I’ve debated publishing this document, due to the feelings on it being so personal to me. However, I’ve had many individuals that have requested some help in creating their Victim Impact Statement.
Just like the feelings in this post are personal to me, your impact statement will be personal to you. Please don’t use my impact statement as a building block for your own… instead, let it lead you in the way I’ve been respectful to the court, described my feelings without having to curse, and still expressed myself completely.
If you need direction in your own Impact Statement, please feel free to reach out. I’d be honored to help you.
May 1, 2019-
IN RE: John Dakota Seger Parole:
On 7/27/2013, Corey Laykovich (22) was walking home in Independence, MO when he met up with John Dakota (Cody) Seger. They were acquaintances and sat together at a metal picnic table. For reasons unknown, Inmate Seger stood up beside Corey to the left and behind. He held a knife to the back of his neck, and Corey responded by turning his head quickly to the right and jumping up from the picnic table. This caused bruising on his legs, a scratch along the back of his neck, and a penny sized gouge in the right side of this neck. When Corey stood up, Inmate Seger stabbed Corey through his liver. He then removed the knife, ran, and disposed of the knife. He then avoided police on this issue for 3 ½ years. As a result of his actions, Corey Laykovich died on 07/28/2013 after being revived 4 times.
Since killing Corey, Seger has:
1. Burglarized a home, ripped the colostomy bag off his
victim’s leg, and smeared manure on the walls (receiving probation)
2. Stole a car and caused $40,000 in damages at a car dealership (receiving probation)
3. Was involved in a hit and run. (receiving a 5-year sentence- decreased to a 120-day drug rehab and parole).
4. While on Parole, he led the police in a high-speed pursuit, in a stolen vehicle, as a felon in possession of a sawed-off shotgun!
ALL these crimes happened after Corey was killed! It was only then the police asked if he killed Corey. He said yes, but it was self-defense! We did it! It took us 3 ½ years, but we found the man that took Corey’s life!
My son was not in a fight that night. This was not self-defense. You cannot hold a knife in your right hand and stab someone in the right side of the abdomen in a fight. There were no defensive wounds. No tissue under his nails. No bruises. I saw his wounds. Only the surgeon and I saw his abdominal wound. The knife went in from the right side. The thick side of the knife blade was on the left side of the wound (as you looked at it) … which means he stood beside my son and stabbed him.
Do we want a sociopath such as this to be released after doing 2 years and a few months for murder???
Really? Is that all my son’s life is worth?
How about the next man?
In that same 3 ½ years:
Corey’s organs were donated. I received a letter from the Midwest Transplant Network. They gave me details of Corey’s transplant recipients.
- A 52-year-old woman received his heart- she lives in Kansas City, and wants to work with at-risk teens
- A 22-year-old woman received his lungs – living Texas with lung disease, her family planned on take her off life support the next morning. She’s taken her first full breath
- A 66-year-old woman received his liver- It failed due to the damage it received, but kept her alive long enough to receive another
- A 57-year-old man received a kidney- I’ve never heard from him, but believe he lives in the metropolitan area.
- A 45-year-old woman received his second kidney and pancreas- she found us within 2 months of Corey’s murder.
In addition to saving these five lives:
A 29-year-old received one of his corneas, and A 17-year-old received the other – giving them both sight.
Countless others received bone, bone marrow, veins, and other tissue.
In the meantime, we’ve started a 501(c)3 called Corey’s Network, Inc. We are an advocacy program for the surviving victims of homicide. To date, we’ve helped pay for 175 funerals of homicide victims.
My son is a hero.
My heart aches just as much now as it did 6 years ago.
I spoke to my perfectly healthy son at 5:30pm. I told him I loved him. Then at 2:00am, I was beckoned to his room only to find him bleeding to death!!
And my son didn’t “just die”. He died 5 times!!
Once in my arms.
Once in the ambulance.
Once in the ER.
Once in the ICU.
Then finally he died the 5th time of a stroke, and he couldn’t be revived.
John Dakota Seger murdered my son 5 times!!
Now, I have PTSD. One of the symptoms of this tragic disorder is that you relive the trauma that caused it… over and over… and over… and over.
No, I don’t jump at loud sounds like someone that’s been in a war. But I couldn’t bring myself to stay more than 5 minutes in the room where Corey was found for the first 5 years.
This is because being in there makes me relive everything I saw, heard, felt, and smelled while my son lay dying in my arms. I waited like that for the ambulance as Justin cried out to them to “please hurry!!!”, and it seemed like an eternity.
It’s in the dark hours between midnight and when I am lulled to sleep by the droning television that I think of Corey and I cry. Because it’s during this time that I cannot escape my visions.
Some nights, I just sit and try to remember Corey’s voice and his infectious laugh. Because any good memory is better than the ones that haunt my mind.
I remember holding him as a baby and smelling his head. Nothing smells sweeter than your newborn baby’s head. From that early time, until a mother dies, she knows her child from their scent.
