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In Memory of Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson, Taken 4 Year Ago, Saturday

September 22nd, 2012 by

MADD Mock DWI / 4/13/2009
“In memory of Rooster”

September 2, 2011
(Based from a comment posted on Dustin’s birthday 2011, by his mom.) 

Tuesday would have been your twenty second birthday.

It’s hard to believe that you have been gone three years, today.

We miss you everyday but have much comfort knowing “my soul finds rest in GOD alone: my salvation comes from HIM. He alone is my rock and my salvation: He is my fortress, I will never be shaken”.

I am sure that you have had the best birthday celebration ever and I am sure you are dancing around.If I know you: probally trying to teach the angels how to do the “motorcycle” dance that your NENE never mastered!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my baby boy!

Love you, forever and always,

Jury Sentences Bates to 16 Years for Fatal Car Crash that Killed 19 Year Old
August 26, 2010

A Drew County jury took approximately 3 hours to determine the sentence for Jennifer Irene Bates, Wednesday afternoon, after one juror who didn’t want to send Bates to prison was replaced.  The dismissed juror told MonticelloLive, “That’s not the same lady that was drinking and driving that day,” referring to Bates’ current mental state.

The jury then sentenced her to serve 10 years on the negligent homicide case, and another 6 for the aggravated assault charge.

The charges are to run consecutively, for a total of 16 years, but Bates could be eligible for parole in less than 3 years.

A representative of the Arkansas Dept. of Correction had testified that they could provide care for disabled inmates, as needed.


Posted August 25, 2010

Jury Finds Bates Guilty of All Charges for Fatal Car Crash that Killed 19 Year Old

Testimony began at 8:30 this morning, and concluded at 8:45 in the guilt portion of the trial of Jennifer Irene Bates, who is charged with negligent homicide (or a possible alternate charge of manslaughter) for the September 22, 2008, death of Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson. 

The jury was chosen by noon Tuesday, and the state presented it’s case, except for the blood alcohol witness, who testified this morning.

Tuesday’s witnesses for the state included an employee from Sonic, who testified that less than 10 minutes before she heard sirens responding to the fatal crash that day, she saw Bates drinking vodka and appearing to be intoxicated when she was ordering a soft drink and a corn dog at Sonic. One of the vodka bottles was left at the business, as was presented as evidence.

Four witnesses testified as to the speed of Bates’ vehicle, and that she was driving north, faster than the speed of traffic, in the turning lane, and also in the oncoming southbound lane, prior to the crash.

Testimony was also given by the Arkansas State Trooper that investigated the wreck.

Wednesday, a representative of the Arkansas Dept. of Alcohol Testing testified that Bates’ blood sample was analyzed to be. 0.27, more than three times the legal limit.

Closing arguments began just after 9 o’clock.   Then the jury deliberated until 10:15, when they came back with guilty verdicts on all 3 charges, negligent homicide, manslaughter, and aggravated assault.

The aggravated assault charge is for damage and injury to the driver of another vehicle that was also involved, and the accident.

Judge Bynum Gibson removed the charge of manslaughter from the jury’s decision, since it was basically a duplication of the charge of negligent homicide, except without the alcohol stipulation.  Also, both charges carry the possible sentence of 3-10 years.

The sentencing part of the trial began next, and included testimony from Dustin Ferguson’s father and sister about how Dustin’s death has affected their lives.

Two family doctors and a neurosurgeon were called to the stand to tell about her health conditions.

A psychiatrist and a psychologist were also called to explain Bates’ mental and cognitive situation.

An LPN from Bates’ nursing home told about her daily activites and limitations.  She told the jury that Bates needs help with dressing, bathing, and medication.  She was then asked about a signed form that stated that Bates’ understands the facilities smoking policies, and would be allowed to smoke, if she wanted to.

Ms. Bates took the stand, and said that she couldn’t remember that day, but that her family told her about it.  She also apologized for the events that occurred that September afternoon.

Bates’ sister testified about her condition, and about her limited activities, adding that Bates has an 85-90 year old roommate.

A psychologist testified that he felt Bates was “faking” during part of her IQ test, and explained his opinion.

During the closing arguments, Prosecutor Frank Spain told the jury, “the defense will tell you that she’s suffered enough, but her condition is a result of her actions,” and that “giving her probation is not the message you want to send.”

Public defender Tim Leonard, assisted in the case by Sandra Bradshaw, suggested that the jury give Bates probation.  He told the jury, “I’m not representing the Jennifer Bates that was drinking and driving,  but the childlike nursing home resident that is here today.”

Judge Gibson told the court, “the jury may only consider her health conditions if they choose to.”

The prosecution pointed out, in response to Bates and her sister’s desire for her to be able to speak to groups and tell her story, that testimony said that she has no memory of that day, and also that she didn’t have to be sentenced to “tell her story”, and she hasn’t done so yet.  Spain added, “All DWI’s are dangerous, and she did that at 2:50 in the afternoon on the most dangerous road in this town.

The jury went into the sentencing phase at 2:05.


Posted at 4 pm, August 24, 2010

The trial for Jennifer Irene Bates finished its day around 3 pm, Tuesday afternoon, with the state expecting to call their final witness, to testify about blood alcohol content.

The prosecution isn’t expected to call any witnesses in this stage of the trial.

The case will likely be handed over to the jury to determine the guilt or innocence of Bates by 10 am.

The sentencing portion of the trial, if needed, would begin after the verdict comes back from the jury, with victim impact statements from the family members of both sides of the case.


Posted at 12:30, August 24, 2010

Jury Chosen for Bates Trial for Fatal Car Crash; Opening Argument Begin at 1:30

A 12 person jury, along with 2 alternates has been chosen for the trial of Jennifer Irene Bates, charged with negligent homicide (or a possible alternate charge of manslaughter) for the September 22, 2008, death of Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson.  Bates has also been charged with aggravated assault in the alleged alcohol related accident for damage and injury to the driver of another vehicle that was also involved. will update the case later today.

The trial is expected to last two days.


