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Mother returns home after killer's execution

LAWTON, Okla._ A Lawton mother is looking back on the life and memory of her daughter, now that the man who killed her has been put to death.

Veronica "Tina" Jefferson was just 23 when she was raped and murdered in 1988 in Virginia. Tina grew up in Lawton, and was a graduate of Eisenhower High School. Her killer, Alfredo Prieto was executed Thursday night.

Tina's mother Velda Jefferson says even after 27 years she had no doubt that Alfredo Prieto would be put to justice for what he did to her daughter.

"He'll get it either on this side or on the other side, but I did believe justice would be done but just to see it being carried out in full it was, it was surreal, " said Velda Jefferson.

Jefferson says sitting in the gallery of the execution chamber in Virginia, she still wanted to see if her daughter's killer had any repentance.

"There was none. There was none. So I just said well you know that's it I have seen for myself. He thinks he's alright but he's got a maker to answer to and that is my consolation, he has to answer to the maker," said Jefferson.

Jefferson says since Tina's death she clings to the memories of the time they had together.

"She would come and sit on my lap you know as a grown woman come and sit on my lap and put her arms around my neck you know and just love on me and I really miss that, because when she passed away I said, 'I will never get to hold her again'," said Jefferson.

Jefferson says even during her short time on earth her daughter left her mark. She was a member of the National Honor Society, President of her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, at OSU and after graduation, went to work for the CIA in their accounting department in Washington, D.C.

"I felt that way that she had accomplished because she went after it. So that little that she did accomplish in our sight could have been much greater had her life not been taken away," said Jefferson.

Jefferson says she finds solace in a poem that talks about a woman entering the Kingdom of Heaven.

"This gave me comfort. Can you see it? ‘How could I wish her back again? What wealth could her entice? She wouldn't feel at home I'm sure since she has glimpsed paradise."

Jefferson says her family has remained close-knit, taking their grief day by day and never forgetting to show how much they care.

"From that time on we always make sure that we let our loved ones know that we love them because you know life is so short you don't ever know when the last time you are going to speak to them," said Jefferson.

In Tina's memory, at the Lawton Friendship Pentecostal Church, November 7, there will be an art class fundraiser. A portion of the money raised will go toward a scholarship offered by her sorority at Oklahoma State University. 

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