As most of you know, I started blogging, in March 2019, about my sister, Cheryl's murder trial turned Hearing case, out of pure frustration at the progress of where the case was heading, which was nowhere, but a relaxing vacation, inside a mental facility, for her killer. My family and I became quite weary of our experience with the judicial system in seeking justice for Cheryl. So, to get a good picture of the case please go and read all the previous 5 blogs
titled, I Speak for Cheryl, "We All Want to Know?"
After a long challenging and tiring journey, Ferjus Moore, was finally convicted on May 17, 2019, after he pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Murder and he was sentenced to 35-43 years, in prison, under a B1 Felony after stabbing Cheryl to death, on August 25, in 2014. As I sat in court, Ferjus told, Judge David Hall, after questioning him, he knew that accepting a plea deal with the state he may die in prison. He also was able to tell the judge, the definition of murder, he stated, “It means you destroyed and killed someone." Therefore, this time around, Judge Hall found, Ferjus to be competent verses back in May 2018, after questioning him, to accept the guilty plea. He said, the case was both vexing and compounding because Ferjus’s actions that night of the murder showed evidence of cunning and planning, but he also suffered from real cognitive problems. George Corvin, who was a Psychiatrist on Ferjus defense team, testified that Ferjus intellectual capacity was limited, but he had benefited from the program at Broughton and now, he was able to comprehend concepts of the legal proceedings involved. Corvin also stated, Ferjus suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and anxiety.
Throughout this entire process from the begin to the end, I observed the judicial system from the lawyers to the judge handle Ferjus Moore with “kid gloves” always addressed him, as Mr. Moore, as the judge continously asked, Ferjus questions in multiple ways, but similar questions, over and over again, in reference to "Are you sure you understand that you are going to prison?, why you are going to prison?, do you know what you did?, you know you can have a trial?",etc...these types of questions went on and on (it almost sounded like, he was trying to convince Ferjus not to plead guilty) while his lawyers tenderly rubbed his back when questioned by the judge, no acknowledgement of Cheryl’s family the entire time with exception to this final hearing, the judge briefly stated, "at us", while mentioning, "with empathy", Ferjus in the same breathe. “I very much had the Bethea family in my mind as well as the question of Ferjus Moore’s competency", and the priviledge of reading our letters to Ferjus was thrown out the window for Cheryl's family, with no regards to our feelings, because Judge Hall did not want to upset Ferjus (which spoke 🗣volumes to me). With all the double talk from the judge I understand, professionally, he has had to cover all his bases to protect his own A$$, but Damn, this was way over the top! So, not only was Cheryl's voice being silenced, again, but her family as well. I was purely in "AWE" 😲, pretty much throughout this entire court case proceedings/hearings, over the last 5 years, in sheer AMAZEMENT and not in a good way!
Before final closing, Ferjus defense team requested as part of his sentencing that he be put in a prison equipped to provide him with therapy. Judge Hall said, he would recommend Ferjus to be placed, in such a facility, in Pender County. Hmm...🤔...I find that quite interesting, his lawyers are most likely strategizing a way to get Ferjus, an appeal for his plea, in the near future, remember this was not a trial, but a hearing for a plea deal. Aww...🤗,how sweet, doesn't he have such loving and caring lawyers?!
In court, there was a picture painted, inferring, Cheryl and Ferjus were in this long-term romantic relationship, which was far from the truth and the reason he killed her was because of infidelity. Well, the relationship was no more than 3 years, he wasn’t her husband, she was not in love with him and I know for a fact, she wanted out the relationship long before he killed her, simply because he was mentally and physically abusing her, daily. So, this picture they tried to sell, as a masterpiece was simply a phony one to excuse his senseless, irrational and irresponsible behavior. He executed my sister with no mercy, stabbing her 39 times, because he was jealous, mean, and cold hearted; he did not want her to leave him or anyone else to have her, simply as that, nothing more or nothing less.
