Cheryl Armstrong’s Story

cheryl-with-jimmy-bama-dec-06.jpgCheryl Armstrong is serving a 96-year sentence for two counts of second degree murder. She did not kill anyone, but drove the getaway car and was accused of being the “mastermind” in a double homicide in 1995 when she was 16 years old.

I spoke with Cheryl’s mother, Carol Johann yesterday about Cheryl and about her case. Cheryl’s parents moved from the Denver area to Canon City in order to be near the prison so they can visit their daughter. Carol told me that Cheryl will be 63 years old before she is eligible for parole.

The following are Cheryl’s words, originally posted on the Pendulum Foundation website. At her mother’s request, I’ve updated the length of time of Cheryl’s incarceration and I’ve noted that she completed her associates degree in November. She is currently pursuing a bachelors degree.

My name is Cheryl Armstrong, and I am serving a 96-year sentence for two counts of second degree murder. I did not kill anyone, but drove the getaway car and was accused of being the “mastermind” in a double homicide in 1995 when I was 16 years old. I have now been incarcerated for almost 13 years. Today, I am an entirely different person from the girl who was involved in a horrible tragedy that destroyed so many people’s lives. I know for a fact that I learned from my mistakes – they changed my life and helped turn me into the person I’ve become today. Every day for the rest of my life, I will feel horrible about what I was involved in when I was 16. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my victims and the pain I’ve caused their families – and my own. The words “I’m sorry” do no justice to how remorseful I am now, although I am so very sorry for the pain their families suffer.

Since I have been incarcerated, I have completely changed in numerous ways and am achieving things for myself. I completed my GED in 1995 and have continued my education by completing the Business School program offered at my facility. I have also been taking college classes for the last five years, and I received an Associate of Arts Degree in November of 2007.

Upon my release, I would like to be some sort of counselor for troubled teens. I really want to use my bad experience to try to help others from making the same mistakes that I made. It’s heartbreaking to see so many children that made one horrible mistake get thrown into prison for the rest of their lives, when a huge number of them could be rehabilitated and, more than likely, never re-offend after release from prison.

Looking back, I can’t even believe that it was me who participated in something so atrocious I didn’t even care about my own life then and never took anything seriously. I have always said that I deserve to be in prison for what I did. I do not, however, feel that I should be here for another 80+ years. I have grown up and would NEVER be a threat to society. I have no violence on my record in prison, and that’s because there’s not a violent bone in my body now. I think a 96-year sentence was harsh considering it was my first offense and I actually didn’t commit a violent act.
I have accepted responsibility for my mistakes and learned from them. I would do ANYTHING to get just ONE chance to prove that I’m a changed person and would love to become a productive member of society who could make a difference in our youth’s lives. I pray that I, along with so many others who came to prison as children, will one day get this chance.

ABOUT THE CRIME

In being asked to rehash the terribly tragic event that brought me to prison when I was 16 with a 96-year sentence, the first emotion that comes to mind is sorrow…sorrow for every person affected by our careless actions. I am ashamed of the person I was when I was 15-16 years old. I feel embarrassed and humiliated to talk about my crime, because I am a COMPLETELY different person today. Those emotions, though, are part of the reason why I feel it so important to talk about it now. What my co-defendants and I did was indisputably wrong, but I know from personal experience that what this system is doing to its children is also very wrong. Therefore, I want my story to be heard in hopes that it will help society to see that children don’t belong in prison for the rest of their lives.

As a child, I was very close to my family and had a great childhood. I was an honor roll student until 9th grade and wasvery outgoing in sports and other activities (tennis, swimming, ice skating, girl scouts, etc.). My dad was a violent man, and my mom left him for good when I was two years old. I grew up visiting him less and less as I got older. I never got into any trouble until I was 14 years old. I grew up in real small towns, but when I was 14 we moved to Littleton, Colorado, and I was exposed to city life for the first time. To this day, I can’t say what was so alluring about the negative things I got drawn into. I think, at first, I just wanted to make new friends in a new place, and I obviously picked the wrong people to associate with. I started doing drugs, and for the next two years it all went downhill from there.

All this anger appeared from God knows where. I became a very bitter child who had no respect for anyone or anything. I wasn’t real violent, but had a horrible energy within me that the simplest thing would trigger. I have only been in two fights in my life, but had a horrible mouth that would say anything without thinking. Since my childhood, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is how much power the words we speak really have in our lives. So many of my words came back to haunt me at my trial and what is so sad about it is that I really did not mean any of them. I would say horrible things (not just where my crime was concerned, but in general) and not even feel the same way five minutes later. Like every other kid I knew, I made idle threats that never carried any real intention. We all spoke that way so frequently that it really did seem completely normal, although now I realize the way we talked was anything but that.

Here’s the truth. There are two victims in my case. One of them had been my boyfriend for about ten months before I got arrested. The second victim was his other girlfriend. I was accused of basically ordering my friends to kill them both on the night of April 17, 1995, as a result of a supposed “jealous rage” due to his leaving me.

Still to this day, it is inconceivable to me how the plot of the story got so absurdly twisted and blown out of proportion. I will never get over the fact that a huge part of my conviction is based on fabricated misconceptions that were created by a prosecutor who was politically motivated to get a conviction to further his own career. Denver was “cracking down” on gang and teen violence that year, and I was the example used to show that if you make one huge mistake, you’re going to rot in prison for the rest of your life. The prosecutor was running for DA soon after my trial and was hell-bent beyond reason on making me out to be the worst child ever born. His prosecutorial tactics were cut-throat…some of his prior convictions had even been thrown out due to prosecutorial misconduct. The case was HUGE in the media also, and I was convicted there before I ever went to trial.

Before the crime happened, I had told the victim that I was messing around with someone else besides him. He told me to pick between them, and I picked the other guy. I left HIM – the first of many, many details to get twisted at my trial so I could become what they needed me to be and fall for first-degree murder. Our conversation got ugly, and he threatened to kill me and my mom. Then, I threatened him. He also had his friends call my house and leave threatening messages. These were people in his gang (he was a Blood). I then told one of my friends about it, and he called him on the phone and told him, “You’re dead.” He was a Crip and for this reason alone he never got along with the victim, and vice versa. Every person we know talked like this frequently…no one ever ended up dead.

he next day I was driving around in my car and we were bored with nothing to do. I said, “Let’s go get him (the victim).” Everyone in the car agreed, so we started to drive to his house. The bottom line is this… I didn’t care what happened that night. It has taken me years to be honest enough to say that. It’s such a horrible thing to say, but it is true. There is a huge difference, though, between being angry and not thinking or caring about the results…and forcing someone to commit murder. I did not have any respect for myself, let along anyone else in the world. My mind had fallen into some dark place and was lost there from the time I was about 15 until at least a year after I was arrested.

Cheryl doesn’t make any excuses for her actions. She made bad decisions and two people are dead. But does her culpability warrant a sentence of 96 years? I’m not proud of the things I was doing when I was sixteen either. I was drinking underage and doing a lot of other things I shouldn’t have been doing too. When I think of the tragedies that could have happened, I shudder. I was lucky.

cheryl-3-yrs-old.jpgcheryl-with-college-staff-graduation-nov-13-07.jpg

If Cheryl’s parents were wealthy, they could probably afford the kind of legal representation necessary to pursue lengthy, expensive appeals, but they’re not.