Posted Aug. 11, 2010

Bates Trial for Dustin’s Driving Death Set for August 24-25

Jennifer Bates had court hearings on Monday and Tuesday in the Drew County Circuit Court, dealing with motions and issues involved in the September 22, 2008 automobile crash, near Wendy’s and Walmart, which claimed the life of Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson.

Bates’ public defender presented motions dealing with mental evaluations of Bates’ condition after she sustained brain injuries in the wreck, and also a motion to move the trial to another county, due to pre-formed opinions by prospective jurors.

Judge Bynum Gibson ruled on the motions, and set the court date for August 24-25.

Judge Gibson ruled that the court record shows reports from both a psychiatrist and a psychologist at this time, and encouraged the public defender to seek another professional opinion, if they felt the need, as long as it didn’t affect the court date.

Dr. Kim, a licensed state clinical psychologist, testified, Monday, that he felt Bates had the ability to assist in her defense against these charges. Tuesday, an LPN from the nursing home where Bates lives testified to her abilities and daily activities.

Judge Gibson ruled that Bates would be able to assist her defense council in her case, to an appropriate level to allow the case to proceed.

Next the defense presented affidavits from members of the public, stating that they felt there could not be a fair trial in Drew County. A friend of the Bates family testified about comments that she had heard in various places around town.

The editor of the local paper, followed the owner of MonticelloLive, were asked about their news coverage, and if it would likely prevent an impartial jury from being seated.

Judge Gibson ruled that, if both jury panels were called, that there should be at least 12 jurors and an alternate to serve on the case.

A possible plea bargain was discussed , Monday, but the time for plea bargains had passed, due to a June 28 ruling.

Also, the prosecution added manslaughter as a possible alternative charge, for the jury to consider.


Posted March 2, 2010

Charges Filed Against Driver for Dustin Ferguson’s Death in Sept. 2008 Car Crash

Jennifer Bates, of Star City, the driver of the vehicle that caused the fatal collision on September 22, 2008, that claimed the life of 19 year old Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson, has been charged with negligent homicide and aggravated assault, in Drew County Circuit Court by the prosecuting attorney’s office.

Bates had not been charged previously, because of her medical condion following the wreck.

The charge of negligent homicide includes the words “while intoxicated or with an alcohol concentration of in excess of .08%”.


In Memory of Dustin Ferguson

Posted Sept. 21, 2009.

This week marks one year since the loss of Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson in an automobile crash on HWY 425 North, near Walmart.

The number of friends and acquaintances that have come to be heard from since Dustin’s untimely death has shown just how much of an impact that his short life has made on so many people.

When MADD presented their annual Mock DWI Accident at MHS, this year’s event was done in memory of Dustin.  MonticelloLive video taped the portrayal of what really happens at the scene of an alcohol related, fatality car crash, and it has been viewed over 400 times, click here to see the video.

This special edition of One Monticello Life was written by a relative of Dustin’s shortly after his death, and is tribute to how one young man, living for God, can change the world around him.


What an honor it is for me to be able to write such a tribute to such a fine young man. What sorrow it is for me to sit here and wipe away tears thinking of how much he will be missed. A fine spirit, a big heart, and a love for everyone. Dustin Ferguson.

Dustin, better known as Rooster, was born September 20, 1989 to Ray and Tina Ferguson. Dustin grew up in Monticello and was a graduate of Monticello High School, and a Student at UAM. He was a free spirited guy who loved God, life, and people. Dustin was outgoing, and loved to tell stories, jokes, or just do something out of the ordinary to make people laugh. He loved to smile, and wanted to see others with a smile on their face. You could be having the worst day, and after spending about five minutes with Dustin, you forgot every problem, care or worry you had.

Dustin had many hobbies. He loved to hunt, fish, and spend time with his family and friends. Dustin also had another hobby: his faith, which he shared with countless people. His life was a testimony to the many he came in contact with.

Dustin lived his life to the fullest, never knowing if that day may have been his last. His heart was bigger than anyone I know, and he was always willing to give or to help someone in need, always putting others first. You could see Dustin’s testimony in his love, his giving and in all that he did. It was nothing to see Dustin out at Wal-Mart or a gas station in boxers, his boots and a hat. He made that wardrobe famous! But no matter what he was wearing, or where he was at, you could always count on a kind word and a smile from him.

Dustin built his life on friendship, and would fight giants for his friends or family, even if it meant getting “a little roughed up.” He always had a crowd of people around him, or could attract one very easily. If you ever needed something, Dustin was there instantly to lend a hand, a shoulder to cry on, or just a smile. It is hard to understand why God would take someone so young, who had his whole life in front of him. But we are taught not to question God, that He does all things for a reason.

Dustin believed that.

Even though he isn’t here with us on earth, you can bet that a day won’t pass, that he isn’t watching over every one of us. No one knew what the future held for Dustin, but God did, and He knew that life would be better for him in Heaven. That doesn’t make the pain any easier for any of us, and it will take weeks, months, and maybe years to get over his loss. But he will be with us in our heart, and our memories of him will help each of us get through those difficult days.

Dustin was a giver, and he gave his heart to help others, be an example, and to share his faith. Let’s not let Rooster down. Let’s continue what he did everyday: loving, helping, sharing and smiling. Rest in Peace Dustin, for we will see you real soon. Thank you for being an example to us all, and thank you for being such a great One Monticello Life


The story below posted on September 23, 2008

Tuesday 4 PM Update–Fatality Wreck Near Wendys & Wal-Mart-Monday

The driver of the Chevy Silverado, shown on the left, was reportedly traveling north on HWY 425 North, near Wendy’s and Wal-Mart around 2:45, Monday afternoon, when she pulled into the turning lane, and crossed into oncoming traffic in the inside southbound lane.

Dustin Ferguson, age 19, of Monticello, was traveling south in the Ford Ranger pick-up, shown on the right, when the Silverado struck him head on.  According to witnesses, Mr. Ferguson died at the scene.

After the original impact, the Ford struck a third vehicle, which sustained minor damage.

