Killer apol­o­gizes to vic­tim’s fam­ily

Windsor Star - - CITY + REGION - JANE SIMS

Jeremy Red­dick asked the judge’s per­mis­sion to speak to the fam­ily of the man he mur­dered.

He turned in the pris­oner’s box to­ward Dakoda Martin’s heart­bro­ken par­ents and si­b­lings.

Not there was Martin’s daugh­ter, al­most 5, who of­ten asks why her “daddy” isn’t com­ing home, rel­a­tives told Su­pe­rior Court Jus­tice He­len Rady. “I’m sorry,” said Red­dick, the 34-year-old Lon­doner con­victed in Septem­ber of sec­ond-de­gree murder for stab­bing Martin to death in Vic­to­ria Park. “I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry I brought so much pain and loss to your fam­ily.

“I didn’t mean to kill Dakoda.” While Red­dick may think that was the case on May 28, 2016, the jury didn’t buy it. He brought a knife to a fist fight; the con­se­quences were deadly.

But, as de­fence lawyer Aaron Prevost noted at Red­dick’s sen­tenc­ing Fri­day, that may have been part of Red­dick’s self-preser­va­tion in­stinct af­ter a hard life in foster care and on the streets. Red­dick was sen­tenced to life with no chance of pa­role for 14 years. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, he will serve 18 months for as­sault with a weapon for wound­ing Martin’s pal, An­dre Wil­liams.

They were all part of a group par­ty­ing in the down­town park af­ter hours. The happy mood turned deadly af­ter a fight broke out be­tween Red­dick and the two other, smaller men.

Martin was stabbed sev­eral times.

The fa­tal wound was in­flicted when he was on the ground, with Red­dick on the at­tack. As Mid­dle­sex County Crown at­tor­ney Joe Per­fetto said, Martin’s death not only shat­tered the lives of his fam­ily, but also trans­formed them.

They are sad and an­gry. They have strug­gled in re­la­tion­ships. They don’t sleep. They think about Martin, how he died, and miss how he lived.

His fi­ancee, Jes­sica Schilds, wrote in her vic­tim-im­pact state­ment that she and Martin’s daugh­ter are changed for­ever.

“I truly hope the guilt of rip­ping a fam­ily apart af­fects you (Red­dick) for the rest of your life ... I don’t know if we will ever be able to fully heal from the loss,” she wrote. His sis­ter, Tawnya Martin- Goad, said the pain hits her as “the last thought of the night, first thought each day.”

“A true man would have walked away,” she said to Red­dick.

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