If the purpose of the criminal justice system is to protect the public and punish and rehabilitate the offender, hasn’t justice been served?

Please share your thoughts on Cheryl’s case.

63 responses to “Cheryl Armstrong’s Story

  1. I know Cheryl and support and hope for the commutation of the shocking prison sentence she continues to serve. I have many thoughts on why she deserves a chance to be freed from prison and live her life as a contributing member of society. I wrote to then Governor Owens petitioning for clemency on Cheryl’s behalf.

    I will also share the letter with you that I wrote to the group that I had been regularly communicating with regarding case of Lisl Auman. You may recall that Lisl was convicted in what I call an overzealous and corrupt prosecution, also in Denver, and who’s conviction the Colorado Supreme Court threw out, thereby freeing her from prison. I am happy to report that she is doing very well.

    I feel that if visitors to the Compassion in Juvenile Sentencing blog investigate Cheryl’s case that they will also see the injustice of her sentence.

    Best,

    Don M. Auman
    ——————-
    March 14, 2005

    Subject: Clemency Recommendation for Cheryl Armstrong

    Honorable Governor Bill Owens,

    Cheryl Armstrong is currently serving a nearly 100 year sentence in Canon City, CO for second degree murder. Even though she was only 16-years-old at the time of the crime she was tried as an adult. I feel that this sentence is too harsh for Cheryl’s involvement in the case. She got involved with bad people and let her desire to be accepted among her peers overwhelm good sense. Making poor choices is a common trait among many adolescents, but imprisonment for the rest of her life for one mistake that occurred while she was a juvenile is not right in this case.

    I know Carol Johann, Cheryl’s mother, to be a conscientious and responsible Coloradan. I communicate with her regularly. She has been there for Cheryl and I know for a fact that she will continue to provide proper emotional and caring support to make Cheryl’s reintroduction to society successful.

    While serving a prison sentence certainly appears to be justified in this case, the 96-year sentence seems to be out of all proportion. Cheryl did not witness the actual crime, but for driving the killers away from the scene she will serve essentially the same amount of prison time as the two older males who did the actual shooting. Three other passengers in the car, including a male who supplied the guns, were not charged at all in the killings.

    Cheryl continues to express regret for her actions and she remains mournful to the families affected at their losses. Cheryl’s accomplishments in continuing college education and other documented measures to rehabilitate herself during the past ten years are signs that she would develop to be a contributing member of society.

    Please consider Cheryl Armstrong’s clemency. I support the Pendulum Foundation and their platform that children who can be rehabilitated should be given a second chance.

    Sincerely,

    Don M. Auman
    ———————
    March 16, 2005

    Hello Friends,

    I don’t usually ask for your assistance on issues unless it is directly related to freeing Lisl, but I have become sensitive to justice issues over the years and how prosecutors often guide witness statements to obtain the results that they want.

    I am writing to a select few of you today on behalf of Cheryl Armstrong’s request to be granted Clemency for her conviction for second degree murder that resulted in a harsh 96-year prison sentence. I believe her request has merit. She is a friend of Lisl’s and I see Cheryl and her family often when I visit Lisl in Canon City. She would have great support if released.

    I won’t go into a lot of details here, but I would like to suggest that you send letters (by MARCH 23rd) to Governor Owens asking him to give serious consideration to Cheryl’s Clemency request.

    You can read more about her case at:
    http://www.pendulumfoundation.com/kidsserving.htm

    Letters you write need to be sent directly to Carol’s mother so that they can be presented as a package to the appropriate people in Governor Owens’ office. See the attached letters, which are actually being presented, for ideas, and keep in mind that the number of letters received has a bearing on how the decision is weighed.

    Title letters to: Honorable Governor Bill Owens
    Write your name and address at the bottom and sign it and send it to Cheryl’s mother, Carol Johann, directly. Please call or write her if you have any questions.

    Thanks,

    Don
    ——————-

    Good Luck Cheryl! -Don

  2. Don,

    Thank you very much for commenting and providing this additional information. I remember Lisl’s case well and in light of the Tim Masters release and the heightened visibility about the treatment of juvenile cases, I hope to post about her case soon as a reminder that overly harsh sentences and miscarriages of justice are carried out far too often in our state. The amount of support that Lisl was able to garner through the efforts of people like Hunter S. Thompson was incredible, but I fear there are far too few Hunter S. Thompsons in the world and far too many people languishing in prison who the world has forgotten.

    I also plan to contact the Governor’s Juvenile Clemency Board in the near future to find out what steps have been taken to begin reviewing cases.

    I thank you very much for commenting and hope you will pass this URL on to others and encourage them to comment as well.

    Lisa

  3. I too know Cheryl Armstrong. I lived in the same building with Cheryl at the Women’s facility in Canon. I also know that Cheryl is an inspiration to those that do time with her. I have always seen her to be a kind and lovely young woman. I also have a 17 year old daughter and I know personally that children often make bad spur of the moment decisions. It is usually at these times when we as parents have the opportunity to teach them about consequential thinking.

    Cheryl is a victim of making bad decisions. And a prison sentence is warranted although she certainly should not be held in prison for a horrific period of time for making a truly horrible mistake during a moment in history when legislation dictated her sentence.

    Rehabilitation of our children is our duty and that includes seeing when they have made the changes necessary to be whole and healthy members of society.

    good luck Cheryl!!

  4. Pam,

    I am a regular visitor to the CCJRC website and blog and have learned a great deal through the great work that you do. Thanks so much for commenting and for the great work that you and your colleagues do.

    Lisa

  5. Pingback: Colorado Governor’s Juvenile Clemency Board Application is Available « Compassion in Juvenile Sentencing

  6. I read about Cheryl Armstrong on The Pendulum Foundation site some time ago. I feel her sentencing was very harsh. Now the law only allows a maximum of 40 years for similar crimes where she got 96 years. I understand Cheryl has obtained her Batchelor’s Degree and working on a Master’s. I think we should be trying to rehabilitate these young kids. I understand Cheryl would like to use her education to worked with troubled teens to keep them from making the same mistakes she made. I strongly feel Cheryl’s sentence should be commuted and think that she would be an asset to society if given that chance.

  7. I am sickened by the sentence being served Cheryl Armstrong. I doubt that such a savage sentence would apply in Europe or here in New Zealand, where she would have been tried as a juvenile. I wish you well in your efforts to free her. I am a NZ writer and if I can help I will. I am proud to say I am a friend of Lisl Auman, who would still be in jail if good people had not fought so hard to get her a retrial.
    Gerry Evans
    New Zealand

  8. Gladys,

    I will be sure to pass on your support to Cheryl the next time I write to her.

    Gerry,

    As you know from Lisl’s case, individual voices do make a difference. I hope to hear more from you about this. Please email me if you have any ideas about how to bring more attention to Cheryl’s case.

