In an unusual turn of events, 24-year-old Jacqualynne Valentine pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to ten years probation in an Eastland County courtroom Wednesday afternoon.
Valentine's sentencing came as a result of a plea bargain agreed to by both sides due to Hay's long criminal record and the couple's history of domestic violence.
The Hay family told KTAB even though it would not bring their son back, they hope the ruling will help Valentine change her life.
"I think they were two people that shouldn't have been around each other and they were toxic to each other and because of that, there are two wasted lives," said Terrie Hay, Patrick Hay's adoptive mother, on Wednesday afternoon.
Patrick Hay was 36-years-old when he was hit in the head with a baseball bat in July of 2011 during an argument with his ex-girlfriend, 24-year-old Jacqualynne Valentine.
A blow that would cost him his life.
"He was somebody's son, somebody's brother, somebody's dad...and somebody's grandfather," said Terrie Hay.
It's been a long, hard road for this family as they deal with the loss of a loved one in such a brutal way.
And yet, tragedy upon tragedy.
Thirty-three years after searching for her son, Hay's biological mother, Donna Whitacre, finally found him and reignited a long lost relationship.
Just two months later, a shocking murder left her dealing with her son's loss all over again.
"I got to say I love you. I wanted him to know I loved him and I got that chance," said Whitacre. "I'm grateful I got that chance."
Two mothers, biological and adoptive, drove 1,800 together to hear their son's killer plead guilty.
Two mothers leaning on each other with the hope that it's a step that leads to some semblance of closure.
"Waiting is hard," said Terrie Hay. "It'll be a good thing to have it done, have it put behind us and do what moving on you can do."
And for the mother who never had the chance to ever meet her child as an adult...
"I just wish I would have had the chance to get to know my son and to hug him and kiss him. But that chance is gone. I just hope he saves me a seat in heaven," said Whitacre tearfully.
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