Mother of murdered nurse credits faith with helping her forgive - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mother of murdered nurse credits faith with helping her forgive

Darlin Fugit (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) Darlin Fugit (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
Stantucci with his mother (SOURCE: Submitted) Stantucci with his mother (SOURCE: Submitted)

The Mid-South was shocked when a nurse was shot to death while walking home in Downtown Memphis. Now, the mother of the victim said she has forgiven those responsible and she credits her faith with helping her find the ability to forgive the killers.

In August 2013, David Santucci was walking to his car on Main Street after a night out with friends, when he was murdered.

"Oh my goodness. David was so full of life. He had so much to give." Stantucci's mother, Darlin Fugit, said. "It was two years before the first trial came up. It reopened--like David's death had just happened."

Dondre Johnson and Mario Patterson were convicted of murdering Santucci. They were both sentenced to life in prison.

"It was by the Holy Spirit that enabled me to have forgiveness," Fugit said. "And I expressed that both to Mario and Dondre."

Surprising to some, but Fugit said it has been the Holy Spirit and those supporting her at Bellevue Baptist Church who have gotten her through the darkest time in her life.

"This is my happy place. The people here [at Bellevue Baptist Church], the classes that I've been in," Fugit said. "Bellevue Baptist has been instrumental in my growth."

Part of that growth is her willingness to forgive a third person charged in connection to her son's murder: Jerrica Norfleet.

Norfleet was charged with accessory after the fact. 

After testifying against Patterson and Johnson, Norfleet's charges were dropped and her record expunged.

"I was Jerrica, well, you know, I want her to live a good life," Fugit said. "She has a small child."

It's that motherly connection, and her faith in God, that allow her to let go of all the pain and anger.

"There is the word closure," Fugit said. "It will never close the wound and the hole that I have for David."

Even now, with the trials over and the drama rocking Fugit's life ever since her son was gunned down three years ago now over, she knows even her faith will not stop her hurting.

"I'll miss the love I won't have as he finishes his career," Fugit said. "I won't have the love that I'll see in his family, in his wife and children. I won't have grandchildren. I will miss that."

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