After several years with no conviction, our family was beginning to feel defeated and losing hope, especially after the last Hearing, in May 2018. As we sat in court for 5 long days during this particular Hearing from 9-5, listening to testimonies and mental evaluation from Ferjus’s medical team. It was clear, no conviction would occur and he was sent back to the psychiatric facility, for a second time with additional mental evaluation. Instead of returning to Central Regional Hospital, in Butner, he was sent to Broughton Hospital, in Morganton, NC, for independent mental evaluation. This was very disheartening to our family. However, this time, a whole year later, I walked in the court room with confidence and expectancy that the verdict would be signed, sealed, and delivered and it sure was. However, he will be granted time served of 4 years and 9 months, while he has been behind the mental walls instead of the prison walls. Although this entire process was so difficult for our family and we did not get exactly what we desired; we will take it and move on.
We were asked how will we put the attention back on my sister, Cheryl, now that the case is closed? I said, "the attention has never been lost about what happen to Cheryl, just only in the courtroom, because we have kept her voice alive and continue to say her name in our community by sharing her story." We were told from the start not to discuss the case/hearing with anyone, because it could damage the case, so we kept hushed 🤐 mouth and did what we were told, for over 4 years, even down to our dress code of no wearing purple. However, after the last Hearing in May 2018, almost a whole year passed with no word from the state District Attorney's office, my mind begun to reminisce about our last, week long court proceedings and how it was all about Ferjus Moore and not my sister. I thought to myself, wait a minute, here! He wasn’t supposed to be at Broughton, no more than 60-90 days. I became angry and started researching everything about the case I could get my hands on, along with, what I already knew about the case. Then my spirit spoke to me and said start a Blog about our experience in the courtroom because at this point, there is nothing to lose. It has been almost 5 years and your sister has become nonexistence in this judicial system and this case. If you don’t speak out, now, this case will become so cold and dry that your sister will for surely, become the forgotten victim while Ferjus live out the rest of his life in ease, at a psychiatric facility, undergoing mental evaluation for “Intellectual Disability” at the benefits of his lawyers gathering data for the Innocence and Justice Clinic at Wake Forest University School of Law, in which Ferjus was enrolled in the program and one of his attorneys are the director of the clinic.
We couldn’t be more ecstatic and grateful that it is over, now, and my sister spirit can rest in peace knowing that her family fought to seek justice to the end! What we have learnt on this journey to justice for Cheryl is to never give up because your loved one is depending on you. Pay attention to the information, the facts, the lies, the BS, and everything in between, that is being presented, use the power of social media and never underestimate it, say your loved one name, often and never let anyone silence you while they use your loved one, as a ploy, for financial gain. This case was so metaphoric, to speaking up and speaking out against domestic violence. I wish the judicial system was more empathic to families that have lost loved ones, so tragically. It is a death pain, like no other because that family member was so violently murdered, unexpectly, and they did not get to say "goodbye", to anyone. Whew...only if they only, knew how and what that pain feels like they would not conduct themselves so unconcerning towards hurting families and they would do all they can to get justice for the victim and their familes.
So now, that the case is closed, we can now truly move on with our lives to concentrate on and continue with the mission and purpose we've started in bringing awareness about the dangers of domestic violence and being silent, through our nonprofit organization, Sound the Silence in Domestic Violence, I started back in 2014, after Cheryl's death. Writing about her experience with domestic violence in 1st person on social media is where it all started and her voice captured the hearts of many because it resonated with their spirit. Simply, because she was silent, about her abusive relationship that led to her death so, this opened a dialogue and a platform for many to express their experiences, unapologetically, as well.
These blogs are pretty much self-explanatory and sums it up, as to, why it took 4.9 years to sentence, Ferjus Moore for the murder of my sister, Cheryl Anise Bethea.
Please feel free to join our page: https://www.facebook.com/STSIDV on Facebook and our Blog on https://www.stsidv.org
You can find our family "Open Letters to Ferjus Moore" videos on our Facebook page:
Sound the Silence in Domestic Violence:
Jazmine - https://www.facebook.com/STSIDV/videos/2190076884408253/
John - https://www.facebook.com/STSIDV/videos/2279245598802693/
Cassandra - https://www.facebook.com/STSIDV/videos/392389701364374/
Beverly - https://www.facebook.com/STSIDV/videos/2373482802871690/
I am Cassandra Bethea Shine
and I Speak for Cheryl to Sound the Silence in Domestic Violence.