Caroyn Mosley's message at Reagan High School following the death of Ortralla
Marcus McTear's parents
Fathers of Kasma and Tralla
Sequence of events at Reagan High School the the day of Tralla's murder (pieced together from despositions) - CAUTION -
Teen dating violence prevention work
The Ortralla LuWone Mosley Foundation
Texas House Bill 121
Civil law suits
Marcus McTear's criminal trial and sentencing
Mosley's job as a Texas Correctional Officer
Mosley's reconciliation with her mother
Mother's illness and death
of "Interview with Ms. Carolyn Mosley Samuel."
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MOSLEY: Okay. Okay, so when I got home, all of these children was like, "we hate him, we gonna kill him, we gonna do something to his house, we gonna do
something to his momma's house, we gonna -- " do this that and the other
MOSLEY: and oh, I saw this hatred, I saw so much hatred. But all I heard was Tralla saying, "Momma, can you do something for him? Can you help him?" I'm
like, she don't want me to do nothing now that he done you know what he done done. I'm sure, you know. I mean, how can my baby ask me in death to do this. But I kept hearing this voice in my
ear, "Help him. Still help him." I'm like, what can I do?
MOSELY: So Monday came around and I got up and I went in my baby's room and I sat down on that bed and I hold poopoo bear. I was holding poopoo bear and I
was like, what can I do? Got up took me a shower, put me some clothes on, went up to Reagan High School. I told the principal, I need to talk to these babies. I need to talk to them. So he let
me get on this intercom and I just basically talked to them about love. And how Tralla was and she don't want them to act like that. They will not let her death go in vain.
MOSELY: She was about love, we're not going to let them ruin it by hurting people. So I talked to the students and I ended it with saying, love around. Love
everybody you see. Go home and hug your mommas and your daddies. Because you may not even be able to go home today. And then we left.
MOSLEY: And they was asking me to do all kind of interviews, and Oh, what was wrong with her, what was wrong with her? Cause I was like, I want to do an
interview with the parents, with his parents. Now I still don't know they have all these issues going on. And to this day we still lost two children. We lost two good children. The person that
did that to Tralla, I don't know him. I don't want to know him. But the person I knew, the person I met, is the only person I know.
MOSLEY: The one that killed Tralla on top of them stairs. So I did interviews with his family, saying we was going to work this out together. Then I
discovered what kind of parents they were. See, people thought I had lost my mind.
MOSLEY: Ms. McTear and I, she called me and said, "Carolyn, I really want to go to Tralla's service, but we got so many hatred calls coming in, we got hate
mail coming in. If we show up they're gonna shoot us, they gonna kill us, they gonna do this that and the other, but I really want to come Miss Carolyn."
MOSLEY: I said, tell you what, I said the car is going to be here at such a time, I think the car was supposed to be there at one, I said you be here at
12:00 at my house. Her and her husband got there. When the car got there, me and Ms. McTear, her husband and my husband, my momma and my daddy got in the car together. We rode to the church
together. Ms. McTear and I walked in the church hand in hand.
MOSLEY: When we walked in the church, and we were walking in the church, I looked over to the side and I see this man. Kasma's dad. Now my baby, hasn't seen
her daddy in about, nineteen years. Tralla hadn't seen her daddy in about twelve years. But her father was at the funeral.
MOSLEY: And I look over and Kasma's dad is over there, and I said, come on. Come on over here. Now Kasma's behind me so she ain't saw him yet. I said come
on. Kasma saw her daddy, she just cried even harder. This man made all kinds of false promises after. And I asked him, I said, how did you find out about the funeral. He said, "Somebody told me
that one of Carolyn's kids got killed and I thought it was my daughter."
MOSLEY: How painful is that for his own child to hear? You only came because she's gone? And as far as Tralla's daddy. Same thing. He showed up for
everything after she was gone. He even stayed in Austin for three weeks straight, when we was going to court. But you couldn't come and visit her. You couldn't send her a Christmas card. You
didn't even know what her favorite color was. Nor did you know what her favorite fruit was. So you even remember her middle name? No.
