FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The instrument that brought a family joy for years is now a main character in their nightmares.
"Now I'm stuck with the image of my son's head being crushed with his own guitar," said Jeanine Ketcheside, the victim's mother.
The sting of David Ketcheside's death hasn't numbed for those who loved him.
"It's been nearly two years since Dustin murdered my son and I still cry for him almost every day and I miss him all the time," said Keith Ketcheside.
His son loved Dustin Baize too, but when Dustin found Dave asleep with Kara Baize, he went berserk. Baize killed Ketcheside with his high school graduation gift from his parents -- his favorite guitar, a Les Paul Cherry Sunburst. The crime left two girls fatherless and in fear at the ages of six and eight.
"When the doorbell rings, I run and hide, afraid Dustin is at the door ready to kill me," said David's older daughter Mallory in a victim impact statement.
With a "heat of passion" defense and the possibility of forcing the girls to testify in a murder trial, prosecutors negotiated a voluntary manslaughter plea from Baize. The punishment could've been anywhere from three to 12 years in prison. In handwritten letters read by their mother, Ketcheside's girls asked for the max.
"I would love for Dustin to be in prison for as long as possible so I can be an adult when he gets out and protect myself," wrote Sadee Ketcheside.
Despite Baize's lack of criminal history and the remorse he displayed with his tears in court, the judge gave him the full 12 years. Sadee will be 17 by the time her father's killer can get out. But both girls have lost their protector, and their innocence.
"I have to accept the fact that even though I'm her mom and my job is to fix things, I'll never be able to fix this for her," said Jody Ketcheside.
She's trying to fix it anyway, at least for other children in a similar spot. Jody Ketcheside is spearheading the effort to pass SB 176, also known as Sadee's Law.
It'd allow children under the age of 13 to testify by closed circuit TV, not face-to-face with the person causing their nightmares.
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