“Promise of Protection”


Vernetta Cockerham-Ellerbee’s neck was sliced open by her estranged husband, Richard Ellerbee, In November 2002. She escaped with her life, but her 17-year-old daughter, Candice, was brutally killed despite several protective orders and warrants designed to keep Ellerbee away.

This is her story.

Scarred by abuse, she says police failed her

Those sworn to help didn’t, she says. Now, she’s taking them to court

JONESVILLE – Vernetta Cockerham-Ellerbee peeled back the curtain of her bedroom window and saw the man she once loved enough to marry. Hunched over in a field across the street, Richard Ellerbee toiled, shoveling clumps of dirt over his shoulder. She glanced past him to the nearby police station in this rural Piedmont town of 2,000. She spotted one of the department’s nine officers just beyond the station’s front door.Cockerham-Ellerbee rang the station: He’s back, she whispered. He was once again violating the judge’s order to stay away. Police didn’t catch Ellerbee that day. Cockerham-Ellerbee repeatedly reported her husband’s threats during the summer and fall of 2002. He never spent a night in jail.

She didn’t know what he was up to with the shovel until he called days later to explain: He was digging graves to bury her and the children.

Ellerbee delivered on his threat in November 2002. He broke into their home and fatally stabbed his teenage stepdaughter, Candice Cockerham. He left Cockerham-Ellerbee for dead, too, slicing open her neck with a shard of glass.

Click the link above to read the entire blurb: Promise of Protection

4 Responses to ““Promise of Protection””

  1. People, please read this story. We are getting ready to film a documentary and to follow a lifetime movie. We need your support! Any ideas how we can get some type of fund raiser for Vernetta and her two boys. She is brave but barely surviving. I am her paralegal. Although I left the lawfirm who has brought this Civil Suit, I have never left her. We have only been given permission from the attorneys to go public.
    We all know that the jury never gets the full story and has to decide someone’s live based on the evidence provided. However, the attorneys always keep critical information away from the jury through motions and for that reason we feel we have to reach out and tell this unbelievable story in hopes of reaching every potential juror with the truth.

  2. thats a shame, sounds like the woman in dc who was set on fire by her husband

  3. The preliminary hearing is today, June 29.

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