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Justice Coalition Honors Victims Of Violent Crime

Kevin Meerschaert

Victims of violent crimes were recognized Thursday at the annual “Together We Can” breakfast fundraiser for the Jacksonville-based Justice Coalition. The breakfast at First Baptist Church brings together law enforcement and those touched by crime.

The Justice Coalition was founded 19 years ago by Sonny’s Barbeque founder Ted Hires after he and his employees were victims of a brutal robbery. The coalition assists victims through counseling, rewards for arrests and defending their legal rights.

Executive director Ann Dugger said it’s always important to remember the victims of violent crime and the families left behind of those murdered.

"We want to honor them instead of the VIP's and elected officials and others in our city," she said.

"It is a time that we might be able to raise the funds that we will be able to help the other victims of violent crime and also as an awareness to get the message out that other people would know that there is help in the time of need."

Attendees heard from Teysha Silva-Roman whose mother Zuheily Rosado was shot to death during a robbery at a Mobil gas station in Palm Coast in 2013.

Silva-Roman described the difficulties she and her five siblings faced after the homicide and the help they received from the Justice Coalition. Dugger surprised Silva-Roman with a vehicle, gas money and an iPad donated by Justice Coalition supporters.

You can follow Kevin Meerschaert on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.