Daily Herald
Statements from Brown's victims families
Published: 10/1/2009 5:32 PM | Updated: 10/1/2009 8:25 PM

The following are excerpts of the written statements read in court Thursday by six relatives of the Palatine Brown's Chicken & Pasta murder victims.

"You broke our hearts, nearly crushed our spirit, fractured our souls and robbed us of our innocence. Because of your selfish and reprehensible actions, we had to grow up before our time. Our grief is never ending but we are not paralyzed by your actions because the very woman you murdered taught us not to be consumed by hate. We decided not to live our lives as victims, but as survivors."

- Dana Sampson, one of Richard and Lynn Ehlenfeldt's three daughters

"Did you enjoy seeing your handiwork unfold? Did you enjoy watching us suffer for all those years, pleading and begging to the public for information? I want you to look at me, at all the families and your own family. God works in mysterious ways. What goes around comes around. Now you are going to take responsibility for your actions. All the pain and suffering you have caused us will come back to you."

- Mary Jane Crow, 16-year-old Michael Castro's older sister

"It was like a nightmare that came true. It was if someone put a broken glass into my heart and crushed it. I said to myself whoever did this has no mercy, no compassion in life. I don't know how you can sleep at night with the blood of seven different people on your hands. I miss him so much. I want him to be here with us. God bless you Rico. We love you."

- Jade Solis, sister of Rico Solis, 17, reading a statement written by her sister, Jizelle

"You and Juan Luna left Brown's restaurant after terrorizing and killing my son and six other victims and went on with your lives as if nothing ever happened. How could you live with yourself? You probably convinced yourself you got away with the perfect crime. You are now being held responsible for your extreme cruel and inhumane actions against seven innocent victims. The horrible way he died will never leave my mind. You killed for the thrill of it and called it fun."

- Diane Clayton, mother of Marcus Nellsen, 31

"We will never forget and through, I believe, the grace of God, we have come through this practicing my father's example and following his advice. One of his dreams, reasons we are here, was to buy us a house to be together and have a better quality of life. He was able to get ahead because he worked very hard. I hope there will be justice."

- Juan Maldonado, oldest son of Guadalupe Maldonado, 46

"Tom was a friend as well as my brother. The things I miss most are his smile and his sense of humor. Do you sleep? Do you have nightmares? I still see Tom in my sleep as he looked when he died before he was made presentable and laid to rest. I hope you are separated from everyone who loves you and are (prevented) from doing things you enjoy since that's what you did to Tom."

- Robert Mennes, brother of Thomas Mennes, 32