October 13, 2009
Roger Dreyer began the morning by reminding the jury what this trial is all about: Jennifer Strange.
While I have focused heavily on the corporate aspects of the trial, I think it a good time to reflect on the woman at the core of this trial, Jennifer.
By all accounts, she was much loved and respected. Here was a single mother, who gave birth to her elder son Keegan when she was just seventeen, who focused her life on that little boy. She exhibited remarkable maturity for a girl her age, and she sheparded her son into the GATE program for gifted children. She attended every parents teacher conference, she spearheaded activities at her son's school, and she became good friends with her son's teacher, who said that Keegan worshipped Jennifer.
So did her son Ryland, now aged 6; daughter Jorie, now aged 3, unfortunately will not remember her.
At the same time, Jennifer worked her way up in the radiological lab where she worked up the ranks into a supervisory position. At age 28, with no college education, she was earning nearly $60,000 a year, and her co-workers loved her. They found her style of management uplifting and encouraging, and said she always would find a way to allow people learn in their own way.
Jennifer was a stalwart friend. She was someone who would always be there to help, be it with a wedding, a new baby, or help getting a new job. And she was the kind of person who would help her friends without ever being asked.
Her children were the focus of her life; her husband Billy even admitted so, but it didn't bother him. Birthday parties, Halloween, Christmas, coloring Easter eggs, she would make a big deal of them all.
She was loving, in an overt way. She would tell her children and husband and friends she loved them, she wasn't shy about it.
And they say that when Jennifer Strange entered the room, her smile preceded her.
A lot of people really miss Jennifer Strange.