Justice is important for Michelle Cazeaux's grieving family. That's because, according to the Mississippi Department of Corrections, the man charged with her murder served only six months of a ten year sentence for a 1996 Jackson County robbery and kidnapping. That just makes Judy Cazeaux's pain even worse, as she copes with the loss of her youngest daughter who everyone called "Chelle."
Judy says there are two reasons she keeps going despite her painful loss: her older daughter Leslie and seeking justice for Chelle.
"Half my heart's gone, I buried it. I got another half, that's why I'm livin' that's the only reason I'm livin and to see that he that the justice system works this time," she says.
A few years ago Chelle participated in several of the youth programs produced by WLOX. Oddly, a tape of those shows is still in Judy's VCR. Apparently it was the last tape Chelle watched and today, Judy and Leslie watched it together.
Judy says Chelle loved movies, especially those with her favorite star Bruce Willis. She loved music and going out with her friends and she often bought them gifts.
Her mother says Chelle never knew a stranger. Ironically it was strangers, anonymous donors, who paid for the teen's funeral, sent cards and letters and brought the family flowers and food. Judy says she may never know who they all are, but she has so many thanks for their kindness.
"I wanna thank 'em. I wanna thank the police department and I wanna thank the press for not botherin' me. I wanna thank my family and her sister and all her lovely friends that I can touch still and hold and feel Chelle running through them."
The man charged with killing Michelle Cazeaux is 23-year old Jason Glen Taylor of Ocean Springs. Police arrested Taylor Monday morning at an apartment in east Gulfport. He is charged with capital murder. Taylor is being held in the Harrison County jail on a half million dollar bond. The Department of Corrections has a hold on him also for probation violation.