The driver of the Chevy, will be listed as being at fault, has been identified as Jennifer Bates, age 29, of Star City. She was ejected from the vehicle as it continued northbound. She has since been transferred to Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, where as of 6:30 Tuesday morning, she remained in critical condition. As of 4 PM, JRMC had made no notification of a change in her status.

The accident was investigated by Arkansas State Trooper Clayton Moss, with assistance on the scene from the Monticello Police Dept. and Drew County Sheriff’s Dept. The fire and rescue units also responded.

Testing will be done, as with all fatality accidents, to determine if there were any contributing factors to the events that took place.

Following the news of the accident, around 150 youth of our area gathered at Drew Memorial Hospital, and started a prayer vigil. Rev. Jimmy Albrecht and Rev. Ray Hearron, of Second Baptist Church, and Bro William West, youth pastor of Shady Grove Baptist, were also there to minister to those in need.

285 Responses to “In Memory of Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson, Taken 4 Year Ago, Saturday”

  1. anita walker says:

    Rooster was so much a part of all of our lives . He made us smile when we needed it most . A well mannered young christian man. To Tina and Ray, as a mother and a friend of becca and Dustin, I am truly heart broke and sorry for your loss. I know your faith is strong, turn to God and he will see you through. Love Paul, Anita, Casey, and Amy Walker

  2. Susan says:

    Tina and Ray, my heart just breaks for you and all of your family I am praying for you hang on to your faith and your friends. sending my love,

    Susan (Sharp) Hollinger

  3. Amber Barnett says:

    Rooster was the best friend anyone couldever ask for an d always making people smileand laugh!!!!!!WE LOVE U ROOSTER AND YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOVE Amber

  4. Kandie Hinyub says:

    You are so right~ What a short lived life. Rooster was great to my son Greg when we evacuated then moved to Monticello after Katrina. He talked me into letting Greg go hunting (on a school day none the less), and promised to keep him safe. And he did!
    I am so sorry Ray, Tina, and Becca for your sadness. Greg said every time he gets upset he just thinks of something silly Rooster did!
    May God be with you all~ Prayers & Love The Hinyubs

  5. Alex Hill says:

    Rooster was a very great guy all the way around. Well loved and a great friend to all. This is so hard to believe. He will be dearly missed. Thoughts and prayers with family and friends!!

  6. Kim Montgomery says:

    Rooster was such a nice young man, full of life and always had a big smile on his face. I can’t imagine this Earth without him but he’s in Gods hands now. A star will shine bright tonight.You will always be missed.
    Love you and will miss you Rooster.
    Robert, Kim and Dustin Montgomery

  7. Antjuan Tucker says:

    wow there is so many thing you can say how good rooster was to every one is love shower everyone i am one of his friends and he made me feel like one of his brothers so keep his love going and keep his family and his girlfriend and all of his friend in our prays…… his love stay with us forever! God Rest His Soul!

  8. kim welch RN says:

    we are so sorry for your loss. you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Lyle and Kim (Fenton) Welch, and Kayla Fenton

  9. Proud Billie Mom says:

    I was not blessed enough to know Rooster, but I have a son that is in the same grade as Becca, and he knew him. My heart and prayers goes out to the family.

  10. steven stults says:

    rooster was one of my best friends and i will miss him all my prayers go out to his family everybody loved rooster he was kool with everybody R.I.P. Dustin “ROOSTER” Ferguson u will be missed and loved

  11. Lashanda Thurman says:


  12. justlovinlife says:

    Prayers to all involved, especially the family of the young man who so tragically lost his life. As a mother of two small children, I cannot imagine the pain that they are going through. May God guide you through this difficult time.

  13. Robin Davis Johnson says:

    I truly understand what it means to go through such a terrible accident. I will never understand why God keeps some of us and takes the other. I was at the hospital today when the ambulances arrived. The memories came back to quickly. My heart sank for all, just seeing all those teenagers out there supporting each other. My daughter, Katie Davis, was a very good friend of Dustin’s and he supported her when I went through my accident and I will do anything I can to support his family. Please remember God is with us all and Dustin was his chosen one for a better tomorrow. God Bless!

  14. Kim Montgomery says:

    Also to Tommy and Diane, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Your whole family is. God Bless you all. K. Montgomery

  15. Terrance "Big T' Reese says:

    Rooster was a great person! I will sertainly miss seeing his smiling face. My prayers go out to his family! He is gone but will never be forgotten! Rest in peace Rooster! We will miss you dearly!

  16. My heart is broken for this family and the pain and confusion they are feeling. We just don’t have any comforting words that make sense in this time of loss. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and extended friends during this shock and loss of our friend “Rooster”. Although I didn’t know him well, he never missed a chance to smile and hug me and make me laugh. Forever a flirt, and fearless, we will miss this young man. Don’t mourne our loss of him, but let’s celebrate that he is with God Almighty, while we are left here on this temporary ground.

  17. Elizabeth Tyler says:

    Dustin (rooster) Ferguson was such a great young man! He will be missed my many and loved my all who knew him. Every time I saw him, if I didn’t have a smile on my face no matter if I was upset or just not smiling, he would make sure to put a smile on my face! Rooster will always have a place in my heart and I know right now that he making God smile and laugh with all of his funny jokes!! Rooster I love you and will never forget you!

    To Dustin’s family…I am praying for you…I can’t imagine what you are going through. May God be with you!

  18. ashlee says:

    My prayers go out to the Ferguson Family! I pray for all of Dustin’s “Rooster” friends also! I also would like to send out prayers to other family involved! This is such a hard thing to understand specially when life at such a young age is taken! We all seem to be so busy that we just expect that tomorrow will be here! We are not promised tomorrow!!! I pray that God gives both families the peace, understanding, and comfort and strength they need!!

  19. Patsy Hargis Chavis says:

    Tommy and Diane, I am so sorry about the terrible tragedy this afternoon. Wish I could be there to try and comfort you as you did me in my time of need. Linda and I are thinking of you and Dustin’s family. We love you.

