BATAVIA, Ohio — After tragedy nearly two weeks ago, the Clermont County community came together Monday to celebrate the lives of the three young boys who were killed.
According to investigators, Chad Doerman, 32, confessed to shooting and killing his three sons aged 3, 4 and 7 more than a week ago at their home in Monroe Township.
Those who knew Clayton, Hunter and Chase Doerman said they may never get over what happened, but now they're leaning on each other, hoping Monday night is the beginning of the healing process.
They walked into First Baptist Church of Glen Este wearing bright colors, which is what the family wanted. In lieu of flowers, the family asked for donations to the New Richmond Youth Sports Association (NRYSA), where the boys spent a lot of their time.
"I wish everybody would've had five minutes with them, just to be able to see how much fun they were," said Dwayne Kuhn, 7-year-old Clayton's baseball coach. "There's nothing that's ever going to take away the time that we got to spend with them and I cherish every single moment that I was with those boys. I'm just so lucky to have gotten to know and spend the time that I got to spend with them, it's going to be a tough road ahead but if we keep getting the support and the community coming together, I think we will get through this."
The association held a memorial Sunday on a baseball field, and sold t-shirts with all proceeds going to the family.
"The daughter reached back to us and said, 'I want to play in the tournament for my brothers' and that just shows you the strength of them of what the community has done to help them," said NRYSA president Kristin Bennett.
While many of the coaches only had one sibling on their team, they interacted with all of the boys frequently. The three brothers made Brandon Allen, 4-year-old Hunter's coach, appreciate the simple things about baseball and about life.
"You can't go back and change the tragedy, but you can change the narrative moving forward," Allen said. "I think sometimes adults you start to lose that perspective that a child has on the love on the simple things in life, in being around the 4 and 5 years olds for this whole summer you're so thankful to start seeing things from their perspective and I'll be forever thankful that."
Allen said he would like people to remember the boys by posting a picture or video of themselves playing catch on social media using the #PlayCatchForTheDoermanBoys .
Chad Doerman pleaded not guilty in court Friday to the 21 charges against him after confessing to executing his three boys
Last week, the prosecution revealed additional details that took place at his home on Laurel Lindale Road in Monroe Township on June 15. Note: The details in the rest of this story are graphic and hard to read.
Clermont County Prosecutor Mark Tekulve said Doerman's massacre started inside the home where he shot Hunter twice. He then walked outside and shot Clayton as he tried to run away, according to Tekulve.
Clayton was injured after being shot from behind. Tekulve said Doerman then walked up to him and shot him two more times. Doerman then ripped 3-year-old Chase from his mother's arms and shot him, according to Tekulve.
After court Friday, Tekulve said his goal is to "have this man executed."
"I can only imagine the terror these little boys felt and experienced as their father, their protector was murdering them," said Tekulve. "Unfortunately, their mother saw this. You can imagine the immense trauma and terror that she experienced and we will do the utmost in my office to see this defendant never sees the light of day again."
Doerman is being held without bail while awaiting a pretrial hearing on July 5.
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