Kim and Frank Duval, parents of Wyatt Duval of Lexington, SC, share their Victims Impact Statements as they read them in court prior to the offender being sentenced for their son’s death.
I stand before you today as a devastated and grieving mother. Our son Wyatt was killed by Marshall McFarland on September 2, 2017. It is no longer a Labor Day holiday for me, but a day instead that my son was violently taken from us and a beautiful bright light in this dark world extinguished forever. There is no other way to describe Wyatt. He loved everyone and never met a stranger. People loved him. He could brighten my darkest day. His humor and ability to tell someone was feeling down or sad was recognized by all who experienced his gift. He was a very gifted student. He received accolades throughout his young life in school, Boy Scouts, baseball and helping place flags on Veterans graves. He helped the elderly with groceries at the store or trash at the recycling center. He did this without being asked or told. Wyatt did these things because that was him. That was his heart. However, with all of his awards and accomplishments, I never expected him to be on the Mothers Against Drunk Driving or the SC Highway Patrol list of one of the hundreds killed on SC roads. My son was killed just as surely as if it was a homicide. The defendant chose a different weapon, a vehicle. Mr. McFarland has no respect for the law. I draw this conclusion based on his past actions and criminal activity. He was being served a bench warrant for Failure to Appear. In this particular incident, he resisted arrest and assaulted a police officer. This did not happen years ago. It was in March of 2017. The Solicitor provided examples earlier of the defendant’s disregard for the law and his irresponsible actions and numerous poor decisions that caused Wyatt’s death.
Wyatt was simply going to work and his toxicology report showed nothing in his system. Wyatt was a good, kind, upstanding citizen. I respectfully request this court give Mr. McFarland the maximum sentence allowed by law. I ask this without hatred in my heart. I ask for the maximum because I am a concerned, law abiding citizen in the community. The defendant not only killed our son, but he endangered every motorist on the road that night. Please give the maximum sentence so that Mr. McFarland can reflect on the actions that led him here and give him time to alter his future actions. The taking of a life needs to have punishment and the person responsible to be held accountable for that. I cannot bring our son Wyatt back. Nothing can. However, there must be justice for those innocent victims who cannot speak for themselves. Thank you.
Thank you for allowing me a moment to speak. While there is no way to be as poignant as Wyatt’s mom, my wife, and Wyatt’s aunt, my sister, I am begging you to please look at all of the evidence and see the reckless behavior and irresponsibility that caused the death of our 21 years old son who was looking towards a bright future. No matter how many years you sentence the defendant to, his situation is temporary. When he eventually gets out, he can rebuild his life and make of it what he wants. Our family and friends will permanently mourn for Wyatt, try to make it through each day and the holidays, always think about what could have been and wonder what he would say if he were here. Thank you
The offender received a sentence of 7 years for Wyatt’s death.