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Crime Victims Getting Help in NC

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Clayton Police officer Ray Gilmore was killed 16 years ago.
RALEIGH — Crime victims are getting some help in NorthCarolina this year. State funds, set aside by the General Assembly, arenow being used to hire 60 victims' assistants who will help victims andtheir families understand the legal system.

Many families who have been through this before know how important such help can be.

The General Assembly has set aside $3.5 million for victims' assistanceprograms so far. A victims' rights bill will be up in the short sessionthis May. If passed, more jobs could be funded to help victims.

Ray Gilmore, a Clayton police officer, was gunned down 16 years agothis January 30. The murderer is behind bars, but Gilmore's parents,Willam and Nola Gilmore, say they felt confused and alone.

The Gilmores say they felt left out of everything, even as they wereenduring their pain.

The Gilmore's are not alone. Many victims' families or victimsthemselves feel that defendants have really benefited the most in ourjudicialsystem. Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby says that with alittle help from the stateLegislature, the system can change that perception.

Wake County has just hired five new victim's assistants. The GeneralAssemblyhas set aside $3.5 million for victims' assistance programs so far. Avictims' rights bill will be up in the short session of theLegislature this May. If passed,more jobs could be funded tohelp victims.

Photographer:Joe Frieda

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