  20. You never know how precious life is until the ones that are precious to you are taken away. There are no words to express all our feelings right now. All I know is that every memory I have with Rooster in it is a happy one. He was friends with everybody and was loved throughout the community. May God bless you Mr. Ray, Mrs. Tina, and Becca. The next time it thunders, i bet its God laughing at one of Roosters jokes! So in that case its going to be a BIG thunderstorm. You wont be forgotten Rooster.

  21. Gina Atkins says:



  22. To the family of Dustin Ferguson,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know this young man, but I can’t help feeling such grief for your family. I am proud to know that he is present with our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. He says, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord. Though it is hard, continue to honor the lord with praise; he is with you all, even through your tears, so much it is hard to see. Joy will come in the morning, the bible says. I will pray for you all. Everyone who knew and loved him, Bless your hearts

  23. Megan Boykin says:

    Rooster was a wonderful person everybody knew him because of hes great personailty!And he was there for anybody weather he knew you or not he was there to listen to what was going on and try his best to fix the problem..half of the time he did by makin you smile and laugh in the end!he will never be forgotten..and its such a wake up call for me and many people because ive never had nobody pass away that i talked to and went to school with and knew personally but its okay hes in a much better place..Please keep his family and friends in your prays!In love and memories!WE MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU!

  24. Tonya Lane says:

    Tina, Ray, and Becca–
    I was numb when I got the news today about Rooster. Your family has always had a special place in my heart and right now my heart is breaking for you. I picked Dylan up from football practice this afternoon and told him about the accident. A tear rolled down his face as he asked if he could come to Monticello with me. He thought a lot of Dustin, as did I. I can’t imagine what you are going through during this most difficult time, but my heart goes out to all of your family. You have a very special family and you have a very close relationship with God that I know will pull you through.

    I love you guys and will be praying for you.

    In His Love!

  25. Angela Purifoy says:

    My boys were friends with Dustin, however I never met him. But my boys spoke of him often, always with wonderful things to say. This tragedy broke my heart and I can see the pain in so many who knew and loved him. He seemed to be a wonderful, caring young man. I am deeply sorry to all of his family, and friends may you find comfort with the Lord, in your time of sorrow. My boy’s were so upset when they heard the news, and recalled memories of Dustin. May God guide you through this, I am so sorry…. May God bless you all…

    Blake, Kole, Jordan,& Michael’s-
    Angela Purifoy

  26. Melanie Wedige says:

    ihad the pleasure of knowing Rooster thru my daughter…i loved him like a son….my daughter Michaela was like a sister to him & is also best friends with his girlfriend, megan….whaen you think & pray for his family…please remember them…megan is having a real hard time with this…they had just celebrated their anniversary & gave each other promise rings & we planning to get married as soon as she graduated…this very hard for someone so young to understand & to have to know that she was the one he coming to see when it happenend…he was on her way to her house…..these girls loved this boy & need your prayers….please remember tina, ray & becca…who he called his guardian angel & he was her hero….and when you think of his family…remember the girls in his life & the one that held his very heart….

  27. Cyndy Irvin says:

    My heart goes out to everyone involved in this tragedy. I didn’t know Rooster, but by reading all the comments, he will be missed greatly. I am praying for Jennifers family also. If any of you need anything, don’t hesitate to call. I am here for you Jana. My love, thoughts and prayers go out to you.

  28. Josh says:

    Life is so precious! Dustin was more than a cousin to me, he was a friend, as he was to so many in this town. He always had a smile on his face, and if you didn’t, you would by the time you had finished visiting with him. Dustin loved life and was full of life. I don’t think he ever met a stranger, and there was nothing he would not do for those he knew and loved. He had a heart of gold. Dustin had so many friends, and this was proven by the crowd of people who gathered at the hospital yesterday. That in itself, said so much about Dustin. Dustin was a good Christian man, and we know he is in a better place today, even though it doesn’t make the pain any easier. Please pray for Tina, Ray, Becca, Tommy, Diane and all of his family. They will all need your prayers for many weeks and months, to come. Thanks to everyone for their calls, visits and prayers since this tragic event occurred. Please continue to lift up this family in prayer.

  29. Deb says:

    Rooster was an active member of Pauline Baptist Church and loved by all! Thanks to Rob Leonard for being at the hospital to minister to all of our hurting youth. Also, to Jason Beck, Jack Cross and Ryan Copico for keeping the PBC Youth House open on Monday night for youth counseling.

    Rooster will be missed not only by his family, but by all of his many friends who loved him! There was only one Rooster!

  30. Wanda White says:

    To Tina, Ray & Becca,

    My heart was broken when Julie called me with the news of Rooster’s accident yesterday afternoon. He was just one of those special young men who made everyone smile. He usually set behind me and Bill at Pauline on Sunday mornings and he never felled to give me a hug. I love you guys and you have a special place in my heart. We can’t see the big picture but through all the hurt you know that God is in control and you know without a shadow of doubt that Rooster looked into God’s face yesterday afternoon and is in a place so wonderful that we can only imagine how happy he is right now!

    To Tommy & Diane, my dear friends, I can’t imagine what you are feeling to have lost this grandson. Hunter and Drake think Rooster is awesome and Hunter is especially having a hard time with this. We’ve all been through a lot together over the last 30 years and God always sees us through. God will bring you through and give you a way to use this tragedy to His glory. I can’t help but think with all the friends that Rooster had, that this will be a wake up call for many and that kids will be saved because of this.

    I love you. I’m sorry I’m in Little Rock living and can’t be there with you.

    WAnda White

  31. Linda Thornoton says:

    To the Ferguson family, I am so sadden to hear of your loss I was not blessed to know Dustin, but from what I have read about him he was a Christian, and a good young man. I can’t imagine losing a child, I have two beautiful daughter and two beautiful grandchildren and I thank God for them everyday. I want you to know that the Ferguson Family are in my Prayers. God Bless You All.

  32. Just wanted to let you know that we’re keeping the family of this young man in our prayers. Diane and Tina.. we’re praying for you at this time.. this is so horrible and it’s like Wendi said.. God does have control of our lives and we can’t change His will. Take care and May God Bless you at this time of sorrow. We’re praying for all of the families involved here. Nan Carter and Robin Smith

  33. Olivia Vaughn says:

    My heart goes out to the families that where involved with tha accident…
    Rooster was a great person and everyone respected him.