MOSLEY: So we go inside the church. Sorry I veered off for a minute, So we go inside the church. Ms. McTear and I, Mr. McTear is sitting right behind us. Mr.
and Ms. McTear sat hand in hand through the whole service. So when we left, when the service was over with, I started hearing so many different things about the family, they kind of pierced me
in my heart.
MOSLEY: Not that I had them walking hand in hand, not that I basically protected them, but because they was being deceitful to me. And they was being
deceitful to me because they was lying to me every time they saw me. Every time they picked up the phone and talked to me they were lying to me.
MOSLEY: And all I am trying to do is find something to help Marcus with. All that, that didn't take me away from trying to find some kind of help for him. We
went to Marcus deposition, because you know, a lawsuit came in regards to Carolyn versus A.I.S.D.
MOSLEY: I went to every deposition they had because I wanted to find out who my baby really was because I was hearing so much stuff about her. Children have
flaws, but everybody loved Tralla. So, I go to Marcus' deposition, and they asked him, tell me about that day.
MOSLEY: Marcus said when he got to school -- and I'm putting it all together because I've been in every deposition, so I know all the children's words, all
the officers words, all the teachers words so I know what happened exactly to my daughter that day -- Marcus said he got to school he saw Tralla. And Brian was walking her to class because he
felt like if Marcus did anything to her he was going to take care of it.
MOSLEY: Okay, well what we did know, was in one deposition, Marcus stayed up all night long looking on the internet for places that you can vitally kill a
person instantly. He researched it, premeditated. So Marcus goes to school, and when he goes to school he sees Tralla and Brian walking so that just pissed him off.
MOSLEY: You know it shouldn't. They just friends, you know walking down the road, walking down the uh, hallway. That made him upset, so he caught Tralla by
herself, pushed her in one of the bathrooms, and when he pushed her in the bathroom, he said, they were fussing and Tralla was pretty headstrong in there and she walked out of there.
MOSLEY: Then, he started telling people that he was gonna kill Tralla before the day was out. Okay. Tralla got wind of it, she heard about it. She goes and
she tells someone. And this is where teen dating violence comes in. She goes and tells someone. "Well, if he gets close to you" -- this is what an adult told my child -- "well if he gets close
to you, then you come and let us know."
MOSLEY: Okay, okay, "if he gets close to me, I'll come and let you know." That's calming for a child. But an adult, what you mean if he get close to me?
Dude, if he got close to me, he may kill me. You already got that thought in your mind. But then knowing the kind of person Tralla is, they knew Tralla, she just, okay. So she leaves that
MOSLEY: Children are saying, "Marcus talking about how he gonna kill her, Marcus talking about how he gonna kill her." So 4:00 came and see, Tralla, leaves
class early because she goes and opens up the dance room, you know to help the children dance, you know she was the choreographer for the dancing and stuff.
MOSLEY: So she's on her way to do that, and when she's on her way to do that, and this is back into Marcus' deposition -- he says, she was talking to a
friend of hers who was crying. And the friend was in deposition, and she said Tralla saw her crying and she stopped, concerned about why she was crying. Her friend told her, "Marcus said he
gonna kill you."
MOSLEY: In the meantime while she's sitting there talking to her friend Marcus walks up behind her. "I just need to talk to you. I just want to talk to you
one time, let's just talk." So they go upstairs, they standing there and they talking. And when Tralla don't want to hear you, Tralla don't want to listen to you, she gonna turn her back to
you, "lalalalala," cover her ears and just sing that little song to herself.
MOSLEY: Well this time she covered her ears, sung her song, and turned her back to her killer. While her back was turned, he said, he took the knife out of
his backpack, and he stabbed her in the left side of her back and it went straight through her heart. And the coroner said she died instantly.
MOSLEY: But he also added that her will didn't die. Meaning, that last reflex that you have it didn't go yet. Tralla turns around to Marcus and he says she
looked at him as if to say why. And then Marcus said that he stabbed her in her lungs, so my baby fell to her knees, and she looked up at him and he stabbed her in her right temple, he stabbed
her in her left temple and he stabbed her in the crown of her head.
