Steven Rhone’s Story Part 4 – A Father’s Grief

By Garth O'Brien | October 14, 2007 
Filed Under DUI

Steven Rhone’s father addressed the Whatcom Country Superior Court during Damian Mackay’s sentencing hearing. These were his words:

A father’s grief

I wish to acknowledge the fact that each of the defendants has taken responsibility for their actions. I also wish to acknowledge receipt of the letters written to my family expressing apologies, but our forgiveness is not forthcoming, certainly not now.

In the early morning hours of June 2, 2007 you Amber Cooper, Amanda Littrell, Chad Abbott and Damian Mackay brought pain and anguish to our doorsteps; you brought horror and devastation to our doorsteps; and in that early morning hour you brought a destruction of innocence to our doorsteps. But what you won’t bring to our doorsteps is hatred.

Your irresponsible, selfish and cowardly acts leave us mortals poorer; all of us. You have taken from us a beautiful person. A person who cared about others; not from what they could do for him, but rather what he could do for them. My son was a young man just beginning to mature toward adulthood. You could sense his focus was becoming keener, his beliefs more passionate and his goals emerging with clarity. Your actions that early morning hour left scars on the hearts of so many people, scars that will never heal.

Physically we now go in different directions. Unfortunately, emotionally we will always be tied together. Everyday I think about my son. Sometimes those thoughts are so overwhelming they become debilitating. I hope that you too have those moments of despair and always wonder with sadness and deep remorse how his life and yours would be different had you made the right decision in the early morning hours of June 2, 2007. I also hope that your time incarcerated will provide you time to reflect on your respective lives, and once released take the path of decency toward others who share this planet with you.

We are now at the point where we turn the last page of this chapter; a chapter of a very long and dark book. But make no mistake, Steven’s family is a hardy stock and with the help of our extended family and friends we will survive this terrible and painful ordeal, and although our son’s physical being is no longer amongst us his legacy and memory will live in our hearts forever.

Judge I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to address the court. I do not want to debate the merit of the laws that govern sentencing in matters such as this. But the citizens of Bellingham deserve to be protected; the citizens of Whatcom County deserve to be protected; and the citizens of the State of Washington deserve to be protected. I therefore respectively request that the maximum sentences be imposed on Amber Cooper, Chad Abbott, Amanda Littrell and Damian Mackay. Hopefully this will be the last time I will have to utter these names.

Thank you…

A Grieving Father

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  1. Steven Rhone’s Story Part 3 - A Mother’s Statement in Court | Washington State DUI Blog on October 14th, 2007 8:26 am

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