When Justin Wayne Smith walked into my daughter’s life, my life would be forever changed. I would end up facing the worst pain a mother should ever have to face. His actions would have a lasting effect on so many lives. He was the nightmare we have about our children, and we pray to God that he will protect them against such evil.
On August 8, 2016, my daughter, Dusty Lee Ann Lawless, was rushed to the hospital after being found with every inch of her precious body beaten. She was suffering from such a severe head injury that she required immediate brain surgery. My beautiful child would not survive such a brutal beating. She was removed from the respirator on August 22, 2016, after clinging to life for 2 weeks. She then slowly slipped out of our lives forever. The day we laid her to rest, was the saddest day of my life!
Sadly, she unknowingly let a monster into her life that would brutally beat her to death. She was 5′ tall and he is 6’3”. How could she possibly defend herself? After she was beaten, she lay there for hours and hours suffering from a head injury that would eventually end her life. He then leaves her there alone. No 911 call!!! She never had a chance to receive help that night. It breaks my heart!
She was taken from her two sons, Gage Templet and Jayden Lambert. How cruel for these children to never feel their mother’s love again!! He left her sons motherless for the rest of their precious lives. He took a mother from her children, a daughter from her mother and father, a sister from her brother, and a friend from so many that loved her. She was just 42 years old. A loving and caring person with so much to live for.
She made a terrible mistake by thinking this man was someone that he was not, but with Gods help and the power behind all of our tears and prayers, he will remain incarcerated for the rest of his life. There were other women that he strangled, beat, and threatened. Had they followed through with the court system, my daughter may be alive today. I understand their fear, but he was allowed to keep preying on women and this time he went too far.
There are times in which I feel I can’t breathe. The pain is indescribable. I now live in a mother’s worst nightmare, and I will never wake up from it. How could he do this to her? She never hurt anyone. She was my first born, my dream came true. Now I live every day knowing I won’t see her or hear her beautiful voice again as long as I’m on this earth. You live your life telling your children good things happen to good people. I don’t believe that anymore.
There are other women who thankfully survived his brutality, but my daughter wasn’t as lucky. She was not the first to feel his anger, but I will do everything in my power to make sure she stays the last. If he would have been punished for the abuse he inflicted on the other women, would this have stopped him from taking my daughter’s life? I will never know.
When a protection order is filed against someone for abuse, the state should take control and not allow it to be dropped. If the abused person does not show up for court there should be circumstances, but not just a fine, which the abuser will gladly pay to have it dropped. I understand how the other women he abused were afraid because they get threatened by the abuser, but this is why it needs to be taken out of their hands. Then these animals that walk around knowing they can beat a defenseless woman will have to face the consequences of their actions. If they know there will be punishment, then maybe, just maybe, the abuse will come to an end and lives will be saved.
I can never hold my daughter and tell her how much I love her, BUT I can make sure that Justin Wayne Smith never does this to another mother’s daughter. I will do everything in my power to get “Justice for Dusty”.