  9. My name is Steve Johann, and I am Cheryl’s older step brother. I had a hard child hood growing up and I sometimes thought the punishments I recieved for the stupid things I have done were harsh. But now looking at my stepsisters punishment, mine were nothing compaired to what she got. 90 years in prison, thats a long time to go without even meating her nephews, Jeremy, Damian and Aj. I hope that one day in the near future, someone will see this great life she is missing and let her start over.

    Steve Johann
    Grand Junction’Co

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  11. Cindy Cottrell

    My name is Cindalin Cottrell, and my daughter, Catherine Farnkoff, is incarcerated in the same facility as Cheryl, at Canon Women’s Correctional Facility. The following is a letter that Catherine would like for you to read:

    Dear Readers,

    For the past 2 1/2 years I have had the pleasure of haing Cheryl Armstrong in my life. I was 20 when I arrived here at CWCF, I knew noone, and had no idea what prison was like. I met Cheryl within the first two weeks here. She was involved in the prison dog program, which I was anxious to apply for. I soon moved in to the room next to Cheryl, and we have been close friends since.

    I have come to know Chery and her parents, and their struggle for possible future freedom for Cheryl. In just 2 1/2 years, she has taught me more than most could in a lifetime. She has taught me a great deal about patience and self-discipline. She has taught me to have a voice, and to feel comfortable in my own skin. She has shown me how to stand up for myself, and to walk with my head high. I have learned self respect and compassion from her. Most of all, Cheryl has taught me that people make mistakes, big and small, but that people can, and do change. So to her, a big thank you for all she has shared.

    Cheryl was a kid when she arrived at prison, a juvenile in an adult world. She has been fighting for freedom, not just for herself, but for everyone who was also a minor when they became incarcerated. It should be society’s duty to differentiate between children and adults, and to punish accordingly.

    Cheryl’s support system is amazing, a direct reflection of the remarkable woman that she is. More and more people read her story, and find her circumstances appalling. People from all over that don’t even know Cheryl want to help her. Because I do know her, I want to tell you
    that you are not wasting your time. She deserves your support. Cheryl has worked hard to become a better person, to grow an achieve. I urge everyone to know her, to read her story, and to discover what an amazing person she is.

    Cheryl,I know good things are coming. We all support you and wish you the best of luck. Congratulations on recieving your Associates Degree!

    With all my respect,
    Catherine Farnkoff

    • Cindalin Cottrell could I by any chance get Catherines address? I would love to write to her and become pen pals. I think she is an inspiration…

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  14. Concerned Citizen

    At the risk of being bias because I know Cheryl Armstrong (a genuine, and wonderful human being), I feel it is my duty to speak on her behalf as well as other juveniles that have been given overly harsh sentences. All bias aside, I cannot put enough emphasis on how the capricious treatment toward our youthful offenders is not only circumventing potential rehabilitation, but also impacting the values of the American Society in a sour manner. If critics, would put their overzealous opinions aside for one second and consider the stance that they would take if their son or daughter had made one serious mistake and was standing on the other side of judge’s platform, I believe, and hope that they might reconsider their stance.

    Considering that whimsical revenge is what got most of our youth in to serious trouble, prosecutors should think twice about making the same mistake as the accused. Two wrongs don’t make a right. No more revenge, how about justice?

    Concerned Citizen

  15. Wendy Sanchez

    I am a good friend of Cheyl,s for many many years, I lived in thesame facility with her, worked beside her, cried with her, laughed with her and somehow tried to make our friendship strong enough to take us away out of the hell we lived in. I too, am yound adult that was convicted as an adult at 16 for a crime I was involved in with a co-defendant that of lagal age to know better, which then led to a 4 year prison term. That 4 years was a blessing to me and changed my life completely, and thinking what 4 year to 96 years for committing an offense as a child when at 16 we are so influenced by our peers and have no recollection of consequence, nor do we think of our futures…Please take a moment to think of when you were16 years old, and how many actions you did that were never caught or what could have happened if you were? When we are children we think and act in childish ways but as growing with our lifes mistakes and blows we grow into adults! Cheryl Armstong is a wonderful person, one of the best,most compassionate, driven persons I have ever met! To think that this corrupt system could keep her in prison for most her life is such a waste to society! I support Cheryl’ s cause and walk thru this path with her fighting…good luck, baby, we all love and continue to fight for you!!

  16. Dear friends:

    Henry David Thoreau once wrote “Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.”

    Never were the intentions of the words more clear. Attached, you will find the the plight of yet another beautiful soul who found herself thrown upon the bloody, ruthless gears of the American justice system. Although the story of Cheryl Armstrong should be in every newspaper, tabloid, blog, podcast, and on the side of every cereal box in North America, I only know of it only because of my dear sister Lisl. It is otherwise the story I would skim by on my way to “Dear Abby.” I was introduced to Cheryl in the Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility one day during a visitation session with Lisl. Her story sincerely struck a chord with me. It is one that is full of hate, tears, and now redemption. That last part is up to us.

    True reason requires compassion. But our system (which once aimed for the heart of reason) can be at times fragile, at other times venomous. This case, unfortunately, falls into the category of the latter. The case against Cheryl was built upon rage, built on hate, built on pain. The depths of these emotions I have felt only from the side that Cheryl is now sitting on; the side of the accused and the side of the hopeless.

    This has become a case that is a blackhole of any feeling what so ever. The very real pain still remains for the families of the dead, but their pain has been grossly mis-attributed to Cheryl alone, and away from the true forces that lead to the deaths of two people. Cheryl makes no concessions for her actions, but these were the actions of a 16 year old child, and these actions lead to a sentence of 96 years in prison. Is this a case built on reason? Atavistic rage has given way to stagnant acceptance, we accept that there will sometimes be cases of injustice (1% according to some studies), but our system tacitly accepts the factor of 1%.

    I’m not trying to argue that there was not a crime committed. But at what point can we honestly look at a case like this and give a sentence of “time served?” No matter how noble the American justice system strives to be, and no matter how noble the system can be, the truth of the matter is that Cheryl was under-defended, and was sacrificed at the alter of emotion, thus making her a factor of 1%.

    Many will say, and have said that this is just one case. Just one case? One case is one person, one family, one life cycle defined by hatred, fear, and sacrifice. Justice begins with one, justice is about one. One family, one individual, one heart.

    Thanks for reading friends

  17. Bright Blessings to all of you doing good out there. I have seen what a circus a trial can become in the wrong hands. If I hadn’t seen with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe it happens. Prosecutors with wild imaginations and the willingness of the press to go along and our sheeplike way of believing…….
    And a kid gets sent to adult prison and we forget. Is it just dumb luck that Cheryl only went on to better herself? If she can overcome the enviroment of the correctional facility just think of the things she will do when she is out! Bet she does amazing things! I look forward to seeing them.

  18. I am horrified by the savagery of the sentence handed down to Cheryl, it would never happen in britain, I work with young offenders and although they act impulsivly and need to be made aware of consequences, Cheryl’s punishment is inhuman and outweighs her involvement, she has much to offer society to pay back for her crime, for which she has already paid with her time in a prison.she should be freed now.

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  20. Greetings and Solidarity from Aotearoa (New Zealand)

    This particular case of mind boggling outrageous injustice is incomprhendible to me and

    By the power of the poeple I hope Cheryl is set free.

    Courage, much strength and salutations.

