Nov 26, 2007

The gave of Donald Ray Skinner

The solar-powered cross is supposed to light up over the grave, at night. But it doesn't.

Donald Ray Skinner's grave is shadowed, all day, and the small solar panel doesn't get the sunlight needed to light the cross. The dead man's mother and sister visit him every day, and they move the cross to a lighted patch of yard, and return again, in the evening, to replace the grave ornament for the night.

The two women visit the grave every day, and every day Donald Skinner's mother cries, sobbing like a child.

"That was her only son," said Robin McPherson, Donald Skinner's sister. "He was like the pick of the litter. I'm his baby sister, and me and him look alike, and I used to be his sidekick when I was little. He's just really going to be missed."

There is a stone bench over Donald Skinner's grave in Douglasville. There is a picture of a tractor trailer on one side, and a picture of a man fishing on the other, because those are things he loved.

It says "In Loving Memory," on the bench and it has his nicknames inscribed: "Bubba," and "Donnie Ray Skinner." It doesn't have his real, full name. His mother, Carol C. Skinner, is trying to get that changed. It's hard, though, because the burial arrangements are legally controlled by Donald Skinner's wife, who is in jail on charges she conspired to murder him.

Read the full story, Family struggles with knowledge of murder, @ the Clayton News Daily