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Niece: System failed to protect Franklin woman before her death at ex’s hands

August 3, 2018

On the day after Garry Yarborough was convicted of ambushing and killing his ex-girlfriend, the victim’s niece says the court system came too late to save her life.

Tracy Williams was shot to death in July 2015 after what her family describes as months of threats by Yarborough. Williams’ mother testified during Yarborough’s trial that her daughter had been so afraid she sought a protective order against him, changed her vehicle, purchased a gun and took concealed-carry permit classes.

On Thursday, a jury in Franklin County convicted him of first-degree murder. That punishment, her niece, Kelley Bural says, won’t satisfy her longing to hear again from the aunt she says was like a sister.

Three years later, she said, “There would be sometimes where I look at my phone and want it to ring and say ‘Tracy.’”

Sunday was a special day for Williams, Bural and other relatives – supper with the family. It was on a Sunday three years ago, that Williams was on the way to Bural’s house for that meal when she stopped at an ATM in Franklinton.

Williams’ ex-boyfriend, Yarborough, armed with a gun, made the same stop.

Bural said Williams feared for her life.

“I could tell that she was scared, and I could tell that she was bothered by everything that was going on,” Bural said. “She just wasn’t herself.”

Yarborough’s defense was that he only wanted to discuss their relationship, that he got scared when she shot him first, in the leg. But witnesses say he chased Williams down after her gun jammed and shot her in the head.

Bural believes the justice system failed her aunt.

Because of Yarborough’s repeated threats, she says.

Because of Williams’ failed attempt to get a protective order against him.

Because of his getting bailed out of jail after he was charged with her kidnapping.

The family is now pushing for a tougher state law against stalking.

“That’s a miserable life to live,” Bural said. “When somebody is constantly stalking you, and then there’s nothing you can do about it, you just have to deal with it.”

While she’ll never get that call from her aunt, Bural said she hopes one day to talk to Yarborough, because she has so many questions. She says she thought he was sincere when he apologized in court to the family.

Yarborough was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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