TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been four years since the tragic deaths of 11-year-old Niomi James and her 13-year-old sister Jayla Parler. The two young girls were killed on June 6, 2016, in a car crash on Highway 82 in Tuscaloosa County. The children’s mother, Latrice Parler, and her family are still fighting for justice and want closure.
“We just miss them and we know we can’t get them back,” Parler said. “But we are not going to stop fighting for them and being a voice for them either. We have to be the voices for these children now and it’s important that we continue to speak on their behalf for justice for all of us.”
Retired astronaut James Halsell was arrested and charged with reckless murder. Authorities contend he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. The defense blames the wreck on sleeping medication.
“He was given back his driver’s license, and he is living his normal life and we have to go visit our babies at a cemetery every holiday and for birthdays,” Parler said. “And we are still angry and are still uptight about it.”
Parler is angry because Halsell’s attorneys have been able to file a series of motions that have delayed the case from going to trial.
“I do want him to serve time, and sit and think about what he’s done and change his life hopefully,” Parler said.
The new trial date for Halsell is scheduled for September 14.