While I would have liked to personally convey this about the trial (which I always found comforting to actually talk to other moms but wasn't an option for us) I would like to share a few things about our trial: The civil suit was very much so intertwined with the criminal trial as suspected. UPMC withheld documents for most of the almost 3 years we have been waiting only to release some of them after 4 court orders. They tried to offer us a 3rd Degree Diminished Capacity Plea Monday after the most vital of documents were released. We refused and the DA said he only offered it because he had to but assured us he was confident we would get first degree. It was grueling but I am glad we pursued it as it benefitted our entire family despite the photos and what we had to endure. Surprise note on Friday while the jury was deliberating they told us upon the verdict he would immediately be sentenced. We were given legal tablets and wrote our impact statements in the court hallway not knowing how much time we had because it all hinged on the jury. Both our girls spoke as well as myself and our entire family wore shirts with Lisa's picture on them despite resistance from the advocate. I made her ask the Judge for approval which he okayed. My shirt was one Shirly made for me stating A mother's love never dies...Her voice will always be heard. The judge never even reviewed our statements and we let him have it. Much to the bewilderment of everyone in the court room 14 sheriffs streamed into the court room to hear the verdict. He was not dangerous (because he was drugged and a coward) and our family showed nothing but respect to the court/judge and were commended by the court reporter so we believe they were there to hear the verdict and show support for our family. There was not a dry eye among them not even the top Sheriff who fidgeted in front of us trying to hold back (later he would extend his condoloscenses to me and I could see the tears in his eyes). Then after the jury was dismissed and something that even the reporters in Pittsburgh admitted they had never seen before all 12 jurors returned to the court room for the sentencing and the impact statements. I showed them a picture of Lisa (as well as those on our shirts) and ask them to do what we are doing: Remembering Lisa in that picture and not the ones on the examiners table or laying on the floor covered in blood. We heard many of them were crying as well but of course couldn't see any of it through our tears but could feel the emotional support throughout the room. From the girl at the security entrance to the DA's assistant we were shown so much compassion and saw how many lives Lisa is still touching. The most heartbreaking however was the officer who was first at the scene. While his partner was questioning the coward he entered the apartment and found Lisa. He struggled with questions on the stand and afterwards we soon realized why. He stopped us in the hallway and told us in over 200 cases and 17 years on the force this is one he cannot forget. He repeatedly apologized to our family of how he wished he could have saved her. He broke down and hugged me and despite us thanking them for what they did do couldn't stop apologizing. They actually thought he was the victim at first and after we saw pictures of the coward (which weren't shown at the trial) we soon knew why. The DNA expert would testify that none of Lisa's DNA was ever found on the scissors only a small spot of his blood. Lisa had stabbed him 5 times with the knife before he wrestled it away from her and then killed her with it. She put up a valiant fight before he overcame her despite being stabbed in the head, face, arm and in his side. We will now continue our Justice for Lisa after the other responsible parties as he went to the hospital 3 and 4 days before this attack. He was first refused treatment and then the next day was told that if he came back they would take away his food vouchers and his bus pass. He was under their care as an outpatient but was now being told he could not return for treatment. Both visits he told them he was going to kill someone and they ignored these threats and did nothing! Their turn will come and we will be just as valiant with our fight as Lisa's was trying to save her own life. Family of Lisa Christine Maas...Run Free Our LiL Wheezie
I'm glad to hear that compassion was finally shown to your family regarding Lisa's trial.It gives me hope that not all is lost in this world.Everyone should have been crying.A beautiful soul was lost and for no reason.I hope you get as much compassion in the civil trial.Love ya's God Bless
I'm sorry I didn't read this sooner, I am so not here anymore in my head. I feel awful I don't ocme on mom's as much as I used to and missed ur post and Keara's angel day.
Going to trial is devestaing and sit there and hear all the stuff it brings back hurts like hell. it is good to know that so many good people where there and supporting you from the da to the officers. It was sad to read about the one from the scene. it has to break their hearts it is their job yes but it will surely always be in his mind an heart he will carry her there for all eternity now I can tell just the from what he said to you and how sorry he was and hugged you. It is so sad. And then to hear that he was there a few times just a few days before and they threatened to take away his food vouchers and bus pass!!!!!!! Boy Laura I hope they pay for this, really I do, they deserve to be dragged thru hell, what is going on with this world of ours that people get turned away from help and then others go and harm and kill our babies????? I'll never get it. Life is just to hard anymore, I hate it some days I wake up and wish I could just go back to sleep. but I don't sleep anyway.
Just know you are in my thoughts and prayers always, and I'm sorry for not posting, but glad we got to talk a bit on the phone.
Love yas always
I'm very happy this part is over for you and such compassion was shown by those who had to deal with this killer's devastation after he had been turned away and threatened with loss of transportation and food, telling them he would kill. Is that standard procedure these days...probably.
I really hope as you allow those who heard his threats to go out and kill that justice is swift here as well. And hopefully it will change the policies regarding mandatory evaluations or monitoring when a patient is coming to them for help.
There is no excuse for his evilness but they had the opportunity to make a safer choice...what's their excuse?
Love to you all