Hi Debbie~

I’m sorry this is long in coming, I’ve been incredibly busy at school.  They don’t give you much down time.  I hope you get this in time to present to the judge.  I’m also sorry I can’t be there on Friday.  Unfortunately I have classes all day long until 5pm , but my thoughts and my prayers will be with all of you.  I never stop thinking about you guys and Matt and I hope I’ll be able to see you again soon. 

My Statement

You can’t really fit who Matt was into paper.  You can’t sum a life into words without cheapening it at least a little bit.  No matter how hard you try or how eloquent the author something will always be missing… because he’s not here anymore.  Matt will never be here anymore.

I met Matt in the summer before my last year at Chico State and was lucky enough to have him as not only my roommate, but also my friend.  He became part of us, an intrinsic and intimate portion of our house’s dynamic. He was the goofy laughter, the corny movies, the eclectic music and the handyman. He was the quiet listener, the helpful friend, the “always there when you need him” guy, and the fun-loving party boy. He came into our lives and changed them, if only a little, for the better.

There has not been a day that goes by where I don’t think about how things could have been different, should have been different. When I ask why as I walk absently through a room that aches with emptiness, like the house. There are shadows where there were not any before just because we are missing a truly and completely sweet, caring, giving and gentle person from all the corners he filled before. I hold on to the memories, use them to brighten the dark and fill the emptiness and silence the echoes I hear in the room now barren from his things. Memories, like candy, are brief but sweet and they gently relieve the sadness, sadness I know Matt would object against and dissipate with his overwhelmingly contagious laughter.

The pain we have felt, the loss we have sustained, the amazing person who is gone from our lives forever- all this does not have to happen again.  A statement must be made to show others that we will not stand for such senselessness, such terrible disregard for the preciousness of life.  I pray everyday that people will learn by the stories on the news and in the paper, that others will see the very real consequences as demonstrated in the trial and the sentencing.  Maybe, just maybe, in this way no one else will have to suffer.  And maybe in this way Matt’s legacy will live on forever.

Molly Priest