Mother of beating victim's children comes to his defense

The mother of Jeffery John's two oldest children says she doesn't believe he would be involved in any attack on manslaughter suspect 21-year-old Michael Ward.

Ward is being held in Douglas County jail in the June 24 killing of John. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail for battery with a deadly weapon doing substantial bodily harm, battery doing substantial bodily harm and manslaughter.

He faces a July 14 preliminary hearing, where prosecutors will present evidence that a crime was committed and there is a good chance that Ward committed it.

Authorities have released no information regarding an attack and have said only that the 24-year-old's death was the result of a fight that spilled out of Enrique Garcia's home and down a block to where John's body was found.

Ward's mother claims her son was fighting for his life.

Lovana Dressler said John has to rely on his family and friends to defend him.

"Jeff is not here to defend himself and it is our duty to find the truth," she said. "If Ward was hit in the head with a beer bottle then where are his cuts, knots and bruises?"

Ward appeared in court twice this week with little visible damage to indicate the attack his mother claims led up to John's death.

Dressler said John was a good man who always was there for his family and children.

"He was never one to put his family on the back burner when it came to them needing help," she said. "His friends consisted of everyone and he liked it that way. Though we were apart, we still remained the best of friends."

News of their father's death has been difficult on John's children, Dressler said.

"My children don't need this torment," she said. "No one can ease their pain, fill that empty void, or bring back their father. How it hurts to hear them ask me, beg me, pray that I bring their father back. They want to hold him, kiss him, tell him that they love him. I try to wipe the tears away but they just keep coming. Their hearts are broken. The only protector and provider - father they knew is now gone."

Dressler asked that the justice system be allowed to work through the incident.

"All Jeff's family and friends only ask for the truth and to seek justice for their loss of their loved one," she said.


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