wrenching pain, such anguish that we never thought possible. So lost, so alone, only wanting Katie back in her room at night, filling our home with laughter and joy. Only those that have lost children that can comprehend this depth of pain and Kelly and I did not ever have a clue about the depth of pain until now.
I find myself questioning life, why Katie, who spread joy and happiness, is taken from this world; but people like Stubbs and Woods live on, after robbing Katie of her future and after reducing our lives to shambles, but paying little to no consequences for their actions. Before long, Stubbs will be out of prison and living his life, being able to enjoy his life, go forward with his plans. But Katie, my Katie, is deprived of her life, her dreams, her future. Life is not fair - everyone here knows that. I know nothing can change that Katie is gone from this earth and is with God. That doesn't diminish the pain that my family has to live with FOREVER. The sense of loss, of emptiness haunts us constantly.
Not just us but all the many brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and so many friends that knew and loved our Katie.
I force myself to live on, knowing I will never be the same without Katie, my best friend and joy of my life.
Judge Velure, I did get the opportunity to read some of those letters from those who wrote in support of Lee Stubbs. Some of those letters would make sense if Lee Stubbs would have stopped and offered help that night to Katie, or even if he would have turned himself in the next day. But five days went by - five days he knew he had killed a little girl, left her in a ditch. And if the man from the auto body shop had not been heads up to something not being right with the deer hair and damage done, the vehicle would have been repaired and Lee Stubbs and Aaron Woods would have gone on their merry way in life. Stubbs and Woods would have continued to drive by our house on Mathews Road, knowing he was responsible for Katie's death, and gone on with life. There is not any excuse for that ----- NEVER NEVER NEVER. Being scared doesn't cut it - Lee Stubbs is a dangerous, evil man! His tears today are for himself only - not for Katie and everything he took from her.
In my eyes, it is a given that each man will again visit a courtroom in the future - they each showed their true selves throughout this and proved to all that they are disgusting individuals with no regard for anyone but themselves. They are liars, cheats, drunks, druggies, cowards, the scum of the earth. They are individuals that always have an excuse for not being responsible for their actions, just like the rest of their families. People who feed off society and suck it dry. They make the words human being into four letter words.
I am so sicken by you and your buddy, Aaron Woods. I know you and your buddy were drunk and /or on drugs the night you killed Katie. I know that you told the DA that you saw my son and daughter and her two friends. I know you thought it would be fun to play a game with them, make them jump in the ditch. I know you did not slow down. I know that you were feeling pretty cocky that night.
"Let's have a little fun here, Aaron with these kids, play a little chicken and scare them bad." So you drove on at 57 mph and turned your wheels toward the ditch. The Sheriff Department's investigation concluded Katie was walking with her left foot on the white line and her right foot in the gravel shoulder. I know that put your vehicle on the gravel shoulder when you reached Katie. I know that there is no excuse that you did not move over to the other lane when you approached the kids. I know there is little to no traffic on this road. I know you drove this road both day and night often.
I know that you did not use your brakes at all. I know that you two, through your reckless actions, killed Katie. I know that Katie's healthy little body was so badly broken. I know that once you killed her, you turned your headlights off and sped up. I know you could have stopped. I know that Lee Stubbs and Aaron Woods are cowards. I know they didn't stop.
I know that you drove down the road, getting rid of the empty beer cans in your van. I know that my husband and I ran down to in front of the neighbors house.
I know I was screaming for my Katie. I know that Katie was hurt bad, I could hear the men there trying to help Katie, counting, one, two, three, doing CPR on her. I know Kelly was holding me tight, blocking my view. I know I heard the counting stop. I know I could hear myself screaming for Katie. I know I heard people around me saying take Janet in the house. I know that you, Lee Stubbs and Aaron Woods, were still feeling cocky.
I know that you came back to the scene and asked if anyone saw who did it. You sicken me!! I know you felt no sorrow or remorse knowing you killed a little girl. I know that when you were told no, no one saw anything, that you spent the rest of your evening planning how to cover your ass. I know that you did not think about Katie Lovelace or the life you took. I know that you and your buddy thought only of yourselves. You sicken me!!
I know that my husband Kelly gave Katie a last kiss goodbye before he came into the house. I know that my son Jim was sitting on the side of the road in total shock. I know that you and your buddy went somewhere to hide that night and planned how to get away with it. I know that you did not care about Katie Lovelace.
I know Kelly came into the house and told me Katie was gone. I know that Jim, Kelly and I held each and repeating no, no, no, not Katie.
I know that you two stupid drunks were capable of killing all four kids. I know I could have also lost my son Jim that night. I know there could have been two other grieving parents who lost children that night. I do know you two showed no remorse.
I know that Friday night, Saturday morning, afternoon and evening, you planned your lies. I know Sunday morning, afternoon and evening, you planned your lies. I know that Monday morning, afternoon and evening, you carried out your plan to cover your asses.
I know that that evening of June 9th forever is embedded in our memories - the worst night of Katie's short life, the worst night of my family's lives.
I know that I will never be the same person, my family will never be the same - my family will always be missing Katie. A part of me is forever gone. I know that Katie's death is totally the fault of Lee Stubbs and Aaron Woods. Katie was innocent, doing nothing wrong.
I know that Lee Stubbs and Aaron Woods intentionally murdered my daughter, Katie on June 9, 2000.
