Clinton mother joins fight for Amelia’s Law

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Clinton mother joins fight for Amelia’s Law

 

 

By DON DARE 
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

CLINTON (WATE) – A woman in Clinton is finding she has a lot in common with another woman who’s been in the news recently, Amanda Moore.

Moore’s daughter, Amelia, and Julia Stockstill’s daughter, Sarah, were both bright, involved teenagers with promising futures. They both were killed in car wrecks.

Sarah was killed three years before Amelia was born.

While the girl’s mothers don’t know one another, they share a tragic link and both want to see changes to the Tennessee parole system.

Julia Stockstill still mourns for her daughter almost 19 years after her death.

A three-sport, first team standout at Clinton High School, the 17-year-old senior was killed on December 22, 1993, on a stretch of Clinton Highway less than half a mile from her home while returning from school to get ready for work.

Julia Stockstill had been visiting her mother the day when she got the news.

“The only thing I can remember is running through my mother’s house yelling, ‘No, no, no, no. No.’,” she said.

A man named Frank Weaver killed Sarah in a head-on crash. A career criminal, Weaver was drunk when he hit Sarah next to mile marker 13.

“I’m more upset with the judicial system for letting him out. Right, with the parole board. He should never have been out,” said Stockstill.

Nine days out of prison, Weaver was on parole when he slammed into Sarah.

“He was a habitual criminal. My understanding is habitual criminals were never supposed to be let out,” she said.

But Weaver was released because of overcrowding in the prison system.

On Aug. 14, 2012, 16-year-old Amelia Keown was killedin a head-on collision on Highway 411 outside of Maryville while on her way home from school.

The man who hit her, John Perkins, was also on parole, having been released early from prison after serving four years of a 12-year sentence. He was also killed in the wreck.

“I know what Amanda Moore is feeling, because my situation is almost exactly like hers,” said Stockstill.

Amanda Moore and her father, Wayne Keown, have been on a crusade for tighter parole rules.

They met with Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey in late September to outline their cause for a bill known as Amelia’s Law that would keep prisoners in jail longer.

“I think it’s something we really need to get straightened out here in Tennessee,” said Stockstill. “So that we do not have criminals who shouldn’t be out, out early.”

Two teens nearly a generation apart had their lives cut short under similar circumstances.

“I want justice for them. They both deserve to know their deaths were not in vain,” she said.

Amelia’s law has sponsors in both houses of the Tennessee legislature and a draft is currently being written in Nashville for introduction before the state senate and state house early next year.

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