Paterson Top Stories

Survivors, Loved Ones Speak Out at 16th Annual Candlelight Vigil

c81322bfada4242268f7_Ap_candlelight_victims_photo_with_candle.jpg
Victim's photo with candle Credits: Carol Dobbins
55a5016a81924884b73b_ap_candlight_emotional_survivor_2.jpg
An emotional survivor Credits: Carol Dobbins
403ad7b3ac15ac26fb3c_ap_candlelight__survivors_use_this_one.jpg
Survivors gather to remember those lost Credits: Carol Dobbins
ecc337e7bda4bf42c65d_ap_candellight_domestic_violence_survivor_Simone_Sheila_Oliver_tells_herstory.jpg
Domestic violence survivor Simone Sheila Oliver tells her story Credits: Carol Dobbins
998acaddf57045f88ca5_ap_candellight__Simone_Sheila_Oliver_with_Husband_at_vigil.jpg
Simone Sheila Oliver with her husband at the vigil Credits: Carol Dobbins
2e95866b58b7bcad0cd7_ap_candellight_Takeem_Dean_remebers_Percival_Williams.jpg
Takeem Dean remembers Percival Williams Credits: Carol Dobbins
40e0dcc4d84fb716dba7_ap_Patricia_Major_Hill_thanks__Crime_Victims_Rights.jpg
Patricia Major Hill thanks Ernie Mezey of the Prosecutor's Office Credits: Carol Dobbins
2043cb37728fdfc1bb87_ap_patrcia_major_hill_looks_at_sons_photo_on_vicitm_wall.jpg
Patricia Major Hill looks at her son's photo on the victims wall. Credits: Carol Dobbins
8ebf2066d84ae436f771_ap_candellight__reading_names_Passaic_County_Prosecuetor_Camelia_Valdes.jpg
Reading victims' names are Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes, Kilbert Boreland, and Carmeta Vidal Parkes Credits: Carol Dobbins
074e29942da929e0b2c3_ap_faces_of_survivors__grandmother_and_grand_daughter.jpg
A grandmother and her granddaughter listen as the names are read Credits: Carol Dobbins
4b2d34ea5024121223de_ap_candellight__survivors_Gladys_Reed_lost_her_son_2_years_ago.jpg
Gladys Reed lost her son to gun violence two years ago Credits: Carol Dobbins
0e087bf6059c57dff852_ap_candellight__survivors__4.jpg
Stories of crime and violence were shared by grieving families at the 16th Annual Candle Light Vigil Sunday afternoon. Credits: Carol Dobbins
3156324d93f188299f5b_ap_candlight_emotional_survivor_5.jpg
Stories of crime and violence were shared by grieving families at the 16th Annual Candle Light Vigil Sunday afternoon. Credits: Carol Dobbins
2f5442d531175d6e6bfe_ap_candle_light_wpu_choir.jpg
Stories of crime and violence were shared by grieving families at the 16th Annual Candle Light Vigil Sunday afternoon. Credits: Carol Dobbins
4be570cec000600fb20b_Ap_candle_light__faces_at_PCCC.jpg
Stories of crime and violence were shared by grieving families at the 16th Annual Candle Light Vigil Sunday afternoon. Credits: Carol Dobbins
afef8ac58fe861752f0f_ap_candlelight_faces_6.jpg
Stories of crime and violence were shared by grieving families at the 16th Annual Candle Light Vigil Sunday afternoon. Credits: Carol Dobbins
5383c3b53af6b08c1dca_ap_erika_Plaza_tells_her_story_with_son_at_her_side.jpg
Erika Plaza tells her story with her son at her side   Credits: Carol Dobbins
c81322bfada4242268f7_Ap_candlelight_victims_photo_with_candle.jpg

PATERSON, NJ - Stories of crime and violence were shared by grieving families at the 16th Annual Candle Light Vigil Sunday afternoon. Hosted by the Victim Witness Advocacy, survivors packed the Passaic County Community College auditorium to talk, share, and heal.

Death by Auto

On Dec. 14, 2011, Samuel Navarro was killed by a hit and run driver.

“It was an accident, I accept that,” said Navarro’s widow, Erika Plaza, who is the mother of three boys. “What hurts is that (the driver) left the scene. At least if he would have stayed maybe Sammy would have had something to say. That didn’t happen because he just left him there. If you hit a dog you stop ... but he didn’t stop for Sammy. He kept on going. I believe in the prosecutors, justice, but I believe in something that is real big: God and faith.”

