Family remembers murder victims on 4-year anniversary

Family remembers murder victims on 4-year anniversary
Derrick Orman
Derrick Orman
Ryan Patterson (Source: Cape Girardeau P.D.)
Ryan Patterson (Source: Cape Girardeau P.D.)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's a weekend that marks a sad anniversary in Cape Girardeau: Three lives violently lost. Now, as the convicted killer challenges his defense in a new hearing Heartland News talked to family members of Jamie Orman and her two sons. They reflect on staying strong for their loved ones after all they've been through.

"He ripped our family apart," said Orman's sister Stephanie Chastain. "Derrick had his life ahead and Jamie was so happy and Joey never got a chance."

She explained the family has their moments, but find ways to cope and continue to stand together.

"It's remembering her beautiful smile," said Chastain. "That's what I always share with people when I speak about it. That beautiful smile and I'm never going to see it again."

She shows a favorite picture taken at a Perryville football game.

"Her friend just happened to snap that picture, that's just her. That's Jamie," said Chastain. "Me and Jamie were very close. A year apart. We were partners in crime. The last time I ever saw her was May 30th, 2009. I gave her a baby gift and I got them back at the funeral. The blanket and toy and present for her were still in the bag. I could tell she was keeping them safe until Joey arrived."

Almost five months after the last time Chastain saw her sister's smile, she and the rest of the family would get the news Jamie, Derrick, and unborn baby Joey were gone. They had been brutally murdered, shot to death as they slept on that early October morning in 2009.

"I don't want to think about that morning because they went through hell," said Orman's mother Terry Bettis. "They all went through hell."

Ryan Patterson was identified as the trigger man and later convicted. He was sentenced to life in prison.

"He knows what he did and he deserves to stay there," said Chastain.

In court, prosecutors called the murder an execution. Morley Swingle told the jury, Ryan Patterson actually intended to kill Orman's boyfriend John Lawrence to collect insurance money. Investigators said it was a scheme planned by Lawrence's estranged wife, Michelle and another man, Samuel 'Ray Ray' Hughes.

"What I didn't understand was how you can do this to my daughter," said Bettis. "And not only that but how can you do this to your family because they are suffering too."

Now as the four year anniversary comes, Patterson gets another day in court, saying his lawyers were ineffective.

"We are going to be right there to show our support for Jamie, Derrick, and Joey," said Chastain. "If I lived in any part of the world whether it was China or Japan I would be here for this. We wouldn't miss it."

In the four years since that horrible day, Chastain and her mother say they've found ways to cope.

"One breath at a time that's all I can tell anybody," said Bettis. "One breath at a time."

Chastain finds peace through a flower ceremony she started during crime victims week where she now lives in Georgia.

Her favorite picture of Jamie comes up during a slideshow. This year's flower that's presented to victims' families just happened to be purple.

"That's Jamie's favorite color,' said Chastain. "The ceremony has really grown."

"This ceremony it's a comfort," said Bettis. "It reminds us and others we aren't alone."

The family also shares matching necklaces with three hearts in memory of Jamie, Derrick, and Joey. They say it's a tangible symbol of lives that mattered.

"I see no reason not to keep celebrating Jamie and Joey and Derrick's life because they are still here. He took them physically, he took their physical presence away but they can't take away our memories or our love," said Bettis.

After the verdict, Patterson's family told Heartland News they stilled believed in his innocence.

"They got the wrong man," said one member of Patterson's family.

Meanwhile, the Orman family's loved ones felt Patterson deserved the death penalty.

Monday, attorneys go before Judge William Syler in Cape Girardeau for a civil hearing on grounds Patterson says his defense team was not effective.

Kelly Hoffman, Jamie Orman's sister, released this statement regarding Patterson's latest request.

"Four years ago a couple premeditated hateful acts took two wonderful family members and one we never got a chance to meet away from us. There will never be enough forgiveness to forgive what Ryan Patterson, Michelle Lawrence, and Samuel Hughes did to our families! Ryan had two lawyers and a week in court to prove his innocence, he didn't. He was found guilty on all three counts. Now he has court proceedings stating he needs the court ruling thrown out. His conviction came from a jury of his peers based on the evidence for and against him. Bottom line is he was found guilty and as far as I am concerned he killed my sister and nephews that October 27th 2009. His sentence was too light for what he did to Jamie, Derrick and Joey. He can have his day or days in court but he will always be responsible for what he did to end three lives. He is also responsible for all the hurt and tears he caused us. He will never be forgiven by me, and until my last breathe I will do everything I can to see to it that Ryan Patterson stays in prison, because anything less will be another tragedy for our families."

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.