Joshua Eugene Hedglin
"Josh"
18 Years Old

September 13, 1978 to March 16, 1997

Joshua Eugene Hedglin of Marshall, Missouri was so smart he learned very quickly and was so inquisitive. He was always busy exploring his world. He hardly ever cried as a baby. By five months, he could say Da Da, La La (love you) and Ni Ni (night night). By eleven months he was walking. I was so proud of him. You'd think noone else's child had ever walked or talked. I was lucky enough to be able to stay at home with Josh while he was young. It was s struggle to make ends meet, but it was so important to me to be there with Josh so "Dad" took on tow jobs. Josh and I did everything together. We took long walks and when it was snowing I'd bundle him up and set him on a sled and we'd still talk long walks and look at the world around us.

When Joshua was three, we moved to California. The first time we took Josh to the ocean he was so excited to see all that water. As we drove on the pier, he squealed with delight. "Look mommy, they're stirring up boats." Josh, what are stirring up boats? His reply was, "Look, right there mommy. See? They're stirring up the water." He loved to watch the seagulls and the seals and of course, he loved the water, finding seashells was a favorite treat. We spent many hours during the day riding the bus around San Jose just looking at the town, sometimes we'd stop at the "big mall" and sit by the skating rink and watch the kids skate. He loved it there.

Before I knew it, it was time to start school. Now he began to grow so fast, but living in San Jose poised too many problems with a young boy wanting to explore the world on his own with his own friends. When he was six we moved to RedBluff, CA. Soon he had many friends. In fourth grade he made the honor role. Although he never cracked a book, the kids would tease him and call him bookworm. He was reading at the tenth grad level and could spell any word you could think of. He didn't like the kids calling him names so to compensate for it he became the class clown. Soon he found he could make people laugh and he loved doing that. We moved back to Missouri to have a safer place to live for our son. Sixteen was a difficult year for him. His best friend Charlie committed suicide. Josh graduated from high school at seventeen and entered the Army with his best friend Ben. Josh was not content in the army so he was honorably discharged and enrolled in MU. With a new girlfriend Ely he was once again a happy young man.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

On March 16, 1997, Josh decided to stop at a friends house where there were several kids hanging out and the parents were not at home. A sixteen-year-old boy was pointing a gun at each of the kids in the room. They each asked him not to point the gun, but he continued doing it anyway. He pointed the gun at Joshua's head, his girlfriend, who was sitting behind him, pushed the gun away and asked him not to point the gun at Josh. The boy brought the gun right back, this time aiming at Joshua's chest. Joshua asked him, "Is that gun loaded?" The answer, "Well, let's find out." In that instant of total stupidity and ignorance and with blatant disregard for human life, Joshua died.

The boy was under house arrest. For four months he seemed to just go on with life, had friends over to his house, etc., still went to work with his friends. Finally, after seven months, the judge sends him to a detention center for one year, not enough for my son's life, but at least a little justice. In December comes another blow. He is released from the detention center free, after serving only 3 months, to start a new life.

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Joshua Eugene Hedglin