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Family Waits For Justice After Losing Loved One

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FAYETTEVILLE — One year ago, Debbie Wilkes was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she crossed the street at Bragg Boulevard with her son. Her family has moved on and is coping with her loss, but they are still waiting for the driver to be brought to justice.

Today, Curt Wilkes has fun just being an 11-year-old child. He loves to play football and eat at Chuck E. Cheese. For a boy who lost his mother last year, his family says it's a pleasing sight to see.

"He's doing real good. He's trying to cope," says Peggy Spencer, Debbie's sister.

One night last July, Curt and his mother, Debbie, were hit by a car as they crossed Bragg Boulevard. Police say the car was driven by Gregory Raya, who drove away. Debbie died in surgery the next day.

"I know the Lord is protecting her, and she's in a better place," says Curtis Wilkes, Debbie's husband.

Three days later, Raya contacted police. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter, felony hit and run and failure to stop at a red light. More than a year after the accident, the case still has not gone to trial.

"When I talk to Curtis, the first thing he wants to know is when he's going to trial, and has anything been happening? And I have to tell him no," Spencer says.

"I'll be glad when it's over with, so we can rest in peace," Wilkes says.

Ronnie Mitchell, Raya's attorney, says it is not unusual for a felony case to take this long to come to trial. Raya can only travel between home and work until his case comes to trial. Mitchell says it is hard to say exactly when his trial will begin.


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