Jonesboro murder victim's parents speak out

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jack and Tana Despain brought flowers to the grave of their son, Marc E. Despain, on what would have been his 35th birthday earlier this week.

"He was a strong, upstanding young man. Proud to call him my son," said Jack Despain.

"Wonderful kid, outgoing.  Never met a stranger," recalls Tana Despain.  Both detail happy memories set against a backdrop of pain in recent years.  The Despains tell a story of grief--and not just over their son's murder last year.

"The last five years have been a lot of hell.  I don't wish that upon anybody," said Jack, Marc's father.

Not only do the Despains mourn Marc's death, but the fact that they never got to fix a rift--a huge divide in their family.

"She accused Jack of inappropriate behavior," said Tana.

Documents from the Craighead County Sheriff's Department show Marc Despain filed a report against his father alleging sexual indecency with a child.

"Strong sexual allegations," said Jack.  "They never took place and I was torn apart."

Jack Despain underwent a polygraph test.  The results of where were inconclusive.  The case closed due to a lack of cooperation from the alleged victim and her parents.

"That's where the family split," said Jack Despain.

But at the time of the split, Jack and Tana jointly owned rental property with Marc and Michelle.  Jack and Tana say Michelle's father, Carl Kelly, was also involved in the family's rental business.

"As everyone knows now, Carl had access to that. He was picking up the rent. We were to split the profits at the end of the year. That never happened," said Tana.

Kelly is charged in Marc's death.  Since the time of Marc's death, the Despains say the creditors came calling and they had to file for bankruptcy.

One of the three men accused in Marc Despain's murder lived at 1512 Broadmoor.  According to Jack Despain, Johnny Hubbard was a tenant in their rental properties. Hubbard's car, the alleged getaway car, sits at the Despain's house, a reminder of their son's fate.

The Prosecuting Attorney's office tells us the investigation into Marc's death is ongoing and more charges could be filed. But there's no indication if or when that might happen.

"As a mother, I wished I had reached out sooner and maybe bridged the gap that we had," said Tana.

"Lots of people tell me I'm a big guy, but I've balled more in the past six months than I have in 55 years. I just want justice. I want justice for my son," said Jack.

Michelle Despain declined an on-camera interview with K8 News.  But, she did say that the children remembered their father's birthday in a very private way this week.

Michelle's father, Carl Kelly, Johnny Hubbard and Terrance Barker are due back in court on April 25th.

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