1 year later: Paugh family reflects on J.D., recognition, support

By: Sheli Muniz Email
By: Sheli Muniz Email
The family of Deputy J.D. Paugh speaks out one year after his death. (WRDW-TV)

The family of Deputy J.D. Paugh speaks out one year after his death. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, Oct. 22, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tuesday marks one year since a Richmond County motorcycle deputy was killed in the line of duty.

J.D. Paugh was gunned down stopping to help who he thought was a stranded driver.

Now, a year later, the pain is still fresh for the community, but most of all for Paugh's family.

News 12's Sheli Muniz sat down with his family to reflect on the past year.

For 47 years, JD inspired everyone he came across, and for the past year, he's continued to inspired many. His story, a celebration of his life.

Bobby Paugh, J.D.'s brother, talked about the support in the past year, "the stories that people have told us, the memories that people have created that we did not have."

In the past year, J.D. has been honored in a number of ways.

In March, J.D.'s motorcycle was included in a police exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History. He was then nationally recognized in Washington, D.C., during National Police Week in May. In July, a stretch of Bobby Jones Expressway was dedicated to Deputy Paugh.

Bobby told News 12, "When we look back after the funeral was over, you think, 'OK, things are going to settle down.' It's been a year and it hasn't. I don't know that anybody can prepare you for what we've been through."

You know, the community has kept the focus on J.D., it's not how J.D. died, it's about how J.D. lived," continued Bobby.

Anita Paugh, J.D.'s mother, told News 12, "I think the longer that this goes on, the easier that it seems to get. With so much support in the community, it seems like it gets a little easier each day."

Some things don't seem to get easier.

"Family functions, you wait on everybody to get here and you realize we are all here. J.D.'s not coming, that's tough," Bobby said.

Bobby and Anita just wanted everyone to know how thankful they are for the continued support.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's been a difficult year, but you all have made it so much easier to get through. We will continue to get better with your support," Bobby said.

On Tuesday night at 7 p.m. there will be a presentation at Carolina Ale House in Augusta.

Friends and family will remember J.D. and a balloon release will follow.

The family tells News 12 they want the focus now to be on their memorial foundation, one that supports law enforcement.

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