Pushing for more rights for victims


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--If you've never been a victim of a crime, you're lucky. If it ever happens, you'll want rights. Gary Christian, Channon Christian's dad, has said many times he has few rights as the victim's family. A national organization is trying to change that.

In 2011, Larry Snellings was gunned down in South Clinton Pawn Shop. Police say James Greene came in the store, asked Snellings to see a gun, loaded it and shot Snellings. It's something Larry's widow still has trouble accepting. Lu Snellings says, "I kissed him and hugged him that morning. We told each other that we loved each other. It's just not the same as saying bye forever."

Lu joined many other victims' families for the National Crime Victims' Rights luncheon in downtown Knoxville. They talked about adding victims' rights to the United States Constitution. Kelli Grace with Ohio Crime Victim Services says, "Right now the U.S. Constitution has 23 rights for offenders and the victims have zero. We want to bring victims rights."

Grace also talked about "stalking". According to the National Center for Victim's Rights more than half of all murders start with stalking.
Grace says, "If you have a child who is experiencing this, you need to recognize it's serious and let your child know."

And although Lu will never get over her husbands murder, she needs groups like this. Snellings says, "These people know exactly how I feel. They know what it's like to go through such a horrific tragedy."


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