Your Name: Bobbie Vahl
Victim’s Name: Matt Carrington
Court Case Number:
Greg and Debbie Smith are my best friends. Even though we are not blood relatives they along with Matt and Travis are definitely a part of my family. Our families are very close. We celebrate holidays together and go on vacations together and are there for each other just like most families are. I loved Matt and his death has overwhelmed me – such a senseless waste of life – that never should have happened!!!! Losing Matt has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with.
His death feels like a horrible nightmare that I can never wake up from. The loss of Matt has truly devastated my entire family. I honestly didn’t know what a broken heart was until February 2 nd when I got the phone call from my husband tearfully telling me that Matt had actually died. My heart truly broke at that instant and I felt like the world fell out from under my feet. There was no possible way Matt could be dead! Not Matt! No Way ! How could this happen? Why did this happen? What actually happened?
My very next thought was that my best friends Greg and Debbie would never be able to live through this. How does a parent go on when their child is dead? How do you help your best friends live through something this horrendous? There are no words of comfort you can offer because there is no comfort to give when your child is taken from you.
I’ve known Matt since he was two years old. I watched him grow from a cute little shy kid to a strong, confident, good-natured young man. He was such an easy-going tolerant person who was genuinely a good person inside and out. He had so much to look forward to in life and so much to offer the world. People are not exaggerating when they talk about what a great person he was. I don’t have any sons, but if I could order one custom-made, Matt would meet and exceed everything that I’d want my son to be. He really made the world a better place just by being here.
When Matt moved up to Chico , he didn’t know anyone except my daughter, Kristi. Kristi had just graduated from Chico so she introduced him to her roommates and he moved into her house when she moved out. I was so proud and happy to see him go away to Chico and continue with his college education. Like all new students he just wanted to meet new people and make new friends. The fraternity offered him a way to do that. Little did any of us know that these new friends would be capable of inflicting so much pain!
As the details of what happened that night came out I found myself deeply disturbed by the thoughts and actions of the defendants. I understand that they did not kill Matt on purpose, however, what happened to Matt down in that dark, cold, disgusting basement prior to his death still sends shivers down my spine. The humiliation and torture they put him through bothers me to the very core of my being. How could they treat anyone they say they liked like that? I don’t understand how anyone could do that to another human being? It is just sick and wrong on so many different levels. There is absolutely no justification for treating him like that! None! These were malicious acts that were despicable, nasty and cruel!
Then after Matt had a seizure they did not take any actions to get him help. The defendants may or may not be “nice young men”, but their lack of action was heartless and unfeeling and ultimately led to Matt’s tragic death. They may not have meant to kill him but they did! I feel they need to have consequences for their actions and lack of action and those consequences need to be severe,
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is hard but when that loss is so senseless it is almost unbearable. This just didn’t have to happen and I feel the defendants have to be held accountable for their actions.