Two Lee County mothers lost their daughters but want different justice

While justice has been served in one case where a hit-and-run driver killed a young girl, what lies ahead for the other is still uncertain.

Allana Staiano died in January as she walked in North Fort Myers. Layla Aiken was killed while she sat at her bus stop in Cape Coral in March 2019. For both families, they say the pain is far from over.

Just a short time ago, Staiano’s mother told WINK News what happened in the Lee County Courtroom might not happen for her. Layla Aiken’s killer took a plea deal at the urging of the victim’s family.

Christine Gray said listening to Kathleen Redman speak so painfully in court brought her to tears.

“It was heartbreaking; it really was,” Gray said. “It hit home so bad, but at the same time, there were so many differences, but I can’t just imagine what she had to go through. I know with Allana, it was almost instant.”

Gray feels Redman’s pain of losing a daughter to a hit-and-run driver.

“It just hit home running down the road,” Gray said, “screaming for my daughter watching them do CPR.”

But Gray’s journey for justice for her 14-year-old daughter is just beginning. She said everything they do, Staiano “was always so prominent, out in front and center.”

“I’m angry,” Redman said, “but I’m a mother and I don’t see an evil man when I look at Logan.”

After almost a year of anger, Redman struck a deal with the driver who killed her 8-year-old daughter, finally getting their justice. Logan Heatherington will now spend two years in prison.

“Logan killed my daughter in a horribly violent manner,” Redman said, “but he didn’t mean too.”

“I can’t see how she was so forgiving,” Redman said. “I can, but I can’t.”

Gray admitted the plea deal made her nervous about getting the justice she wants for her daughter. But in no way did she criticize Redman for handling the loss of her daughter the way she did. Gray understands Redman’s forgiveness but said she wants her justice for Staiano to look different.

“I think that the courts should step up and say, these punishments are a little too lenient,” Gray said.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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