COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – After two-and-a-half years, a trial date has been set for the murder of Columbus woman, Destinee Virgin.
Authorities said Virgin was murdered in board daylight by her boyfriend Markel Ervin at a stoplight on Macon Road on Sept. 22, 2018. This incident occurred while Ervin was out on bond for allegedly kidnapping Virgin that April.
Virgin’s mother, Mechelle Virgin, feels the system failed her daughter. She is advocating for justice not only for her daughter but for potential future victims, too.
“This is happening everyday to women, men. The stories are getting worse by the day the, the events leading up to it, some of these things can be prevented, we gotta be better with the law. The laws are not protecting the victims they’re protecting the predators,” said Virgin. “They need to know when these people are released from jail, or when they’re released from their ankle monitor, or when they cut their ankle monitor off. And just all these types of things, the law, they’re slipping through the cracks and that’s how we’re losing victims everyday.”
Mechelle Virgin said the May 10 trial date has been a long time in the making, as she has been in an out of ZOOM hearings trying to get answers, since the pandemic shutdown jury trials last March. She said it wasn’t until a week and a half ago that they finally received a trial date.
“We had to wait so long because, you know, they used the COVID for a very long time and I understand that COVID did stop a lot of things that was going on in the world, but as a whole we know COVID’s not going anywhere,” said Virgin. “…I’m glad we made the legislative decision to, hey we need to keep, we need to move forward because we have families that are still grieving, that are still waiting to seek justice so how long do we have to wait? How long do we have to wait.”
Destinee’s mother said she knows Chattahoochee Valley Judicial Circuit District Attorney Mark Jones is juggling numerous cases, so she texts a picture of Destinee before she writes her messages to remind him of what who she is fighting for. She also said she has been in contact with Jones about three times a week since Jan. 6.
“This is my child, no ones going to fight for her the way I would, this is why I’m staying on top of Mr. Mark Jones, for an example, because I need him to understand that this just isn’t another file on your desk, this is my child,” said Virgin. “She is not another file, she was my child. She was headed to the navy, she didn’t have any kids, she just graduated, she didn’t have record. So what are we going to do for her. What are we going to do for her.”
Virgin also told News 3 that she’s wants to get her daughter’s story told not only to get justice, but also to help other people get out of abusive relationships before it’s too late.
“Love doesn’t hurt, and I’m here to pass that along because my, my daughter’s story will touch someone,” said Virgin. “If you’re in a violent or toxic situation now where there it’s emotionally, physically, love doesn’t hurt no matter what it is and you have to get out of this situation before it’s too late.”
Despite living outside of Muscogee County, Virgin’s mother said she will be at every hearing or trial for her daughter’s murder case.