    R.I.P Dustin Ferguson

  34. Clara says:

    My heart goes out to both families in the loss of their loved ones. May God`s loving arms be around both famlies.

  35. Rebecca says:

    My love goes out to these families. I don’t know them but I don’t think you need to know someone in Monticello to love them. We are a small community and this sort of tragedy affects us all. Please remember this tragic event as you travel down HWY 425 and be watchful if you are turning left. We need to be watching out for each other.

  36. Bryan Fleming says:

    I did not know him personally, but i did hear about him every once in a while. My heart goes out to his family. Just know that he is in a better place now with God.


  37. Andrea Maloney says:

    My prayers are with all of you. I did not know Dustin but i know many of his family members and my heart is breaking for all of you. My daughter knew him through the pre-k and talked about him everyday. This young man had a wonderful impact on everyone that he met. He will be missed and loved. Wrap you arms around this wonderful young man lord and touch the hearts of all who loved him, AMEN.

  38. Leslie Windham Adams says:

    Tommy, I was so sorry to hear about your grandson. Julia sent me an email letting me know. My heart goes out to you, Diane, Uncle John & Aunt Hazel, Tina & Ray and Becca. You all are in my thoughts and prayers, Love, Leslie

  39. Steven Koone says:

    Dustin was a great friend and will allways will be missed! We had many memories together and from when we were little Kids all the way up till sept 22. Dustin you will never be forgotten. Dustin look over us and guide us through our lives!!

  40. Momma Kirby says:

    Rooster was a wonderful person and a true example of what Christ can do in a teens life. My son, daughter and I met Dustin at Pauline Baptist and they became great friends. To Dustin’s Family. You are all in our Prayers, Yours son was trully loved and will forever be missed. Forever in our hearts, daily in our minds and Always in our Prayers.


  41. Monica says:

    Tina & family, many thoughts and prayers go out to you during these difficult days. Dustin came to me many times a day during his high school career either with a story, a complaint or just to stick his head in my office and say Hi! Many times he brightened my day and made me smile. He was so precious and full of life!!! The memory of him will always be in our hearts forever!!!!
    Monica Weaver

  42. Julia Ferrell Harris says:

    It is so comforting to know that my nephew had so many friends and touched so many lives. Thank you all for your kind words of love and encouragement. My “Little Rooster” wasn’t so little any more, but he will forever be missed.

  43. Stacey Riley says:

    From Amanda Clark, Andrew and Kyrah Riley….our family is praying for both families involved and my children and my niece are mourning the loss of their friend. This tragedy is felt 2 states away and I’m sure further than that.

  44. Rooster was my best friend. When I was down he would bring me up, he knew how to make everybody smile. He was like my older brother. I saw him saturday night and the next thing in know he is gone right befor my eyes. Rooster was always the person i could count on when i needed somebody to talk to. Rooster we love you and we’ll never forget you.You’ll always be in my and other peoples heart!!!!!!!!! You made my life more easier when you was around…


    pray for for his family, megan rainbolt, and the people who loved him


  46. Jones says:

    So sorry for your loss. It is such a tragedy to have life taken when it really seems to be just starting. I didn’t know Rooster, but Megan lives in our neighborhood, and they always seemed to be together heading somewhere. I saw his truck going up and down the hill nearly if not everyday. I know they were close. I pray the Lord gives her and his family the strength and serenity to get through each day.

  47. Clara says:

    I would like to correct my comment, My heart goes out to the family who lost their son and their grandson, and my heart goes out to the family of the young lady that is hurt, and my prayers are with them all.

  48. Darrell Allen Meier says:

    rooster was a true friend he was always there when you need him im going to miss him as a friend but he will alwas in my heart.

  49. Katie Davis says:

    Wow!! My heart is breaking for roosters family..Ray, Tina, and Becca…Stay strong and Let the Lord lead you…Rooster was a great great friend of mine and was always there for me when i needed him as well as others!! Root never ever met a stranger!! His smile could brighten up a whole room! With all ive been through this year he has shown me what a real friend is..he has stuck by my side through thick and thin..And i will Miss Him so much…As i try to stay strong and hold my head up my heart will ache inside because its so hard…I love ya buddy… Love- Your Katie Bug…

  50. Kristi Moseley says:

    This is such a shock. I remember lil rooster at daycare with his mom. I will always remember taking him, Leigha and Nicole out for ice cream and the girls ganging up on Dustin. Times like those are the ones we will have to hold on to. Tina, Ray and Becca –stay stong and put your trust in God. You may not understand WHY but God had a plan for Dustin and he had completed that plan. Be thankful that he was close enough to God that he was able to complete his task God has given him. You all are in our prayers!!!

  51. Jill Orrell says:

    Tina and Ray…

    I cannot even begin to fathom your loss. I loved Dustin so much and am proud that God used me to help him throughout his high school years. He was such an awesome young man – one that I know you are so proud call yours. He touched every life that he came in contact with. Even when he was down and out about something he had a knack to bring a smile to those around him. I will truly miss Dustin as will many others – he was an inspiration to us all!

  52. Tonya McCoy says:

    You all became a part of my family when Rhonda became a part of yalls. Rooster was such a well manner and sweet person. My heart is hurting so badly knowing the pain yall must be going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Love you all so much!

  53. Jessica Mckinstry says:

    Rooster will be miss he was a fun loving person that i know! i will love and miss him! my heart goes out to his family!

    love Jessica McKinstry

  54. Tom Ellis says:

    I just want to say that my prayers are with the Ferguson family. I new rooster since i was little he played ball with me. My mom called me up and said that Dustin Ferguson just died. I was thinkin to myself i was just talkin to him the other day, now i wont be able to talk to him again. He was everybody’s best friend. He new how to make u laugh…Dustin we will miss u man R.I.P

  55. to tina Ray and Becca Megan we all pray for you every time we think about rooster he was very special to every body we miss him so much. it was tragic but we all know that he will be missed and that he was always there in everyones hearts he made you feel good when you felt down he is speacial to me and you and we will never forget him no matter what he will be in our hearts forever and every time we cry we remeber how special he is to us and you i know that he will not be forgoten





    –TO MEGAN..

