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Anderson family says Justice is at Hand

November 28th, 2006 by Mike Vasilinda

Seven sheriffs Deputies and a nurse who stood by while Martin Lee Anderson was beaten and suffocated to death are being charged with criminal manslaughter of a child. The charge is a first degree felony and could result to up to 30 years in Prison. As Mike Vasilinda reports, the Anderson family is relieved that justice now appears on track after almost a year of waiting.

Gina Jones and Robert Anderson were brought by the attorney from Panama City to Tallahassee… in part for their safety. The family has faced threats in the past as they pushed for criminal charges against those responsible for 14 year old Martins death.
Facing reporters for the first time, they express relief.“Today is a good day for me. I’m finally getting justice for my baby.” said Gina Jones. Father Robert Anderson was equally relieved. “I just want to say that it feels like a brick has been lifted off my shoulders and tonight I might get me some rest.”

Both Gina and Robert cried as they thought about their first Christmas without their son.
Gina has already decorated her sons grave. “No Martin. No Christmas. Me and my daughter went out there and dressed up his grave for Christmas. That’s Christmas from us to Martin.”

Attorney Ben Crump called the charges “A bold step, but it’s a big step. It’s a step a lot of people doubt”Crump says he expects the trial to be fair, even if it remains in Panama City.“Nobody who watches that videotape will have any doubt that they’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of not acting humane.”

The family and Jeb Bush have at times been at odds over this case, but as 7 guards and a nurse face charges 11 months after Martin’s death, they both share the feeling that the system is working.

Anderson died last January 6th. He was rushed to the hospital after spending just two hours in the Bay County Boot Camp. Videotape released last spring created an uproar among state legislators who eventually closed all of the boot camps in the state. The State Attorney also investigated the Sheriffs Office, the Department of Law Enforcement, and the Medical Examiner and has determined none of the agencies engaged in improper conduct. FDLE Commissioner Guy Tunnel did resign this past summer after emails showed he was communicating with the Sheriffs office about the investigation.

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