This foundation was formed after the brutal murder of Emily Richitelli and Ashley Altman. Many issues of lack of transparency and accountability by our Justice system have come to light. The members of this foundation are dedicated to bring about change in our Justice System. No one should lose their loved ones because our justice system failed to protect us from known criminals!
Helping others and saving lives through addiction recovery programs, domestic violence awareness, Judicial reform, and social accountability.
Emily was a survivor of addiction and shared her story openly. She was always available to meet with those in active addiction and guide them toward recovery. She was a Peer Support Specialist and was a mentor to residents at Oxford House Recovery. On July 20th she was working at a local restaurant, she text me around 9pm to check on the children, she was still at work but said she was going to make a stop on the way home but wouldn’t be late. Shortly before 3am my doorbell rang, I opened the door to see a sheriff deputy and another gentleman, who I soon would find to be the coroner. I asked if she had been in an accident and was then told that my daughter had been shot and killed. I immediately said to them “I know who killed my girl”.
Over the next few days of planning her celebration of life and relying on friends and family for help, I learned of her killers criminal history. It is lengthy and filled with acts of violence involving guns and possession of guns illegally. As days unfolded and I had time, I started doing some research, looking for answers. He was on probation for possessing guns as a convicted felon. Yet they discovered 9 weapons on his property. I discovered that he, though arrested many times, had miraculously not served any time in prison. I also took note of the fact that the same local judge sat on many of his cases, I soon discovered this judge is a close friend of the family. That seems very inappropriate to me. Having only lived in Georgetown a few years and working from home, I don’t know a lot of people here. It soon became apparent as many came forward that the locals knew that he had been in trouble his entire adult life, and had never really been punished for his many crimes.
As I have talked with law enforcement and solicitors, I am firmly convinced that laws need to be changed. All municipalities should have oversight and accountability, which we have been told is not the case at all. How can domestic violence laws not include boyfriends? Why did the bill that was introduced last year to make that change not get passed? I read article after article of stories written, politicians speak about the need for change, and yet nothing changes. Women are being killed by men they know at an alarming rate. People repeatedly commit violent acts or acts of violence, an area of SC law that is gray, and make plea deals to get lesser charges and no time. Small town politics and who you know is determining the outcome to what should be unbiased court cases.
My son and I have started Emily’s Way, a non-profit foundation to continue her legacy of helping others and saving lives. Her work was in addiction recovery, which we will continue to serve. We are also dedicated to seeking judicial reform in SC.