KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- DaChanna Dotson couldn't wait to experience the joys of a 17-year-old girl. The senior prom, graduation, and going to college. Sadly, her dreams never came true because of bullets intended for another man.
Now, exactly one year later, DaChanna's family is marking her death with an old fashion cook out. "A lot of talking, eating soulfood as we normally do," said DaChanna's maternal grandmother Arnette Dotson.
Call it food therapy. Dotson says it's a way to heal and not focus on the tragedy, instead on their good memories of the bubbly teen. "It helps a whole lot, it really does. It takes away a whole lot of the pain."
Another joyful reminder DaChanna left behind, the one-year-old nephew she saved by using her body as a shield from gunfire. "I'm going to show him pictures of her, we're going to tell stories about his aunt, and just make sure he knows who she is and what she did for him," said Sherryl Minor, DaChanna's paternal grandmother.
The anniversary of DaChanna's death comes one day before her killer heads back to court one last time. "Closure that we finally got justice for her," said Minor.
The man convicted of killing DaChanna, Sam Glass, has already been sentenced to life in prison for her death. He'll be back in Knox Criminal Court Friday to be sentenced for other related charges in this case.