MOSLEY: Now the coroner said, there was no way my baby should have even gotten up from that. But he said, Marcus said, while Tralla was on her knees, my baby
looked up at him, that's why I love her so much, my baby looked up at him, to him and said, "I'm sorry, I forgive you, you do what you do." And he said he was just shocked.
MOSLEY: And she stood up, with five knive, knife wounds, with the first knife still hanging out of her back still stuck in her heart. Cause he had two
knives. And he said he reached for the knife that was in the center of her head, and that boy looked at me and he said, "Momma, it wouldn't come out. So I had to put both my hands on there and
MOSLEY: And when I did that Tralla got up and started running. And when she started running, I mean - and he was talking like he was angry cause she got up,
she got up she started running and I went to do the knife and sliced off part of her neck. And so, "Momma I started running after her and I slipped." You slipped on my baby's blood,
MOSLEY: And then he said she ran, and they said they measured it, the distance that she ran. She ran the distance of a baseball field. Trying to get to help.
See they had told her, that if he get close to you, come and let us know. With her last breath she as trying to run to help. She got down one set of stairs, and they said my baby got to the
second set of stairs, and by this time it's just chaotic.
MOSLEY: Children everywhere. Children was running, children was screaming, "Somebody please, Tralla. Tralla's in trouble, Tralla's in trouble." They ran and
got Ms. Connor, which was her English teacher. That was Tralla's favorite teacher.
MOSLEY: And Ms .Connor said earlier that day in class, she said she looked at Tralla cause Tralla was kinda disturbed, and she say, "Tralla, you all right?"
Cause she know Tralla and Marcus go together. And they actually have her class together. And she said, she asked Trella, are you okay? She said Tralla looked and her and said, "Oh it's just
puppy love, it'll be all right."
MOSLEY: Well Ms. Connor runs, she said she was running, she said, "Carolyn, I tried to get to her," she said, "but I held her. And Tralla looked up at me, we
couldn't hear the words but we saw them." And all of her close friends that were right there, right up on her, right up at her. All of them told me she left me a message.
MOSLEY: She said, "Tell my momma," she told Ms. Connor, she said, "tell my momma I love her. Just tell my momma and my sister that I love them but I got to
go." I'm like, Ms Connor, my baby said that? She said, "Carolyn, it was so strange, she said 'tell my momma and my sister I've got to go.' "
MOSLEY: And she said it just got quiet in the room. Like the heaven doors just opened up for her. She said I didn't hear no more screaming, I didn't hear
nothing. Everybody in their deposition said the same thing. And I was like, my baby said she loved me, my baby left me a message. That's like, more than anything in this world for me.
MOSLEY: Cause I was always wondering what was going through her mind at that time. What was my baby thinking about? My baby was thinking about her mom and
her sister. So, then they asked Marcus, so what did you do when all of this was happening. He said, "I looked down and she wasn't there. So, I cut my wrist."
MOSLEY: That's all he had to say. He haven't told me he's sorry. School still ain't called me and told me my baby's laying at the bottom of a staircase. But
they'll call me and say, "Miss Carolyn, Tralla left her blue and white tennis shoes at the house. Can you bring her her shoes cuz she is about to have a fit up here." But you can't call me and
tell me my baby's at the bottoms of the stairs?
MOSLEY: One of her classmate have to call me and tell me that. To this day I've yet to get a call from the school that my daughter's even hurt. I was like,
Okay Lord, how can I help my daughter's murderer? What can I do? He never had love until he met me and Tralla. I can't abandon him. Because in so many ways he's dead too. He's dead too.
MOSLEY: And one day that boy gonna be back out on the street. Mhm. He gonna be back out of the street. So my journey now is to grant my daughter's wish. But
I went a whole lot further with her wish. I'm gonna help Marcus, I'm going to eventually help Marcus. But right now my focus is on the children going through the things now that were finding
out teens go through,
MOSLEY: and we are now calling it teen dating violence. I'm taking my angel's love, concern, consideration, passion, forgiveness, and brave heart to the next
level. The next level is called the Ortralla LuWone Mosley Foundation and Corporation. And then it's gonna go one step higher than that, and its gonna be Tralla's House.