  57. Sheila Gardner says:

    Tina and Family,
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  58. Ashlyn says:

    Dustin ((Rooster)) was a good friend of everybdys! it broke my heart when i found out the news. I will never forget him! Becca is a close friend of mine and i will always be here for her when she needs me. For anyone else that is reading this, all i ask is if you could please keep the Ferguson family in your prayers.


  59. Kyrah Riley says:

    Rooster was so awesome!!! i cant believe this happened!!! he will be with all of us forever and im sooo sorry becca and family

  60. Curtis Lagrone says:

    He was a smile on a bad day, a ray of sunshine in the dark. He was and will always be the only one like him. He was always up for doing anything for anyone. He was always the highlight of so many peoples days and will always hold a place dear in everyone’s hearts. It has definitely been a wakeup call to so many students. This is a trajedy beyond any other. We won’t forget. To Becca, Mrs. Tina, Mr. Ray, Mrs. Dianne, Mr. Tommy, and Megan: Our love and prayers are extended to you.

    Curtis Lagrone

  61. keeli's mom says:

    To Ray, Tina, Becca Mrs. Dianne, Mr Tommy, and the family,

    My familys prayers are with you for healing and comfort. Anything you need day or night just pick up the phone we will be there. If you need to just scream I am here. It can be very healing just to let it out. To becca, you know I love you like a daughter you have been such a good friend to Keeli, lean on her now, and know that God has you in his arms, He is there for you. He loves you and will pull you and your family through this trying time. Know I am here if you need to talk. You know about My mama 2 (Helen), so I do know what you are feeling. Call me if you need too. I Love you, and your family.
    You are in our prayers.

    Suzanne Phil Keeli and Connor

  62. AMANDA CALHOUN says:

    My heart and prayers go out to all the families and persons involed in such a tragic accident. Jana hang in there girl you are strong and God is with you. Everyone is in my prayers.


  63. Jamie says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ferguson family but also to the Bates family as well!!Please keep them in your prayers as well!

  64. chassidy says:

    i don’t know him but from what i can read he was a very good spirited young man, my prayers go out to his family, and to his girlfriend Megan sincerely your chassidy

  65. SL says:

    It so amazing how some things just happen so soon,Dustin was a wonderful person and he was loved by everyone,but GOD had to call him home and now he is in a better place………My thoughts and prayers go out the Ferguson family….R.I.P Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson (Gone but never Forgotten)

  66. Amber Barnett says:

    Rooster was all our great friends and we all lovehim he will never be forgotten and becca mrs.Tina and mrs. ray we are praying for yall and your son had such a great impact onourlives and he was a truefriend and we love him and miss him alot I LOVE U ROOSTER AND I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YOU WERE SUCH A GREAT FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOVE Amber

  67. Jordan Sullivan says:

    Mrs. Tina & Mr. Ray-
    I know things like this are really hard to get over and I know he was loved so so much by you two and by all of his friends. Things happen for a reason but only God knows. He is in a much better place and he deserves to be there. He was always doing the right thing and no matter what he always had a smile on his face. No matter what kind of day you were having he was always there for you and most the time you couldn’t stop laughin if you were around him because he was always in a cheerful mood. He was loved so much and will be missed forever! I love you Rooster! God bless you!

    Girl, I know you are going through alot and probably don’t want to talk to anyone but if you have ANYTHING you need you just call me. You were always there for me at school and so much fun to be around. I’m here for you no matter what. Again, I’m so sorry about the accident. It wasn’t his fault! I love you Becca!

    p.s. Everyone keep praying for the Ferguson family and also pray for Jennifer’s family. It’s a difficult thing that both families are going through but I know with God, everything is possible!
    With love & prayers!-Jordan

  68. Lil says:

    My Love and Prayers go out to the Family of Dustin!! (Rooster).. I Simply remember Rooster as… The Guy that always had a “WeNk to Share and a Hug to Give” Im sorry for your loss.. I love you all very much!!

  69. Lauren RN says:

    I did not know him personally, although I am friends with Megan’s father, and such. It was a senseless accident, one that I witnessed up close and personal. I am sorry for the family’s loss, and I am keeping them in my prayers. To have such a young life ended so suddenly is terrible. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Bates family as well. It is tragic when things are ended in this fashion.
    I would also like to give thanks to all those who worked the scene, and did what they could to help: the ambulance services that responded quickly and efficiently, and the staff at Drew Memorial Hospital, who did what they could to save lives that day in a solid, well maintained way. The loss was felt there as well.
    Again, I am sorry for the loss.

  70. debbie says:

    Ray, Tina,And Becca We are praying for you and your family. Josh and Justin thought alot of Rooster as I did. We are going to miss him dearly.They always say something good will come out of a death. And last night it did one of Dustins friends was Saved. I know that would have made Rooster proud. Trust in the lord and he will get you through this. I now it is always going to hurt but time will heal. We love you

  71. Johnathan Halley says:

    Dustin you were one of a kind, there never was anyone like you and there never will be you were one of the best. R.I.P “Rooster”

  72. janice says:

    Dustin will be missed .He brought joy and happiness into my life as I got to know him .An awesome young man to have heart is torn apart .We at circle N #60 will miss his smile every morning.To his family Take hold to your faith in the Lord He will carry you thru .My heart is with you all.

  73. Angelia says:

    Tina & family you are in our prayers. Class of 1987 is here for you and the family. We have always been a close Senior family. We love you and whatever you need please call. God will see you thru just keep on trusting him and with God’s help everything will be alright. Your son is our son, when you hurt we hurt so we are all one body and we love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. dalton howells says:

    rooster was an awsome friend i pray for his lil sis and ma as most of yall said he was great and knowin for his out gowin awsome personality we werent the closest by any means but we were close we shared couple of moment threw testamonys at church and hung out quiet a bit but we will all miss you roost love you and jess does to we’ll miss you with all we got save us a spot up there love you roost,
    dalton laine

  75. blake shirey says:

    rooster was like a brother to me he always made me happy and made me smile and my prayers go out to the family and megan and to all the poeple who were affected by this and everyone just keep on praying and everything will be ok.


