It has been almost 10 years since the story covered the news pages in Lima and Wapakoneta about the case that involved the robbery and assault of an elderly woman from Auglaize County. Three young men from Wapakoneta were charged in this case; of those, one was an 18-year-old man, Stephen Pack.
Auglaize County might have forgotten this case, but we, Pack's family and friends, have not. Pack was not even directly involved in this crime, yet, by the time his two co-defendants were done with their testimonies, Pack was made to be the "ringleader." These two co-defendants were sentenced to 16 and 20 years in prison after agreeing to a plea agreement to testify against Pack. He was sentenced to 32 years.
Pack, however, fought for truth and justice as he sat quietly in a packed courtroom where, one by one, his "friends" turned against him.
I have prayed from that day for something to happen that would force this community to take a hard look at the injustices that came from the court. It finally has happened. In the fall of 2007, Daniel King was shot and killed by Matthew Pennington. After numerous charges were dropped, Pennington was offered a plea agreement and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
I have great sympathy for the family of King. In 10 years, Pennington will be a free man, and they will be forever without Daniel. I also sympathize with the family of Pennington. You now will begin the journey that will cause heartache as a result of his actions. I have felt all of this and more, as I am Pack's mother. For the moment, however, I am outraged when I realize that Pennington will be free in 10 years for taking the life of another human being and my son still will have 12 years to serve.
Where is the justice in all of this? I challenge the community to stand up for justice and fairness for not only Daniel King's family, but for my son, who has been imprisoned long enough - 9½ years - and should come home now.