Funeral Held for Slain Rickards Student

By: Jill Chandler, Jerry Askin Email
By: Jill Chandler, Jerry Askin Email

UPDATE 4-30-11 7:00 PM--

Tallahassee, FL ---

Wanda Norton was supported by thousands of people Saturday as she laid her 15-year-old son Reshard Morrell to rest.

Norton says, "I love everybody for coming, thank y'all so much! It's strengthening me so much to see all these people here that loved my son. Thank y'all so much!"

She goes on to say, "He was such a good kid, never did anything wrong, helped everybody - that's the way I taught him .... to love everyone, help everybody."

Her 15-year old boy was an innocent bystander who was shot and killed last Saturday, April 23 after a party at the Elk's Lodge in Tallahassee.

Reshard was in the Tallahassee Boys Choir and they sang several inspirational tunes at the funeral to celebrate his life.

"It was a celebration and that's how Ms Wanda, his mother, wanted it. She wanted a celebration, she didn't want a sad affair because Reshard was full of life," says Earle Lee - Director of the Tallahassee Boy's Choir.

Reshard was a 10th grader and on the football team at Rickards High School. The team wore their uniforms to his funeral in his memory. The school's football coach also gave encouraging words.

Rickards High School Football coach Rudy Hubbard says, "We deserve to celebrate because he had a short, but wonderful life and he was a very very special young man."

The school's quarterback Amion Carridine says, "He was just a good person, stand up guy. Nobody had no problems with him and he was just a good person."

Court records show that Darnell Eutsay is charged with killing Reshard and is being held at the Leon County Jail without bond.

He was appointed a public defender and ordered not to have any contact with known gang members.

UPDATE 4-30-11 12:35pm

Reshard Morrell funeral is Saturday at Bethel AME Church.

UPDATE 04-29-2010 at 6:20pm by Jerry Askin

Reshard Morrell's mother and other family members sat front row at a tribute in honor of the boy many say was an all-around good guy.

Phoencia Lasker is one of many Rickards High School students who filled the gym to remember classmate Reshard Morrell.

"It's kind of hard to lose a close friend, somebody that always kept you smiling that always kept you motivated. And Reshard was just a cool person to be around," says Lasker.

"He never really messed with nobody. He was just calm, cool, and I'll miss him," says Robert Hall, a cousin of Reshard.

The 15-year old was an innocent bystander who was fatally shot last Saturday after a party at the Elk's Lodge in Tallahassee. Many students embraced his loved ones at the memorial offering their condolences to the grieving family.

"He's a great kid, real good kid, real cool. So it's kind of hard to say why out of everybody at the party - why him?" says Ruby Ferguson, a friend of Reshard.

The school's band filled the gym with inspirational tunes, the choir sang several selections, and dancers from the school performed in Reshard's honor.

Reshard's English teacher gave students encouraging words during Friday's memorial, challenging them to make right decisions in life and not to let Reshard's death be in vain. Students also encouraged one another.

Robert Hall says, "No more crying, rejoice. Reshard is in a perfect place right now, and there's no mistake in him being there."
Tallahassee, Florida--

Students of Rickards High School have had a tough week with the loss of their classmate, Reshard Morrell...but Friday, they got a pep talk.

Brother to brother and sister to sister is a motivational assembly for the young men and women.

The girls heard from Ericka Dunlap, a former Miss America who told them to be proud of who they are and to be an individual.

The boys heard from county commissioner, Nick Maddox. Maddox shared his story of how he got adopted and talked to the young men about growing up to be good fathers.

The motivational speeches were well needed.

Shanika Mungin is a counselor at the school. She said, "It is so important to encourage our young people to really make a difference... not just get your education but use that education for social welfare issues."

The assemblies lasted for about an hour. Scheduled speakers included State Representative Darryl Rouson and First Lady of Tallahassee Jane Marks.

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