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02-20-09, 07:57 PM #1
Facebook item shocks victim's family
LONDON -- A shocking Facebook message has upset the people closest to a young Newbury man killed in an impaired driving hit-and-run crash.
"F . . . you all, this isn't over yet. You people think you know everything, but the truth will still come out!" the message read.
The message appeared on a social networking page dedicated to the memory of Tony Degraw, 20, who died early New Year's Day 2007.
The posting came from a web page belonging to someone named Shalenea Turnbull.
Shalenea Turnbull, 25, of Glencoe, was convicted Wednesday of impaired driving causing death and failing to remain at the scene of an accident in the Degraw case.
Yesterday, Turnbull denied she wrote the message that appeared three hours after Justice Joseph Donohue convicted her after a five-day trial.
Turnbull was found guilty of hitting Degraw with her van on Dundonald Road just south of Glencoe about 4 a.m.
The Facebook message has been removed from a website called Tony Laundry . . . RIP, named after a nickname Degraw was given by friends.
But before it was gone, many people close to Degraw, including his family, saw it.
Don Degraw, Tony's father, said his family was extremely upset and called police. Tony's mom and sisters cried, he said.
"I'm just livid," he said.
Many messages came in after the posting and some were from Turnbull's family, offering their sympathies and adding Turnbull "had crossed the line."
Degraw said he and his family were able to see on Turnbull's web page that someone posting from the page had signed onto the "Tony Laundry" page at 6:18 p.m., a minute before the message appeared.
Messages that appeared on the memorial web site after the posting reflected the shock.
"You crossed the line again. You have NO RESPECT for a grieving family. What a disgrace," 'Cheryl' wrote.
"If that is somebody pretending to be her, that's not funny. And if that is actually Shalenea Turnbull, then you are honestly evil to come write that on this group," 'Jacklynn' wrote.
Reached at her home and asked if she wrote the message, Turnbull said, "No. I'm telling you I didn't write it."
Asked who wrote the message if she didn't, she said, "It doesn't matter. Maybe somebody in my house wrote it. Maybe a family member wrote it.
"There's definitely two sides to a story and I am not in a legal position to be speaking about my side right now."
Turnbull said many people have access to her Facebook account.
She said she's been harassed in the community and on the Internet since her conviction. "I don't deserve to be called a killer. I don't deserve a lot of what I am receiving. But does anybody hear that stuff?" she asked.
Turnbull is on bail, waiting for her sentencing date to be set March 10.
The verdict will be appealed, she added.
London lawyer Gord Cudmore, acting for the Degraws in a civil suit, said part of the message on the tribute page is correct.
"It's not over," he said. "There's still a civil trial coming and we'll get some answers there."
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