Family reacts to murder conviction

By Anthony Antoine |

Published 11/04 2013 12:43PM

Updated 11/04 2013 06:21PM

CHAMPAIGN -- More than a year after Desirae Austin was killed, her family is getting what it needs to go on. Austin was gunned down July 4, 2012. Two men have been convicted of her murder. The most recent was this week. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine has the family's reaction to the verdict.

It's the closure Austin's family needs to move forward. It doesn't make things easier, but the family says her memory will always live on.

"They understand Mommy is in heaven watching over them."

Udora Pellmore is Austin's grandmother. When Austin's life was taken, Pelmore had to tell her children why Mommy wasn't coming home.

"If they ask questions, we do give them the answers."

"How tough is that?"

"Hard. It's real hard. To have the babies, they help me through it."

Now, after two convictions, the family is trying to move forward.

"I knew in my heart that he was guilty."

Treshaun Jake is the second man to be convicted of her murder. Anthony Meads was charged first. He's now serving a 50-year sentence.

Austin's cousin says, even though they are still grieving, justice gives a little relief.

"For me not to be able to, you know, tell her what she's doing wrong, or what she's doing right, it hurts. It hurts everyday."

"Where do you find comfort?"

"Going through her Facebook page, going through the pictures."

The family says they try to relive the moments Austin left behind. They read notes she left.

"Me and Desirae had a real unique relationship as grandmother and granddaughter. She was my pride and joy and I believe, in my heart, I was hers."

Pelmore says the verdict won't bring back her granddaughter, but her kids will always know the joys of having a supportive and loving family.

"Am I happy for that family? Really, I'm not, but I'm not so much angry neither because God is in my life to guide me through it all. As long as I keep my faith, I will be OK. He brought me this far."

Jake will be sentenced in December.

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