    -Gwilym

  21. After reading most of the postings – I understand we make mistakes as adolecents and most cannot not comprehend the consequences of our actions during this time. I too as a teen made many many stupid mistakes… and looking back now at age 29 I realize I was so nochalant simply because I had no idea – at that age we tend to think we are invincible.

    I would like to shed some light from a perspective of a person who “dealt” with knowing a childhood friend (an pregnant girlfriend) was brutally murdered and several teens KNEW their bodies lay dead in Terrance’s house rotting – while his parents were on vacation. Teens who KNEW murders were committed but did not have the remorse THEN to do anything about it… Now if I compare my own stupid mistakes as a teen, I KNOW there is no way I could have slept at night knowing 2 bodies lay dead in a house for family members to stumble upon. I remember paging Terrance over and over and over wondering why he was not returning my calls… where was he? Only to find out –I was paging him as he lay dead at home… at age 16, dealing with a friend who was maliciously murdered and those who participated never felt remorse until they were sentenced… was hard. Trying to understand at that age why life seemed so unfair… why God would allow such a terrible thing to happen. Why they didnt feel such a guilt to call the police? Following the court cases… esp. Cheryl’s I personally didnt sense any remorse for Terrance (or Rachelle)… just that she felt sorry for herself. I cannot doubt Cheryl has made a conscience effort to become a better person… she is making the most of her time in prion, but it upsets me when people say –Cheryl was a child at that time…we all made mistakes as a youth and the punishment does not fit the crime…-surely she could not comprehend how serious murder was, etc etc…. but how it is that I was 16 as well and the pain I was feeling in my heart and the anxiety I felt in my stomach was so real as the details were revealed in court. Cheryl was so obsessed back then to the point that murder became ok? To know for days two people lay dead in a house decomposing… to continue to live as though nothing had happened… I think the punishment definitely fits the crime… and life in prison is doing justice by allowing her the opportunity to become a better person… I hope that her story can inspire another youth to think before partcipating in a MURDER — yes she only drove the get away car… however, she really was the mastermind, she was manipulative and was determined to make sure T and R suffered to the extent that DEATH did not matter – now our families (13 years later) still struggle to find ways to continue to be positive about life and learn from this experience we were force into..we had no choice in the matter — but Cheryl did and even after the fact… she continued to have a choice and continued to make the wrong decision.

    May Mayo (and Peterson) continue to rest in peace.

  22. Tanieka,

    I had initially established this forum to function as a dialogue to discuss the issue of very long sentences for juveniles convicted of very serious crimes. It has been far easier to seek out stories of the offenders than it has been to share the stories of the victims, their families and those who loved them. I am grateful to you for commenting and I thank you for bringing more perspective to this story. Words would fail to express the sadness that I feel for you at the loss of your friends and the pain that you and their families must feel and surely always will.

    I have tried to look at the issue of juveniles sentenced to life as an open ended question as to whether youthful offenders can feel remorse, be rehabilitated and at some point, be given a second chance to live among us.

    As someone without ties to any offender or a victim of murder, my experiences since starting this blog have taught me that there is no clear answer to that question. Like you, I object to the use of the term “child” or “children” when talking about the offenders. I always refer to them as juveniles because despite my belief that teenagers don’t have the same capacity to recognize the consequences of their actions, I also admit to difficulty understanding how any of the juveniles sentenced to LWOP or effective life sentences came to make the decisions they did.

    As an individual and as someone who lives in a world outside of all of these cases, I have no way of knowing what’s truly in another’s heart. I suppose the only thing that I can say is that perhaps we should consider time served and what we can see as factors in considering whether or not the state should consider a reduction in sentencing.

    It goes without saying that the circumstances of the crime must be factored in and the voices of the victims must be heard through those left behind.

    I truly appreciate you making your voice heard. Cheryl has a lot of support, but we can never, ever forget that there are those who still suffer.

    Thank you,

    Lisa

  23. Krystal Jablonski

    I was so speechless as I read Cheryl’s story. I believe with all of my heart that she was given a harsher punishment than ever deemed necessary. I hope and pray for her release. I believe that she will be a great asset to society. I am a college student and I wish Cheryl all the best.

  24. i am an old friend of cheryls we usto live right by eachother, i was a year or two younger then her and met her from my best friend at the time.i loved hanging out with her cause she was spoiled always had money cigarettes weed plus really cute clothes ,so me and alicia would always wanna go to her house to get high. we would also ride the bus downtown to buy weed and drink 40 oz bottles of malt liquor with some of her black friends .then she got a car so we were always calling her to give us a ride downtown or to cruz federal and get guys phone numbers,then eventually kept getting curfew ticktets and grounded from our parents (me and alicia)and our parents kept telling us not hang around her anymore,and her mom hated me and alicia because she thought we were the problem but it was always cheryl .they were an odd family cheryl ALWAYS depressed, her mom ALWAYS mad yelling and freaking out they would constantly cus at eachother and her mother always gave her her way just like her mom was scared of her.it was wierd thats why we would always go there cause she could do anything .take her moms car or money for cigarettes,she could stay out all night if she wanted.but not us we had to be home by curfew.i remember sneaking out with her to go and follow rachelle and tarrence she wanted to fight her in the club and rachelle got scared and went outside and cheryl took a big ol crow bar out and hit her car with it then they took off and cheryl tried to follow them but they got away.i remember her asking me if i got her back and i said yes but never was a fighter so i got scared.she does have really big emotional problems and was a manic depresent and was very obsessed with tarrence she did always say that she wanted to kill rachelle and was constantly pranking her.but i never really knew this would happen i used to hang out with romeo lavar and terry and dan too i actually was kinda seeing dan at the time i remember him getting into an accident and i usto go chill there and i started seeing lavar too but i never did like to go to romeos house it was always all kinds of gangsters in one little room with neon lights thats all i remember but thankgod i got into a fight with cheryl cause we didn’t talk any more and thats when alicia called me up and told me she got subpeoned for cheryls murder trial i could not believe it she was evil,but at times real cool.never understood her mind she was either really happy or really depressed at times wanted to commit suicide and she hated her mom and then loved her when she got her way .but now 13 years later those people are still dead and she is alive living well she looks great on that picture happy healthy and has alot of friends her mom moved there just to visit, and got her degree if you ask me if i think she should be let free i don’t know murder has never crossed my mind i knew alot when i was sixteen i got pregnant when she was going to trial and became a mother 10 days after i turned sixteen so if i was in charge i would not let her free until she has been there at least 25 years but if her heart is right she will spend eternity in heaven because we have a forgiving god and we are only here for a short time then we go to heaven or hell so i just hope she gives her life to christ because life is short and eternity is forever ……….ashlee barrella

