Judge donates $15,000 in honor of teen fatally stabbed at Walmart

Updated: Feb. 12, 2021 at 7:12 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Melanie Lyons was stabbed to death on her 15th birthday. A $15,000 donation has been made in Melanie’s honor for several causes including a mentoring group for teen girls.

Community members remain horrified that a 13-year-old girl would allegedly stab Lyons to death. For Melanie’s mom, Josie Cunningham the suffering is nonstop.

“I miss her every day. I’m trying to get past the pain,” said Cunningham at a gathering to present the check.

Girlie Girls mentoring program will receive $2000 from the donation by Judge Ron Richard. He presented the check in honor of Melanie--one thousand dollars for each of her fifteen years of life, partly to help other girls. He said part of the money was also being used to replenish the food bank at Christian World Church and to help the family with funeral expenses.

“You may think you have the greatest home in the world but your child may have issues and questions and sort of need someone to lean on that isn’t necessarily the parent,” said Richard.

He says Girlie Girls, for which he is a board member, can help teens find success.

“It gives teenage girls an outlet for seeking tutoring, self-empowerment, education, just anything and everything that young ladies need to help them lead a positive life,” said Richard.

Josie says her daughter would want to see positive change from the tragedy, efforts to help troubled girls.

“The ones who think they have nowhere to go, no one to talk to. Nobody to turn to. You got someone,” she said.

For more information on Girlie Girls call Anita Barker at 337-302-3725 or visit their web site or find them on Facebook.

No update yet on whether the four teen girls arrested will be formally charged and prosecuted as adults or if the case will be dealt with in juvenile court and shielded from public view.

Judge Richard hopes his donation will encourage other businesses to donate.

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