Light a candle in remembrance of Amber Piguet. A young woman murdered by an older man. She was 25 years old. He was 66. They partnered for 4 years prior and shared a child. South Webster was their home, Southern Ohio Appalachia. Not far from Pike County.

According to public court documents found on the internet — Case No.18CA3839, 05-17-2019, STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Carl Hayden, Defendant-Appellant. This is a delayed appeal from a Scioto County Court of Common Pleas judgment entry convicting Appellant, Carl Hayden, of aggravated murder with a firearm specification, murder with a firearm specification, four counts of felonious assault all with firearm specifications, improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation or a school safety zone, and one count of menacing by stalking. After merging the count for murder and several of the assault counts, the court sentenced Appellant to life without parole plus twenty two years.

Three children witnessed the horrific death of Amber Piguet. Three people arrived on the scene to help, but the bullets had already silenced her life. A family traumatized by how she died. So many victims left to suffer and mourn. So many lives forever changed on that ominous night.

Carl Hayden, her killer, resides in a Correctional Institution in Ohio. He is a former Southern Ohio Correctional Facility guard. Ironic isn’t it. He’s wearing a different type of uniform. Life in prison without parole. Yes, that is a form of justice on this earth. But may every lungful of air he takes be tainted by memories of his inhumane crime.

A coward behind a gun took a mother from her children. Did Hayden actually believe he could outsmart the police, the detective, the prosecutor, the jury, and judge by buying a quieter vehicle; hiding the murder weapon; giving a false alibi?

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network reported 131 people died from domestic violence from July 2020 to June 2021. The abuser died by suicide in 22 cases. The abuser was male in 82 of the 90 cases, the survey found.

In 2020, the Ohio House voted in favor of strengthening domestic violence law with House Bill 3. The legislation calls for expanding domestic violence to include strangulation of a family or household member; creating a new protection order for domestic violence victims that law enforcement can request when courts are closed; requiring police departments to connect high risk victims to help programs and use lethality assessment screening tools; requesting the supreme court review evidence rules to consider changes that may help victims; and increasing police officer training in intervention techniques. It’s the Senate’s turn to vote.

I’m glad justice was served for Amber Piguet. “Each time a woman stands up for herself without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”—Maya Angelou

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an opinion-editorial columnist and a resident of Southern Ohio.

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