  25. i would first like to say that terry was my first reletive cheryl knew what she was doing when she told him “IF I CANT HAVE YOU, NO ONE WILL” i was on the phone that night and the only reason i didnt make it over there to let darnell,terry and that other
    b$*#%h keep breathing was my chevy not startin up to me they got lucky real lucky everybody feeling bad 4 this chick but keep in mind she did not a damn thing tho stop it or for that manner even call the police after the fact it took me to tell them to look for a lil boo boo hatchback wit 5 dumb ass wannabe punks from littleton to this day im still a blood and RIP to my rele terry mayo and further mo if she didnt know what was poppin why she tell them niggas THANK YOU SO MUCH I LOVE YOU GUYS the broad so dumb you dont get someone else to do your dirt.. and as far as you tellin my peeps it was over you know damn well when you was fucking around wit my peeps you had severe acne broke out bad.. so you know i know way better than that so when you get to wherever dumb ass people go you tell em the reason why you here is because you DUMB 104CMGB

    cmgb

  26. I would first like to say that I am a very very close family member of the male victim Cheryl speaks of in her interview. It troubles me to know that someone capable of planning, conspiring and luring others to participate in a monstrous crime is able to speak as if she had nothing to do with their murders and the murder of their unborn child. Cheryl had everything to do with these MURDERS, in fact, the crimes against two young people who at the time had everything to live for and look forward to, would not have occurred if it weren’t for Cheryl and her jealousies and blatant disregard for human life.
    After reading Cheryl’s message to the public about her “unfair incarceration” and the 13 years she has already served as a “model prisoner”, being able to complete business courses and acquire her AA. I am appalled that she would have the audacity to think that her punishment does not fit the crime. She did participate, she did enter the house, she did hold a gun, and she did tell her co-conspirators where to go, what to do, how to do it, and what would be “in it for them” if they helped her KILL him. To use this opportunity to express to everyone (who will listen) how she has changed, that she doesn’t have a violent bone, how she will feel horrible for the rest of her life, and how she will do “anything” to get one chance has made me write this response. In my opinion, her own words only reiterate why she should NOT be allowed clemency and deserves to serve the remainder of her sentence.
    Although we all have made mistakes and hopefully learn from our mistakes, reading her words and thoughts regarding her involvement in the crime, REMORSE is the last thing on her mind. What I hear is a WHITE girl trying to manipulate the system and everyone who is listening to her story by explaining why she felt she had to do what she did. “Still to this day, it is inconceivable to me how the plot of the story got so absurdly twisted and blown out of proportion. I will never get over the fact that a huge part of my conviction is based on fabricated misconceptions that were created by a prosecutor who was politically motivated to get a conviction to further his own career (Cheryl Armstrong2008)”.
    Sure people change, but one thing I know is the only way a person can change is if they are able to admit his or her wrongdoings; and from what I gathered from Cheryl’s interview above she has not, she has blamed the victims, the other crime participants, the environment, the drugs, the prosecutors, the media. The only things I feel like she is sorry for is the 96 years and the state is not falling for her latest performance. AND THAT IS HOW THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS SUPPOSE TO WORK, the prosecutor was not politically motivated, the media was not putting a particular spin on this crime, nothing was “absurdly twisted or blown out of proportion. She killed two people and an unborn child in cold blood. She did the crime, and she deserves to do the time. She was not and is not being made an example. This is not a “story”; this is not a “plot” for a lifetime movie. This is a REAL CRIME, with real VICTIMS, and the reasons why she was and is being punished so harshly is because of the nature of the crime, the brutality of the murders, how enticement, seduction, lurid behaviors, and the overkill methodology she used to seek revenge was depicted through testimony and evidence.
    The male victim may have had some “questionable associations and behaviors” however; the victims are not on trial, (so Cheryl do not try to use them to justify sociopathic interpretation and conduct). The male victims only crime was breaking up with a maladaptive stalker who turned into a “fatal attraction” using language like “if I can’t have you, NO one will.” From all accounts, Cheryl harassed both victims, MY family has read and heard some of the conversations they had, My family had to hear the testimony, and see how she tried to deceive others into thinking she was “caught up” in some vicious “gangsta” influenced lifestyle.

    My family has had to deal with the loss of a young man who had great potential, who was kind, talented, generous, loving and special. Who never gets to complete a business class, get an AA or work on a Bachelor’s degree. Most importantly, his parents will never be able to support him, help him be a good man/father because they also lost their only chance at being grandparents when Cheryl made the decisions she made and encouraged others to help her KILL on April 17, 1995.
    It makes me angry still to think about how my father had to go to the house (crime scene) not knowing what to expect or find, and how my mother and I had to call the victim’s mother to explain to her that her only child and another victim was dead in her house. It infuriates me that we had to hear details of the two of them laying in his home for two days with multiple shots to their heads and their torsos. It sickens me to hear that Cheryl believes that she had nothing to do with the MURDERS suggesting that she only drove the “getaway car.” When all testimony shows that she is the one responsible for chasing down the female victim to the bedroom and shooting her in the face and stomach multiple times to “make sure she and the baby were dead,” and leaving her to basically decompose on a heated waterbed mattress . It really pisses me off to hear her say she does not deserve the punishment she received when she was the one that made sure the male victim was shot so many times in the face he was unrecognizable and alternate funeral arrangements had to made. It enrages me that she believes she was not the “mastermind”, but because of her actions walls, carpets, baseboards and door jams had to be cut (removed) from the house because blood was everywhere and the victims had laid in their blood for so long, blood had soaked through to the concrete below.
    I resent that Cheryl would even think that her “model prisoner” status and her so called “accomplishments” while serving her sentence for such heinous crimes gives her the RIGHT to believe that 13 years is punishment enough for her menacing, reprehensible behavior.
    Until Cheryl can truly accept her role in these MURDERS, made accountable for her actions, Remorseful for the wrongdoings, and stop trying to persuade unsuspecting readers/supporters with lies and half-truths her sentence does not need to be reduced, she should not be able to be released from the correctional facility. Because to me it does not sound like she has changed, has a regret or any other rehabilitative qualities. She just learned how to play the game like most convicts do after being incarcerated for any number of years. A true criminal mind is what she was, what she is and what she always will be. I just hope that not to many are fooled by the words and façade! She is a cold-hearted MURDERER!!! I have witnessed the aftermath of her destructive actions!

    • I read your post with compassion until I got to “WHITE”. You lost all credibility with me then and this is only about race to you. The poster above you should learn to spell and write. He sounds like a thug.

  27. Concerned Citizen

    Hi Cheryl- you are in a lot of peoples thoughts! Please do not ever give up your faith. I understand that people are still suffering for the actions that you and others carried out that fateful day, but I believe that you have MORE than paid your dues. I don’t think that two wrongs make a right. I will pray for the light of forgiveness to shine upon the hearts of those who still carry the burden of hate. I feel happy that you don’t hate anything but cancer. God Bless You, little baby. XO

  28. Yvette Trujillo

    I am so thankful that love outweighs hate, especially in consideration of the hate burdened hearts who have decided to non-chalantly post to this blog acting like they know who you, Cheryl, are today. My heart goes out to people that have suffered by your hand. I hope that this outlet has served for them to express their anger. God Bless them, too.

  29. Cheryl Armstrong, stay where you are and contemplate daily your evil acts, you earned the sentence you are serving now, but you know what, you draw breath every day, you have a birthday every year.
    Do you ever think about the baby the young girl was carrying, whom you denied the God given right to draw a single breath or have a single birthday.
    Yes you DO deserve your entire sentence and if you ever feel the truth of that statement, then and only then you can begin to seek redemption,
    however I for one know this isn’t going to happen in your lifetime.
    May God bless you Pam B and all the other family members who suffer the aftermath of this psychopaths actions, believe that He is with you in your pain !

