Visalia widow shares message of hope during National Crime Victims' Rights Week

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- On Thursday, Visalia's Alice Aleman-Fisher took part in a virtual event held by the California District Attorneys Association, describing how her family's life forever changed on Memorial Day weekend 2017.

Her husband, 35-year-old Eric Fisher, died after being hit by a car and dragged down the street as his family watched in horror.

"We had grown together," Alice said. "We were supposed to have a life together, and that didn't happen."

Less than a year later, the driver of that car, Chaylin Funez, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.

"The support that you have from the advocates and from the DA's office, that's immense," Alice said. "And that's what has allowed me to carry on with hope and to move on with my life."

This week is National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

The president of the state district attorneys' association says it's the job of prosecutors to lift up victims of crime like Alice all year long.

However, he and Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward raised concerns about proposals they believe weaken laws that protect the public.

"I do not understand how this concept of reform comes at the price of victims' rights," Ward said. "We all strive to improve the criminal justice system every day, but it's not mutually exclusive to the rights of victims."

Every year, the Tulare County DA's Office honors local victims of violent crime with a memorial quilt.

Due to COVID-19, the unveiling ceremony wasn't held in-person last year, but Ward says they plan to host one later this year.

"Because I think it is important for all the families," Ward said. "Those that are new into that new community, and I sometimes say that new family, and those that have returned year after year with the desire just to be there for that new family. It's a remarkable ceremony."

Alice knows there will be other victims of crime in Tulare County, and she wants them to know that they won't be alone.

"It is my job to be his voice," she said. "It is my job to be the voice of other victims and say, you know what, there's hope. Even from desperation, from those ashes, you will rise out of it."

Eric Fisher's killer, Chaylin Funez will be eligible for her first parole hearing in 2027, and Alice says she plans to be there.

To watch the California District Attorneys Association video, click here:
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