CCC Community Loss

I’m reposting a message from community member KathleenL here about the loss of her son. Please wish her well through these tough times.

KathleenL's son Ethan

KathleenL's son Ethan

To my friends here at CCC —
My silence has been forced:
On September 8th, 2010 my first born was taken from me, the rest of his family, and a multitude of friends. My beautiful gift from God, Ethan James Dorand Kline, was born 19 years ago — May 21, 1991 in Spokane, Washington and had his live cut short in Prague, Oklahoma.
(Yes, this is Isabelle’s James, if you have read any of the Standing Up).

If you are a news buff… you will find stories about his demise under Ethan Kline (my maiden name) and Ethan Walton (his birth name). Ethan’s personal identity was as a Kline. (things that will be unvaled in the Standing Up saga)

Many of the articles have had inaccuracies, like many sensational cases… and this ‎Egregious crime is causing a public outcry. Read if you must, which I know we all must. Guard your heart and your soul as you do read about these things. It is not a pretty case.

The good news is–
Charges have been filed (9-17-2010) 1st Degree Murder and the Death Penalty has been requested on the guy who killed my son; 6 or 7 more charges have been filed on the guy and his sister for the things done to the other victim (the gal my son brought home to introduce to his family just this summer — yes, this beauty was going to be our daughter-in-law before the year’s end). The DA said the next year to year and a half will be one of the roughest roads down which this family and all of my son’s friends will have to travel, but it looks like there is a good man fighting to hold the guy responsible for taking Ethan from us and those who hurt his girl (our girl).

Although only living 19 years on this earth does not seem to leave a lot of time for productivity… but oh how wrong people will be if they think that. My son’s funeral and the notes he (we) have received are proof that our son touched so, so many lives from cost to cost and in two countries. I am proud to be his mom. I am proud that I made him give me a kiss on the cheek every time I dropped him off at football or wrestling, or swim practice. Yes, it was always in front of all of the guys and gals on the teams. But many of those boys and girls showed up to honor their friend, and moreover they further honored him by not hiding that they loved him too. They cried with us and hugged on us because Ethan was not afraid to show his emotions. Ethan was a good friend to people. Even if he’d only known them a short bit, many of them knew that if his life had been longer he would have still been their friend. That, that is a gift that my son was able to give many, many people. His dad (stepdad) and I are proud, as his grandparents are, that our boy was that way.

As you look around and see loved ones you might be angry with… don’t let it fester. My son and I had a disagreement this summer that has kept him silent for a couple of months… Yes, this means, at first, I thought he died mad at me. This is untrue, as I have now been able to breath and speak with our not-quiet daughter-in-law. And I praise God for that. But I would have liked to never have those thoughts.

Know, as I am sure Ethan knows, I will be working through the rest of my life writing about the wonderful affect my over 6 foot tall “baby” boy had on me, had on others. Sometimes I think it will be the only way I can get though this, but non-the-less, it is what we writers do. Honor via the words.

Go hug all of your kids and other loved ones and… kiss them in public and make them kiss you too, through the embarrassment out the window — they will get over it. Because Ethan really liked it that I did not let him get away without showing all of his friends I loved him, even in front of the high school.

