CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - An Ohio pastor has made it his mission to help families fight for justice.
One case has certainly been front and center for decades. His mother was murdered in 1981 when he was just 12 years old.
The brutal murder happened inside Elizabeth Scales’ home on Folsom Avenue in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood.
Her son, Pastor Alvin Scales of Cincinnati, is once again in Dayton talking with the parole board to keep her killer, Roger Jackson, in prison.
This is the family’s fifth time making the trip.
“Then, you have to relive this thing all over again,” Scales explained.
He added, “He surprised my mother at the top of the stairs. He shot her with a shotgun at the base of her neck and then after she died, he brutally beat her with the butt end of the gun.”
Jackson had an argument with Elizabeth Scales and broke her hand with a bat. This happened a month before the murder.
“He was trying to prevent her from testifying because we come to find out later he had just gotten out of prison for armed robbery,” said Scales.
Scales has helped ease his pain by speaking out against violence in Cincinnati, where he’s currently living. He’s often at vigils immediately after shootings.
“I want the federal government to recognize black-on-black murder as the epidemic. That it is because then, you can put strategies in place to save lives,” said Scales.
Scales also works with kids who’ve lost a family member to gun violence.
He said, “I can directly relate and understand what they’re going through, but also I try to show them that just because you endured this in your life doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance.”
Scales says this experience from his childhood changed his life. He has forgiven Jackson, but he certainly doesn’t want to see him out on the streets.