Benefit concert to honor homicide victim

A benefit concert is happening in honor of Matthew Pressnell

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A group dedicated to helping families of homicide victims pick up the pieces of their lives is now hosting a benefit concert to help its mission.

This concert in honor of Matthew Pressnell, a 21-year-old killed in a drunk driving accident. Pressnell’s mother Christy Barnett said her life changed four years ago.

“I didn’t get the chance to go to the hospital to hold his hand," Barnett said. "To say goodbye. I had a state trooper knock on my door and hand me a wallet and say I’m sorry.”

A visit no mother ever expects.

“He was my firstborn son, my only son. He loved everybody. He had plans and all of those plans were taken from us," Barnett said.

Barnett struggled as any parent would, but she said if it wasn’t for the help of the Homicide Survivors Program, she doesn’t know if she would be here today.

The program offers free counseling and support to families and friends of homicide victims.

Director Kim Crawford said the group is there to let people know they’re not alone.

“I lost a sister 24 years ago so part of it is personal, and the other part is just helping the people," Crawford said.

For Barnett, she said it was a comfort to know someone was there and cared.

“She said it’s okay. I was afraid something was wrong with me because I couldn’t stop crying. I could not wake up in the morning and not just be hit again that its still real and it wasn’t a dream," she said.

The important thing, Barnett said, is to keep Pressnell’s memory alive.

On Friday she’s doing just that with a benefit concert in Pressnell’s name to help the Homicide Survivors Program.

The concert will be between 5p.m. and 8 p.m. at The Camp in Huntsville on September 25.

Although it’s free admission to get into the show, the program is just asking for either a donation, or for guests to purchase a raffle ticket in support.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.