Family impacted by violent crime wants to stop the violence

Knoxville family impacted by violent crime wants to stop the violence

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Terry Smith lost both her sons to violent crime. D'Juansay Freeman was stabbed to death in 2007. Two years later her other son, Chris McBath, was shot and killed. Terry Smith lost both her sons to violent crime. D'Juansay Freeman was stabbed to death in 2007. Two years later her other son, Chris McBath, was shot and killed.
"When Chris was killed, it was like, 'Okay, no more.' That's what I said to myself. 'No more.,'" said Terry Smith. "When Chris was killed, it was like, 'Okay, no more.' That's what I said to myself. 'No more.,'" said Terry Smith.
"That's when it was placed on my heart to start an organization called Stopping the Violence," Terry Smith said. "That's when it was placed on my heart to start an organization called Stopping the Violence," Terry Smith said.
"Stay positive, walk away and hold your head up. Sometimes you've got to lose to win," said John Fine. "Stay positive, walk away and hold your head up. Sometimes you've got to lose to win," said John Fine.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A mother who lost her two sons to violent crimes is using National Crime Victims' Rights Week to highlight the importance of stopping the violence.

Her family is now trying to spread that message to others to prevent them from going down the wrong path.

Terry Smith lost both her sons to violent crime. D'Juansay Freeman was stabbed to death in 2007. Two years later her other son, Chris McBath, was shot and killed.

"When Chris was killed, it was like, 'Okay, no more.' That's what I said to myself. 'No more.' That's when it was placed on my heart to start an organization called Stopping the Violence," said Smith.

Each year there's a candlelight vigil with the purpose of asking the community to stop the violence in memory of her sons.

Smith's nephew John Fine, 30, has now lost three cousins. One was shot and killed next to him during a drive by shooting.

"He just passes over between my seats and I lift his head up and that's when the blood comes out of his eyes," said Fine, recalling his cousin's death.

Fine says he was angry, retaliated and was convicted of aggravated assault. He served four years behind bars and eventually realized violence isn't the answer.

"Not only was he a victim, then I made a victim. And then I made 100 more victims because my family suffered from it too, from me going away," said Fine.

After attending programs in jail, Fine says he understands the impact of violence and has learned to channel his anger.

"Stay positive, walk away and hold your head up. Sometimes you've got to lose to win," said Fine.

Fine is now helping his aunt on her campaign to stop the violence. He hopes the community will work together to spread the message and teach youth how to handle conflict without violence.

"I think they should start with the youth now in school and boys' and girls' clubs, and put victim impact classes in there now instead of waiting till they actually do it and have to go to prison to get the knowledge," said Fine.

The Helen Ross McNabb Center is a non-profit provider offering services to East Tennesseans. The director says to stop the cycle of violence, those who can become violent need to learn new coping skills and regulate their emotions. The director recommends therapy and anger management services to help people learn safer ways to handle their anger.

If you are concerned that your anger may be out of control and others are in danger, you can call the Helen Ross McNabb mobile crisis unit at (865) 539-2409. They will talk to you and offer options for an intervention.

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