Corey’s sense of humor… That’s what I miss most about my son. He didn’t feel like he had to be loud or obnoxious to be funny. No, he was quiet and private with his jokes.
I’d be sitting at the dinner table, I’d look up and he’d have a rubber band around his forehead, a cup suction cupped to his chin, and his eyes crossed. I’d crack up. And by the time everyone else would look, he’d have removed it and was acting like nothing happened.
He was so quiet most of the time, he had plenty of time to observe everyone and everything around him. He found the humor in every situation.
One of his cousins’ last memories of him was just three weeks before he died. They decided to open a bottle of wine, but they couldn’t find a cork screw. Corey improvised one. He used a regular screw and screw driver, then a pair of pliers.
There they were in the kitchen with him pulling with the pliers, and someone pulling on the bottle with all their might. Laughing like a bunch of fools. It was a crazy scene, but it worked!
I miss his laugh. His smile. His texts. His inside jokes. The way he could just look at me and make me laugh. The way he’d laugh SO hard tears would stream down his cheeks.
He was striving to be more. He wanted to be a game designer. He would talk endlessly about games… at times, I would only catch every third word of what he was saying. I’d give anything to hear him talking now.
As his “fall back” job, he was considering becoming a teacher. He’d found he could explain things to people in ways they could understand. He was so proud of this new-found ability.
He loved his family, and all people. Overall, he was shy, but once he warmed up to you, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for you.
I imagine the pain he must have gone through. I worry that he was scared and calling out for me. I envision the path he took home after being attacked, and I wonder at his strength and desire to live!
A parent should never have to bury a child!
Before I continue, I think it is important that you know how I am going to use a strong word at this point of my letter. It is never my intention to offend anyone. However, there is only one word that can truly convey how I feel today. So, for your understanding, I am including the definition of the word: Damn
1. To pronounce an adverse judgment
2. To bring about the failure of; ruin.
3. To condemn as harmful, illegal, or immoral:
4. To condemn to everlasting punishment or a similar fate; doom.
For every day I do not have with Corey, every hug I miss, every inside joke that won’t be told…
For every tear I shed, and his brothers shed, and all his family… For the lake of tears, we shed daily.
For taking Corey’s future, all that he’d worked for, and throwing it away.
For the grandchildren I will never hold, the lonely chair at my family meals, for the empty Christmas stocking that will hang on my mantle.
For the security lights we’ve installed, the paranoia I feel when the boys don’t answer their phone right away, and the days I mark off my calendar since John Dakota Seger took my son.
For the therapy, the medications that keep me calm, and every night of insomnia.
For the prison JDS created for me and my family while he walked freely.
He Owes Me
It’s been 6 years since Corey’s brother found him fighting for his life. 6 years since I cradled him in my arms as he struggled for each breath.
And I counted the days, the hours, and the moments he wasn’t with me and John Dakota Seger was free.
I didn’t do this because of my grief. I was keeping track of this time because every day that his killer walked this earth a free person, he owes me.
1) Corey deserves Justice
2) I want my other boys to feel safe again
3) I want my neighborhood to be safe again
4) I want the killer off the street, so he won’t do this again.
But I realize it’s not just that. It’s not all because I am so giving to my community and to my children. There is some selfishness that comes into play.
I want my son back.
And if I can’t have him back, then his killer shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy the life he took from my son. I don’t want to see him dead. I want to see him behind bars… without those he loves. Not one more free day. Not one more video game. Not one more Facebook post. Not one more homemade meal. Without the comforts of home. Without his smart phone. Without his Direct TV. Without his girlfriend or boyfriend. Without children.
Without a choice of what he wears, when he wakes up, and when he goes to sleep. No choice in what he eats, when he eats, or how much he eats.
I want him to wake up every morning and going to bed every night wondering if someone is going to come in and hurt him.
Not one more hug from his mother!!!
HE OWES ME!!!!
He was outside of prison for 3 ½ years, that’s the extra time he owes me. I’ve learned to be patient after being a mom for 30 years…
I believe I will be repaid this debt. Karma and I are friends.
The next chapter of my life has begun… Fighting to keep Seger in prison as long as I can…
Being in the same room as the man that stole his life. “A Friend” of Corey’s. HA!
His true friends and relatives across the nation have bombarded me with love. To know how much, he was loved is humbling.
Today I breathe as a free woman again. No longer bound to my home by fear and anxiety.
I love Corey still. I always will. He made me what I am today… His mom.
Because he’s still my son! And if he were alive, I’d still be fighting for him till my dying day!
I love my son. He was an awesome man. I’m not going to lie to you, he had his struggles. But at 22, we all have gone through that. But he didn’t deserve to die like this. We don’t deserve to hurt like this.
Every day I relive this. Every day I face the fact that I held my son as he was dying… While we debate how long his killer should remain behind bars.
Mother of Corey Daniel Laykovich