Lovingly,
Kathleen Kline Livingston

~~~

Updates:

As family and friends gather strength each time a court date comes and goes we know, at the least, the wheels of justice are moving. Patience will be a blessing at these times as legal wrangling play out. — Kathleen

Oct 16, 2010 — Plea Bargaining hearing.
“There will be no plea bargain in this case,” The D.A.

Oct. 26, 2010 — Preliminary Hearing
Evidence only, no testimony.
Held with extended results:

Jan. 25, 2011 — next hearing set
“The preliminary hearing has been scheduled for January 25, 2011 at 9:00.  This is a hearing for the state to put on evidence to show a crime was committed and that the defendants are the ones that did it.  Evidence will be presented.” Directly from the D.A.’s office.

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9 Comments on “CCC Community Loss”

  1. Cathy Miller says:

    @Kathleen L-I am so sorry-even for us writers it is very difficult to find the words to help in such a difficult time. They may have taken your beautiful son from you physically, but they can never take him from your heart. May God bless you and your family with the precious memories of your beautiful son. You are all in my thoughts & prayers.

  2. Sara says:

    Oh Kathleen, I am so, so sorry for your loss. I’m just sitting here weeping for you and your family and cannot believe that such young, vibrant life was taken from you so early. Your beloved son was obviously a wonderful young man and what was done to him was absolutely despicable. I cannot imagine what you are going through right now, but please know that I am sending you love and thoughts of healing in this terrible, terrible time.

  3. Sheryl K says:

    This has been a terrible time for our family, Ethan was/is my nephew.  Thanks to all for your kind words and prayers in this difficult time for my sister Kathleen and her family.

  4. A. Hamilton says:

    Believe me, I know the sorrow you must feel, but it’s my nature to express hatred for the bastard who committed this crime. He’ll rot in hell
    Be strong and God bless.

  5. Kelly says:

    Kathleen,

    No words could suffice, but from one mother to another, I am so very sorry for your loss.

    With all my heart, I wish you and your family peace.

    Kelly

  6. margaret says:

    Kathleen, my heart goes out to you…I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a beloved child. I have a 6’3 ft “baby boy” and have been lamenting the fact that he recently moved across the country and I miss him…..but he is there….and God willing, I will see him again. Cherish your memories . I am sure he will live on in many hearts.  May you find healing with all friends and family who loved him and love you and are there to support you. 
    margaret

  7. Sarah Olson says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. As a new mommy, I can’t imagine the pain of losing my child. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  8. Kathleen K says:

    1,341 miles … One down, one to go
     
     
    1,341 miles… yes that is what Goggle Maps says the distance between here and a smidge of justice is. Well … I am still thinking if that is accurate.
     
    Wednesday, Sept. 26th there were 12 of us who came together in the Shawnee, Oklahoma courtroom #1, oh wait… 16 if you count the D.A., the Victims’ Advocate, the kidnapping sister/wife and a lawyer standing in for her’s…. Yes, uncounted are the judge, a stenographer, many other criminals, a passel of lawyers, a gallery full of civilians, a handful of bailiffs and a couple of other badge sporting folks. It was, after all, a normal day of arrangements, etc.; it was a full docket and we were waiting for number 26 on the docket.
     
    We entered the gallery and took over an entire pew, 5 rows back. Across the isle, two rows up, sat my (would be) daughter-in-law’s mother and aunt, behind them a sister and a friend. We waited… then my oldest daughter and her friend came in and sat two pews in front of me. It did not take but minutes for my daughter-in-law to see the kidnapping sister/wife. She sat in the first pew… only five rows up, by herself. It was erry that our girl could recognize her previous capture from behind.
     
    Not ever having met this sister/wife my skin began to crawl, even at seeing only the back of her head and shoulders. I was glad to be sitting shoulder to shoulder with my daughter-in-law, I could see it eased her uncomfortableness… even if it was a struggle, she, managed to keep calm and semi-secure. Ironically, our 5 foot three, not even 100 pounds girl was helping me keep my cool. She’s a great example.
     
    My oldest girl saw there was an empty spot open up on the bench beside the sister/wife. She got up and sat beside the female she once babysat for.
     
    “So … you ready to go to prison? Yah scared?” the 11 of us watched my angry daughter ready to pounce on her to avoid her going to jail, but we let her speak her quiet peace.
     
    Sure of my daughter’s hatred for this incestuous waste of flesh was often loudly expressed so her friend moved to the pew right behind them… keeping my daughter within arms reach, guess the friend did not know who fast this momma can move… even if it is in heals on a slick courtroom floor. We all knew my daughter needed to be able to speak her mind. It’s all part of the process.  Plus, I figure she would say some things I was feeling.
     
    “Yah, I’m not scared,” the sister/wife said.
     
    Sitting elbow to elbow with my son’s sister would make anyone nervous. Her anger oozed out of her pores. The sister/wife was lying and my daughter knew it. So… my daughter pushed on.
    “Yah think they will add on the money you still owe me for babysitting those [inbreed] kids of yours on to your restitution?”
     
    “No,” the sister/wife looked at my daughter and laughed, it was an uncomfortable laugh, especially since she now looked my daughter in the eye.
     
    It was then that my daughter-in-law’s mom moved over and sat in the empty spot behind her daughter’s capture.
     
    There were comments between my daughter and this mom about broom handles and the like… the sister/wife could stand it no more. She hastily got up left the gallery as she walked behind the railing and sat in the jury box with her lawyer.
    The opportunity was cathartic for both my daughter and my daughter-in-law’s mom… it was their first time to let the capture feel their anger, anger that had been building for just over 2 years. The sister/wife may have been only being charged with the kidnapping, but my daughter’s actions allowed the sister/wife to start her knowing we all think she is more involved and owed this family more than she was getting.
     
    From the jury box the sister/wife could not only see her previous captive, but me… and as genetics are strong… there was going to be little room for doubt that I am the mother … of her previous babysitter and of my son….
     
    Okay, so when the Under Sheriff came through the courtroom and greeted me with a smile and a big bear hug … while he looked over to the jury box … I know she knew, at that moment, for certain who I was, i.e. not only the mystery lady sitting beside her pervious captive, but my son’s mom, which to her I pray is just as important. To solidify her knowledge I called my two daughters, whom the sister/wife would recognize, over to us and introduced them to the Under Sheriff. Knowing full and well there were eyes on us from the jury box. Now that incestuous b-ouch would know who was looking her square in the eyes every chance I got.  And I looked her square in the eye frequently over the next hour or so, never looking away. Always waiting until she could take it no longer. 
     
    “Michelle Gouker,” the Judge called and she, the lawyer and the D.A. stepped forward.
     
    “You are here, charged with Kidnapping.” It was a statement. “You are hereby sentenced to 20 years in a plea agreement.”
     
    My desire was to clap, but as my daughter-in-law had told me an hour before, we could not do that… it would look bad on the victim and we know I would not ever do that…. Instead we all sat, speechless, doing our best to hear very syllable, every breath.
     
    “Oh, your honor, I would like to ask to have Miss Gouker placed in protective custody,” the stand-in suit said after a slight nudge from the defendant.
     
    The judge looked up, a small scoff in his voice, a bit of disbelief in his eyes, “protective custody…?” another half-laugh could not be avoided when the judge looked down from the bench at yet another someone who knowingly broke the law, and now wanted it to protect them … “I can’t tell the prison what to do, but I will put it in the record that you have requested it.” The distain was dripping from the Judge’s words. The chuckles where under our breaths, especially when he dismissed her, but not before saying, “good luck,” in a tone that bordered sarcasm.
     
    “Not scared my backside,” I said, I was not the only one thinking this … I bet there were 10 others who said it at that very moment too. Okay, most likely 12 as I know my son was looking down on us all as the sister/wife of his killer was taken away to begin her 20 years.
     
    1,341 miles… yes that is what Goggle Maps says the distance between here and a smidge of justice is. Well … I am still thinking if that is accurate.
     
     


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