  76. Anita says:

    Ray, Tina, Becca, and all of Rooster’s Family and Friends,
    Words can not express how everyones hearts go out to you all. From reading everything about your precious son, brother, grandson, boyfriend, friend, etc, he was exceptional. It is very plain to see God does put ANGELS on earth. I think, without a doubt, everyone knows his name, Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson. God surely BLESSED everyone who had the absolute honor of having him “Rooster” as a part of their life. He was a precious child of God and has marked so many hearts with his love. I know he is in Heaven and he knows his friend was saved last night and will join him one day. An exceptonal life was lost and a precious soul was saved. I know it is hard but always know God is with you all and lean on him, he will bring you through. If there is one that is lost and had the honor of knowing and loving Dustin, the one thing he would want you to know more than anything is his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I will keep you in my prayers always.

  77. wow after reading all these messages i know that Rooster was such a great person but i didnt have to read these messages to knw that. he touched everyone that he came in contact with. i know that he was always and i mean always smiling!! to the ferguson family, i am praying for you.Dustin will never experience pain again and he is in a much better place. as hard as it is to take that in i pray that you can be strong and know that our God is in control. i kept asking myself why did he lhave to live such a short life and i knw that God has many plans and i know that their have been lives saved since the accident. rooster affected lives before and he will affect lives here on out!! Rooster will NEVER be forgotten! love always, Lindsey

  78. Angie Barron says:

    I didn’t know Dustin but my daughter Anna Blace graduated with him in May. Also, my other daughter Morrison is friends with Becca. I am just heart-broken for his family. What an honor it is to his parents and grandparents that they raised such a wonderful young man. It isn’t very often that one person could touch this many lives. Just know that we will keep you in our thought and prayers.
    Angie Barron

  79. Shanikia Williams says:

    Rooster was a great friend of mine. we have had many classes together and talked a lot . I can recall the last time i seen him. it was his last time at school we were in the parking lot laughing and i told dto make sure that we keep in touch and i gave him the BIGGEST HUG EVER. We seen eachother every now and then but what i can say is that Dustin was a great person to have in your life and a fun person to be around if you didn’t have him in your life you basicly had no life at all. My heart goes out to his family and i pray for him still and the other victim that was involved. This makes you really think how valuable life is. you will never think about something like this til it happens so you’ll have to make the best of it pray and keep moving. My favorite thing about him is the pop corn chicken. I mean we had dHall to gether. Dustin mad the saddest day in the world into the best day in the world

  80. Vicki says:

    I met Dustin only a few times with his Uncle Shannon. He never said much but he was always grinning. I am so sorry for your loss. I know there are no words to make this less painful, but please know your entire family is in my prayers.
    Shannon, I love you and am very sorry.


  81. Angela says:


  82. Rooster was my best friend, the only person in the world who understood me. He was like my brother, we had fun laughing times together. When I heard what happened I cryed my eyes out, I couldnt believe it, the person who was always there and made me smile. every since that day ill never be the same. Sometimes I say to myself “why?”. If it was my decision I would give my life for him let him live. I want to let his mom and dad im sorry i will pray for yall because we all know where hes going and when its our time to go he’ll be waiting for all of us.

    Rooster you was the person who i could count on always by my side.I looked up to you. I love you and youll always be in my heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  83. Office Staff at City Park says:

    Mrs. Tina and Family:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. We love you.

    Katrina, Lisa, Andrea & Amanda

  84. Alex Bennett says:

    Dustin “The Rooster” Ferguson was one of the only true friends i ever had. He was loving, out-going and jus plain fun to be around. I will always rember his stories about MaMa Tina and Big Daddy Ray. Rooster always had a tendency to brighten the day of those around him and he was the only person i have ever known who had a personlity that bright, but Rooster was taken from us 9/22/08 just after his 19th birthday and i pray to the lord that rooster’s last memories were the best of his life. He had many people who loved him very much and he got to see just how many did that day.

  85. Matthew and Tamra Herring says:

    Rooster was a great friend of everybodys. We Love him and will miss him. All of our prayers go out to his family and friends. He is in a better place now. He is walkin with God and looking over everyone. We will miss his smile and crazy acting self. Turn to God and keep faith within him and he will help you through this.

    With All Of Our Love,
    The Herring Family

  86. Rooster i love you man I wish you could be here with all of us making us laugh instead of crying

  87. anthony blake adams says:

    rooster was the best friend u would every want he was there when u need him to make u laugh and to make you cry if you didnt know him you will miss him he was a good friend to me and everyone. everyones loves him he will be remember in everyones heart. dustin you and your family our in prayers and thoughts. becca you are in my prayers Blake,Bailey,Nicole, Adams you all our in our hearts

  88. Ashley Price Echols says:

    Tina, Ray and dear Becca,

    Our family aches for you and your loss. Tina, my classmate and Becca my Alex’s dear friend, please feel our love. Ray, I understand you are a remarkable man and a wonderful father. Be proud of the example you have set. Dustin is SO very loved and looked up to. I want you all to be proud of the family that you have. We are here for you and share your loss. I know the loss of a child but your situation is so much harder. I am so sorry. I pray you will feel God’s love around you and the love and support of your friends and community.

    The Echols-Dearman Family

  89. Ashley Hogue says:

    Rooster came in piggly wiggly last week an was buying soup an crackers an sprite..i told him rooster, it is to hot to be eatin soup an he said no some one was sick an he had to go take care of them..he was always taking care of some one else always maken sure everyone else was ok ..he was so great to be around..he would come in each week an buy flowers for someone special..he was such a great person..i guess God needed him more then we did..its hard to believe he is gone…love you rooster ill see you again!!

