09/27/07. This evening, in a cemetary in Preble County - where there is buried more than one murder victim whose case is saturated in wrongdoing - the Helriggle family and their supporters will celebrate Clayton's short life.
Clayton was a young man who was truly loved by his family and respected by his community. When speaking with citizens about Clayton's murder, one never hears the typical statements that might be heard about the victim of a drug raid...."that kid was always trouble" or "it was just a matter of time till this happened". The death of Clayton Helriggle was a tragedy of the greatest and most undeserved magnitude.
Coupled with unbearable grief of the family is the infuriating knowledge that they must find a life for themselves without their child due to one deputy's jealous vendetta. The deputy's wife had publicly flirted with Clayton weeks earlier in a local bar.
The power the United States gives to federal, state and local authorities is mighty, and so should be the justice that rights any PURPOSEFUL wrongs done by these authorities. The civil trial for this case was as bungled as the raid and the motives behind it.
Preble County is the poster child for a needed statute which requires outside investigators and prosecution of official wrongdoing AWAY from the jurisdiction in which it occured (and that does not include nearby jurisdictions where there could be authorities who would help cover up any wrongdoing). There is a legal system of checks and balances in place just so situations like Clayton's never occur. It took a team of local authorities to manipulate paperwork and investigations to help the responsible deputy beat prosecution for this outlandish crime.
May every authority who had a hand in this heinous crime reap what they sow in every aspect of their life, and in the eternity that awaits them.