Updated 04/01/2010 06:49 PM
Mother of slain EMT speaks out for first time
Her son was murdered in the line of duty more than a year ago. An EMT answering a call for help at a home in Cape Vincent. Marsha Dickinson says the past 16 months have been her worst nightmare and for more reasons than just the loss of her son. Dickinson is now speaking out for the first time, sitting down with our Brian Dwyer, describing how misinformation has led her to become vilified in her own community.
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CAPE VINCENT, N.Y. -- "If there's a hell, I was in it. That's the best I could possibly put it," said Marsha Dickinson, Mark Davis' mother.
January 31st of last year. Dickinson gets a late night knock on her door. It's news her son, Mark Davis, an EMT in Cape Vincent, had been shot and killed while responding to a call for help.
A mother loses a son. A mother proud of the way her community came together to honor him.
"He wanted to make it big. He wanted to be the best. He was. He really was," Dickinson said.
The weeks and months following though were a different story. Dickinson says no one wanted to help her understand what happened. She says she got no information. No release of the 911 tape. No one to tell her why her son died.
So she did what she says was necessary. Filing a $10 million notice of claim against numerous agencies involved. But the result, she says, was a community turning against her, thinking she was trying to cash in on her son's death.
"We've become hated. We've become people that are monsters. We're not that way at all. The $10 million was just a figure that our attorney just kind of pulled out of the air so people would notice and take it. So we could get the information we needed to get right away without filing suit," Dickinson said.
To this day, a lawsuit has not been filed. The notice of claim just reserves the family's right to sue.
But Dickinson says she isn't afraid to do that if need be. She claims not only has Jefferson County refused to provide information, like that 911 tape, but she's only talked with District Attorney Cindy Intschert twice since the murder. Combine that with what she believes has been little to no progress on the prosecution, and she feels there may be a lot more to the story than just a gunshot death.
"As far as I'm concerned this was a very big deal. She's clearly not, a man is known by his actions and she's clearly not on our side. They can sweep it all under the rug and they don't have to release the tapes," Dickinson said.
As for the man believed to have killed her son, Dickinson says Christopher Burke should stand trial and not be allowed to plea for anything.
Attempts to reach Jefferson County DA were unsuccessful. But Jefferson County Attorney David Paulsen told us a few months ago that the county could not release the 911 tape until the case was wrapped up.
On Friday, Brian will have more of his conversation with Marsha Dickinson, including her questions about what happened to the money raised through a number of fundraisers held after her son's death.