Michael David Westerman
19 Years Old

August 20, 1975 to January 15, 1995

Michael David Westerman was born August 20th, 1975 to David and JoAnn Westerman. He was the second of three children. Cynthia Reid is his older sister and April Dill is his youngest sister. Michael grew up as a typical boy, and became a very loving and considerate person. Our family shared a closeness that a lot of families don't have.

Michael started working at a young age. He mowed and raked yards until he started working in tobacco at the age of 12. Every chance he got to work he would. He learned to save and manage his money very well. He also liked sharing what he had with his family. Michael was the character in our family. He always liked to pick and act silly so he could make you laugh, even when you weren't in the mood.

Michael liked doing many things, like riding his bike, skate boarding, drawing, camping, swimming, hunting, and 4-wheeling. Michael finally shot a 10 pointer buck in November, 1994. He was so proud he sent it off to be mounted. It turned out so good but he never got to see it finished.

Michael attended Todd Central High School, where he graduated May, 1993. There he had met and married his high school sweetheart, Hannah Laster, on November 26, 1993. They made their home in Elkton, Kentucky. Michael and Hannah worked for her father at Eagle Lumber. He was very close to Hannah's parents and her brothers and sisters. He called her parents Pop and Maw. They took him into the family and loved him as one of their own. We will always be grateful to them for that. We also took Hannah into our family as one of our kids, too. We have always been very close to her, and we still are to this day. We never see that changing.

Michael and Hannah were happy about starting a family, but when they found out it was going to be twins, they were even more excited, especially Michael. He loved being around and playing with kids. They had made so many plans. Michael's oldest sister was expecting a couple of months apart from him and Hannah. He would pat both their belly's and say, "It's going to be great being a father and uncle at the same time." They all would tease his little sister about having to baby-sit three kids the same age at the same time. When the twins were born, Michael loved them so much. He sat around holding and kissing on them while he talked to them about the plans he and Hannah had made for them. Michael was a great and proud daddy for only a short time.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

On January 15, 1995, Michael was murdered. The twins were only six weeks old. He didn't get a chance to live out their plans as a family. Michael was a terrific son, brother, husband, daddy and friend. Michael will always be missed, loved and remembered through all our hearts.

On January 14, 1995, Michael and his wife, Hannah, were going out shopping and to eat for the first time since the birth of their twins. Michael had a big red Chevy truck with a confederate flag mounted in the back. They stopped in Guthrie at the market to buy gas and gum.

When they were leaving the market, three cars of black males followed behind them. They chased them down the highway, firing shots into the truck, striking Michael in the heart. Hannah slid down into the driver's seat. One car passed the truck and blocked it in on the highway, still firing shots at them. Hannah managed to drive through two deep ditches and get the truck turned around and drove Michael to the hospital.

On January 15th, Michael died. Nine blacks were caught but only seven charged. In one hearing, three received probation. At the trial of the shooter's car, one, age 15 was acquitted, and one turned state's witness, receiving two years probation. The driver, Damien Darden, and the shooter, Freddy Morrow, were charged with first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and civil rights intimidation.

They both were sentenced to life for murder. Morrow got nine additional years for the kidnapping and civil rights. Darden got an additional eight for the kidnapping and civil rights. They are serving their time in the Tiptonville Tennessee Prison.

Now we face the appeals and wait for the parole hearings. The victims and their families are the real ones with the life sentences!

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David Westerman