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Jamie McCombs and Ashley Marie


Honorable Judge James W. Johnson, Jr.

 

Two years, 5 months ago, my son Jamie McCombs was murdered by Rebecca Lynn Meyers. Those two years have been hell on earth for Jamie's family. As his mother, I've tried to find the words to tell you how his murder has impacted my life. There are no adequate words in the English language to describe the pain, anger and despair that I've felt from his murder. When this woman took his life because of her jealousy and selfishness, my life was shattered. I've spent two years trying to put the pieces back together, but it can't be done, a big piece is missing.

 

Jamie was a loving, giving young man with a heart as big as the world. His murder took a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend who was greatly loved. In the two years since his murder, I've watched helplessly as his dad and his brother struggled with their pain, anger and grief. I've watched his brother be married and have a child without his big brother there to be part of the joy. These celebrations of joy also were touched with the sadness of loss. Jamie should have been here to be his brother's Best Man. He should be here to be the doting uncle for his niece that he would have been. He should be here to take a wife and to have his own children, our grandchildren.

 

I've watched my husband lose his father because he was unable to deal with the stress and grief caused by his grandson's murder. My father-in-law passed away less than a year after Jamie's murder. I've watched my mother's mind deteriorate to the point of having to be admitted to a nursing home. It took less than two years after Jamie's murder for her to reach that point. Our family has always been close. My brother, sister and I, plus our families, always celebrated the major holidays at our parent's home. The last time the whole family was together was at Jamie's funeral. My parents were deprived of these family gatherings in the final years they will live. It is too painful for us now with Jamie gone. Our family is drifting apart, another loss caused by his murder.

 

As for me, Jamie's murder took everything from me. It took my identity, it took my security, it took my innocence, it took my rest, it took my happiness, it took my peace, it took my ability to enjoy anything. His murder gave me...sleepless nights, nightmares, and night terrors. It gave me Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It gave me depression and a struggle to simply find a reason to survive each day. It gave me tears upon tears, pain upon pain. It covered my world in sadness, pain and anger. It almost destroyed my marriage. It continues to destroy my health a little at a time. There is not one second of one day that I don't see his body, that I don't see his blood, that I don't live with the horror of finding my son dead in his own home. There is not one second that I don't long for him. He is the first thought in my mind when I wake and the last thought before sleep and all the thoughts through the day. He was my son, my child. He did not deserve to be so cruelly taken. I did not deserve to have to live the rest of my life with this pain and without my child. The hardest thing for me, is knowing the pain and terror Jamie suffered at the time of his murder, the horror and betrayal he felt when he realized that someone he had once loved, was now taking his life. The helplessness he must have felt knowing he was going to die. The pain I know he felt for what this would do to his family.

 

Jamie was a good, honest man. He would give you the last dollar in his wallet if you needed it. He was just beginning to live his life. He was compassionate, caring and non-judgmental. He cared about people. He never judged anyone because of the color of their skin, religion or bank account. He looked for the good in everyone he met. He had many, many friends who miss him enormously. I am constantly meeting new people who tell me they knew Jamie, was a friend of his, and how much he meant to them. Constantly hearing stories from someone new about how Jamie touched their lives or helped them when they needed help. He was a man with simple tastes who loved the people in his life, loved his home, loved being outdoors hunting, fishing or going to college footballs games. He loved spending time with his family and friends-charcoaling, swimming or just hanging out. He loved country music and was proud of his southern heritage. He loved to laugh. His smile and his laugh are the two things people remember and miss most about him. He was generous with hugs and "I love you-s". He loved reading and children and animals. He loved LIFE.

 

Rebecca Lynn Meyers deserves the death penalty. Life Without Parole is more mercy than she deserves, but will bring some justice for Jamie and his family. She showed no mercy when she stalked, ambushed and murdered my son. She showed no mercy even when he sacrificed himself by not escaping by the front door after the first shot. Jamie knew Rebecca was in the back of the house, so he ran in that direction, yelling for her to get out of the house. Jamie would have died from the first bullet, we know that, but he may have had a chance to die surrounded by the love of his family instead of dying alone, with only hatred and evil around him. Rebecca showed no mercy as Jamie begged for his life to be spared. Instead, she allowed him to be tormented for thirty minutes before he was finally killed. Rebecca Lynn Meyers is evil and given the opportunity, would kill again. She has no remorse. Her only concerns are for her own well being. She killed my son simply because she couldn't have something she wanted.

