Community works to keep memory of woman alive

Monday, July 14th 2008, 1:02 am
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

KINGFISHER, Okla. -- Amber Matthews was shot during a home invasion while visiting a friend near Watonga in 2005. Now, the community is keeping her legacy alive.

One by one friends and family rolled out of Kingfisher on a journey for one person.

"I don't want people to forget her," Pat Rodriguez, said. "She was a great person. She would give you the shirt off her back; give you her last penny, that's how good of a person she was."

Rodriguez organized the memorial motorcycle run in Amber Matthews' name. The money raised goes to the Dover school district.

"She went to school there her whole life, that's where her friends were," Amber's cousin, Rebecca Watkins said.

It is a community that is still shocked at the way Amber left them three years ago.

Amber was staying at a friend's house near Watonga when two drifters broke in killing Amber and wounding Lauren Drue Kopf.

Wendell Arden Grissom was convicted in March and sentenced to death.

The other man, Jessie Floyd Johns was convicted last week. His sentencing is on Monday.

"The first one got the death penalty; he deserves the same cause he was there and didn't try to stop it," Watkins said.

The trial brings back painful memories for Amber's family.

Those close to Amber don't want to remember the way she died, but the way she touched the people around her.

"Very outgoing, a great person was always trying to cheer you up," Amber's cousin, Candice Madden said.

Her loved ones also want to keep Amber's name alive in a community she loved.

"Bring awareness to other people that things like this do happen to people it shouldn't happen to," Watkins said. "Hopefully we raise enough to help Dover schools."

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Jessie Floyd Johns.