The last thing a mother wants to see on the eleven o’clock news is her son’s mugshot. But fourteen years ago, that’s how Luci Miller found out that her son was being accused of a murder he did not commit.
On the night of the murder, Matthew was out with his friends. While their car was parked at a friend’s house, two of the young men went across the street and attempted a robbery. Things went awry, and one of the victims was shot. Matthew was across the street near the car at the time.
Luci didn’t find out about Matt’s arrest until she got home later that night. “I came home and I saw my son’s picture on the news.”
He was sentenced to two 25-year terms and his family spent the next decade appealing. Two years ago, when the final appeal was denied, Luci had to accept that the circumstances were out of her control. At the same time, she and her husband started attending Saddleback and she decided to give her life to God and be baptized.
Luci now volunteers with Saddleback’s Good Neighbor San Clemente ministry, which partners with the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s office, and the School District to help reduce gang activity. Through the ministry, Luci reaches out to kids who are at risk of joining gangs. She volunteers to keep kids from making the same poor choices that Matthew did and to teach them the importance of picking friends who will be a positive influence.
“If one thirteen-year-old-boy hears my story and decides to make the right choice, then I know it will make a difference.
Click here to learn more about the Good Neighbor ministry.