 

I ask you to sentence Rebecca Lynn Meyers to Life Without Parole. Jamie deserves justice. Although this will not bring him back to us, it will give us some peace of mind. Our family has suffered enough because of this woman. A lesser sentence will only add more pain to our lives.

 

I honestly believe with my entire being, that if Rebecca Lynn Meyers is ever free to live in society again, there will be another victim, another family shattered. You can prevent this and bring justice to Jamie by sentencing her to the maximum penalty.

 

Karen Drummond McCombs

 


Honorable Judge James W. Johnson, Jr.

One thing you never expect to do is bury a child. They are supposed to live long and healthy lives, long after the parents are gone. I don't know if there are words to describe the effect that this senseless crime has had on this family.

We lost our first born child. Jamie was my namesake. You kind of expect the oldest to carry on the family name. I should be playing with his children, my grandchildren. That is all he ever wanted in this life, to have a family of his own to raise and be proud of. He was going to do this with the woman that decided he no longer needed to be on this earth.

Michael, our youngest, made a statement at the funeral. He said, "I never expected to be older than my big brother." How do you respond to that? Michael is now married and they have their first child. Jamie should have been here to share the joy of the wedding and Amber's birth. He was missed more than words can say.

Karen, my wife, Jamie's mother, was the one that discovered his body. I was traveling home from out of state and was not told about his murder until I arrived. She and Michael had to bear that burden alone. I have seen the pictures that were taken. I have seen what she found. I would give anything to take that image away from her, but it can't be done because there was no one there for her. This leaves me with a very helpless feeling.

I have read their statements. This is the kind of thing you see on TV or read in the papers. What kind of minds even think like this?

Eleven months later my Dad passed away. He literally grieved himself to death over the loss of his first grandson.

People ask: "What kind of justice would you like to see served?" Hard question. Justice to me would be: Take the place of my son, so we can have him back.

I always knew that Jamie had alot of friends. One thing I discovered in talking with them was that he touched a lot of lives. He was the hub around which all their friendships revolved.

I only hope he knows how much I love him. I only hope he knows how much he is missed. I only hope he knows how proud I am to call him son.

James W. McCombs


Honorable Judge James W. Johnson, Jr.

Losing Jamie has totally upset my life. I look at everything and think, "This would be better if Jamie were here." These two "people" have taken a large part of my heart and soul from me. This is supposed to be the happiest point in my life right now. I just got married on Nov. 13, 1999. That day had a shadow on it because Jamie was not there to stand beside me and give me strength. My daughter was born Sept. 22, 2000. Jamie was not there to congratulate me and see his niece. Nor will his niece have a chance to know this uncle, who would have loved her so much. She will not have his children as cousins to play with.

Then there are the small things most people don't think about....

Fishing. He and I both enjoyed fishing. I was there when he caught the biggest fish of his life, a 9 pound bass.

Football. Clemson is playing great this year and I haven't got him to watch the games with.

It took a tremendous amount of time for me to feel any kind of happiness in my life. I had problems in my relationship with my wife, although she has been a big help with my grief. Counseling is also helping me learn to cope with my grief and loss. But I believe that every time I look at my daughter, Amber Marie McCombs(Marie, after his daughter Ashley Marie), I see him smile and approve.

These are some of the things I've lost because of my brother's murder. I ask you to give Rebecca Meyers Life Without Parole. My brother will never be here with us again. She does not deserve to ever be free again.

Michael A. McCombs


Honorable Judge James W. Johnson

When my nephew, Jamie McCombs, was murdered by Rebecca Lynn Meyers, life as I knew it suddenly stopped. Our family has always been good, decent, Christian, law abiding people. We have never caused harm to anyone. We had never known any violence in our family. We never imagined violence would roar in on us and come close to destroying us; but two years and 5 months ago our world came to a complete stop. One of ours was taken from us and the comfortable, peaceful life we had lived came to an abrupt stop. There are really no words to describe the feeling of going to bed at night believing everything is all right in your world, then waking the next day to find your world, as you knew it, is gone.