MOSLEY: I've been fighting for bills to get passed in regards to teen dating violence. And we got House Bill 121 passed. That's for the education in the
schools for teen dating violence, and the prevention and the awareness of it. And since we've gotten that bill passed the MADE Action leaders have appointed me Texas State Action Leader for
teen dating violence and prevention and awareness of it.
MOSLEY: And I am now responsible for every student in the state of Texas to get that knowledge on the prevention and the awareness of teen dating violence
and how that is granting my daughter's wish is because Tralla used to tell me all the time, "Mama I wanna be a counselor, I wanna be an attorney, I wanna be a doctor." Oh my God. How you gonna
do all of that?
MOSLEY: "Mama, I'm gonna be a counselor, an attorney, and a doctor." And when she said counselor, she meant a psychiatrist. I'm like, okay, Tralla, okay.
While we was getting the bill passed for House Bill 121, Dawnna Dukes is the cause of that. She put that bill together for us and she made a statement. She said, "Carolyn, you know how you're
always saying what Tralla wanted to be and what her goals were in life as an adult?"
MOSLEY: And I am looking at her like, yup. And she said, "Well, I want you to know that Ortralla LuWone Mosely has achieved all of her goals. She is a
doctor, because people are being healed. She is a counselor, or an attorney, because laws are being changed in her name. And, she is a, she is a counselor, she's a doctor and she's an
MOSLEY: And she's ah, she's an attorney because things are being changed in her name, I mean, I'm sorry, "she's a doctor because people are being healed,
she's an attorney because laws are being changed in her name, and she's a psychiatrist because people are getting their minds healed and they're coming out."
MOSLEY: I never thought about it like that. So even in death, Tralla's still a star. She is still shining bright. So I'm taking all of that, and this
foundation is to help teens and tweens, who find them selves in dating relationship abuse. If they feel like they in an abusive relationship, they can come to Momma still.
MOSLEY: Tralla used to bring all the kids home if they had problems with hygiene, if they had problems with this, if they had problems with that, they'd come
home to Momma. And Momma gonna do what she can to help them. Now I am living my daughter's life. I have gone back to school.
MOSLEY: I am going to school now to be a psychologist. I'm doing, I'm doing a double major. I'm doing a major is psychology and a major in criminal, social
criminal justice. So my double major is a bachelors in psychology and a bachelors in social criminal justice. My psychology degree is for my foundation.
MOSLEY: My social criminal justice degree is for what? The prison. So that I can go into the prison and start counseling individuals that have been in or
going through teen dating violence prevention, I'm going to teach them that. Teach them some love. That way, if I can get it started, then I can help other people start it.
MOSLEY: And then Marcus can get some help. Cause I doubt if they're gonna let me counsel Marcus, but if I can get people to catch on to this train and let's
ride this train together, power is in numbers. And just like Tralla said, "Mama, you can do it." And it happens. So my angel tells me "Mama, you can do it and it's gonna happen." So, in the
process of doing all of this -- it's hard, it's hard.
MOSLEY: All I am asking you is for the American people and society to ride the train with us and save the children. Because your children are my children.
And it's not because it's a name it's because the love that I have for our children. Because our children are definitely our future and I don't say that lightly like a lot of people, our
children are our future. No. Children are the future.
MOSLEY: I may be old and crippled but I need to know I got some responsible people taking care of these individuals, this world out here. So when it's time
for me to sit down I can sit down in peace, knowing that children are loving each other. So basically, I love the children, and I need support in regards to the Ortralla LuWone Mosely
Foundation and Corporation.
MOSLEY: Tralla's House, P.O. Box 143024, Austin Texas 78714. Office number 512.250.0214. Help us save the children. Thank you.
