I’m not a murderer
Updated: Jan 12
I'M NOT A MURDERER...
Whenever I meet people and they find out how much time I have, the first thing they say is "d*** how many people you kill?" My response is always the same. "I didn't kill anyone." Which is true. However, the pain and the guilt of my wrong has kept me from saying this, but I'm saying it now. I'm not a murderer...
What happened?... In 1997 I was an active participant of a robbery that ended in tragedy. My intention was never to harm anyone, but when you're doing wrong, you can NEVER have good intentions.
To say that I am extremely remorseful for my crime would be an understatement. I live with the weight of my crime each day. Now granted, I may not have been responsible for the loss of life, but I am accountable and I am remorseful for my actions, however I'm not a murderer...
Owning my wrong caused me to not question the time I was given. Even though I was well aware that the judge sentenced me way outside the sentencing guidelines, I still humbly accepted it.
NOT ANY MORE....
Herein lies the problem...
My sentencing guidelines were 32 years to 54, with a midpoint of just under 44 years. Instead for my participation, I was sentenced to 3 LIFE SENTENCES PLUS 173 years New Law, as a first time felon.
A law was passed in 2020 to correct handing out excessive, and egregious sentences, which now makes me parole eligible. To God be the glory! However, I do know there is a difference between a man wanting to go home, and one being ready to go home.
Science says "the mind of man changes every 7 years." If this is the case I've done a 180°. How? I've had a heart transplant (Ezek. 36:26-27)
Hold up, let me be honest. Remorse didn't come immediately for me. I had to be broken... COMPLETELY! I had to be reshaped to the man I am today (Rom. 9:20-21). I had to get from beside myself and take a look at myself. Now I can humbly say, that I'M READY to come home.
UP UNTIL 2021 I WAS SCHEDULED TO DIE IN PRISON!
However, when I entered prison, I came in with the mindset of, I have "TWO DAYS." The day I come in and the day I get out. How can I be productive during this 48 hour period?
One, I'd get closer to God. I'd seek His face and not His hand. Two, I'd reflect... About the pain and hurt I caused. About the families and communities I let down and I vowed to dedicate my life to the betterment of self and those around me. And three, I'd read every book I can get my hands on and maximize every educational and vocational class/program offered.
These three things shaped me into the man before you today. Today, I'm a man of God, a Universal Technician for HVACR and I'm enrolled at Southside Virginia Community College, majoring in Business, and working towards obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, with a concentration in Sociology.
I'm also a public/motivational speaker for my occupation as a PREA Peer Educator and the outreach group that I'm a cofounder of named T.U.G. (The Unity Group). T.U.G. is made up of different races, religions and backgrounds, unified to produce POSITIVE change.
Our group was designed to unite through education. I've learned the value of education and vocation and it's my belief the more educated that I am, the more opportunities that will be opened to me as a returning citizen. Below are a list of some of the vocational and educational certifications I've been fortunate to acquire:
* UNIVERSAL TECHNICIAN for HVACR, where I successfully passed the EPA 608 Section Certification exam, on how to responsibly handle refrigerants under Federal Regulations section 608 of the clean air act. Certificate of achievement dated 12/9/21.
* VICTIM'S IMPACT, certificate of achievement dated 5/15/19.
* TAG (Thought Awareness Group), certificate of achievement dated 4/29/18.
* PREPS (Preventing Recidivism by Educating for Parole Success), certificate of achievement dated 4/27/18.
* ECONOMICS FOR FINANCING/FINANCIAL LITERACY CERTIFICATION. Subjects mastered include money, budgeting, banking, credit insurance, retirement planning, and management, certificate of achievement dated 2016.
* ADVANCE BUSINESS SOFTWARE APPLICATION. Which equips me with the tools to be a word processing operator, administrative clerk and personal computer operator, certificate of achievement dated 8/25/16.
* SERVE SAFE CERTIFICATION. I successfully completed the standards set forth for the serve safe food protection Manager Certification, which is accredited by ANSI, certificate of achievement 6/24/16.
* HOUSES of HEALING, certificate of achievement dated 7/31/15.
*BUSINESS SOFTWARE APPLICATION, certificate of achievement dated 7/22/15.
* INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS, certificate of achievement dated 8/28/14.
* ANGER MANAGEMENT ART THERAPY GROUP, certificate of achievement dated 8/25/14.
* CUSTODIAL MAINTENANCE, certificate of achievement dated 9/25/09.
* BREAKING BARRIERS, certificate of achievement dated 5/15/09.
* COMPUTER LITERACY, where I learned how to use word processing, spreadsheet operation, database management, PC Maintenance and all aspects of the industry, certificate of achievement dated 7/03/08.
* COGNITIVE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT, certificate of achievement dated 8/21/05.
I know that ANYTHING YOU MAKE A HABIT OF BECOMES AN ADDICTION. I've made a habit of educating myself. Prison became my Pen State; my University... I took this hell I'm in and found a little piece of heaven. To God be the glory! I took this time to truly better myself because I believe remorse is not something you express, but also demonstrate.
I'm not sharing this to downplay my wrong, I'd never do that! I live with the shame and guilt of my crime each day... I'm sharing this to give you A GLIMPSE of the man I am today. Today, I'm a man that thinks different, speaks different and moves different. All I'm asking for is ONE SHOT! ONE OPPORTUNITY.... To show the world that I am different.
"Science says the mind of man changes every 7 years." Are you the same man/woman you were 23 years ago?... Of course not! NEITHER AM I...
To offer any assistance & for more info: Contact Montusa K. Tabann Pace via Facebook Msgr or via JPAY. Download the JPAY app on your phone/laptop and click on set up email acct. Add his state number #1170776 where needed.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS.