POMEROY — As the man who killed her son prepared to be sentenced on Monday, Kimberly Horn addressed the court and the defendant, before taking time to talk with local media outlets.
Christopher M. Dailey, 44, of Sandyville, West Virginia, pleaded guilty on Monday to the shooting death of Brandon Lupardus on Father’s Day weekend 2016. The body of Lupardus was discovered by an employee at the gravel pit in Portland.
Horn, who brought many photos of her son with her to the hearing, talked about Brandon growing up in the Ravenswood area, playing sports, specifically wrestling.
“He was at his best around people,” said Horn of her son.
Brandon worked from the age of 15, and aspired to be in the health field like his mother.
“He was a genuine, caring person,” said Horn of her son, who worked both at Jackson General Hospital and a second job with Subway where he was promoted to management positions. After eight years he took a pipeline job to provide for his children who are now 11 and 5.
Horn said her son is still providing for his children as he worked for 15 years, allowing the children to receive financial benefits. “Brandon was a good boy, 30 years old, he worked since the time he was 15 years old and like I said in there, he provided for his children when he was here and he is still providing for his children after he’s gone because they do get social security benefits.”
She told the court that the defendant had robbed her family of a wonderful son and that Father’s Day would never be the same as that was the weekend Lupardus was murdered. Horn also spoke of family holidays such as Thanksgiving and how they did not take a family photo this year as, for the first time, there was a family member missing.
“All we have now are memories,” said Horn.
Horn asked the defendant what her son had done that was “so horrible” that caused the defendant to take his life, and why he chose Father’s Day weekend to do so.
“I pray the Lord has mercy on your soul and that you never have to suffer the loss of one of your children at the hands of another. If you ever find it in your heart to sit down with me and tell me why you did this, I am willing and ready to hear it. Someday, I hope I can forgive you,” Horn concluded her statement in court.
“I’m really disappointed because I still do not know details around my son’s death. I have not been told anything as to why it occurred. I wanted a trial jury and that was supposed to start tomorrow but he decided to take a plea deal instead,” said Horn following the hearing.
“I would like to sit down with him and ask him why he did this. What my son did that was so horrible that he decided to take his life,” said Horn, noting that she just wants to know why the murder took place.
“I’ve gotten absolutely no closure. I felt with having a jury trial I was at least going to get to know what happened and why and now it’s like nothing. I have no idea,” stated Horn of the plea hearing taking place rather than a trial in the case.
Horn said she is supposed to meet with officials later this week to find out information about the case.
“I understand the reason that they can’t share a lot of the information but when people in the community talk about it because the defendant has all the information and he shares it with them. We don’t know what to think because we haven’t been told by investigators or the prosecutor. When I ask questions they can’t answer those questions. It leaves us in the dark,” said Horn.
“I want to know why my son was murdered. I don’t know why.”
Asked if Lupardus knew Dailey, Horn said she had heard they knew one another for a few weeks.
“I expected him to say something or at least turn to the family and apologize for what he did, but he did not,” said Horn of Dailey’s lack of making a statement in court.
Horn revealed that there were two others believed to have been involved in the case in some manner.
“I know that there were two other people there. The two other people are walking free. They have never been charged and that is a huge problem for our family. We don’t understand why those two people are still walking free,” said Horn of the two others allegedly involved. “They knew he was dead and did nothing. One was the driver.”
Horn said she knows the identity of the two others, but did not give those names.
As neither have been charged, the Sentinel did not inquire further as to the names of the individuals, but did ask Prosecutor Colleen Williams about the possibility others were involved.
Williams said Dailey was the one who pulled the trigger in killing Lupardus, but acknowledged that there may have been others involved in the case although there are questions as to what involvement by other individuals could be proven or if it had taken place in Ohio or West Virginia.