EXCLUSIVE: Mother breaks silence on son burned alive, plans to propose law in Aaron Doty's name
10:00 PM, Oct 29, 2013
8:14 AM, Oct 30, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. - Brenda Doty is still heartbroken and grieving over the loss of her 20-year-old son, Aaron Doty.
Back in June of 2012, police said he was beaten and burned alive.
"You first can't believe what happened, it's so so surreal. You are standing there and police are around and they are telling you they found him and you can't believe what has happened," said Doty.
"The way he had to go was just horrible."
Police said a number of people watched as the 20-year-old was beaten at a house party in Sebring.
No one called for help, no one even reported the crime.
Then they believe Aaron was taken into the woods and burned alive.
And while two men are charged with actually committing the crime, none of those witnesses face any charges for failing to act.
"I just could not believe other people there could not be held accountable," said Doty.
"If someone is robbing a 7-11 and they leave with that person who says I robbed that 7-11, that person is charged as an accessory. If a robbery is more important or leaving a scene of an accident is more important than a human life, where are we going with the laws in the state of Florida?"
Overcome with grief, she felt helpless.
"To think someone died with no help, especially your own child is a horrible feeling," Doty said.
But a stranger, a law student named Roxanne Judd heard about the case.
Judd drafted a bill called the "Aaron Doty Law" and Wednesday she will present her proposal to Highlands County Legislators in hopes they will take the bill to Tallahassee.
"My family did not know her so for her to take this on was an amazing thing," said Doty. "Roxanne wanted if anyone is at the scene of a felony they are held accountable for the felony."
Another stranger started a petition supporting Aaron's Law on change.org. It has more than 5,000 signatures.
Brenda hopes after this interview on ABC ACTION NEWS, more will be convinced
"Look in your heart and tell me what you would want to happen, would you want this law to be changed? Because if it could happen to me, it could happen to you. We have to get behind it to change it."
No one can bring Aaron back, but the help of strangers is helping restore her faith in humanity.
"If it can save just one person or one family from the heartache, that would be a great thing," said Doty.
She said that Aaron would be proud.
"Aaron would thank her (Roxanne) very much and ask us to back her 100 percent," said Doty.
And that is why the entire family plans on attending the meeting in Highlands County Wednesday.
They hope their presence will help convince legislators to present the Aaron Doty Law in Tallahassee.
Doty said to this day, police have not released a motive in Aaron's murder and no trial date has been set.