Jackie Carpenter of Ellaville, Georgia, is the mother of two sons, Jim, 35, a pastor, and Jason, 32. She is the author of “The Bridge: Between Cell Block A and a Miracle Is Psalm 91” and its sequel: “Georgia Justice [Journey To Faith].” Both books chronicle a 10-month ordeal entailing her son Jason’s murder trial and her gradual rediscovery of her deep faith in God. The two books are being turned into a movie, “A Cry For Justice,” due for release this Fall. The Carpenters also have four grandchildren: Hannah, Anna Grace, Patience and JJ. For more details, please see www.bridgetoamiracle.com
Our phone rang on June 28, 2008, at 2:00 a.m. You know, Jason, when the phone rings at that time of the night, you automatically jump and start thinking “tragedy.”It was granddaddy calling to tell me that while you were guarding the house under construction with the exposed copper, the copper thieves had come back. One was accidentally shot and had gone to the hospital, but you were fine. It was such a relief to know that the copper thefts had finally ended.
Earlier in the evening, you had told me how the young deputy met you at the construction site earlier in the day and told you unless you caught the thieves yourself, they would never be caught. He advised you to hide in the woods and watch the house. If they showed up, all you would have to do is call 911 and he would alert law enforcement that you were out there and they could be there in five minutes patrolling the area. He also advised that in the state of Georgia, you are allowed to make a citizen’s arrest. You could hold the thieves at gunpoint and bind their hands and feet and wait for the police to arrive and take over.
Who ever thought it would come to that? No one ever thought the thieves would come back four times in one week. Over the weekend you had already taken the precaution of hiring a security guard to come that Monday.
At 7:00 a.m., five hours later, our phone rang again. I had drifted back off to sleep in the assurance that the copper thefts had come to an end. It had to be someone calling to let us know everything was under control. It was Stephanie, your wife, screaming and crying into the phone. “Jackie,” she said, “the man died. Jason has been arrested, taken to jail and charged with murder.” All I could say was, “Oh Lord!”
P.S. – Please see part 2 tomorrow.