The family of Norman Alex Gallman, who was gunned down in a road rage incident in December 2013, said Thursday they are discouraged they won't get their day in court.
"We are disappointed that we will not be able to bring this case to trial, but whether it ever got to trial or not, I was there, I know what took place," said Anna Caro, Gallman's widow. "I relive it every day as I drive by, taking our sons to school."
Caro, Gallman's parents Charles and Dianne Gallman, and his sister, Rashae Doyle, were emotional at times during a news conference at the law offices of Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon that was held for the family to discuss Gallman's death and the case against Richard Manning, accused of shooting and killing the personal trainer and father of two on Dec. 17.
Charges against Manning, who died March 26 while in custody and hospitalized at a local hospital, were dropped Thursday. He was being treated for cancer and diabetes and had suffered a stroke days after the shooting. Guarding Manning at the hospital cost about $380 a day for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office alone.
On the day of the incident, Caro and Gallman had been on their way to get lunch together as a celebration of the anniversary of their first date, Caro said. Gallman had gotten out of their vehicle to inspect the car because he thought they had been hit from behind.
"In just a matter of seconds, our life, and the life of our boys, changed," Caro said.
Caro described Gallman as a great man and "the perfect dad" who was always there for their children's needs.
"Alex is an awesome person, an awesome man, someone who helped people for the good, someone who changed people's lives," Caro said. "He made my life complete."
Gallman's family members said they had refrained from making media statements previously because they thought the judicial system should work without interference. They are sorry they will not get closure from seeing the case brought to trial.
"We know our son, and we also know what took place," said Mrs. Gallman. "This was a senseless act from someone that I pray no other mother, father, family or children will ever have to face."
Charles Gallman said that while Alex had always called him his hero, he considered Alex his.
"He's the best 'da-da' I've ever known, none better than him; best family man, loves doing and planning for his family; just a super person in every way, a great son," Gallman's father said. Since the shooting, their family had been relying on God and prayer to see them through, he said.
Gallman's sister spoke of her brother's importance to her while growing up, and of how likeable, helpful and friendly a person he was. She associated her brother's death with other instances of "senseless" gun violence, such as the Sandy Hook and Fort Hood attacks, and said the nation's gun laws need to change.
"[Alex] was the type of person who would defuse any situation and turn the other cheek, and was always willing to help someone in need," Doyle said. "Unfortunately, on December 17 my brother was the victim of gun violence in the senseless act by Mr. Manning. It has been very difficult to comprehend, but our faith in God's unfailing love will prevail."
Contact staff writer Alex Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6592.