  30. I was a friend of Cheryl’s growing up ,and still am to this day. I testified against Cheryl in court back in 1996. I was in shock of the crime she was being convicted for. I was angry about the deaths of these two beautiful people. But, in my age of 30 I have found forgiveness in my heart. To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and then discover the prisoner was you. For years I thought of Cheryl, and the life she was living. I would drive by our hangouts, and ponder our troubled youth. Yes we were out of control teens, and on the wrong path. But, today I too am a college graduate. I live a successful life, and am a good citizen. People change and unfortunately some don’t. In my heart I believe Cheryl has become a changed woman, and served her time. I believe in punishment for crimes committed. But, let the punishment fit the crime. I am a supporter of you Cheryl, and will continue to do so.
    Love,
    Alicia

  31. Hey Cheryl

    Thought you would like to know they ran a page long article in the weekend supplement “Gulf Times” on your situation in Doha, State of Qatar. Don’t know if you are guility or not but either way this is stupid. Good luck and hope they let you out soon.

  32. I believe a fair sentence would be 50 years without parole. Enough time to earn more degrees, write a book and give the proceeds to charity.

  33. I truly believe that cheryl was given an unfair sentence. The US and Somalia are the only countries that did not adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The US need to consider adopting the Convention and when they do so, young people who have committed crimes will serve the sentence that is suited to the crime.
    96 years is an appaling sentence. Please god Cheryl has learned fron her mistakes and gets realses soon.
    Her poor mother, the pain she is going through is undoubtely unbearable.
    Keep strong

  34. There is no doubt many a case in which a miscarriage of justice has been done. This is not one of them.

  35. Cheryl,
    Check out Graham v. Florida, 130 S. Ct. 2011; 176 L. Ed. 2d 825 decided on May 17, 2010 on the matter of life sentences without parole for juveniles!
    Love Alicia

  36. In response to Pam B’s comment:
    I think that if perhaps you weren’t so emotionally involved you would consider her sentencing to be a bit harsh too. But I also think that you have quite a point: there really is no evidence on this page regarding the murders at all – aside from Cheryl’s description – which would lead a person to believe that Cheryl really is simply a victim of horrible decisions made as an adolescent.
    Considering the evidence you have shared that was otherwise left out, Cheryl certainly comitted an awful awful crime and deserves to be punished accordingly. My opinion is that you are quite correct to think that Cheryl is simply being manipulative, and has yet to accept and admit what she truly did that devastated the lives of you and your family, and the victims’ families.
    But I have to disagree with the sentencing. I am 16 and I can guarantee that I have made mistakes when I was 15 and 14 that I will regret for the rest of my life, and that I will likely continue to make mistakes. Because I am a teenager. But people learn. People are consequenced for lacking that vital self-control, and that consequence sucks, and so they learn that self-control so as to avoid being punished. Cheryl may not be ready yet, or maybe she is, I don’t know. But I do know that 96 years confined within prison walls is so much more than enough for a person to learn.

  37. It is too bad people don’t feel as much concern for Terrance and Rachelle.
    She can plead her case and for leniency; they cannot. Their sentence is forever.

  38. I knew Cheryl and her friends for a while and have had ample time to think about what happened that awful Easter night. I really believe that Cheryl got what was coming to her. She was leading a manipulative lifestyle that was unappealing to most other youth. Ya it was cool to say crazy things when we were young, but following through with actions that support those words is a different story. How gangster could you be living in Littleton going to school with rocket scientists’ children?
    Only dumb, not gangsta- Cheryl KNEW Terrance and Rachelle AND THEIR UNBORN CHILD were lying in that house DEAD for 4 days, it is all her and her friends talked about. If Cheryl is such a good person why didn’t she tell her Mom or another authority figure? I will tell you why, Cheryl was happy, and thought she was the authority figure.
    Cheryl was not sad until Jefferson County Police had her in cuffs, at that point I believe she tried even harder to manipulate her situation, and partially succeeded. She is extremely fortunate that she could manipulate two jurors to covict her of a lesser crime. In my opinion it is a real shame we are paying for her to go to college and Terrance and Rachelle and their baby girl are paying for Cheryl’s mistake. Cheryl should have received additional time for the baby’s death, and if the law is ever changed should face charges to reflect this innocent death.
    Mind you driving from Littleton to Aurora is not a quick process, at any point in time anyone in that raggedy car could have said, “Stop,- killing people is wrong.” Cheryl was such an intimidating individual no one wanted to stop her, how would they get rides if they made her mad.
    The grandparents of an unborn child were denied the right to celebrate her life’s triumphs, yet they are supposed to sit back and celebrate Cheryl’s triumphs, DON’T THINK SO! If any elected official is silly enough to look at this case and believe there wan’t so much evil erupting out of this individual that she destroyed many lives that evening -they are wrong.
    The people in the car that were not charged with anything told the Police the truth before Cheryl, Romeo, or Lavar. They must now live with the pain of taking lives, because they were scared to tell Cheryl NO. Cheryl claims she is sorry, but she never told the victims’ families she felt this way. She is only sorry that she got caught. The women that have lived with Cheryl in her facility I would imagine could tell us that Cheryl can’t stand to hear the phrase NO. Get used to it, can’t manipulate the whole system- someone still sees right through you.
    My heart goes out to ALL of the victims of this case, CHERYL, ROMEO, and LAVAR are not the victims and don’t forget it! I also believe that it was unfair that the families of the deceased victims didn’t even get to see their loved one’s face because of the malice in this crime. Every time Cheryl gets a visitor, they get to see her face, they should think to themselves what she would look like with several gunshot wounds to hers. Calculated, cold, malicious murder cannot be overlooked regardless of the offender’s age. Rot in your cell and then hell. I am not saying this out of hate, I am saying it out of respect for the victims and their loved ones.

  39. I think George nailed it!! I was Rachelle’s 1st love, as she was mine too. We were together for over 3 years. Every day we were together at school and after:) We were pretty serious at that age, each others 1st at everything. I remember having talks about if one of of us were to die we both would want to die to be with them in the after life. I loved her deeply and still do:( I broke up with her going into High School. ” was the dumbest mistake I’ve ever made” I felt like Love was too Easy. I remember thinking if I could feel this way about a girl so early in life, what else is out there?? Could I find a deeper love?? We both went off to High school and she met Terrance. I knew they were dating for a few months.. I wanted her too. We both needed to see what else life had to offer besides the love we had for each other. Then I get a call from Rachelle’s mom at 6 in the morning. I pick up the phone and was still half asleep. She said did you hear about Rachelle? I said yes, as I heard the news she was pregent a few days before. She said, no she’s dead. My life has not been the same since. I could of lived with her being with Terrance, even starting a family with him. That doesnt mean I like the guy.. grrrr but he knew what he had with Rachelle. Not being able to say hi or see her face kills me!!! To this day me and Rachelle’s mom cant be around eachother cause we both brake down in tears. She was a 2nd mom to me, I feel I lost her too:( we cant talk or have coffee. No matter what we say or do the thought of the good ol days are always there. A part of me feels if I wouldn’t of left Rachelle none of this would of happend. It took over 10 years to get over that.. It wasn’t my fault, but I did brake up with her.. Things that used to keep me up at night. There will never be a day that goes by that I dont think about her. Im 33 years old now and have had a number of girl friends in my life. Rachelle stands above the rest! The say you never know what you have till its gone well its very true. I will NEVER forgive the people involed in Rachelle’s death. I used to wish to be put in a cage with the three of them and just me:) Thoughts of doing the same to them. The RAGE was there trust me!! but what justice is that? Im sure it would of felt good but I love life and know what is right from wrong. Im glad the three of them have to wake up every day in prison. Then do it all over again.. At least they can do that. Rachelle and Terrance cant even enjoy anything but the after life. I would of much rather seen Rachelle happy or sad with her family then to have lived my life with the pain of her death.

