Jair Martin is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Heidi Johnson, 20, and her friend Madison Johnson, 22. He also faces charges of drug charges and possession of a firearm.
“I don’t want any other mom to experience what I’m experiencing,” said Michelle Pitsenbarger, mother of Heidi Johnson.
Thursday was the first day their parents sat in front of their accused killer in court.
“Madison was taken away from us and murdered,” said Dave Johnson, Madison’s father.
“My daughter’s gone and will no longer be with us,” he said. “What else we know is the man who did it, I was just sitting within 25 feet of. The unknown, and that’s through the whole state of Tennessee, we’re going to see what kind of justice system we do have.”
Johnson said he plans to be in court for every hearing and pending trial.
“I’m going to miss the simple things,” he said. “You know the holidays are one thing but you know it’s the simple things, the little jokes we had with each other, the handshake that me and her had and I want the community to know that killers are out there. Be careful.”
Pitsenbarger said the pain of losing her daughter is unbearable.
“As moms, we think we want to protect our babies, make sure they’re okay. It doesn’t matter how old they are,” she said. “When somebody comes into your life and pretends to be your friend and then they steal your baby, it is a crime that nobody understands.”
Pitsenbarger added that hearing the evidence in the courtroom isn’t easy, but she’s there for her daughter and other parents who may understand the pain she’s going through.
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“There are so many kids out there who are hurting and they turn to people who are not good for them,” she said .”If they’re in a relationship with somebody who isn’t good, they’ve got to get out before something happens.”
Jair Martin’s bond was set at $2 million. The case was bound over to the grand jury and no date has been set yet in criminal court.