The ceremony was held during National Victims’ Rights Week, April 21-27.
District Attorney David McDade told the roomful of supporters, “In this community, we believe in victims’ rights and we believe in supporting victims’ rights.”
He said this was his 31st year of helping victims have a better life.
“I don’t do it by myself, but with my staff,” he said, while thanking the board of commissioners for their “unwavering support” for victims’ rights.
The theme of the event was “hope,” said McDade.
“This is a war that never ends,” said the district attorney.
“There will always be crime. There will always be victims.”
But, he added, “The first line of any battle is law enforcement.”
Victim’s Voice Awards were presented to members of the family of Bobby Tillman, who at 18 was beaten to death while attending a Douglas County house party in 2010.
The recipients included Monique Rivarde, mother of Bobby Tillman; his aunt and uncle Zulema and Cory Green; Tillman’s grandmother, Juanita Laurent; and his sister, Fashionee Jones.
Rivarde commented, “Mr. McDade wanted to get justice. He made Bobby a person in the courtroom.”
She added, “Bobby’s in heaven. He’s in a place we all want to go.”
Four men, Horace Coleman, Quantez Mallory, Tracen Franklin and Emanuel Boykins, received life sentences for the deadly attack.
McDade had nothing but praise for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department.
“Sheriff [Phil] Miller is surrounded by good folks,” he said. “They are the people who do the heavy lifting.”
Lt. Bruce Ferguson of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, was a recipient of a Victims’ Voice Award, as lead investigator of the Timmons case.
McDade commented, “Bruce has no ‘back up’ in his transmission. He just moves forward.”