Jamie was the son of my sister, Karen McCombs, my brother-in-law, Billy McCombs and the brother of my nephew, Michael McCombs. Jamie and Michael grew up with my two youngest daughters. From the very beginning, the four were not only cousins, but also best friends. As a family group, we vacationed together, spent weekends together, camped out together--we did everything together. My sister's children were my children and vice versa. When Jamie was murdered, it was as if my own child had been murdered.

Jamie was a wonderful young man. He was a good, clean, decent, Christian, law abiding person. He was taught family values and moral values and he practiced them. Jamie was the essence of love. He loved people, animals, nature, hobbies, his parents, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, his cousins, his friends, his God, and I believe all man-kind. He was a shy, soft-spoken young man. He laughed often and well. He not only showed his love to others; he showed his respect, also. He also gave the best bear hugs to this aunt of his. I adored Jamie. He brought joy and laughter to all who knew him.

This senseless, almost unbearable act took our peace, comfort, security, hope, dreams and familiar personalities from my family. We will never understand this brutality that befell Jamie. He, of all people, was so undeserving of this evil act. He was such a kind and gentle person.

Jamie's death has left a huge void in our family that can never be filled. It has been horrible seeing the pain my sister, brother-in-law and nephew have had to endure. I continue to see it and marvel at the strength they have to just make it through another day. They are enduring the pain that no parent or brother should have to bear.

Our family gatherings, which have been a tradition since my brother, sister and I grew up, have ceased. It is unbearable seeing the empty place where Jamie once sat, the silence where his laughter once rang out, the absence of his soft voice and the poking fun at each other. We have been robbed of all that was and the void is so loud.

My mother found her grief at the loss of her beloved grandson more than she could bear. She slipped into a depression from which there is no return. She now spends the remainder of her life in a Nursing Home. We were robbed of our mother.

Who knows where Jamie's life would have led him. Who knows what contributions he would have made to society. Who knows what his children would have been like---or his grandchildren. Because of Rebecca Lynn Meyers, we will never know. Jamie's loved ones are now having to deal with his loss and also are having to deal with seeking justice for Jamie. We are not seeking revenge in any way. Jamie can't be brought back We will never wake from this nightmare.

Our family feels Rebecca Lynn Meyers is a danger to society. She has no remorse for what she has done to Jamie, all who love him, to her family, her children or to society as a whole. We plead with you, to sentence Rebecca Lynn Meyers to Life Without Parole. We truly feel that she is a danger to our family and to anyone who gets in the way of her desires. Rebecca Lynn Meyers is the essence of evil.

Sincerely,

(Mrs.) Ruth Drummond Hagood


Honorable Judge James W. Johnson, Jr.

Jamie McCombs is my cousin, and when he was murdered two years and five months ago, all families related to him were devastated. We have never been the same again.

Please imagine getting a phone call like I did the morning that he was found by his mother, Karen McCombs. I will never forget those words when my mother called and told me… “Jamie’s dead”. I’ll never forget about Jamie’s mother going through the torture of finding her own son murdered, and his father, Billy McCombs, not knowing until he got home later that day because he was out of town working and had to be contacted. His driving home knowing something was terribly wrong. Last but not least, his brother Michael whom was called at work and told to come home. Our eighty-five year old Grandmother could not even go to her precious grandson’s funeral because of the shock and will never again be herself. She is now in the nursing home because severe depression caused her to have problems with her health.

Jamie helped take care of Grandmother every single day when he was alive. He shopped for her groceries, got her mail, cut her grass, and he never asked her for anything in return. He helped everyone that he could, worked full time, and still had time left to be with his family and friends, enjoy his hobbies, and go fishing, which he loved. He never caused anyone any problems, never hurt anyone, and was a gentle, sweet young man with all American dreams.

I have two sisters, Mandy and Cissy, who were very close to Jamie. Jamie, Michael, Mandy, and Cissy were all best friends. Every chance our families had to get together would mean vacationing together or getting together for a weekend. Those four kids were soul mates and knew every little thing about each other, including, hopes, dreams, problems, what made each other happy, sad, everything. I was twelve years old when Jamie was born, and I remember holding Jamie and watching him grow up through the years and watching how sweet he was to every living thing. He reminded me of my own son, Brian. Jamie and Brian were also close, and camped, fished, played ball, hunted Easter eggs, and the list goes on. Brian, who was twelve at the time of the murder, misses Jamie very much. Brian has nightmares, depression, and his innocence was taken away. When Rebecca Lynn Meyers schemed to murder Jamie, and then actually did murder him, it shattered everyone’s lives. My aunt Karen, uncle Billy, and cousin Michael will never be the same again. My son, parents, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and I never will, and Jamie’s paternal relatives never will. It was so unfair for Rebecca Lynn Meyers to decide on Jamie’s death and our family's fate.

