With Trial Over, Parkersburg Hopes for Return to Normalcy

By Chris Earl, Anchor/Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

PARKERSBURG — With the Mark Becker murder trial coming to an end, the hope in Parkersburg is that Monday’s verdict will help the town return to normal. From the deadly 2008 tornado to the Thomas murder last June, Parkersburg has had plenty of attention.

As with so many small towns, Parkersburg is full of friendly people. Yet, with Monday’s verdict, the sense of trying to move past this tragedy was all over the community

With two families — the Thomas family and the Becker family such a part of Parkersburg, finding people to speak publicly about Mark Becker’s murder conviction was difficult. “I think everybody just wants to be left alone. The tornado and this happening everybody is just getting a little worn out,” Parkersburg resident William Hammar told TV9,

Between rebuilding after the deadly tornado in 2008 and Thomas’ murder in the school’s temporary weight room in June of 2009, Father Dennis Quint of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church says all of the attention can wear on people — even after the outreach from the outside during the times of trial, “It has become a bit tiring at times in the spotlight.”

Through the trial, Aplington-Parkersburg High School administrators asked to be away from the attention. Principal Dave Meyer says, “The agony of watching those kids go through the trial process and struggling as they relieved those situations. Now it is relief that it is over.” That was been the theme for the past 18 months, coming back through adversity. Meyer also praised his students for how they have handled all of this unexpected attention.

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