TROY — A standing-room-only crowd turned out at the First Lutheran Church in Troy on Thursday to listen to the story of a woman who knows first-hand the horrors of an abusive relationship.
The annual two-day Victim’s Rights Seminar, hosted by Miami County Victim Witness, is geared toward awareness and options for victims of crimes, said Miami County Victim Witness Director Carmen Barhorst.
Thursday’s keynote speaker was Mildred D. Muhammad. She was married to John Allen Muhammad, the infamous “DC Sniper.” John Muhammad, who along with an accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo, at that time a juvenile, were convicted of killing 10 people in the Washington, D.C. area in October 2002. Muhammad was found guilty and later executed for the killings.
Before, and during the crime spree, Mildred Muhammad was the victim of mental and emotional abuse that went on for years. She was forced to make the decision to not attempt to get her children away from her husband who made repeated threats that he was going to kill her.
Mildred persevered, working with police and attorneys in a never-ending effort to find her children and to remain alive.
Muhammad shared her story with the group on Thursday, telling her real-life tale of fear and danger. In spite of the horror of her experience, she tells her story with a touch of humor.
More than 200 guests turned out to listen to her story. Barhorst said the group is mostly made up of “police officers, social workers, victim advocates, social workers, attorneys, probation, anything in this field really.”
This was the 16th year for the seminar. Barhorst was pleased that they were able to have Muhammad as keynote speaker.
“We would never be able to do this without the funding we get from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the VOCA (Victims of Crime Acts) grant,” Barhorst said.
Reach Mike Ullery at 937-451-3335 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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