Mother of Murder Suspect Derrys Sanders Jr. Issues Statement
ERIE, Pa. - As her teenage son sits in jail for murder, the mother of 14-year-old Derrys Sanders Jr. is speaking out, for the first time since his arrest.
The mother of the 14-year-old suspect charged in the murder of Jacob Pushinsky addressed the media Thursday.
Derrys Sanders, Jr.'s mother, Juanita Holloway, read a prepared statement at the law office of Gene Placidi. Placidi is the attorney who is representing Sanders Jr..
The fatal shooting happened shortly after 3 p.m. on July 11th, in the 200 block of East 8th Street during an attempted robbery. Erie police say Sanders shot and killed 18-year-old Jacob Pushinsky, when he wouldn't hand over his bicycle.
Holloway began by extending her sympathy to the Pushinsky family, "I would like to give my deepest condolences to the Pushinsky family on the loss of their son Jacob," said Holloway. "As a mother, I can only imagine what you're going through," Holloway continued.
Holloway said she did the best she could as a mother and did not condone violence of any kind. She said she raised Derrys in a two-parent home with Tjyshawn Thomas as a loving father figure. Thomas was by her side during the news conference.
The full statement reads:
Hopefully, the statement that I am about to make will answer most of the questions many of you have.
First and foremost, I would like to give my deepest condolences to the Pushinsky family on the loss of their son, Jacob. As a mother myself, I can only imagine what you are going through.
As a mother, I sought to do the right things by my children. I raised my children the way any mother would. I spoke to my children about being respectful and to treat other the way they would want to be treated.
My children attended church on a regular basis and were involved in extra curricular activities that helped to build character.
I also provided a two parent home for my children. As a loving father figure, Tjyshawn Thomas, who is here with me today, has played an important role my my son Derry's life, who we have all come to know over the past two weeks. We have never owned a gun or condoned violence of any kind.
This is an unfortunate situation, and we are dealing with it the best way we know how. We ask for your prayers and blessings for both families. Please don't rush to judgment; allow justice to prevail.
If there are any additional statements, they will be made through our attorney.
Thank you for your understanding.
Sanders turned himself in to Erie Police July 13th. He has been charged with homicide as an adult under the Fisher Bill.
Holloway did not answer questions from reporters, but Reverend Charles Mock would. He was at Thursday's news conference.
He was by Derrys Sanders Jr. side, when he turned himself in to Erie police.
And as part of the African American Concerned Clergy, he's trying to prevent tragedies like this from even happening.
They're walking neighborhoods, talking to kids, and parents, "We are trying very hard to connect with them. There are many efforts on the part of many people to connect with at risk young people and at risk families," said Mock.
Reverend Mock says one key to fighting youth violence is faith, so they're also trying to get families more involved in church, "We simply encourage young people to get back to church, we encourage parents to bring their children back to church," said Mock. "Because for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, the church is still one of the basic institutions that can extend a helping hand to parents who are seeking help in trying to teach their children the way that they should go," Reverend Mock continued.