Balloon release held for domestic violence victim - WKRN News 2

Balloon release held for domestic violence victim

Posted: Updated: Sept 1, 2012 04:16 PM CDT
Tonya Thompson was found dead in Columbia last September. Tonya Thompson was found dead in Columbia last September.
Thompson's boyfriend, John Lee Fleming, is charged with her murder. Thompson's boyfriend, John Lee Fleming, is charged with her murder.
COLUMBIA, Tenn. -

A balloon release was held on Saturday in honor of a young mother murdered one year ago.

Tonya Thompson was found shot to death on September 1, 2011 in the Columbia home she shared with her boyfriend, John Lee Fleming.

"She hid everything behind a great big smile," Thompson's father Ken told Nashville's News 2.

Balloons were released not only in Thompson's memory but to help raise awareness of domestic violence and the pain it causes.

"If you know somebody or are in this situation yourself, [help is] just a phone call away," Ken said. "[We] talked to her and tried and tried to get her to leave and get her to come home."

Thompson leaves behind three young daughters.

Fleming was arrested a short time after the murder.  He has pleaded not guilty and is set to go on trial in mid-September.

"We want the community to come out and help us stand against domestic violence for others, we welcome the public to the balloon release on Saturday and hope that the courtroom is full so folks can understand the impact that this has on lives," Ken Thompson said.

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