JEFFERSON: Yeah. I had a couple questions. Okay. Did you have to go through a trial for Marcus, and I guess, how was that to kind of relive the
MOSLEY: Going through the trial in regards to Marcus, I went through two trials. One was with his parents, neglect of a child. And it was proven that it was
a neglect of a child. That was hard to go through for the simple reason whatever came out of it, I gave it away because I felt like it was blood money. You can't pay me enough for my
MOSLEY: But I'll tell you what, the year that I received that money, there was a lot of happy faces for Christmas. Families that didn't have Christmas,
families that couldn't have Christmas, families that didn't have food. My family and friends that was behind on things, I caught them up. Helped one of my best friends pay a down payment on her
MOSLEY: I gave it all away, I gave away so much, I'll tell you what happened to me, I lived in my car for three months because I didn't have a place to go. I
would rather live my car -- I would rather eat after people. I would rather go to truck stops and take my baths, I call them duck baths, wash it off and go.
MOSLEY: I would rather wait for somebody to get up from their table from their dinner make sure they go out the door, sit down and finish their dinner and
just pray to God I catch nothing -- than to live off of blood money. So my satisfaction came from giving it away. Then we had the other lawsuit. I take that back, we had three lawsuits.
MOSLEY: I went, an attorney came to me and said, we gonna sue for $21 million dollars. I said okay, I can start the foundation with that, That's what my
goals were. But even thought Tralla's father wasn't in her life, Tralla would have wanted him to have half of that. Even though he maybe just bought her one pair of tennis shoes, two or three
cards, throughout her whole fifteen years of life, I had to do what was right.
MOSLEY: So me and that attorney went to where this man lived and I told him look, I'm gonna be in a 21 million dollar lawsuit and Tralla would want you to
have half of this and I just wanted you to know what I was doing, just so you would know what's possibly going to come to you.
MOSLEY: And you know what his question was to me? I heard you had another lawsuit and got $300,000. Where's my half of that? So the third lawsuit was,
Mosley vs. Mosley. I was sued for the $90000 he didn't get, By him. See. That's how the system work. The man ain't got to be nowhere around. And I'm only speaking of me because I can
only speak on my behalf.
MOSLEY: Man don't have to be in your child's life ever. He don't have to know your child's middle name or her favorite fruit or her favorite vegetable. He
ain't got to know the last time she blow her nose, he ain't got to know the last time she got surgery—she had hernia—he ain't got to know none of that. But because he is the biological father,
he gets half of whatever is given.
MOSLEY: Mind you, a week before Tralla died she came to me because he finally she knows, it's ain't Momma keeping her away from him. She starting to be a
little lady so she's starting to understand that man just ain't gonna come around. She said "Momma, I need to call Harrell." I said, What? She said, "Can you find Harrell?"
MOSLEY: Yeah, I can get him. I get the number and I give it to her. She says get on the other line, "Momma." I said, Tralla, what are you gonna do baby? I
said, please don't ask him for nothing, I don't want to hear him make, him hear, wait a minute. I don't want to hear him making more false promises to you, sweetie, I can't do that.
MOSLEY: She said "Momma, I ain't gonna ask him for nothing, I just want you to hear what I got to say to him." Two weeks before my daughter was days, I don't
know if it was two weeks or a week, I'm sorry, but a week or two before she died, Tralla talked to her daddy. You see, there's a difference between a daddy and a father.
MOSLEY: So she talked to her daddy and her words to him was, "I asked my mother for your phone number just so I could tell you thank you. I want to thank you
for being my mother's sperm donor, so that I may be invented." I was like, in my mind, whoa. What is this girl doing? And she went on to say, "You've done nothing for me, I don't know you. I
used to blame my momma because I thought she wouldn't bring us around you."
MOSLEY: "But now I am of the age that I know my momma don't have nothing to do with that, it's your fault. -- Momma, I'm sorry. I apologize to you. -- But
again thank you for being my sperm donor" and she hung up the phone. And I'm on the phone with him, I ain't gonna say nothing so I hung up the phone to. I'm not gonna say nothing, it's a done
deal. I'm gonna hang it up. I hung it up.