As Katie's mom, I know that I am not satisfied with 40 months in prison for Lee Stubbs. He murdered our daughter - there are witnesses. People have stated those two were drunk. The murderers under the current laws will receive a slap on the wrist, a minimal sentence for such destruction of people's lives. There are huge cracks of our criminal system - Lee Stubbs and Aaron Woods should be serving life time sentences or even execution. Their behavior from June 9 to the day of Stubbs' arrest, June 13th is appalling, sick and disgusting. Kelly and I are going to work to help change laws so the next family who is faced with such terrible tragedy will not have to fight with the justice system like we have been forced to.
I am requesting that you, Judge Velure, stand up for 12 year old Katie Lovelace, and do what is right and sentence Lee Stubbs to the absolute maximum that you are allowed to.
Send the message to society. Someone has to stand up for RIGHT or Katie is a crime victim number only, a case number. Don't let the criminal have more rights than the victim.
As the mother of Katie Lovelace, I will issue my own personal sentence to you, Lee Stubbs and Aaron Woods. It is my hope that the rest of your lives and those of your families be filled with misery. If anything can go wrong in your life, let it go wrong. If you want something, let it be unattainable to you. Let sickness plague you and your family. May only bad things follow you all forever. There is more to this story - we met up with your uncle, who wouldn't identify himself but knew he was talking to Kelly and I - he also tried to play a game with us. You all are losers and will be losers for the rest of your lives.
Maybe someday you might look at how you have lived, see yourselves for what you are - deranged, dysfunctional people who are self centered and irresponsible.
There was no reason at all for Katie to be murdered that night. Katie was 150 steps from our property. She was in no way wrong or at fault. She should be home and safe now.
Our road, Mathews Road, is mostly traveled by people who live on it or know someone who does. Lee Stubbs knew this road - he drove it all the time. So many adults and children walk our road, both day and night. People jog and large groups of bike tours use our road. I walk this road. Katie was doing nothing wrong.
During the time since Katie's death, I have proved to myself over and over that Stubbs could see my son, Jim and the other kids. I have worn dark clothing, walked down our road at 10 PM at night, walked with one foot on the white line and one foot in the gravel, just like Katie, with my back to traffic, I did not move over or turn as I heard a car coming from behind - every time, every time, the vehicle moved over to the opposite lane - there was no reason Lee Stubbs hit Katie other than he and his buddy were playing games with human lives.
Stubbs and Woods nearly killed 4 people.
I was told that if Stubbs had killed two kids or killed both my son and my daughter, it would be the same punishment as just killing Katie. But if Stubbs had killed 3 kids, then that is the worst felony you can get. But just killing my daughter isn't enough, it needed to be 3 or more. That tells me Katie doesn't count to the system. The criminal has rights, the victim is just a victim.
Nothing can be done to bring Katie back - the emptiness and loneleness with stay with Kelly and I forever. All her dreams, hopes and plans are gone. We will never be the same because of you, Lee Stubbs and we will never forget.
Katie's memorial service at our church was packed, the school memorial had over 1000 people in attendance to honor this very special girl. We have received and continue to receive cards and letters from everywhere; from decent people so full of anguish that this should happen to an innocent child who was doing nothing wrong. The people of the community of Pleasant Hill and cities throughout Oregon and beyond, continue to mourn for Katie. People are full of rage and anger, and it is all directed at you two, Lee Stubbs and Aaron Woods. So many people love Katie, so many people hate and are disgusted by you and what you represent in society.
Run scared you two, people everywhere know what you did to Katie and they are repulsed and sickened by you both. And they are angry at the system that lets you off so easy. You kill Katie and she is dead and you walk - it makes no sense.
No matter where you go, people will recognize you for the rest of your lives as the murderers of an innocent 12 year girl named Katie Lovelace and they will remember.
For those of you here in this courtroom and to all parents who have followed and supported Kelly and I and our families throughout this tragedy, we want to thank you and also leave you with a message --- cherish your time with your child, love them like there is no tomorrow - be open and voice your love for them, brag about them to others - be proud and let them know it - do not be afraid to hold and kiss your child - tell your child of your love for them and instill in them the confidence to be all they want to be - not to hold back but to encourage your child to work hard and be the best they can be.
Kelly and I have no regrets regarding our relationship with Katie - she knew without question the overwhelming love we had for her and how proud we were of her, and of her sister and brother and all their accomplishments. We knew Katie loved us without question - she told us both every day. Katie and I kissed each other every morning before she got on the school bus, told each other every morning "I love you, Katie" I love you, Mom. Then I told her "Have a good day". She always replied, "I Will!" And she did - You are the best, Katie Lovelace - I will always love you.
Lee Stubbs, you need to understand something about me. You took my future along with Katie's. That's what I did in my life - be a mom - that is my love - that is what I think I do the best at. The thing I get more compliments about - about how great my kids are - polite, caring, smart, sensible, well thought of by many. The one thing is my life that I feel I do the best at - being a mom! Katie wrote to me in her homemade Mother's Day card this last May - that I have done a great job raising Jennifer and Jim and that she felt she was coming along fine also. I will continue to be the best mom I can to Jennifer, Russ and Jim, the best grandma I can be to my grandkids - The rest of my time will be spent crying for Katie and all we both are missing.