Hall was released after the hearing. White was enraged.
``I thought they would have given him probation or something. I just didn't expect them to say he could go.''
PARENTS FIND KINSHIP
IN EMOTIONAL STRUGGLE
The parents who rallied around White in court that day are Miami-Dade residents who lead working-class or middle-class lives. Of the core group of four women and two men, three live in neighborhoods that were considered to be safe from urban violence. Three live in inner-city neighborhoods.
All say they taught their children to avoid trouble.
All say they raised their children to study in school, to be good to others and to grow up self-sufficient and ready to give back to their community.
Now, their dreams for their children shattered, the parents visit other families whose children have been killed -- cases they learn about from newscasts or through word of mouth.
The membership is informal; some participate more than others, depending on their work schedules and whether they are emotionally ready to deal with grief. So far, they have reached out to about 20 families.
Although White is the youngest parent, she is the group's elder stateswoman. Anthony died in 2003. The others died in 2006 and 2007.
Some of the parents, like Brown and David Jenkins, have shared some of their grief publicly. Most have not. David Jenkins' daughter, 9-year-old Sherdavia, died from gunfire in 2006 while playing on the sidewalk near her home in Liberty City's Liberty Square public housing project.
The parents say they feel a kinship with one another.
Deirdre Anderson of Miami Gardens gets a gnawing feeling in the pit of her stomach when she remembers that her only son, James ''J.T.'' Anderson, never got to attend a prom or graduate from Miami Northwestern High. James was 16 when he was killed in a drive-by shooting near his home in 2006. Two other young men who were with James escaped injury.
Miami-Dade police arrested Richard H. Jenkins, now 21, and charged him with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder.
Jenkins pleaded not guilty and is in jail awaiting trial. His defense attorney, Kenneth White, declined to comment.
''They leave us with nothing,'' Anderson said of the killers. ``That hole, you have to live with. It's not a nice thing.''
For homicide victims' families, grieving is complicated by the unexpected and violent nature of the deaths, said Alesia Hawkins, a psychologist with the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. Hawkins does research and clinical work in African-American families affected by homicide in the North Charleston area.
With deaths resulting from illness or accidents, ''you don't have the intentionality that someone willfully murdered my child,'' she said.
Parents of murdered children grapple with a belief that people who have not lost a child so violently do not understand their pain. They can become withdrawn and isolate themselves because they believe no one else understands, Hawkins said.
Further complicating their lives are experiences alien to them -- having to face the police, dealing with things like autopsies, and navigating through a maze of court hearings, trials and pleadings.
''It's harder to get through the day. I guess I'm living off adrenaline,'' said Jeffery Johnson Sr. His son, Jeffery Jr., was an honors student who was shot to death May 21, 2006, in Liberty City in a dispute over who had the best tricked-out car. The alleged shooter, Antwan Grace, 23, was charged with second-degree murder in that crime. He pleaded not guilty.