It has been one year since a wife and mother was gunned down by her husband in Annaville. Leslie Morin was fatally shot by a former Alice police officer, who was recently convicted of the crime.
Morin's two children are trying to make the best of Christmas this year. In their first interview since their mother was killed, the children talked about what the past year has been like for them, and how Christmas will not be the same.
It is supposed to be a happy time of year, but for Morin's two children, it's a reminder that their mom isn't here to celebrate with them. On top of that, their mother's birthday was in December, she was killed in December and her murder trial actually took place earlier this month.
Amber Gamez, 14, describes the past year as crazy. She lost her mother, and watched her stepfather stand trial for the murder.
"I know she'll be there, but it'll be different not having her there in person," Gamez said.
"She would do all these nice things for me and Amber," 9-year old Dominic Gonzales said.
Amber and her brother Dominic were standing just a few feet away when their mother, who was 31 years old at the time, was forced into a closet and shot three times at the hands of her own husband, former Alice police officer Jose Gonzales. Gonzales is now serving a life sentence for the crime, while Amber and Dominic are being raised by their grandmother, Diana Rodriguez.
Rodriguez went back to work full-time after gaining custody of the kids, but it is still a constant struggle making ends meet.
"I promised her I'd take care the best I can with them, but it's difficult," Rodriguez said.
She still owes the funeral home more than $7,000 for her daughter's funeral. On top of that, she wonders if she will be able to afford presents for the kids to unwrap Christmas morning.
The family is doing the best they can to move forward, picking up the pieces and making the best of what they have while, in the back of their minds, they know the one thing they want for Christmas is impossible.
To help the family, you can contact Rodriguez directly at 361-688-9357.