Spencer and Jo Moore taught me something today. Human compassion is alive and well. You might not expect the Moore’s to be compassionate. Their son, David, an Indianapolis Police officer was gunned down in the line of duty last year. The Moore’s are a law enforcement family. Spencer is a retired cop and Jo is an Indianapolis police officer. The killing of their son was brutal. 61-year old Thomas X. Hardy told a Marion County court he intentionally killed Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer David Moore in January 2011.
Police say Moore pulled over Hardy because he had a tail light out. As part of the traffic stop, Moore discovered the vehicle was a stolen vehicle. Hardy admitted to shooting at Moore seven times, striking him five times. Four bullets struck Moore in the front of his body, and the fifth gunshot was to the back of Moore’s neck. Evidence shows Hardy was moving toward Moore while firing and admitted in court he intended to kill Officer Moore. “The bottom line as to what occurred here today is, Mr. Hardy admitted he intentionally killed officer David Moore and for that he will die in prison” said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.
You might have expected Spencer and Jo Moore to push for the execution of their son’s murderer. It would probably have been a slam dunk case for the prosecution and in reality, Thomas X. Hardy could be a poster boy for the death penalty but there would not be any of that today in an Indianapolis courtroom. Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty Hardy. That changed last month when Hardy’s attorneys said their client wanted to reach a plea agreement. “Once Mr. Hardy had asked for compassion from us, it was our duty to provide it,” said Spencer Moore.
Moore’s parents spoke at a news conference following the hearing. “It’s hard to be a survivor,” Jo Moore Said, ” I’m glad we’re coming out of this the best we can”. His father Spencer said the guilty plea and the fact Hardy is remorseful for the killing helps the family cope with the death. “We can now begin to rebuild our lives a little bit and honor the legacy of David Moore.” I cannot imagine the hell that the Moore’s have endured. I cannot imagine how, why or under what circumstances Thomas Hardy shot and killed their son but I do know this. Remorse met compassion today and somehow, we are all better for it.
Spencer and Jo Moore are survivors. They have shown honor, dignity, restraint and unparallelled compassion during this unspeakable tragedy. They donated David’s organs giving life to others. Earlier this month WTHR-TV reported that: The saying “There’s no greater gift than laying down your own life for someone else” played out for two local families Saturday. The Fight for Air Climb was off and running inside the Indiana Square Building downtown, with participants taking one step at a time up 105, 70 or 30 flights of stairs. For one team, “David’s Warriors,” including Lance Lewis, it was a heat that almost didn’t happen. “A little over a year ago, I was on oxygen 24 hours a day,” Lewis said.
But that all changed after the death of IMPD Officer David Moore, who was shot in the line of duty last year. On January 27, 2011, Lance got the officer’s lungs. Three months after the transplant, Lance received a letter from David’s mother, Joanne, saying she was honored to have given the gift of life. “I made a promise to the Moore family that after I received my transplant, I would use their gift to the fullest and this is just one of the ways to do that,” Lewis said. Now, he pays it forward, raising money in the Fight for Air event, which benefits the Indianapolis American Lung Association. “[It] funds significant programs aimed at helping people quit smoking and advocacy initiatives, as well as research to improve lung health for everybody,” said Alison Martin, American Lung Association.
In the third year of climbing stairs, the group hopes to raise $200,000. Every step they take gets them closer to their goal to save more lives. “After I received my lung transplant, I was able to start functioning again, able to exercise,” said Lewis. So Saturday’s cheers weren’t only for Lance himself, but he also wins by honoring the gift and sacrifice of a community servant and his family. “Because of their gift, their unselfish act during their time of grief, I’ve got a second chance of life. I don’t know how you put a price or a word on that. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful gift,” Lewis said. Indianapolis is in the top ten fundraising cities in the United States for lung cancer.
The Moore’s have started a foundation in David’s name and I cannot think of a more worthy cause or better people to help out
BEAUMONT, Texas — (DMN) URGENT – A suspect accused in the sexual assault of his daughter is reported to have killed one person and wounded at least two others outside a courthouse in Beaumont, Texas, 80 miles east of Houston. 41-year-old Bartholomew Granger is in police custody this afternoon. Officials said Granger was arrested Wednesday morning after he allegedly fatally shot a relative about 11:20 a.m. at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Investigators said Granger killed a family member just prior to a court appearance for a sexual assault case. It was unclear how the victim was related to Granger. District Court Judge John Stevens said Granger had a scheduled court appearance today for sexual assault case. The child’s mother, who has not been identified, testified and then court broke for a regular docket call. Stevens was in court at the time of the shooting. No details about that case were immediately available. Shortly after the recess, Stevens said he began hearing gunfire.
KDFM-TV in Beaumont is reporting that one person was shot outside the courthouse in the parking lot. An elderly woman was shot and killed outside the courthouse. A third person was wounded outside and fled inside the courthouse. Granger has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for possession of marijuana and unlawfully carrying a firearm. According to police, Granger was involved in the shooting about 11:20 a.m. at the county courthouse. He then drove away in a pickup truck and abandoned it outside of a building in downtown Beaumont. Police were able to evacuate the two people who were in the building at the time and surrounded it. They began speaking to Granger by telephone. Granger was taken into custody without further incident.
