Ryan M. Winn
16 1/2 Years Old

September 15, 1978 to July 4, 1995

Ryan Winn loved life and loved people.

When he was 12 1/2, he rode the city bus to south Phoenix to help with clothing the homeless. To Ryan, that was an adventure. He did this for two summers and enjoyed riding on the city bus.

Ryan went to a parochial school kindergarten through eighth grade. He was an altar boy while attending the upper grades. Ryan loved the water at a very young age. He started his first swimming lessons at nine months old. Living in Arizona, it was important to his parents that he knew how to save himself if he fell into a pool.

When Ryan started high school, he was very comfortable with the larger surroundings. Coming from a small school, there were many things he had anticipated doing in his life. He was a sophomore and was dreaming about the university he wanted to attend.

Ryan could have done anything he put his mind to do. Playing any sport was Ryan’s love of life. He enjoyed basketball the most. He was a natural when it came to sports. I remember his soccer coach was not happy with us that we would not allow Ryan to play competitively at a young age.

Ryan and his younger brother Kyle were very close. He was protective of Kyle. They played ball together in the front yard, competing for the highest points. Both of them anticipated their high school year together.

Our lives have changed forever. We will never get over losing our son, brother, grandchild and friend...pray for us, Ryan...we will never forget you…..

With all our love and memories,
Mom, Dad and brother Kyle
xoxo

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

On July 4th, 1995, Ryan went to a backyard jock party. He and another boy were involved in a fist-fight. The other teenager had a gun. He pulled the gun from the front of his pants and shot Ryan three times. Ryan died at the scene. Shortly thereafter, the paramedics revived Ryan at the scene. However, Ryan died a short time later.

Our case went to juvenile court since the teen who murdered Ryan was a juvenile. He was eventually adjudicated to adult court and was set-free after posting a $1000 bail. Bail was set at $10,000...only a percent needed to be applied for release.

Our three state witnesses were also murdered less than three months after Ryan. That teenager was bludgeoned to death during a fist-fight. There was not enough evidence to tie the two murders together.

After being free for nearly a year, the murderer was offered a Plea Agreement. At that time, he was taken into custody. The charge of Second-Degree Murder was pled-down to Aggravated Manslaughter. He was imposed a sentence of 18 years, to serve 85% with no early release of any kind. At the time, Ryan’s family thought this would be some kind of accountability, not justice...the only justice would be to have Ryan back!

Much to our surprise, on March 20th, 2001, we were notified (as the victim) that the person who murdered our son Ryan would be appealing before a clemency board. Thank God, we signed-up as the victim to receive all notifications pertaining to the case.

We understand that if we would have gone before a jury or not, the murderer would still have the right to different types of hearings for early release. Now, we receive the same letter every two years until he is either granted a change of sentence or he serves 85% of the time. As of May 5th, 2001, the murderer is in prison. However, in two years, we must go through another clemency board hearing.

As long as I am alive, I will fight to change the law. We victims need to be bold and not allow these types of things to happen…..silence changes nothing!

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Ryan Winn