Gun Violence

19-year-old Percival Williams died in November 2009, trying to help a friend who had been attacked. “He died,”  his uncle, Takeem Dean, remembers hearing in the emergency room. “Why did he die? Where did I go wrong?” he questioned.

While sitting through the trial daily with his family, Dean’s answers were in his court remarks and “Blood
for blood was not going to bring him back.” Percival’s killer received 10 years in prison, with two already served.

Domestic Violence

Indicted after brutally stabbing his victim 26 times, during a four-week trial Rev. Edward Fairley decided to represent himself. After his unsuccessful cross examination of Simmone Oliver, his ex-girlfriend and victim, Fairley was found guilty. He was sentenced March 22, 2013 to 21 years in prison.

“When I first met Simone, she could not walk or write or feed or dress herself, but despite her obvious and debilitating injuries, it was apparent to me that I was in the presence of a woman who exhibited exceptional poise and faith” said Passaic County’s Chief Assistant Prosecutor. “The truth is my story is really not a unique one, it’s the story of so many women who slipped through the cracks, fall by the wayside, are ignored and savagely silenced,” Oliver said about her near-death experience. “We live in a world where beautiful and terrible things happen. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you own, where you live or who you know, affliction is part in parcel of the human experience. History does not have to interfere with your destiny.”

Having faith and the will to live, Oliver decided she would not let “that man” write her story. “Every day when I see the scars on my neck and torso, I know that I am alive, and I decide how my story ends.”

During the solemn tribute, music by WPU’s Choir and Ricky Delgardo, and powerful words of strength from supporters were comforting. Emotions were deep as more than 87 crime victims’ names were read. Left with the burden of mourning without answers, sobs could be heard as lit memorial candles flickered in darkness. For those who could not forget, faces of loved ones lost were remembered on a wall of memories.

“It’s not just a picture, we are trying to learn to live and get over it. Each parents hopes their child will bury them, not a parent bury a child,” said Patricia Major Hill, whose son Vernon Lamont Major was shot in April 1992.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_480e593439800b8f20b5_fdbb7ea0-bad4-4518-a21f-ea6b7964e633

Mon, May 28, 1:00 PM

Roberto Clemente Park, Paterson

Memorial Day Celebration

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_53ae7533852656590209_parent_of_the_year_breakfast_saturday_june_2_2018

Sat, June 2, 8:30 AM

LaNeves Restaurant, Haledon

2018 Parent Conference & Breakfast

Education

Clara Maass Medical Center offers Life-Saving Narcan Training Sessions

May 25, 2018

Belleville, NJ – In response to a national call from the Surgeon General of the United States emphasizing the importance of Narcan, a life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, the Center of Excellence for Latino Health at Clara Maass Medical Center will host training sessions in May and June to educate the community on the use of Opioids. The ...

Free Archery Classes

Archery is one of the world's oldest sports, and you can enjoy free classes hosted by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Rutgers 4-H Cooperative Extension of Passaic County. From 2pm-4pm on June 2nd, June 16th, July 7th, and July 21st, people of all ages are welcome to take free archery classes at the Great Meadow in Garret Mountain Reservation, located at 8 Mountain Ave ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Who Let the Dogs Out? Passaic County K-9 Unit Wows Children and Seniors

May 24, 2018

TOTOWA, NJ- With schoolchildren, senior citizens, and law enforcement all in one room any politician would have been thrilled to take part in Thursday’s cross generational event in Totowa that featured a reading of children’s book “Roscoe the K-9 Cop,” authored by Kristen Sondej, and several members of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver Testimony on Proposal to Divert Affordable Housing Funds

PATERSON, NJ- TAPinto Paterson earlier reported on the response of local community leaders and activists on a proposal by Governor Phil Murphy to divert $46 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) which they wrote in a letter signed by representatives of over 100 groups statewide is “legally dedicated to the creation of affordable homes for lower income ...

The Elections are Over, Now it's Time to Collaborate!

May 21, 2018

For much of the past six months Paterson’s focus has been on the races for mayor and council, and rightly so. The elected officials that serve the nearly 150,000 residents of our city have an enormous responsibility, their actions dictating not just success of our community, but the way our City is perceived.

The election is now behind us, and we congratulate all who took part in the ...