WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The week of April 7-13 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is meant to raise awareness about victims and survivors of violent crimes — and Williamson County will hold a special ceremony to drive the message of this year’s theme: “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.”
The free April 10 ceremony will recognize extraordinary individuals who demonstrate outstanding service to victims of crime and victim services at the Georgetown Annex, 100 Wilco Way, Georgetown.
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell will be at the event and talked with KXAN about the promise he made to a little boy beaten to death in 2013.
Prior to being elected County Judge, Gravell was the Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3 and was involved in 500 death investigations. One case stood out to him, the capital murder of two-year-old Jowell Perez.
“I made a promise to Jowell Perez — a child who had been murdered and was my first non-natural death pronouncement as Justice of the Peace — that if I was ever in a position of influence, that I would ensure that Williamson County always did everything it could to support victims and their families, and we would hold accountable those who commit the crimes,” said Gravell.
He tells KXAN’s Sally Hernandez, the crime deeply affected him.
“It reminded me of how violent and evil people can be. That there are people out there with no regard for human life. They used an infrared camera to show the bruises on Jowell, and when they shined the blue light on him, I could see the knuckle imprints on his body.”
When asked how he plans to keep his promise to the little boy, Gravell said: “First, we need to hold people accountable. When people see that they are not going to get away with a crime, they will think twice. Second, we need to make sure that law enforcement has the resources that they need to be successful in apprehending criminals.”
He also wants to remind people in Williamson County that the Children’s Advocacy Center helps its youngest victims of crime.
Williamson County organizers say National Crime Victims’ Rights Week was started in 1982 by the President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime to encourage a national commitment to a more equitable and supportive response to victims.