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Mother mourns murdered daughter

Lawton_Next Sunday is the one-year anniversary of the murders of two young Lawton women in their own home.   Xavier Adams is accused of murdering Jennifer Brown and Bianca Ward.  As 7 News reported Monday night, his preliminary hearing had been set for Monday, but it was delayed.  The new date is August 15, coincidentally it would have been the 22nd birthday of Jennifer Brown.  The two women were found shot to death in their home in the 6100 block of Oakcliff last July.  Police say the motive of Ward's estranged boyfriend, Adams, was jealousy after he had caught her talking to another man.

Judy Brandstetter is looking at a difficult day in court next month but she also is looking at it as an omen that her daughter, Jennifer, is going to get justice.  Judy remembers July 27, 2007, as if it were yesterday.  Jennifer was to meet her mother at her mother's home.  "I kept trying to call her, and she wasn't answering the phone."

Then Judy received a phone call, "All I heard was ‘get over there quick.'  When I got there, and the crime scene tape and everything was up, my heart dropped-I knew."

Jennifer and her housemate, Bianca Ward, had been found shot to death.  "Nothing else in this world can be done to me that is any worse." 

Jennifer was an only child.  Her mother says she was a typical teenager attending Eisenhower High School.  She loved to talk on the phone and spend time with friends.  Almost a year later, these memories are fresh in her mind.  Time has not healed her wounds.  "Whoever said times heals, I feel the loss just as much as I did last year."

Jennifer's friends and family steel feel the pain of the loss as do the friends and family of Bianca.  Judy copes with her grief with the help of a grief counselor and belongs to a group called Compassionate Friends, composed of parents who have lost their children to crime. She says it is what she does that helps the most.  "I talk to her all of the time, look at her pictures all the time and I...I cry a lot."

Count on 7 News to follow the preliminary hearing for Adams set on August 15.

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