    R.I.P. Baby Girl! Save a little love for me.. Love you Rachelle!!

    Jonah Ruffner

  40. I don’t know Rachel, Cheryl, or Carol… Speaking on the standpoint of the victim I think that you are all being very selfish… good for you that you can finally after 15 years be sorry for what you did… But why should you be let out of jail and go on to live a happy and normal life? What about the victims? What about their familes? They suffer forever as should all of you. That is why the law works the way that it does… I am glad that you all will sit in jail. be a better person in there. Inspire others who are not lifers to get their shit together.
    as the mom of a victim of sexual assult on her child nothing happened to that girl that destroyed my life and my daughters life and I was told I got justice because she was “rehabilitated” no jail time just probabtion… but what about the lives that were destroyed. You all need to look at the lives you took, the families you destroyed before you start asking to be free. They will never be free… Be thankful for what you have. You as families can still vist hear the I love you’s feel the presense of each other and watch eachother grow. Well the lives you took their families will never feel that again.
    I am sorry but I feel no pain for the fact that you will be locked up for 96 years. every bit is deserved. The law guides us to right and wrong. If you are ever unsure you should think twice before you act. Then maybe you wouldn’t be in the prediament that you are in now…
    Jonah may your heart heal as you are truely an amazing person!
    Cheryk may you continue to inspire other, but from behind bars. You do not deserve to be free.

  41. Two weeks before they were found dead I received a phone call from a very excited ” mother to be”. Rachelle was so happy. I never met Terrance, but I know he loved her. A 16 year old girl is old enough and should be smart enough to know right from wrong. She should be smart enough to know the consequences of cold blooded murder. So many lives were changed forever on that terrible day. 96 years for the murder of two (actually three) people seems pretty light to me.

  42. Its a terrible, terrible situation, but those words are easy to say now because you have all that time to reflect on your actions, but what is gonna happen if released and her next boyfriend or even husband cheats on her or leaves her, what is gonna be the excuse then, oh i was just talking out loud, did not mean to really have him killed.

  43. For those who are not “emotionally involved” put the shoe on the other foot. If YOU lost one of YOUR loved ones would you be feeling so sorry for this woman who TOOK THE LIVES OF 3 YOUNG PEOPLE!? Would you still think that her sentence was “a little too harsh”? I THINK NOT! You would probably be defending the victims as so many others are as they have no way to defend themselves. In Cheryl’s statement she claims there are 2 victims in her case! NO! There are 3- she must of forgotten about the unborn CHILD who she murdered as well, not to mention the friends and families who were affected by this- they are victims as well. I am the friend of one of the victims cousins. I watched the family fall apart over their loss, I attended court hearings. What these people did was UNFORGIVEABLE no matter how you slice it. Leopards don’t change their spots!!!. Cheryl is a conniving, manipulative, deceitful person -why should anyone care about her life- she had no concern for the lives of the 3 people who she MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD. Before you go to bat for this monster think about what kind of justice you would want if YOU or one of your family members were the victims. I think she should spend the rest of her life in jail without the option of ever getting out. She can’t even accept that SHE IS THE REASON for this! In her words she was “Accused”- How can you be remorseful for something you can’t even admit to! It’s all just a “poor me” ploy. I do not believe in “an eye for an eye” however I do believe that you should take responsibility for your actions and pay the consequences and in this case that would mean that Cheryl serve her entire sentence.

  44. we say juveniles should not be sexually engaging with adults claiming kids are not yet mature enough and should be protected. most of us obviously don’t have a problem with that reasoning. so why sentencing a juvenile offender to life claiming he/she was old enough to fully comprehend his/her actions? this is not only contradictional but also wrong. we cannot bring back a loved one’s life by virtually ending the offender’s one. if this is what law and order was about we could as well execute the killer: it might seem even more humane to some of them. punishment in a murder case involving juveniles should not only satisfy retribution but also give the offender a real chance to better him/herself. in a civilized democracy the law’s and sentence’s message should clearly be “killing is wrong” but surely not by de-facto-killing the offender, too. You might wanna watch this and maybe have some second thoughts about the severity of a 96-year sentence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_wKX7n94nI&feature=related

  45. Being sexually engaging with an adult is MUCH different than ending the LIFE OF 3 People. I hate to say this and I do not wish this upon you however I would bet that if you lost your family member- Son, Daughter, grandchild to a heinous crime such as this one you would be preaching to the other side. If we were talking about a 5 year old here maybe I could understand how they don’t fully comprehend their actions but we are talking about someone who was a few years away from being considered an “Adult”. This was also something she talked about doing on more than one occassion. If this was one of my family members who took someone’s life, let alone 3 I would be saying the same thing- take responsibility which to this day she has not. Her sentence of 96 years would equate to 32 years per person. NONE of these people even got to live to be 32 years old. Cheryl is lucky she even has the opportunity to open her eyes in the morning let alone get an education, it’s a free ride for her at the expense of 3 young people. Giving an offender in a case such as this a chance to better him/herself??? We aren’t talking about someone who stole from the grocery store! There is some sort of mental detachment from reality for someone to murder 3 people at such a young age.

  46. Being sexually engaging with an adult is MUCH different than ending the LIFE OF 3 People. I hate to say this and I do not wish this upon you however I would bet that if you lost your family member- Son, Daughter, grandchild to a heinous crime such as this one you would be preaching to the other side. If we were talking about a 5 year old here maybe I could understand how they don’t fully comprehend their actions but we are talking about someone who was a few years away from being considered an “Adult”. This was also something she talked about doing on more than one occassion. If this was one of my family members who took someone’s life, let alone 3 I would be saying the same thing- take responsibility which to this day she has not. Her sentence of 96 years would equate to 32 years per person. NONE of these people even got to live to be 32 years old. Cheryl is lucky she even has the opportunity to open her eyes in the morning let alone get an education, it’s a free ride for her at the expense of 3 young people. Giving an offender in a case such as this a chance to better him/herself??? We aren’t talking about someone who stole from the grocery store! There is some sort of mental detachment from reality for someone to murder 3 people at such a young age.

