The following is the text of a letter from Amanda Chandlee Robertson Faulkner to be read to the court concerning the sentencing of Damien Lewis.
To the Honorable Judge Malone,
The night of July 11, 2002 changed my life forever. I had been estranged from the family for a while, and had just in the past couple of years started having a renewed relationship. No one in my family except for my Grandma knew how to get a hold of me. As I sat there in my living room watching our local news in horror, the announcement of two people found dead in an East Lawrence home. I knew that home; some of my most favorite childhood memories were in that home. My mind was racing about, praying frantically that my Grandma was still alive, that this whole thing was just a bad dream. When I awoke the next morning I was in awe of the events that I had heard about the night before. How could this have happened? What about my Grandma and Pete? Were they dead? Who did it? Why? When I looked over our local newspaper I was reminded that this was the real thing. Murder in Lawrence, murder in my family. This was no lie, and it was not the nightmare that I had thought it was. It really happened.
I had to come to terms with what had just happened very quickly. The only family member that knew how to get a hold of me was now dead. My son who was just two years old at the time of the murders could not understand what was going on. He could feel the tension surrounding our family. He had a hard time sleeping and eating, because no matter how much I tried to explain to him, he just could not understand. My young son will never remember meeting his Great-Grandma. He will never get to spend more time with her, to make the same great life long memories that I made with her. I myself will really never get the chance to explain to her why I was estranged from the family. She will never know truly know how much I loved her and missed her while we were apart.
Now here we are almost a year later. My husband works for a local security company. He now carries a large caliber handgun. At first I was so uncomfortable with a gun in my home that I hated to come home. Now slowly I am adjusting to the fact. I still cannot hug my husband with the gun on his duty belt, nor can I stand to be in our room as he prepares the gun for a shift. The thought that always enters my mind when we pull into our driveway still; is there someone in my house that does not belong there with that gun in their hand? I don't think that thought will ever leave my mind.
Your Honor on all counts against the defendant Damien Lewis please consider the maximum sentence possible. Damien changed my life and my families' life forever. My Grandma Wyona and Pete never did any thing wrong. They were good people and they gave Damien what he wanted. He did not have to take their lives. Damien Lewis was somewhere he did not belong, and Wyona Chandlee and George "Pete" Wallace did not deserve to be so brutally murdered in their own home. No one should ever fear coming home, but I will for the rest of my life.
Amanda Chandlee Robertson Faulkner