Family comes to defense of man accused in Columbia Parkway accident

Raymond Weathers, photo taken in 2005 (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Raymond Weathers, photo taken in 2005 (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

The family of the man charged in Tuesday's Columbia Parkway accident is now speaking out in his defense.

Because FOX19 is dedicated to covering all sides of the story, even when some find it difficult to sympathize with all sides, we sat down with the family of Raymond Weathers to hear what they had to say.

"I'm going to be supportive of him because that's my son's father," Kimberly Gray told FOX19.  "I have no choice. When I look at him I see my son and if he's OK then I know my son's going to be OK."

While most people know Raymond Weathers as a man in a mug shot, his son's mother and good friend Kimberly Gray has a very different view.

"He always had a smile on his face, he was always joking, he was a hard worker," she shared.

Gray says their son, now nine years old, understands he may not see his dad for a while.

"He knows that there was an unarmed officer that's in serious condition," she explained. "He knows that his dad might go do some jail time. He knows that. I'm not sugar coating anything because I want him to know that his dad will get through it, you will get through this, me and you are going to get through this."

She also recognizes they are not the only family in pain.

"A mother to a mother I know the wife [of Officer Schaeper] is hurting," she said, "I know they're in prayer just like we did, we did John 3:16 last night, me and my son."

She recognizes that the pain that began on Columbia Parkway is still very fresh for the Schaeper family.

"Nothing can make her feel more happy because her husband's in the hospital fighting for his life," she emphasized. "The man she looked to every day, the kids looked to every day for advice, or for comfort, or to make her smile or whatever. He's fighting for his life and I understand that."

She also understands that it is Raymond who crossed the line.

"I understand they want to blame somebody, I understand that. I'm OK that they're wanting to blame Raymond for what happened to them," she offered."But at the same time everybody makes mistakes. Once you get passed your anger, once you get past your emotions, once you get passed your feelings you have to sit there and say 'OK, what's the reality?' That's why they're called mistakes. That's why they're called accidents."

Both Gray and Raymond's mother say they did not know anything about the alleged marijuana use, but Gray was adamant that Raymond would never go to work high.

His mother, who he lives with, says she also had no idea his license had ever been suspended. She says as the oldest of eight, he was a good kid, but that even good kids make bad decisions.

"Just one day at a time," Gray said. "Time heals, time forgives, you never can forget but forgiving is big."

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