This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

"Methamphetamine impacts everybody with impunity"

The Mobile Register

Guilty pleas cancel murder trials

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Staff Reporter

Two defendants charged in unrelated murder cases and scheduled for trial Monday in Mobile courtrooms offered guilty pleas before juries could be selected.

Both cases, according to court officials, were products of alcohol or drug abuse.

Howard Chestang, 59, had been slated to start his trial before Mobile County Circuit Judge Ferrill McRae for the August 2004 beating death of Larry Turner inside what was described as an Eight Mile meth house.

In the other case, 40-year-old Kelvin Law pleaded guilty to murder in the strangulation and beating death of Savannah Taylor, 55, described as his girlfriend. Law's Mobile lawyer, James Brandyburg, said the couple had been in a long-term relationship.

Chestang pleaded guilty to manslaughter and attempting to receive stolen property. After sentencing Chestang to 15 years for manslaughter and 10 years on the theft-related charge, to be served consecutively, McRae suspended the sentences to the time that the defendant has already spent in Mobile County Metro Jail, about 15 months.

The judge told Chestang that if he gets into trouble with the law during his five-year probation period he would be subject to serving the 25-year combined sentences.

According to court officials, the death scene, a trailer home on Glow Ann Road, was commonly used to produce and consume the powerful chemical stimulant methamphetamine. Neither Turner nor Chestang was a resident there, according to court records.

Officials said that had Chestang gone to trial, evidence would have been presented suggesting that the defendant attacked the victim in one of the trailer home's bedrooms.

Turner died of blunt force trauma. The murder weapon was described as possibly a club or a metal pipe, but was never found.

On Monday, Assistant District Attorney Dave Peacock described Turner as "a good father" and good man who "got wrapped up in meth and that is where it ended."

Chestang's Mobile lawyer, Jan Jones, said drugs figured heavily into the case. "Methamphetamine impacts everybody with impunity," she said. "It does not discriminate. It just destroys."

In the other plea agreement, Circuit Judge Herman Thomas gave Law a 20-year suspended sentence, ordering him to serve five of those years in prison and five years on probation.

According to court officials, the victim's family members told Thomas they had agreed to the sentence that Law received.

Law and Taylor got into an altercation in front of a former senior citizens center on Whistler Street in Prichard on an August night in 2004, court records show.

Court officials said that Taylor's blood-alcohol level registered at more than four times the legal limit, and Law was so intoxicated after his arrest that he could not continue an interview being conducted by investigators.


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