I thought, for awhile, that I was the only person who thought that 5 and 6 year old’s dressed up in ball gowns and made up looking like hookers prancing around stages singing and entering highly competitive beauty pageants was bizarre. I am not alone. John Ramsey, father of murdered toddler turned beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey said he finds pageant life “disturbing.” Ramsey’s comments are coming during a book tour and his comments were directed at the TLC television program “Toddlers And Tiaras.”
“It’s very bizarre,” Ramsey told ABC’s Barbara Walters on “The View.” And, it certainly – Patsy [JonBenet's mother] and JonBenet didn’t approach it that way … They just did it for fun.” “Patsy had just come out of cancer treatments, I think deep down she didn’t know how long she had to live and how much time she had to spend with her child, so she tried to pack a lot into a day,” he explained. Still, even back then, he didn’t like all aspects of the beauty competitions. TLC had no comment on Ramsey’s opinion of the network’s show.
Now, almost 15 years after his daughter’s death, Ramsey sees things differently. He wonders if what was once fun might have actually had a role in his daughter’s still-unsolved murder. “Patsy had her sitting atop a friend’s convertible in the Christmas parade waving at the people lining the streets,” Ramsey explained. “Patsy’s mother later told me that a strange man approached the car during the parade and it made her uncomfortable. I think about these things now and it makes me cringe. We were so naïve. I now believe with all my heart that it’s not a good idea to put your child on public display.”
Ramsey added that high-profile pageants “might have drawn attention to us,” before warning other parents to “recognize that, regardless of where you live, there could be evil around you. And don’t be naive about it. And keep your kids protected.” JonBenet’s killer still has not be found. At one point, her parents were under investigation, but have since been cleared. JonBenet’s mother died in 2006 of ovarian cancer.
BROOKVILLE, Indiana — (DMN) – An Indiana man who killed five people in a botched drug deal will spend the rest of his life in prison. 46-year-old David E. Ison of Glenwood unexpectedly pleaded guilty last month.Ison was charged with the September slayings of 50-year-old Roy Napier; Napier’s estranged 47-year-old wife, Angela; their children, 23-year-old Melissa Napier and 18-year-old Jacob Napier; and 43-year-old neighbor Henry X. Smith. Their bodies were found inside and outside Roy Napier’s mobile home in rural Laurel, about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis.Prosecutors said Ison was upset that Roy Napier had raised the price of oxycodone pills he was selling.
Jo and Spencer Moore continue to amaze me. The parents of slain Indianapolis Police Officer David Moore, themselves police officers, spoke to reporters after a plea deal today spared their son’s killer the death penalty. Their comments at a news conference after the change of plea are something all of us can learn from. I have followed this story since it happened. I come from a law enforcement family so the feelings and emotions attached to “there but by the grace of God, go I” are apt and real.
Jo and Spencer Moore are two of the most compassionate, caring and decent people I have come to know, not personally, but via Facebook and the very tragic death of their son. They have handled the entire tragedy with grace, dignity, honor and compassion and it’s the compassion that runs through my mind today. A 61-year-old man today entered a guilty plea in the January 2011 shooting death of Indianapolis police officer David Moore.
Under an agreement with the Marion County prosecutor’s office, Thomas X. Hardy pleaded guilty to murder, robbery and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. The plea agreement calls for a sentence of life in prison without parole plus 40 years. With the officer’s parents watching in the courtroom, Hardy told Marion Superior Court Mark Stoner that he understood the plea. Hardy showed no emotion, giving matter-of-fact responses to the judge. Hardy also is giving up his right to appeal the sentence. Stoner accepted Hardy’s plea agreement and set sentencing for April 5.
Prosecutors initially had sought the death penalty. Hardy pleaded not guilty and his attorneys had filed a motion last month to dismiss the death penalty charge, claiming the gun used to shoot Officer Moore had malfunctioned. Hardy is accused of shooting Moore the morning of Jan. 23, 2011, during a routine traffic stop. Hardy’s guilty plea deal says Officer Moore was hit by five shots that went through his leg, abdomen, upper chest, chin and back of neck Hardy also is accused of robbing a Dollar General store that same morning. At the time of the shooting, Hardy was on parole and was facing other theft charges from a November 2010 arrest.
A tearful Jo Moore thanked police and prosecutors for their efforts in the case. “This is an emotional day,” she said. “It’s hard to be a survivor,” she added. Spencer Moore said that by showing compassion to Hardy, they’re honoring their son David. “We hope that this sorrow will be behind us,” he said. Spencer Moore told reporters that executing Hardy would not bring their son back and he feels that Hardy is showing compassion toward the Moore’s by pleading guilty and accepting his fate. Spencer Moore said that the time is still a little raw for forgiveness but at this point the compassion shown on both sides will allow them to work toward that goal. Moore said something that struck this journalist. Spencer Moore is a retired cop… Let that sink in for a minute. Spencer Moore, who lost his son, said today that executing his son’s killer would not have allowed for the compassion that was in the court this morning. Powerful words and a powerful lesson for us all.
You can become a part of the David S. Moore Foundation on Facebook here. His memorial page is here.