statement as I wrote it.
My name is Debbie Wiley and I am
the mother of Phillip Ray Dover.
On February 18, 1967, my
son was placed in my arms for the first time, just minutes after he
took his first breath. He was so precious, his face so flawless, his
skin so soft and I whispered I love you son for the first time.
On October 19, 1998, I was
led to a cold table where my beautiful son lay, this time his facewas
not flawless, his skin was not soft only cold very cold. And I whispered
I love you son for the last time.
I’ve tried to find the words to tell
you how Phillip’s murder has impacted my life, but there are no adequate
words to describe the pain, anger and despair that I’ve felt from his
murder. Phillip’s murder took everything from me. It took my security
and my innocence; it took my rest and my peace. I have lost my faith
and trust in people. I have trouble finding joy in the simple pleasures
of life. Being “happy” doesn’t seem “right” anymore. Sometimes the
feeling of despair becomes so overwhelming, so oppressive, that it
literally takes my breath away. I never know what sound or what sight
is going to trigger in my mind a memory. And while the memories of
Phillip are so sweet, with them comes the realization that he is gone.And
each time that realization hits my heart it is devastating.
was my son, my firstborn son and he did not deserve to be so cruelly
taken. I do not deserve to have to live the rest of my life with this
pain and without my child.
Phillip was a loving, giving young man with a heart as big as the
world. His murder took a father, son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin
and friend who was greatly loved. In the last four years I have watched
as my family has struggled with their pain, anger and grief. I’ve watched
as Phillip’s youngest brother and his wife have a son with out his
big brother there to be part of the joy. Phillip should be here to
be the doting uncle for his new nephew. I’ve watched as my other son
struggled with the joy of being able to escort Phillip’s daughter
to the Miss Teenage Pageant, but the pain of knowing the reason her
father was not there. I’ve watched as my husband struggles with the
anger he feels from the lack of justice that put Timothy Carl Dawson
back on the street when he should have still been in jail. This man
takes our Phillip’s life and we can do nothing but wait. Timothy Carl
Dawson took from my granddaughters a loving father and friend, since
their father’s death they’ve had emotional problems which have resulted
with problems in school and problems in family life. Their world has
been shattered; they have lost some of their innocence. They are now
painfully aware that there is violence and evil in this world.
Phillip had a good job that he enjoyed and was doing very well,
he was 31 and talking of buying a house and getting ready to fight
the young guys away from his twin daughters. His life was finally
coming together as he wanted. He used to say “now if I could just
find a good woman that would put up with me I would be totally happy”.
But I will never get to meet that daughter in law, never get to share
in their joy of having children. Phillip will never see his daughters
graduate from school, get married or be there at the birth of his
grandchildren. What the future would have held for Phillip is unknown,
he may never have made a bigger impact on this world that he had at
the time of his death, that we will never know, but to the people who
know and love Phillip the impact he made on our lives is immeasurable
and we cry out at the injustice caused by this man. Phillip
was a good, honest man. He would give you his last dollar if you needed
it. He was compassionate, caring and loving. He cared about people.
He never judged anyone because of the color of their skin, religion
or bank account. Phillip has so many friends who miss him terribly.
Phillip enjoyed life, and he enjoyed living life, he enjoyed the
outdoors, hunting, fishing, but his passion was reading and sports.
His favorite sport was football. It was his passion for football that
led him to the Hilton Hotel on October 18, 1998. But most of all Phillip
loved LIFE. What has kept me focused since Phillip’s murder
is the promise I made to my son when I saw him laid out on that cold
table at the funeral home. I promised him that whomever did this to
him would pay and now I pass that promise on to you. It is up to the
court to decide Timothy Dawson’s sentence and although there will never
be justice for Phillip, I beg of the court for Phillip’s sake, for
his family, and for myself, to give Timothy Dawson the same leniency
that he gave my son.
This is my impact statement after
being edited by the court. Read before the court on November
Victim Impact Statement of Debbie Wiley
My name is Debbie Wiley and I am the
mother of Phillip Ray Dover. Phillip’s murder took everything from
me—my security and my innocence, my rest and peace. I have lost my
faith and trust in people. Being happy doesn’t seen right anymore.I
have sleepless nights, nightmares, and night terrors, and I struggle
each day to find a reason.
When Phillip was murdered, we lost a loving father, son, brother, grandson,
nephew, cousin and friend who was greatly loved. In the last four years,
I have watched my family struggle with pain, anger and grief. Phillip’s
girls suffered emotional problems which affected them in school and
in their family life. Their world has been shattered, they have lost
some of their innocence. Phillip had a good job that he enjoyed and was
doing very well; he was 31 and talking of buying a house and getting
ready to fight the young guys away from his twin daughters.His life
was finally coming together. He used to say “now if I could just find
a good woman to put up with me, I would be totally happy”.
Phillip had a heart as big as the world.. He would give you his last
dollar if you needed it. He was compassionate, caring and loving. He
never judged anyone because of the color of their skin, religion
or bank account. Phillip has so many friends who miss him terribly.
But Most of all, MY SON loved life. ~
This is all they allowed me to read, our statements were edited and we were
given the above statement that we read in court.
Before we were allowed to read our
impact statement, the jury was told they were court approved statements.
I wonder if the verdict would have been different if all the families
had been allowed to give their impact statement as they wrote them
instead of the court’s version. The Defendant’s family members were
allowed to beg and plead for his life even though none had seen him
in the last four years since he had been in jail and some had not seen him
since he was twelve. These people only knew the boy they did not know
the monster the boy had become. They begged the jury that if he was just
given life they would visit him and take their children to visit. I
wonder did the jury notice that the day the "family" testified was the only
time they were in court and as soon as they were paid they were gone, did
not even make it through the afternoon session. We were not allowed to say
anything that might influence the jury we were not allowed to beg and
plead for death for this defendant. This man was convicted of killing
four people and evidence tied him to another murder in a different
county. His abuse of women alone should have been enough for the Jury
to give a life sentence. But to kill five people and beat and
violate women in the way he did cried out for the death penalty. The
first question the jury asked during the deliberation of the
sentencing phase was: Were the families of the victims allowed to state
what verdict they wanted? And of course the court had to respond with
We learned very quickly that the Defendant has all the rights in court.