MOSLEY: So mind you. He sued me for $90,000. And guess what? He tried to tell the court that I was an unfit parent. I almost went to jail because I wouldn't
tell them what all, who all I gave the money to. They were going to press charges, the court was going to press charges against me because I would not name the people I donated or gave money
MOSLEY: I'm not going to put them out like that. Put me in jail. Do what y'all got to do, but I've done what I feel good about. And if that makes me have to
go to jail -- then handcuff me now, send me on my way, I spend my time. Because he wants to know where the money went, how come I didn't have no money. First of all, it wasn't his
MOSLEY: See, what they should have asked was where you been? Why you in the picture now? Well she -- and his answer would have been -- well she came and told
me she as gonna have a lawsuit and I was wondering where this other three hundred went. That's what his answer would have been. It wouldn't have been, well, I've been in my child's life all
this time, and we are gonna work this out together.
MOSLEY: So that was one lawsuit, the McTear's was another lawsuit, and then the school's lawsuit. When we got that money, guess what? He ended up getting
more than me on that. Why? Because he didn't have attorney fees. I hired the attorney, he didn't. That the way the system work. That's how it works. You got the attorney you pay the attorney,
but he gets his. So basically, nothing.
MOSLEY: So therefore, in my mind, I was so hurt, not because I didn't get the money, because that's not what I wanted. I wanted Tralla's House, now I can't
even get Tralla's House. You know, to be honest, if I got all of it, Tralla's House would at least be started by now. With the few dollars I got, I was able to pay a month's worth of bills
because things had added up so much.
MOSLEY: But you know what I am grateful for—it's one thing that nobody can take from me—the love of my daughter. The fifteen years that I had with her. And
the positive notes that she said in my head --
you can do it. Normally, it's the other way around, you're telling your child you can do it, you can do it. And I do. And I did. But I hear it all the time, you can do it.
MOSLEY: Tralla's House is coming into focus and its not going to take the blood money to do this. So yes, we had three lawsuits.
JEFFERSON: What happened to Marcus, was there a trial with him or did he plead out?
MOSELY: Yes, there was a trial with Marcus and people thought I was crazy about that too. See I promised Tralla I was going to get him some help, right?
People were like, "This woman done lost her mind." They first wanted to try him as an adult. In trying him as an adult, there was a possibility he could have got the death penalty. I don't have
the authority to kill anybody down here on this earth and I am not going to let anybody take the authority in my name or my daughter's name to kill anybody down here on earth because to me, I
would have been just as bad as him.
MOSLEY: So I pleaded to the court, That's a baby. That's a child. Ya'll don't have a child law yet? When you make one, do the next child. But this one, try
another child. That's was said in court. Right now, follow your own rules. So they did. Now child's law, they can send them through juvenile until they turn 21. If they show that they have been
rehabilitated, they can walk free without paper or anything. They were like, "Carolyn, you're going to let this boy walk? You going to let him walk after killing your daughter?"
MOSLEY: "He going to only be in prison three years and that's not prison, that's just like a house, or a group home that he was going to." I said, Yeah he is
a child. God knows my heart. God knows my prayers. All of a sudden, it was—his birthday was getting ready to come up. He's going to turn 21. And in April, they had this emergency court session.
I'm like, What is going on?" They're going to release him early.
MOSLEY: I said, Okay Lord, if this is your wish, then this is what's going to have to happen. I started getting hate mail. "You crazy. You need to die. It
should have been you, instead of your daughter," this, that, and the other. "You are an inmate lover," you this and you that. I'm like, Okay, okay I go to court and Judge Meurer was like, "This
is the reason why you're back in court, Mr. DeMarcus—." Mr. DeMarcus, excuse me. "This is the reason you're back in court, Mr. Marcus. We found that you have little girl's panties in your room.
You seeing little girls."
MOSLEY: They put him in a co-ed. They put them in a place where the girls and the boys were together. He was acting out. Because you see, if they put him in
an all boys' place, how you going to know he can deal with the girls? Mamma knows what she doing because she got God on her side. So they found out he was not going to rehabilitate himself.
Judge Meurer said, "You want to play big boy games? We going to put you out there with the big boys. You are sentenced to forty years in prison."
