LETTER- In Jefferson Ward's defense

I met Jeffrey Allen Ward in early January 2005 ["Local con man Jefferson Ward dead?" News, January 11]. He was battling for his life faced with allegations of rape and assault, which were later dropped after he spent 12 months in jail.

 I recall one night overhearing him in prayer. I was shocked to hear him call my name. He unselfishly and compassionately prayed for me. Somehow, through his words that night, I was able to catch a glimpse, a brief reflection, of who he was. He was a true believer in Christ. I was so moved that I too became a believer. I never got a chance to thank him, so I daily thank Christ for him.

Unlike the Hook, I won't remember him as a habitual criminal or liar but as a believer in Christ. Frankly, I don't believe his obituary cast him this way either. I'm amazed that the only thing you can print of someone is the mistakes he made.

This article was written after a man's death. You have chosen to not love thy neighbor. We are supposed to be kind to others. Please don't tell the public that as a business, you are not associated with religion. You are in business for the dollar, which you willingly accept and insist upon. And it has printed on it "In God We Trust."

Kerry V. Cook