Corrinna Martin is looking to end the cycle of domestic violence after losing two daughters and a granddaughter in horrific acts of violence that devastated her family. The mother and activist tells her story on the Season 2 finale of Investigation Discovery's Impact of Murder, airing Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. ET — the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October — but opened up to PopCulture.com ahead of the episode about the legacy she hopes to leave her girls.
It was already too much to bear for Martin's family when in 2013, her daughter Alyssiah went missing. After an exhaustive state-wide search, police located the 20-year-old Eastern Connecticut State University student's dismembered body. Her boyfriend Jermaine Richards was charged with her murder, but the family had to sit through two mistrials before he was sentenced to 60 years with no chance of parole after finally being convicted five years after her death in the third trial. The family's trauma multiplied just weeks before the third trial was set to begin, when in 2017 Martin's daughter Chaquinequea, 29, and her 9-year-old granddaughter My’Jaeaha were killed in an act of domestic violence. Chaquinequea's boyfriend, Anthony Rutherford, would be convicted of the double homicide and sentenced to 80 years with no chance of parole.
Martin told PopCulture that while she has spoken numerous times about the loss of her girls working as an activist for her nonprofit M.O.V.E Inc. (Mothers of Victim’s Equality), telling the "intimate" details of her story on a national platform "was a whole new ballgame I wasn’t ready to play." She hopes viewers will get to know Alyssiah, Chaquinequea and My’Jaeaha for "their vibrancy, their vivaciousness, their eloquence and intelligence, their love of life."
“I miss them horribly," she said. "It’s been a very exhausting struggle. It’s been a hard, hard fight, because it’s already liquifying to have a child go in such a heinously horrific way once and not be able to give them a place of rest." It haunts her to never be able to bury Alyssiah, "and every day, there’s that constant in the back of my head, will today be a day they find another piece of her? ... That's excruciating in and of itself."
"She will not be another Black woman forgotten," Martin continued of telling her story on Impact of Murder. "This is a way for the media to depict our Black and Brown women in a positive light of strength and empowerment. ...It is giving a voice to my girls, giving them a legacy more far-reaching."
Martin is seeking to implement "proactive" ways to end domestic violence altogether through her work with M.O.V.E, pushing for a National Violent Offenders Registry that would provide free access to public documents and background information on people previously convicted of violent offenses. "We shouldn't have to pay for information that's public," Martin said. "We shouldn’t have to be so frustrated with the judicial system that's so difficult to navigate if you don't know what you're doing."0comments
With Black women disproportionately falling victim to domestic violence, according to the Blackburn Institute, and being 2.5 times more likely to be murdered than white women, Martin sees the national registry as a way for people to protect themselves without wielding a weapon. Aside from advocating through petitions and calls to lawmakers, she urged friends and family members of someone in need of help to offer "loving support" without judgement. There are ways to break the cycle of domestic violence, Martin explained, and while "fulfillment will never come" to her due to the loss she has suffered," there are "obtainable goals" that can happen if people move proactively instead of reacting to tragedy when it occurs.
Impact of Murder wraps up its second season with Martin's story on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery. For more on M.O.V.E Inc., visit the nonprofit's website here or sign the Change.org petition here.