MOSLEY: So that's how he got a second sentencing because he would not behave. We gave him a chance. And see, if I would not have given him that chance, in my
own heart, I would have always wondered. Because he with all men right now—he with all men. So he with all men, he would have come out, nobody would have known. But see we already know that he
wasn't trying to get right before he went to the big men's house.
MOSLEY: So I wanted to see how the big boys treat the little boys.
MOSLEY: So I became a Texas correctional officer. Yes. I became a Texas correctional officer because I wanted to know not only how the little boys were being
treated with the big men, but how officers were being treated by inmates.
I'll tell you I went through the roof—went through a lot. People were looking at me, "You ain't that good." One guy told me when he got out, he would kill me
because ain't nobody as good as I am. I'm faking.
MOSLEY: That my daughter deserved everything that she got and if it was her, he'd have effed her to the end.
MOSLEY: Well now I'm an officer, so that's a terroristic threat, brother. So he got eight years added onto his sentence for that threat to me.
MOSLEY: But that was just one incident that I went—I got all my clothes stolen twice. I got a ring that I had bought just from Tralla stolen from me. I was
being sprayed withpepper spray, you know in the midst of everybody else.
MOSLEY: I'm in the midst—I'm going through all of these things trying to learn how inmates treat officers, how officers treat inmates. And people be like,
"You an inmate lover. Even in here, you an inmate lover." You know why? See my job was to go in there and provide what was necessary to the inmates. Basically, I was a babysitter. That's my
job. That's what an officer, a corrections officer, that's what their job is—to babysit.
MOSLEY: It's not to go in there and make the prisoner's life worse because guess what? If you go in there trying to make their life worse, your life is worse
off than their's. So I went in there and I did my job. And if an officer decides they don't want you to eat today, they throw your tray up against the wall. Not on my watch. Not on my watch
because you see, I have to sit in this wing with them all night long. So if you throw a tray up, I'm reporting you.
MOSLEY: So yeah sometime I was called an, "inmate lover." But then if the inmate did something wrong to an officer, I'm right there. So you can call me what
you will. I'm going to do my job wherever I am. And whatever name comes with it, as long as I know, God knows, my supervisors, long as they know Carolyn is doing her job, I'm satisfied. So
basically what I learned in there was a whole life lesson. But I'll tell you something about being in there, you
knowwho your criminals are.
MOSLEY: Out here, you don't know. You don't know who was around you. But you know in every cell there's a criminal. You know when you walk in the hallway,
there's a criminal. So you are alert. You're always watching yourself, you're always watching your body signs, body signs of this person, that person. I'd hear you get calmer. It's like, "Oh
how you doing?" That man might be just done kill somebody, or he might be fitting to do something to you."
MOSLEY: So basically you on alert 24/7, but before I went to prison, because that's what I did—I went to prison. Before I went to prison, I wasn't on alert.
Now I'm on alert 24/7 because it's more dangerous out here than it is in there. But I tell people that they be like, "Carolyn how can you say that?"
MOSLEY: Because it's the unknown—it's the unkown versus the known. And if you don't know something, your guard is dropped often. But if you know there's a
danger, you going to always be on guard. So basically that's what prison has taught me. And I'm going to say it like this here—I'm happy I went to prison.
BACON: I wanted to go back a little bit. I'm trying to think of how to put it, but to get beyond everything that happened and to start this foundation and
Tralla's House, how did you—what was your support system, I guess. How did you get through this time?
MOSLEY: I was talking early about mean my mother was to me. When my daughter died, my mother and I began to love each other because see now I know how it
feels not to have your daughter and I know how it feels to be a mother that has lost a daughter. So now I'm on both ends. My mother and I got together, oh God, my mother and I got together, and
Tralla died in 2003. And my mother and I got together, and we got to know each other.
MOSLEY: And my mother told me many things. And my mother told me one day, she said, "Neecy, please forgive me. I am so sorry for all that I have done to you.
I didn't know that you had this kind of love in you. This is what's been missing in my life. If I would have just embraced it, we would have been better people, huh?" I said, "Momma, forgive me
for being a rebellious child and not knowing what to look for, but I just know I couldn't have a family like you had.