Our family has not had any gatherings since Jamie’s death. I miss that terribly. I will never forget the last time that I saw Jamie. It was on Mother’s Day, two days before he was murdered. None of us had any idea that it would be our last gathering except for the funeral. There should not have been a funeral just because Rebecca Lynn Meyers decided it. If only she had left Jamie alone a couple of years back. She went out of her way to get his attention, by stalking him until he finally noticed her and finally weaseling her way into a date with him. Jamie just didn’t see the bad in her because he never did in anyone. Rebecca had a plan way back then to get pregnant by Jamie and hook him into doing anything she wanted. It is so pathetic that just because he wouldn’t do all she wanted, he had to die. He was strong and she was evil.

For the sake of our families and justice for Jamie, I am pleading that you give Rebecca Lynn Meyers life without parole. Our families knowing that she will never get out of prison will make everyone feel safe and feel like justice has been defined. This is not a plea for revenge but a justifiable request. Rebecca will ruin her own children’s lives, our lives again, and other people’s lives if she ever gets a chance.

 Sincerely,

(Mrs.) Sonya Hagood Hulsey


Honorable James W. Johnson,

I am writing to you to ask that you punish Rebecca Lynn Meyers to the fullest extent of the law. I am sure that you are now very familiar with the facts of her case. My purpose is to express to you the pain she caused so many people. 

James W. McCombs, Jamie, was my cousin. From the moment he was born, he was closer to me than my own brother. Our families vacationed and spent holidays together every year. Jamie was my brother, my best friend. He was the only person in my life who truly knew me. Jamie understood my heart, my thoughts, my fears, and my dreams. Rebecca Meyers destroyed many of those dreams.

My memories of growing up with Jamie and his brother Michael are among my most cherished. I always imagined when we grew up; their children and mine would be as close as we were. I confided everything to Jamie, and he never judged me. The last time I talked to him was the night before he was murdered, and I thank God every day for giving me that chance. 

When I found out Jamie died, I felt as if someone had reached his hand into my chest and ripped out my heart. For days, I could barely breathe; I felt as if part of me had been amputated. I was so alone, not physically, but emotionally. I had always been a realistic person, but this was more than I could bear. I would break into tears for no apparent reason. Nothing could ease my pain. For weeks, I could not sleep, and when I finally did, nightmares filled my mind. I dreamed of Jamie’s still being alive when he was buried. I dreamed that he was talking to me from beyond the grave. And one night, I dreamed that someone was holding a gun to my head, and then I awakened fearing someone was in the room with me. For days, I felt the terror from that dream. I realized Jamie had felt a similar fear before he died.

As the events surrounding Jamie’s death became more evident, not only did I have to deal with losing my best friend, I had to accept that someone he had once loved and had planned a future with was responsible for ending his life. What made me even angrier was the terror he must have felt before the final shot. If given the chance, I would have traded places with Jamie to save him. I loved him that much. We were always so protective of each other, and this time I had failed him. I blamed myself believing I should have been there to stop this from happening. But I realized there was nothing that I could have done. The reality was that Rebecca was determined to kill him. She was obsessed with the idea and would never have rested until Jamie was dead. What was more upsetting was there did not seem to be a motive. She just hated Jamie for being alive. Jamie did not contact her; he did not bother her, but she still hated him. She hated him enough to plan and carry out an elaborate murder. She hated him enough to recruit another evil person to carry out her sadistic deed. 

Rebecca Lynn Meyers is the personification of evil. She may not have pulled the trigger, but what she did was worse. She stalked him and used his caring nature to lure him to his death. She sat by and watched Jamie plea for his life and gasp his last breath. Rebecca narcissistically believed she had a right to decide whether another person should be alive. She will never feel remorse for killing Jamie because she does not believe it was wrong. Therefore, this could happen again. She will never feel guilt for destroying the lives of those who loved Jamie. She does not deserve to ever be free again. I am aware that she has two young children, but I honestly believe that they will have better chance in life without growing up under the influence of a cold-blooded murderer. If Rebecca could convince another adult to have no regard for human life, imagine the damage she could do two young minds.

