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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Victims' families react

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ricky Mustard
For Cheryl Pickett, it has been a long 20 years.

Upon returning from work, Pickett was the person who found her husband Ricky Mustard, 32, and daughter Tonya Pickett, 16, dead from apparent gunshot wounds in their home, 110 W. Pinckley St., Brazil, on Nov. 18, 1988.

On Wednesday, Pickett -- along with several members of her family -- received news that after 20 years, officials had arrested John Lovett, 37, Brazil, and charged him with two counts of murder stemming from the case.

Tonya Pickett
"It's been my mission to get some type of justice," Cheryl told various media outlets following a 25-minute press conference regarding the cold case. "It's been very hard. She was my only daughter. So it's been very tough for me.

"I believe that maybe I can move forward. I can get justice for my baby and my husband."

Several Mustard family members were in attendance Wednesday as well.

Nancy Hicks, Ricky Mustard's sister, was 28-years-old when Mustard was killed.

She said she didn't believe an arrest would ever be made in the case.

"I really didn't," she said. "I'm just glad. He was my best friend."

Special Prosecutors David Powell and Delbert Brewer informed family members and media outlets at the press conference that officials had arrested Lovett Wednesday morning. He was arrested in a subdivision just north of Brazil off State Road 59.

Lovett is currently being held without bail at the Clay County Justice Center, but Powell said that could change. Powell said Lovett was dating Tonya Pickett at the time of the murders.

"I can't comment on what he's been doing (in the past 20 years)," Powell said.

Powell stressed Lovett is entitled to a fair trial and will receive one.

Lovett was arraigned in Clay County Circuit Court Wednesday and a trial date of 9 a.m., Aug. 4, 2008, has been scheduled.

An eight-member panel was convened in the Grand Jury cold case investigation just weeks ago.

At the time, it was believed close to 230 witnesses might have been called to testify in the case.

This was the second Grand Jury convened in the case. The first took place in 2004, after one of the original investigators, Cap. Roger Lindsay, was accused of creating false information that wrongly implicated individuals of the murders and hampered both the original case and the cold case investigation.

On Wednesday, Powell said he wished things could have been handled differently, but was confident in moving forward.

"That doesn't do any good, to play the blame game," Powell said. "In every criminal investigation, there are mistakes made."

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Cheryl I hope you get some closure on this. Our family has kept you in our prayers since that day. Tonya was a good friend and I miss our time together, she always was a friend you could count on. God Bless.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Fri, Mar 21, 2008, at 5:31 PM

Cheryl, I too wish you peace and closure. As a friend of Tonya's I can always remember the support you provided not only to Tonya, but to all of us around her. I still can remember Tonya's smiling face at the dance that night, she was always SO happy and a source of light during times of all of our trials and tribulations. I still miss her!

-- Posted by maybe on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 2:26 PM

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