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Rikki Wheatley is not a monster

September 28, 2011
Morning Journal News


I am writing this letter because I feel the need to share a story. I know a boy who was always there to help me laugh when I needed it, drew silly pictures to make people smile, and gave me the nickname "Bob" in elementary school when we became friends, just because that's how silly he is. He was a wonderful friend to everyone he was acquainted with.

When we were in third grade, his cousin was diagnosed with cancer. This boy shaved his head so his cousin wouldn't feel so out of place being bald from the chemotherapy.

If you knew this boy, you would know he would never intentionally hurt a living thing. If this boy accidentally hurt someone or something, I know he would never stop thinking about it. He would feel so much guilt it would never be out of his mind.

I am of course, writing about the man named Rikki Wheatley III.

I have followed his case ever since the accident (and I would like to emphasize the word accident) happened.

I would also like to point out that I understand how heartbroken and hard it is for the family of Mrs. Baker to deal with the loss of their loved one. I have lost more people than I care to think about, even at my age of 21. I know how bad it hurts.

However, this whole situation is complete chaos. The articles and statements I have read make Rikki sound like a murderer. I am positive that Rikki did not set out that day to kill someone. He did not get in his car and say, "today I'm going to kill someone, that sounds like fun." It was an accident that could happen to any of us.

Any. One. Of. Us.

The experts pointed out that the marijuana found in Rikki's system was latent even though Rikki said he smoked it the night before. If he smoked it the night before the accident, I feel it would not affect his driving ability. For all anyone knows, the sun could have been in his eyes, he could have started falling asleep, or some other outside factor could have made this accident happen. Any of these could have happened to all of us.

Rikki did not intend to kill or hurt anyone that day. I am so sorry for the loss Mr. Baker and his family has suffered, but I felt the need to write this letter to make readers aware that Rikki is not some thug, drug addict, or rebellious man. This man shaved his head to make his cousin diagnosed with cancer feel better. He is a funny, caring, outgoing man, and I know he must feel the guilt of this accident every day.

Brittney Sadler




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