My beautiful wife Terri and I had been married for nearly 10 years.  We had recently relocated to a new city in Ohio when she was killed on March 2, 2012 on the way to work.  The man who killed her, Royce Kowalczyk, was high on cocaine at 7 a.m. that day.

Terri was lovely, family oriented, quite simply, she was the most supportive wife I could have ever asked for. She was my world.  I am lost.  We had just started a new adventure and chapter in our life together by relocating to a new city when this tragedy struck. She had started a new position with the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, whose excellence in health care has been cited and studied by President Obama.

To say that my and my family’s world has been turned upside down is an understatement. As a 26-year law enforcement veteran, I never imagined ever being on wrong end of that notification. We are a family of protectors and care givers.  My brother in law is a retired LEO who was shot in the line of duty several years ago.  Terri’s youngest daughter, Miranda, is a trauma nurse practitioner at Ohio State University Medical Center.

At the time my wife was murdered, Kowalcyzk was out on a recognizance bond for 17 days awaiting a decision on a treatment in lieu of jail time program acceptance on charges of reckless driving, possession of cocaine, and drug abuse instruments when he went left of center, killing Terri. After the March 2 crash that killed my wife, he had two more crashes in which he was ALSO under the influence of drugs before he was finally locked up with a bond revocation until he was indicted in Terri’s case.

I have not yet been advised as to when sentencing will occur.  However, based on the Judge’s Miraldi’s comments at the plea proceedings, he wants to sentence prior to the March 2, 2012, the one-year mark on this case.  This entire criminal justice process has been excruciating.  Now the case goes to sentencing with a Judge who is considered a “light sentence.  I feel overwhelmed.

I have dedicated my life to protecting my community from criminals like Kowalcyzk by making sure that they are brought to justice when they hurt others.  I feel helpless and alone, just waiting and hoping that the system I’ve risked all for doesn’t let me down. 

If any of you are inclined to send an email, my victim’s advocate, Charlotte Bledsoe from the prosecutor’s office, will hand carry them to the judge.  If you reside in Ohio, your emailed letter will be especially helpful.  I have included a sample letter for your convenience.  

Please email letters to:

[email protected]

Re:  Royce Kowalczyk Sentencing

Dear Judge:

I am writing to ask you to impose the maximum sentence on Royce Kowalczyk.  Mr. Kowalczyk, in his heinous disregard for the safety of others killed this wife, mother and caregiver at the Cleveland Clinic after having been previously given mercy by the court. Had he been incarcerated, Mrs. Martin would be alive today.  Following this terrible tragedy, he jeopardized citizens two additional times before finally being locked up.

Her husband has faithfully served the law enforcement community for many years.  Please provide him and the rest of Terri’s family justice by imposing the maximum sentence upon this unrepentant offender who has proven by his own behavior that he does not deserve the mercy of the court.


Your Name Here

Your mailing address

Please include your name and address in your email.  It would be especially helpful for Ohio residents to write.  Here is a sample letter for your convenience

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