I know these crimes happen all too often, and nothing will prevent all of them. But we know Rebecca is responsible for murdering Jamie. We also know that Rebecca is capable of doing this again. She shows no remorse, and when she does, it is only because she wants leniency. You have the power to make sure no one else suffers at the hands of Rebecca Lynn Meyers. Please do not let Rebecca get away with what she has done to my family. Please sentence her to life without parole.


October 16, 2000 

Dear Honorable Judge James W. Johnson,

My name is Mandy Koehler and I am a close cousin of Jamie McCombs. I am writing to you regarding the impact Jamie’s murder has had. Trying to describe the impact Jamie’s murder has had on me and my family and society is a difficult task and nothing I am able to write can convey the magnitude of emptiness, hurt, and vulnerability that has resulted from it.

Jamie was a gentle, loving, caring, and (unfortunately) very trusting young man whose biggest hope was to be a “Daddy” and raise kids. When he was a child, he loved to hold any baby he could and talked of being a pediatrician when he “grew up.” He was very excited when Rebecca told him she was pregnant and he hoped they could make their relationship work. I was pregnant with my first child at that time and he loved to talk about the babies. He bought baby clothes, diapers, and bottles in anticipation of his little girl. Unfortunately, Rebecca moved across the country before she was born and refused to let him see the baby. During this period Jamie would often hold my son and play with him. I could see the hurt and longing in his eyes. We encouraged him to consult a lawyer concerning his rights as a father and he had finally decided to do so when he was informed that Ashley (his baby) had “died in her sleep” at 11 ½ months of age. He was devastated and the whole family was heartbroken. Jamie was finally beginning to put his life back together and make long-term goals for himself when Rebecca and Allen murdered him. As his Mom sorted through his belongings after his death, she found the baby items he had bought for Ashley that he had not been able to throw away. 

Now that his brother has a little girl and I have a son and a daughter, the absence of him and his children is even more painful. Our children should all be growing up together. We should be comparing how much our kids look alike and how they remind us of ourselves growing up. We should be laughing and dreaming. Instead, I look at my children and his niece and often cry for what he always wanted and has now missed.

Our family will never fully recover. We no longer have our large family gatherings at holidays because his absence is so profound and painful that we would all rather avoid it. His parents were so shattered by his murder that even with intensive counseling they almost lost their marriage and even now are struggling to maintain their family. Jamie’s brother, who was 22 at the time, was a care-free young man who was ready to take on the world. He has spent the last two and a half years attempting to accept Jamie’s death and move on with his life. Unfortunately, I believe he has merely succeeded in drowning himself in his work and family (he married a year later and now has a new daughter). Although I am sure he will eventually “find himself” and recover, he has been robbed of his youth and the opportunity to share these major events of his life with his only brother and sibling. His Grandfather McCombs, who doted on Jamie, fell into a deep depression after Jamie’s murder and died a short time later. His Grandmother Drummond also battled depression after Jamie’s murder and after a period of mental illness, possibly resulting from that, has had to be admitted to a nursing home.

The shock that something like this could happen to someone like Jamie is still overwhelming. I am now more anxious about trusting people, especially with my children, and am slower to make friends. If someone approaches me too eagerly to talk or be friendly, I suspect their motives. I find myself hovering over my children at the park or anytime we are around other people and have warned my 3-year-old about “bad people.” I wish my son didn’t have to know (at three years of age) that there are bad people out there but, as my family has been so brutally reminded, they are.

Any person who believes they have the right to end another person’s life for their personal gain and satisfaction is a threat to society. Furthermore, a person like Rebecca Myers, who not only ended another person’s life but tormented him for 30 minutes and reveled in her “power” before she did it, has shown herself to be morally craven and maliciously egotistic and should not be released into society again. I sincerely entreat you to sentence her to the maximum penalty, which, I hope, is at least life without parole.

Sincerely,

Mandy Koehler


What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a Butterfly.

They shall not grow old, as we that are let grow old. 
Age shall not diminish them, nor the years condemn. 
At the rising of the sun and at it's going down, we Remember them.

In Memory of Jamie and Ashley
http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/Garden/4922/

 

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