One Year Anniversary of Martinez Deadly Church Shooting

Bill and Jenny Davitte

Martinez, GA-

A somber anniversary for one Columbia County family.

One year ago Bill Davitte was shot and killed, and his wife Jenny Davitte was seriously beaten in the parking lot of Marvin United Methodist Church in Martinez. The couple stopped to turn on the sprinklers.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Daniel Robinson. He is still awaiting trial for that murder and assault. Investigators say he stole the Davitte’s car and drove to Jacksonville where he was arrested after a police chase.

Friday was the first time Bill Davitte’s son, Tyler Davitte, stepped back onto the property of Marvin United Methodist Church since his dad was murdered there. He said even though a year has passed, it still doesn’t get any easier.

“I miss my father and I love my dad to death, I know he’s here with me,” said Tyler Davitte.

For Tyler, it’s been a time of heartache and healing.

He posted pictures to his Facebook page on Friday marking the anniversary of his father’s death.

“A year goes by and I don’t know, it’s just, you think of it so much, and so much, and so much, it just kind of kills you, why would somebody take something out of your life like that over some kind of just small stuff,” said Tyler Davitte.

Tyler said he had to step into his father’s shoes and become strong for the family—just like his dad.

“He was a great father, friend, uncle, dad, and husband, anything any kid could ever dream, my dad was,” said Tyler Davitte.

That’s how many remember Bill Davitte. The man who enjoyed playing golf, spending time with his family, and getting other people through hard times.

“He loved helping others, love helping this church, just doing grounds maintenance, just doing lawn care and helping people,” said Tyler Davitte.

Bill Davitte was doing just that the night he was killed. He stopped by to turn on the sprinklers at his church.

“Something we don’t understand that I guess we turn to God for and we try to,” said Tyler Davitte.

Tyler said his father’s death has made him look at life in a different way—to appreciate every moment you get with your loved ones.

“Life can be taken in just a second, your whole world can shatter in just a second,” said Tyler Davitte.

His world has been shaken since his dad was taken away from him during a senseless act.

“The man who did do this, maybe not all my family has forgiven him, but I forgive him in a Christian way, but I’ll never forget it,” said Tyler Davitte.

Now, the family is preparing for the next step of the healing process—when the accused murderer goes to trial.

“I know everybody’s upset and mad, and they grieve, and we expect justice, but I guess it’s totally not up to us, just like my father’s fate, I mean that’s up to God,” said Tyler Davitte.

Marvin United Methodist Church is holding a charity golf tournament on September 26th in memory of Bill Davitte. If you are interested in playing, click here:





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