Mother of slain boy speaks out |

Mother of slain boy speaks out

Donna Gray

NOTE: edit from bottom up if necessary FRUITA, Colo. – Soon after Wendi Robyn moved into her new house in Fruita, she dreamed about her son. She dreamed she was standing in the back yard of her new house by the fence.”I felt someone come up behind me and put his arms around my waist like my son used to,” she said. “I turned around and it was my son Taylor.”Taylor DeMarco was 9 years old on July 20 when he was shot and killed. Fourteen-year-old Eric Stoneman is accused of killing DeMarco at their friend Eric Warde’s house in Battlement Mesa, about 100 miles west of Vail. Wednesday, Stoneman was bound over for trial on charges of first-degree murder, reckless manslaughter, first-degree assault and menacing with a deadly weapon. If he is found guilty of the first-degree murder charge, he could face life in prison. His attorney, public defender Greg Greer, entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday.Warde, 13, is the lone witness to the shooting. He testified at the hearing that Stoneman left the house but returned with a .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun which he pointed at both boys, then pointed the gun at his own head and placed it in his mouth. Warde then testified that Stoneman shot Taylor once in the chest.Stoneman told investigators it was an accident.Her daughters and her patientsWednesday’s hearing was not easy for Robyn. “I learned some things that were very difficult for me to hear,” she said. “When I went to see him before he was cremated I saw a big gash on his wrist. I didn’t know what it was,” she said. She thought the hospital may have started an IV. But at the hearing she learned a bullet had gone through his wrist. “That was news to me,” she said. During the testimony, a sheriff’s investigator said her son had a defensive wound on his wrist, received when he threw up his arm in front of his face as Stoneman took aim at him. “That means he knew it would happen. That tears at me,” she said.Along with trying to cope with the pain of losing her son, Robyn said she must deal with thoughts of whether or not some action of hers could have averted that tragic day. And she thinks about his last moments on earth, she said.”What did he go through at that moment … Did God take him instantly so he didn’t suffer?”During his testimony, Warde said he and Taylor had first locked themselves in a bedroom when Stoneman returned to the Warde home, then they locked themselves in a bathroom.”I wasn’t aware they’d gone behind two locked doors,” she said. “If I could talk to my son I’d say, ‘Why didn’t you leave? Why didn’t you come home?'”Now, three months after her son’s death, Wendi Robyn struggles to live day to day.”I haven’t had any experience with anything like this in my whole life. I don’t want to come off as angry or bitter,” she said.Now she works 12-hour night shifts at the hospital. Her patients take precedence and help her forget for a time that her life has changed forever, she said. “I’m pretty stoic at work. I try to maintain normalcy at work. I have patients to take care of. They are my primary responsibility.” Waiting for ‘a sign’At home, she also has two daughters, 13 and 4. Her 4-year-old asks about Taylor. One day she asked her mom for the picture of Taylor that sits by his ashes. She kisses and talks to it, Robyn said. “I try to reassure her that he can see us and she’ll be with him someday,” she said. Her 13-year-old is in grief counseling at school. To fill the days when she isn’t working, Robyn reads.”I buy a new book probably every other day. I read the book cover to back on the days I’m not working,” she said. Some of them are about heaven and others about near death experiences. “I wasn’t a very spiritual person before this happened,” she said.She is now divorced from Taylor’s dad, Bill DeMarco. She said he is angry about the loss of his son.”He’s had a lot of things happen,” she said. “He lost his dad and mom in the last couple years, and to have this on top of it.”Robyn had another dream about Taylor recently. She and her son were in a thrift shop. “He was being typical Taylor … and he was bringing me hats I would never wear. In the dream I recognized he was dead. I wore the hats and appreciated them,” she said. “I pray every day. I pray I will dream of him and God will give me some kind of sign.”

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