(WAFB) - For the families of three men who died in East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge Parishes, nothing can bring back their loved ones or even begin to wipe away the pain, but the Crime Victim Reparations Board is hoping to help them get through the grieving process.
"He was goofy. He was my best friend. He would make anyone smile. He's one of the only ones I knew who could be grumpy and cute at the same time," said Brad DeFranceschi's wife, Kaylene.
Kaylene says as a family, they talked about the recent shootings and killings. "I told him I didn't want him doing yard work and he had actually discussed with me and the children one of our many conversations and that's how he lived saying, 'You live life to the fullest,' and he said, 'I could die tomorrow,'" said Kaylene.
In his 48 years, Kaylene says Brad lived his life to the fullest. In fact, even though she is his wife, Kaylene says she never knew how many lives he had touched until the funeral Sunday, when she saw the outpouring of love and support.
Monday, she met with the Crime Victim Reparations Board for a $500 check presentation. "It's for victims that are innocent victims of crime, who have not had a felony history in the last five years and it's funded by fines and fees against criminals on a state and federal level," said Carolyn Stapleton with the Crime Victim Reparations Board.
Stapleton says victims of violent crimes are eligible. In this case, the families of these four men can qualify for up to $10,000 each. "It's the one thing that we can do as a society that recognizes the victims who usually are forgotten," said Stapleton.
"This is a huge help," said Kaylene.
Kaylene and the other three families were not aware of this organization, which has been in place since 1982. "We were not financially rich, but we were very rich in love," said Kaylene.
DeFranceschi leaves behind his wife and their two children, Kristopher and Kylee. Despite their pain, Kaylene says she lives by fallen BRPD Officer Montrell Jackson's words: "Don't let hate infect your heart."
"We plan and we are carrying on the love. The darkness will not win," said Kaylene.
She isn't just saying that. She means it knowing that Ryan Sharpe's parents are also victims in this. "My family and I want Bill Sharpe and his family to know that our prayers and love are with them too," said Kaylene.