MOSLEY: And I don't mean that to hurt you. But I know something was out there for me." Me and my mother—I stayed with my mother for three months. We had the
best time and she said, "You ain't going to never leave me again, right?" I said, "Mom I'll never leave you." But I left. I left to go into academy for the Texas Criminal Justice
MOSLEY: I didn't want her to know that I was going to the academy part because I didn't want her to hear a bunch of negative, "Neece please don't do that.
You going to get killed in there." Friends or family, nobody knew I was in the academy. Nobody knew. A week before it was time for me to graduate—oh I was so happy. I was top of the team. I was
the spokesperson for the class. I called my mom. She wasn't at home. I called her cell phone.
MOSLEY: My sister answered the phone. "Neecy, Momma in the hospital." I said, What's wrong with her? She said, "Momma real sick. Momma real sick." I said,
Can I get on the phone with her? I said, Hey momma."She said, "Hey." I said, I didn't leave you. I didn't. I said, I know I've been gone for a long time. But I got to tell you something. I'm a
Texas correctional officer, and I be graduating next weekend. And I was calling to invite you to come."
MOSLEY: She said, "Okay, baby." But then she stopped talking. My sister came to the phone. She said, "Neecy, she fell asleep while you was on the phone with
her." I said, "Okay." She said, "Neecy she ain't slept in almost three days. She been in so much pain." I said, Okay. I said, I'll call her back tomorrow. And I called back the next day and
they said my momma wasn't talking. She wasn't saying nothing. She wasn't doing nothing.
MOSLEY: My sister made [inaudible]. I said, Please let me talk to her. She said, "Neecy she can't talk to you. She can't talk back." I said, "Just put the
phone to her ear, please." She put the phone to my mama's ear. She said—she can move around and stuff, but she wasn't talking to nobody. And they was trying to get her to go downstairs for a
test. She wasn't trying to go. At this point, I didn't know that. She put the phone to her, she said.
MOSLEY: I said, Momma. My sister said her eyes bugged. I said, I love you. And my sister said she shook her head because she had her on speakerphone. She
said she shook her head like, "Yeah." I said, Mama please say something to me. My mom said, "Neece I love you. I love you so much." And so she gave my sister—my sister took the phone from her
because she had tears running down her eyes.
MOSLEY: And she said all of a sudden my mom put her arms up behind her head and she looked up at the nurses, she said, "Okay I'm ready to go." And I heard in
the background. I said, "Did she say something?" She said, "Neecy, momma said she's going to go take the test." I said, Okay, okay." I said, I'll call you back in a minute.
MOSLEY: So about an hour later I called back and they said, they said, "Neecy, she just not saying nothing. I don't know what happened in that test. But Mama
not saying nothing." And I said, [inaudible] put the phone back to her ear. I said, Mama I need you to come to my graduation. Mama, I said. "Baby I'll be there. I'll be there." She started
coughing into the phone. And they said she threw up her biles. And she said, "Oh Lord." And they said it got into her lungs. And my momma died.
Carolyn Mosley Samuel is the mother of Ortralla LuWone Mosley, who was fifteen years old on March 28, 2003 when she was stabbed to death at Reagan High School by her sixteen-year-old ex-boyfriend. In Video 1, Ms. Mosley describes the history of abuse in her family; her struggle to interrupt those patterns as a parent; and the circumstances leading up to the death of her daughter. In Video 2, Ms. Mosley discusses the aftermath of the murder in the high school, in the courts, and in her decision to start a foundation to prevent teen dating violence and to become a correctional officer. In Video 3, Ms. Mosley describes reconciling with her mother before her mother's death. The interview took place on October 1, 2009 in Austin, Travis County, Texas.
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Carolyn Mosley SamuelRole: Narrator
Texas After Violence ProjectRole: Collaborator
Kimberly Ambrosini-BaconRole: Interviewer
Parrish JeffersonRole: Videographer
Lydia CraftsRole: Transcriber
Lydia CraftsRole: Proofreader
Texas After Violence Project
University of Texas Libraries
North America--United States--Texas
North America--United States--Texas--Austin
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