RICHMOND, Va. – Marty Cobb, the boy killed while trying to protect his sister last May, would have turned nine years old on Monday.
For the family of Marty, Monday will be another reminder of what was lost last when the 8-year-old “tiny hero” was killed protecting his sister on Brandon Road in South Richmond.
Cobb's other sister, Starquay Spruill, spoke on behalf of her mother on Sunday.
"It’s still hard for her that her baby boy is gone," Spruill said. “He’s not here and his birthday is tomorrow.”
But that pain is not stopping the Cobbs from celebrating Marty's life. They gathered on Brandon Road at 5:30 p.m., along with anyone who wants to participate, to release purple balloons with personal messages on them into the air. Marty’s sister said his favorite color was purple.
The gathering, which also featured a visit to the “tiny hero’s” grave, comes less than 24 hours before his accused killer, Mairese Washington, is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing.
Todd Stone, a legal analyst for CBS 6, said it is difficult to say what will be revealed Tuesday, but the two-day trial is still set for the end of May. Stone said that the biggest challenge for prosecutors will be the testimony of the sister police said Marty was protecting.
“If they have to really on the testimony of a young traumatized victim that makes it really tough,” Stone said.
Marty’s extended family said they are grateful the boy's death appears to have somewhat changed things in the city.
"Some people be overprotective about their kids now,” Cobb said. “All we want is justice for Marty.”