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Crime: Murder victim’s family keeps his memory alive
By Jason Lesley
Albertha Richardson and members of her family held their own memorial day this past weekend. It’s been a year since 18-year-old James “Scoopy” Richardson Jr. was murdered and his body dumped at the corner of Parkersville Road and Julian Rutledge Drive.
“I knew this day was coming,” Scoopy’s grandmother said. “I was upset earlier this morning. It’s been going on all week. We all miss him very much.”
Albertha and dozens of family members wore red T-shirts Saturday night in memory of a happy youngster they all loved. “He was so young,” she said. “He didn’t have a chance to experience life.”
The family gathered in a circle to listen to a gospel message delivered by the Rev. Graham Schuyler prior to a candlelight vigil. Schuyler, formerly of Teach My People, preaches to African-American men in the community through his G3 Ministry. He said he has been a friend of the Richardson family for 13 years and knows that Scoopy and his grandmother were close.
Albertha said Scoopy would talk to her at bedtime, even when he was living with his mother in Fayetteville before moving in with his grandparents in Pawleys Island. “Anytime he felt like talking, he would call me, no matter what time,” Albertha said. “We had a special bond.”
She called Scoopy on the night he was killed and told him to come home because he had school the next day. He assured her that he would be on his way soon. She said he seemed agitated when she called back 30 minutes later. She never heard from him again.
Herbert Greene, an uncle, said Scoopy’s grandmother raised him. “It’s hard, man. It’s hard. My mother is already sick, and I just pray that this doesn’t worry her to death, you know? I want some results. That’s all you can ask from anybody.”
Jackie Richardson, an aunt, said Pawleys Island is a small community where secrets eventually get out. “Somebody knows who did this,” she said.
Gibssen Ramos, another member of the family, called the murder pointless and reckless. “There will be justice,” he said, “no matter how long it takes.”
He remembered his cousin as somebody who made people smile. “Everybody loved him” Ramos said. “He was always laughing, helping people out as much as he could. He was so much like his dad. Nobody had a reason to kill Scoopy.”
A coincidence of the case is that the teen was killed on his late father’s birthday, May 25. Another is that James “Waggy” Richardson Sr. died the day before Easter in 2011, and his body was left on his mother’s lawn.
Shaquana Richardson, a cousin, said a year’s passing hasn’t helped with the pain of losing Scoopy. “Nothing’s been done,” she said. “It hurts more to me because nobody has been counted as a suspect. I go down there constantly, trying to get in touch with Sheriff [Lane] Cribb. I’ve never spoken to him, not once.”
The case is currently active and being investigated, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Carrie Cuthbertson.
The family still worries that Scoopy’s case is falling off the radar. “It looks like it’s going to be a cold case the way it’s going now,” Albertha Richardson said. “We are hoping to get some peace and closure. That’s what we hope and pray for.”
Anyone with information about the homicide may call the sheriff’s office at 546-5010 or send an anonymous tip by text message to 274637. Text GCSOTIP followed by the message.