A Round Rock Mother Remembers her Daughter who was Brutally Murdered by a 12-Year-old Neighbor as Victims of Crime Bring Attention to the Importance of Crime Victims’ Rights Week on This 30th Anniversary

Austin, Texas- Thursday April 10, 2014- Austin will commemorate National Crime Victims’ Right Week by remembering all the South By Southwest Victims who were killed or injured in the recent tragedy and remembering the tragic murder of a 13-year old Round Rock girl who was brutally murdered by her 12-year old neighbor.    

“Our hearts and prayers go out all victims of crime; the little girl whose life was taken to soon and the victims of the South By Southwest Tragedy.  During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, I want to commend our team of crisis counselors on the frontlines, helping victims with information and informing them of their rights as a crime victim,” said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.  “The SXSW tragedy is one example of how there are many people behind the scenes that you may never see, but are vital to helping victims of crime navigate through the complicated criminal justice system.”

Judy Brumbelow’s daughter, Kelly Brumbelow, was the center of her universe.  She was a gifted athlete, cheerleader and ranked 2nd in her class.  But, her 13- year old daughter’s life was taken too soon, when a 12- year old neighbor brutally stabbed the teenager 97 times in the head and face and hid her body in his backyard under a pile of firewood.

Judy Brumbelow says she was treated with compassion from the start by the police and crime victim’s advocates.  She encourages others who are going through the process to speak out and don’t be afraid to ask questions if something doesn’t feel right.  She helped pass new legislation and believes victims’ rights give victims a voice. 

Only 30 years ago, crime victims had virtually no rights and no assistance.  The criminal justice system often seemed indifferent to their needs.  Victims were commonly excluded from courtrooms and denied the chance to speak at sentencing. They had no access to victim compensation or services to help rebuild their lives. There were few avenues to deal with their emotional and physical wounds. Victims were on their own to recover their health, security, and dignity.

Today, Texas and the nation have made dramatic progress in securing rights, protections, and services for victims.  Every state has enacted victims’ rights laws and all have victim compensation programs that pay many of victims out- of-pocket expenses from the crime, such as counseling, funeral expenses, and lost wages.

“Our commitment to reaching every victim of crime is stronger than ever,” said Dr. Jennie Barr, Committee Chair of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  “For 30 years, crime victim advocates help victims on a daily basis to help with hope, healing, and justice. Our message to all victims of crime is this: You are not alone.”

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will be held April 6–12, 2014 in communities throughout the nation.  A news conference will be held at the Austin Police Department Headquarters on Thursday April 10th at 2 p.m. and a ceremony will also be held Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Central Christian Church of Austin, Texas.

THESE GROUPS ARE PARTICIPAING IN CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS WEEK  

  • Advancing Victim Rights Law in Texas Workgroup
  • Austin Bella Corda
  • Austin Police Department
  • Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas
  • Crime Victims’ Institute, Sam Houston State University
  • CrimeStoppers
  • For the Love of Christi
  • Institute for Restorative Justice, UT – Austin
  • Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, UT – Austin
  • Jennifer’s Hope
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • People Against Violent Crime
  • Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
  • Texas Advocacy Project 
  • Texas Council on Family Violence
  • Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Texas Department of Public Safety, Victim Services
  • Texas Legal Services Center
  • Texas Office of the Attorney General
  • Texas Office of the Governor
  • Travis County District Attorney’s Office
  • Travis County Sheriff’s Office
  • Texas District and County Attorneys Association
  • Texas Victim Services Association 

Media Contact:

Anna Sabana anna.sabana@austintexas.gov 512-974-5335 Austin Police Department

Susan Risdon susan@redmediagroup.com  214-226-6741 Texas Council on Family Violence