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Vigil planned for baby Zachary

CBC News, Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A vigil for murder victims began Wednesday outside the Newfoundland House of Assembly.

It was organized by the grandparents of 13-month-old Zachary Turner, who died at the hands of his fugitive mother a year ago.


David and Kathleen Bagby have organized the support group Victims of Homicide and are pushing for changes in the justice system.

The loved ones of several other murder victims joined in Wednesday's vigil.

"What we're trying to do is take back some power for victims," Kathleen Bagby said Tuesday. "The accused have all the rights in the world and our beloved have none."

Wednesday is the anniversary of Zachary's death. He and his mother, Dr. Shirley Turner, drowned Aug. 18, 2003, in Conception Bay.

Turner was facing extradition to the United States to stand trial for the 2001 murder of Dr. Andrew Bagby, Zachary's father.

The 28-year-old doctor was found shot to death in Keystone State Park, 55 kilometres northeast of Pittsburgh.

Turner fled to Newfoundland where Zachary was born. She was out on bail against the wishes of U.S. authorities.

Maureen Powell, whose son Lester was stabbed in Fort McMurray, Alta., in May planned to participate in the vigil. So did Barb St. Onge, whose sister Brenda Gillingham was murdered in Newfoundland by her ex-boyfriend in June 2000.

The families want changes to bail and parole legislation. Gillingham's family is concerned her murderer will be granted early parole.

An inquiry into Zachary's murder by the provincial child advocate's office has been slowed by a lack of funding, Kathleen Bagby said.