|Death: ||Jul. 21, 2010|
Shooting victim Emanuel "Wes" Wesley died July 21 at a Vancouver hospice, nearly 1 1/2 years after he was shot multiple times in the torso. He was 48.
The shooting at Wesley's downtown Longview apartment on Feb. 23, 2009, was motivated by revenge for minor injuries he supposedly caused to a little boy.
His family hopes Wesley's death means that the four people who pleaded guilty in the case - Edward Scott Pelton, Ringo Joe Hubbard, Delayna Ann Stanley and Jennifer Sue Lowe – could face murder charges.
However, authorities have yet to establish if the shooting led to his death. An autopsy has taken place, but results have not been released.
Although Wesley had been in and out of hospitals and convalescent homes since the shooting, the family kept hoping he would recover, Wesley's sister-in-law, Candace Joiner-Wesley, said Tuesday.
"He never recovered within a year," she said. "The family said, ‘Let's give him another six months,' so we gave him another six months."
A few days after the shooting, Wesley suffered brain damage when a burst artery cut off oxygen to his brain, Joiner-Wesley said. It's unclear if the gunshot wounds caused the artery to burst.
He recently began having seizures. When he was admitted into the intensive care unit at Southwest Washington Medical Center with a severe case of pneumonia, the family agreed to have him disconnected from life support, and he died in hospice four days later, she said.
"Emanuel wouldn't want to live this way," she said. "He told us to not leave him that way. We only did because we thought there was a chance he'd come back, and we gave him that chance."
Joiner-Wesley said she called the prosecutor's office to ask if his death means that the four people convicted in the shooting will now be charged with murder, or if that would constitute double jeopardy (being tried twice for the same offense). Double jeopardy is not allowed under the U.S. Constitution.
"We told her we wanted to make sure, if he died because of this, it could be changed from attempted murder to murder," Joiner-Wesley said.
Neither Prosecutor Sue Baur nor chief deputy prosecutor Michelle Shaffer were available to speak with The Daily News on Tuesday.
Hubbard, who fired the gun, is serving 21 years in prison for first-degree attempted premeditated murder. Pelton is serving 11 years in prison for first-degree burglary with a firearm. Lowe is serving five years in prison for first-degree assault. Stanley has finished her one-year sentence for first-degree rendering criminal assistance and second-degree assault.
According to court documents, Lowe, 27, of Kelso was angry with Wesley because she blamed him for minor cuts to her son's face, so she told Hubbard to beat Wesley up and make him "bleed like he made her son bleed."
Hubbard, 27, Stanley, 20, and Pelton, 45, drove to Wesley's downtown Longview apartment from Vancouver. Police said Stanley knocked on Wesley's apartment door. When Wesley opened it, Pelton punched him in the face. The trio forced their way into the apartment and Hubbard opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol, shooting Wesley multiple times in the torso.
Wesley told his family he did not put up a fight, Joiner-Wesley said afterward. "He said it was pointless, the second he'd seen the gun."
In the hospital she heard him pray, " ‘I will forgive those who did this to me, but I will never forget,' " Joiner-Wesley said.
The fact that he forgave them shocked her at the time, but Joiner-Wesley said Tuesday, "We'll all be better people for this, for what he taught us."
She said the family has "all learned so much and grown so much from this. ... You never know how important someone is in your life until something tragic happens."
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. July 31 at Living Hope Church auditorium, 10800 N.E. 76th Ave., Vancouver.
Created by: Kurtis Kirk
Record added: Jul 28, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 55556075
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.