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Mother turns son's murder into message for community
CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- Since her son Mark died, Yvette Hooten has changed over the years. We've been with her at times during her journey, watching her go from grief and anger to finding her smile once again.
"It's the grace of god how I got through this," said Hooten. "I didn't think I would be right here, right now."
Now, as she gets hugs and kisses from friends and family, she's celebrating Mark's life on the 5th anniversary of his death.
"Well, every year I do a little something, been having a block party, switched it up this year. I just want to get a message out there to the younger people, this is not a way to grow up."
In 2009, police say two men robbed and shot Mark who was standing at a bus stop. The 16-year-old was on his way to a job training program. Although Yvette has been able to move forward with life, she still hurts deeply.
"I let my baby catch the bus and he never returned home. That hurts me so bad. It hurts me so bad. I just want them to know, while they're sitting in prison, I know they're looking at TV. Y'all was wrong for that," said Hooten.
Yvette has honored Mark at vigils and sponsored a coat drive gathering coats for needy children. She says though her son is gone, she can still do positive things in his memory.
"I just wish everyone would just tell their friend to tell a friend to put these guns down. Everybody knows somebody with a gun. Just put them guns down."
The men who shot, robbed, and killed Mark are serving 10-year prison sentences.
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