EXCLUSIVE: Corrinna Martin, whose two daughters and a grandchild were killed in two separate murders, is hoping her story will encourage other women to speak out before it’s too late.
The West Haven, Conn., mother and activist is the subject of true-crime network Investigation Discovery’s Season 2 finale of “Impact of Murder” airing Oct. 1 - the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The docu-series explores how victims can be empowered against their perpetrators to stand up in court, confront them, and in some cases, unexpectedly find forgiveness.
“I want women to know they’re not alone,” Martin told Fox News about why she chose to share her heart-wrenching story in front of cameras for the series.
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“You are worth everything in life. No one can ever take the value of your life away from you,” she continued. “You have the ability to be the change that you deserve, and you’re worth so much more than what you’re going through. I don’t want you to end up like my daughters.”
Martin’s nightmare began in 2013 when her daughter Alyssiah Wiley, an Eastern Connecticut State University student, went missing. After an exhaustive search, the 20-year-old’s dismembered body was located by police.
While her boyfriend Jermaine Richards was charged with the murder, Wiley's family had to endure two mistrials before he was convicted five years later in a third trial. Richards was sentenced to 60 years without parole.
“I remember my first impression of him was not good,” Martin recalled. “I felt he was standoffish and he tried to isolate her from the family. I tried talking to her about it, but she just tried to assure me that his work schedule made him want to have more time with her. I didn’t buy it. I accepted it because I wanted to be there and support my child. I just wanted her to know she was loved and supported. I didn't want to push her away.”
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Still, Martin said Richards’ jealously left her uneasy.
“I wanted to trust her judgment,” she explained. “I didn’t talk to my children about domestic violence. You talk to them about how to conduct themselves in society, how to be aware of their surroundings, things like that. You just never think domestic violence could ever effect you. But he would constantly call and wanted to know where she was, even if she was in the shower. It just didn’t sit right with me. But you never believe something so horrific could possibly happen.”
Prosecutors contended that Richards killed Wiley after she broke up with him.
After Wiley’s murder, Martin and her other daughter, Chaquineaquea Brodie, launched Mothers of Victim’s Equality, a group that aims to educate families about domestic violence.
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“We were all extremely angry,” Martin tearfully recalled. “And devastated. Because we weren’t thinking about domestic violence. She tried to assure us nothing was wrong when he was trying to take her further away from the family. So when it happened, it was a complete shock. He was just so domineering. But it never entered my mind that it would end this way.”
But the trauma was far from over.
In 2017, just weeks before the third trial was sent to begin, Brodie, 29, and her 9-year-old daughter My’Jaeaha were found dead in their apartment. Brodie’s 2-year-old daughter was found physically uninjured at the scene. Police revealed they were called to a disturbance at the apartment complex.
“Callers reporte[d] a toddler was in the parking lot… screaming and that blood was everywhere,” investigators said in a news release at the time.
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Brodie’s boyfriend, Anthony Rutherford, was convicted of the double homicide and sentenced to 80 years without parole. According to Martin, he had outstanding warrants in New Jersey and New York.
“After everything we endured, I remember telling my daughter to be careful of who you meet and who you bring in your home,” said Martin. “My daughter was vice president of our nonprofit organization. She knew the signs. She knew the dangers. She knew what to look out for at this time. And we were talking about domestic violence because that became our life.”
“I wanted my grandchildren to be safe,” Martin continued. “So we were having conversations about those red flags and what to look out for. I just felt right off the bat there was something sinister about him. But she just thought I was being the typical overprotective, overdramatic parent.”
Martin believes that the deaths of Wiley and Brodie could have been prevented if a National Violent Offenders Registry was in place and readily available. She said an easily accessible network that keeps track of violent offenders nationwide and is continuously updated would make loved ones aware of who they were really dating.
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“My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the only reason I am able to speak coherently about this,” said Martin. “He’s the only reason I am able to get out of bed each day and get the word out. And I can’t be silent. I am adamant now to bring awareness of the horrific effects of domestic violence. Not just the persons involved, but families, friends, the community and first responders. And domestic violence does not discriminate.”
Martin said she has dedicated her life to raising awareness of domestic violence in hopes it can prevent another tragedy. And she believes her story on “Impact of Murder," as painful as it was to relive, will shed light on how it can impact families.
“I gained three angels,” said Martin. “And I’m not going to let them down.”
“Impact of Murder” airs Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. ET on ID.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.