  47. I actually agree with Madeleine that there is something to consider in the cases she sited. And I don’t feel that she is preaching to whatever side but there is definitely too much emphasis on retribution the US. In this form it is just pure nonsense to waste so much public money for nothing and end another young person’s life. Better if we handle it this way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTC0nj288HE&feature=watch_response

  48. any one who instigates murder should be executed

    how freaking stupid do you think we are !

    society is tired of your crap – criminals ! so you are warned

  49. Today marks 17 years since the murders. Rachelle was a vibrant, beautiful, talented, intelligent and compassionate person. She was LOVED by so many and she MATTERED. She had a enormous smile. She was a cheer leader, got excellent grades and was a role model. She befriended everyone and there was a brightness about her constantly.

    Cheryl, I am a criminal justice student, I have learned a lot about what the system does to young people who make REALLY STUPID mistakes. I have to say that some mistakes though are unforgiveable here on this earth. I will leave that task up to the only true judge, our Lord Jesus Christ. I for one feel like you should serve the sentence that was handed to you, the ENTIRE sentence. You alone made the choices that you did, sure you made them with an immature mind and perhaps with bitterness and rage in your heart but guess what? THIS choice came with severe consequences and yes, we all make mistakes but MOST of us do not make the kind that takes away lives in a malicious and repulsive way forever.

    There will always be people who are in fact connected to this case emotionally and personally and those people who were not given the opportunity to fight for Rachelle’s life that day will damn well make sure that they fight for her now. You, along with those other individuals, robbed her of so many things, robbed her family of so many things, robbed her friends of so many things and you did it without caring as you said yourself.

    I am 34; Rachelle would have been 34 as well. I have 5 children, who knows how many she would have had. I remember the butterflies I had the day I got to walk the line to receive my high school diploma and the pride in my parent’s eyes as I held it in my hands. I remember the excitement and anxiety I had when I moved into my very first apartment that was all mine. I remember the look on my Daddy’s face as he walked me down the aisle. I remember the pure happiness I felt as I kissed the man I would spend the rest of my life with on my wedding day. I remember the joy and unconditional LOVE I felt when I held my first born and every child after that. I got to witness; first steps, first words, first birthday’s, first days of school, first wins at sports, first loves, first heartbreaks, firsts that I treasure with all my heart. I get to kiss my kids goodnight every night and hear their laughter and kiss away their tears every day. I see my parents thoroughly enjoying their grandchildren. I look back and think about all of the things that YOU took from Rachelle and her family and any pity that I might have had from reading your “oh so sad” story vanishes. I feel it’s only fitting that those things are taken from you too.

    Remorse is a b!#@h isn’t it? Especially when you just can’t reverse the reason why you finally feel it, if in fact you really do. Maybe those that you have directly hurt will forgive you someday, although I am not so sure that would really matter to you. Individuals who are capable of doing what you did generally don’t have much of a conscience and I find it a little hard to believe that you developed one. I feel like that is something that we are either born with or without. In your story you don’t mention the victims much, you don’t mention the impact that their murders had on their loved ones much, it’s almost like you put it in there in the miniscule way you did as an afterthought. You focused SO much on calling yourself a child and immature and how you have turned your life around and accomplished all these mature adult things in the years since. But Cheryl, what have you done to make amends? What have you done to make these victims real and to honor them?

    17 years is a long time to live without someone you never wanted to live without. 17 years is a long time for a parent to have to live without hugging their daughter. 17 years is a long time to have to live for a brother to have to mourn the tragic and senseless death of his sister. 17 years is a long time for friends to have to wonder what might have been for their friend who MATTERED so much to them. OUR SENTENCE DOESN’T END, it lasts as long as we do……….so should yours.

  50. friend of victim's family

    the parents of the victims never get to see their children again here on God’s earth, why should anyone feel bad for the criminal’s parents. the victims don’t get clemency, why should the murderers???

  51. Brenda (London, UK)

    you could have her hanged, drawned and quartered and still not find peace in your heart. is this the middle ages or the US in the 21st century?

    • Just some guy

      What a strange twist of fate. After the supreme court ruling the two males Lavar and Greg who both got life without parole now stand a chance of getting out before Cheryl.

  52. My name is Mark Armstrong i am Cheryls Ulncle My Brother Cheryls Dad He is Past on now Cheryl DOSE NOT NEED TO BE IN JAIL . I am 61 years old now I know how my Brother put fear in the life of everybody he could control we fished and hunted together even with MY beautiful nieces . Boy do i have a story how he scared Hes 4 KIDS And 2 Wifes HOW he beat them .YOU couldnt lift your arm with out the 4 kids flinching .Read between the lines .What happens to kids who are beat like that ? My Dad did the same thing to me I have 3 kids I caught my self almost doing the same thing to my family it leaves you with a dark side and a hole in your hart takes a long time to heal .I saw my Brother put hands on Cheryl at about 5 years old and was unable to stop hem or afraid to . If our lord can forgive WHY CANT WE markarmstrong1951@live.com

  53. mark my name is dahndray aka donutb .. i am a different person now ,i no longer hold that anger .. however i still belief if you do the crime do the time..

  54. Glad you belief!

    • I’m Terry’s mom. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my son or Rochellwho e was to be my daughter in law. 1s Terry never ever told me that he and Cherly were an item. I did know Rochelle personally. She had even lived I our home at one time. I loved her like a daughter, and I know that my son loved her! She was the mother of my unborn grandchild. You may not know that Terry was an only child. So no grandchildren in our future.
      Cheryl has never offerd my family any kind of condolences. The only time we we contacted was after she had applied for clemency. Her mother called us. Is this where Cheryl learned how to behave? Kids don’t take after strangers.

      • Mrs. Mayo,

        Terry was like a brother to me growing up. Rachelle and I were good friends as well. My oldest son was conceived during the same time frame as Terry’s and Rachelle’s baby. I lived over off of Blackhawk and after you’re family moved to Montbello from the apartments near Gateway, Terry would always be at my house when I got home from school. I miss Terry very much. My son and his child should be graduating next year together. But, because of this heartless individual that will not be happening. There were not 2 murders that night. There was 3! They stole the life of a child that never got to see the light of day. There are no second chances in this world. Cheryl shot continue to rott in prison. These monsters are better off behind bars. I do not understand how anyone can even contemplate any sort of leniency for her or anyone else involved. This is not a case of a 16 year old girl killing someone in an accident. This is about a cold hearted murderer that manipulated weaker people into exacting revenge in her name. This murderer will find no forgiveness in me and I hope that many other people will band together to keep her and her co-murderers locked up for the rest of their lives. Terry, Rachelle and their child received none, Neither should they,

  55. Mrs Mayo,

    Terry was my best friend and the tragedy of losing him along with Rachelle and their unborn baby is beyond what words can describe. I often think of you all and never really got to say how sorry I am for your loss. After the funeral, I lost touch with everyone. I only met you a handful of times but I know how close you and Terry were. I cannot imagine the pain you have had to work through, throughout the years. Now (over many years of this) to have to deal with others trying to make Cheryl out to be a victim of her youth, as if she didn’t know any better…just unbelievable. I knew Cheryl as well and she was not a nice person. We had our fair share of conflicts over the phone and she threatened to do to me what she inevitably did to Terry and Rachelle. She does not deserve her freedom any more now than the day that she took away 3 innocent lives.

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