Vasilkioti's Children Speak Out As Jury Continues Deliberation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/12/03

Vasilkioti's Children Speak Out As Jury Continues Deliberation

A tourist out for a stroll after dinner was brutally murdered with a shotgun blast in 1999, and the man investigators say pulled the trigger has been on trial for his life. It's the first death penalty case in Chatham County in a dozen years. The jury went into deliberations around 3:30pm yesterday, deciding to call it a day around 6:30pm. Those involved say the whole thing has been very emotional.

Russell Hergeshemir spent the last real minutes of Gail Vasilkioti's life with her as they walked back from dinner on September 12, 1999. He walked us through what happened a few weeks after Vasilkioti was shot.

"The shotgun blast made an entrance hole about the size of a 50 cent piece," he said. "It then cleared out more than a foot of her interior."

That was before she died, before Bernard Green was charged with murder, before her family's life was changed forever.

"The past 3 1/2 years since it all began has been difficult," said Vasilkioti's daughter Nicole.

"It's very difficult coming back here, hearing everything we've been dealing with," said her son Damon. "It's been really hard."

Since the trial is still ongoing, the Vasilkioti's son and daughter can't say a whole lot. But they do say they're upset things haven't changed much.

"We've read in the paper in the forum all the crimes going on here. Everybody swore after this happened to my mom that things would change, apparently they haven't," said Damon.

They feel tourists are left in the dark.

"You talk to the people that live here, and they know you don't walk around by yourself here," Damon said. "But nobody tells the tourists that. That's why we're here today."

The jury continue their deliberations today. We'll let you know what happens.

Reported by: Holly Bristow, hbristow@wtoc.com

 

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