Mike Reynolds still leading crime fight 20 years after daughter's murder

FRESNO, Calif.

Saturday marks the twentieth anniversary of the day Kimber Reynolds died.

Although much has happened in the life of her father, Mike, over the last 20 years, he still remembers June 30, 1992 like it was yesterday.

Kimber Reynolds was out in Fresno's Tower District having dessert with some friends.

As she left the restaurant a man tried to grab her purse, 18-year-old Kimber was shot to death trying to fight back.

Twenty years later, her father, Mike Reynolds says he still has a hole in his heart.

Says Reynolds, "they keep saying, 'have you gotten closure, have you gotten closure?' You don't get over something like this. You end up somehow learning to live with this. It's like learning how to live with the loss of an arm or a leg. You learn to live with it, but you never get over it."

It turns out the two men behind the murder had recently paroled from prison and were repeat offenders.

The thought infuriated Reynolds.

"How is it that these people get out each time, go back and do the same crimes over and over again and they seem to be unstoppable. How can we possibly do something to stop them?" Reynolds said.

It was in his backyard that Reynolds met with law enforcement and legal representatives in the summer of 1992 to figure out a way to keep repeat offenders locked up.

Two years later, Three Strikes became California law. It imposed severe penalties on criminals who commit serious crimes and gave Three Strikes offenders a life prison sentence. The law has been adopted by 25 other states and many foreign countries.

Over the years several groups have campaigned to lessen the severity of three strikes. In November California voters will again be asked to reform the law.

Mike Reynolds says he will once again fight to keep the Three Strikes intact.

"It has been such an effective deterrent to crime. For every offender that goes down on the third strike, there are hundreds more who say 'that's it for me!' maybe they've left California or they've stopped doing crime." Reynolds said.

Had she lived, Kimber Reynolds would have been 38 years old.

Mike Reynolds and his wife keep in touch with the woman who received Kimber's heart. She's a 52-year-old mother who lives in Sacramento.

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