OKEMOS, MI - November 6, 2013
To Whom It May Concern:
Thank you for letting me speak today. I am Conner McCowan's mother and would like to tell you what a gift Conner is in my life. I am more proud of Conner now than ever before. He has shown courage that I don't think I could have ever found if I were in his position. He spoke the truth through this trial and has faced lots of hate. I know my son better than anyone and know he does not have it in him to take a life if he wasn't afraid for his own. Anyone who knows Conner understands that to be true also. He was attacked that night in February and was forced to defend himself. I never ever would wish this upon Andrew, however if my son had not defended himself, he may not be alive today. A raging fist to the head in the correct place can kill someone.
I also want to address the fact that some say Conner did not show emotion at the proper times. Conner has a lot of his mother in him so I understand this, and anyone who knows me can also attest to this. When something horrible or shocking happens in my life I retreat. I hold all of my emotions in and just keep quiet. I can read my son perfectly and know that he was and is hurting. I can tell by his voice. I can tell this by the way he would not let himself believe the consequences of that night or have emotion. I know this because I myself do the very same thing. Everyone reacts to tragedy differently. I am sure everyone here today knows or has seen people react differently to the same situation.
My son was accused of lying about that night. I think if you were to think back to his testimony you would realize that, if he was going to lie, he could and would have come up with a much better story. He told the truth. And I still believe Andrew would be alive today and my son would have been facing assault charges if a drug dealer had not been more worried about his marijuana than his friend and roommate. He should have called 911 that evening and not walked him down three flights of stairs and had him sitting up in a car while he drove him to the hospital.
I feel this trial was slanted right from the get go. I don't understand how certain people live with themselves. The detective agreed with me the day that this happened that he had been in contact with my son and thought he was a nice boy. While discussing plea bargains, the prosecutor agreed that he didn't believe our son went there with the intent to kill. They, however, had no problem telling the jury anything that would help them win their case. I feel sick that this is what our justice system has become. Winning was the only thing that mattered to them. Not the truth, not to really get to the bottom of what happened that night, just to win. Well, they "won". They are happy. I didn't believe there was any winning to be done. Andrew had died and my son's life is over in a different way. There is no winning in that situation. We have a stand your ground law in Michigan and my son should have been found innocent because he was attacked and feared for his life and acted upon that situation. Some of the things he did that night were stupid; however everything he did that night was legal.
I know I cannot do or say anything that will change the Singler family's hatred toward my son. I do, however, know what they are going through because I too lost a son on that awful night in February. I wish they could know that their vengeance against Conner is not punishing Conner anymore than he is already punishing himself. Instead they are punishing me and knowing how losing a son feels to them, I would have hoped that they didn't wish that feeling on me.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.
Judy McCowan (Mother of Conner McCowan)