It’s been one year since a murder witness was killed before she was set to testify and her family is still searching for answers.
Bianca Horton was a key witness in a trial against Cortez Sims, who is a validated gang member. He was convicted of a triple shooting that left one person dead and Horton’s toddler paralyzed.
"She was very encouraging, She was strong, she was humble, she was loving, she had a lot of courage a lot of people didn't have," Shaw said.
Those are the words that still come to mind when Derrick Shaw thinks about his sister who was killed one year ago on this May.
It has been an emotional 12 months, Shaw’s family has now been through each holiday without their loved one.
"We know that she is in heaven, we know that she is in heaven walking around with the Lord. Of Course we are going to hurt because we are human, but we're also rejoicing because we know she's in a better place now," Shaw explained.
Bianca Horton was 26 when she was shot to death last May. The mother of four was set to testify against Sims, who is accused of shooting and paralyzing her daughter.
However, she was killed before she could take the stand.
"We found out that it was her, it was very hurtful, but God saw us through it," Shaw said.
Horton’s name won't be left in vain. In response to her death, Mayor Andy Berke established the witness protection and victim assistance fund to protect and provide resources for witnesses from retaliation.
"This was just a learning curve for the city of Chattanooga. I hold no fault with chief Fletcher or mayor Berke because I feel like they did the best they could've done for my sister," Shaw said.
Some days are easier than others for Horton’s family. However, thinking about the legacy she left behind brings them pride.
“My Sister set an example for this city, and she touched many lives. She did what she thought she had to do, even if it cost her her to lose her life, she stood up for what was right to get justice,” he said.
Shaw says his sister stood for justice and that's how he hopes she will be remembered.
"She stood up for what she believed, which was to get justice for her friend and her daughter and at the end of the day she might not be here physically you see justice but she knows justice was served," Shaw said.
Cortez Sims' sentencing hearing is set for next Wednesday, May 31st.
Monday, August 21 2017 4:21 AM EDT2017-08-21 08:21:48 GMT
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