  90. Stephen and Shannan Whitehurst says:

    To Dustins Family,

    We are so very sorry to hear about the loss of Dustin. I did not know Dustin, but have seen him several times with Mrs. Diane. Stephen knew him very well, and we are so heartbroken for your family.

    Mrs. Diane and Mr. Tommy, Tina, Ray and Becca,

    We love you so much, and if there is anything at all that we can do for yall, please do not hesitate to ask. We are praying for you and your family. We pray that the Lord will give you strength during this difficult time and in the months ahead of you. We know that your faith in the Lord is strong and we know that God will pull you through this. Praise God for the life that Dustin lived and the many lives that he touched, and knowing that he is with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ right now. We love you!!

    Josh and Angie,

    I am so sorry. Josh, I know that you have always been very fond of Dustin, and I know that this is really hard on you. You know that I am here for you and Angie both. I love you 2 very much, and if there is anything that you need, please do not hesitate to ask. Rose has my phone number, so please call me if you just need to talk or whatever. You both are in my prayers and will continue to be in my prayers. I pray for the boys as well. Tell Luke that Dustin is waiting on him in Heaven to hold his little hand, but until then to remember all of the good times that he had with Dustin, and to live his life and make his Dustin proud of him. I love you both so very much!! Shannan

    Stephen and Shannan Whitehurst

  91. I had the joy of getting to know Dustin last year when I was his substitute teacher. I commented on his beautiful cursive handwriting. A while later he placed a 3×5 notecard on my desk with Dustin Ray Ferguson written in perfect cursive lettering. He had written Rooster across one end of the card.
    One day I passed his computer station and noticed the recipe for bread pudding on his screen. I said I’d like to have that recipe. Later that day he placed the recipe on my desk handwritten of course in his beautiful cursive writing. I placed the recipe in the envelope along with his 3×5 namecard and filed it in my recipe box at home.
    He always greeted me with a wink,smile and a hug.As the year drew to a close, we said we’d stay in touch. His cell nummber is still in my directory and will remain there to always remind me of our brief time as friends. He talked about his family and girlfriend a lot.
    When I heard about his tragic accident, I went to my recipe box, took out his card and recipe and just wept.
    Someone once said we are a part of all we’ve met.I truly believe that and would like to think that everyone who met Rooster is a better person for having known him. I know I will never forget the joy he brought to my life.
    May God bless and sustain his family and friends during this very difficult time.

  92. Raelynn Pierce says:

    Diane,Tommy,Tina,Ray and Becca
    I am so sorry for your loss.I know there are not words that can take the pain away. But knowing what a good young man he was and how much he was loved and that he is in heaven with Jesus, well maybe that will comfort you.We dont understand why we have to go through these terrible trials and maybe someday we will. But the way he lived his life here on earth has really made a difference to alot of these kids. Kelli said he was so good when I watched him that one summer, you couldnt ask for a better kid. Your whole family is so dear to our family and we will always keep you in our thought and prayers. The Pierce Family

  93. Jake Ryan Ramsey says:

    We will all miss Rooster. He was a nice young man. He never hurt or put down aneyone. He allways helped them up when they where down. I know he helped me every time someone was mean, hateful, or made me feel unwanted. He would talk to me and make me feel good about myself. His life was drawn short, but with a heart that helped so many it does not take long to fulfill what God wants. Now he is with God in heaven looking down apon all of us.


  94. Gayle says:

    Tina, Ray and Becca, Tommy and Diane, Aunt Syb, and all the rest of the family: I love you all so much and I just pray God will wrap his loving arms around you and comfort you now and in time to come. Diane you are a sister to me and you know that you can call me anytime if you need to talk. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Dustin was such a sweet young man and hugged us every time he saw us. We loved him very much. It won’t be long before Jesus will come and get the rest of us and we will be forever with Him and Dustin and the rest of our family that has gone on before us. Gold bless you all-love you-gg

  95. Tyler Stewart says:

    rooster was my friend in middle school and he kept me laughing on the bus along with the other kids he was the most honest most respectful smart and funny guy i know he will be missed greatly and dearly my regrets go out to his family i will keep yall in my prayers just remember he is in a better place he is with the father the king of kings jesus christ love tyler

  96. blloyd says:


    TO: The Family of Dustin Ferguson

    It is very apparent that Dustin was a great person and loved by many. Though I had never met him, I feel like I knew him after reading these notes. No words I say can stop your pain, but I leave with you God’s words from Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. Because of my own life experiences, I know he cares about your pain. Maybe one day these words will comfort you. Reach out to him and he will hold you in his arms. I love you all and am praying for you during this time.

  97. andrea thomas says:

    Tina I am so sorry for your loss, I did not know your son but my daughters did and they were so very fond of him. Like Ann said the class of 1987 is here for you. We love you and your family and you are in my prayers. May God bless,comfort and keep you safely in his care. Andrea Bealer Thomas

  98. A man of action

    Rooster was a great man to all every kid he met in school had a smile on their face when they saw him. He was the person who help me in school he made me better person. he was sent to help us be who we was ment to be and i know he is proud of what he acomplish he got his deploma and he made everyone smile my love and heart goed to the Fergusons he was a man of action if he new somthing needed to be done he did it no talk back he made a place in everyones heart and warmed it every day with his smile but i know that god has a speicaltask for him

  99. A man of action

    Rooster was a great man to all every kid he met in school had a smile on their face when they saw him. He was the person who help me in school he made me better person. he was sent to help us be who we was ment to be and i know he is proud of what he acomplish he got his deploma and he made everyone smile my love and heart goes to the Fergusons he was a man of action if he new somthing needed to be done he did it no talk back he made a place in everyones heart and warmed it every day with his smile but i know that god has a speical task for him.

  100. hey becca i am really sorry !! and i just wanted to let you no if u ever need anything i am here for you !!!!! your brother loved you so much and was a great guy. . .. but God is taking care of him now and he is watching ove… Read Morer you ..and we both know he is in a WAY better place up there than down here.. and we all will see him agian one day !!!!
    ! GOD BLESS! i love you becca

  101. hey becca i am really sorry !! and i just wanted to let you no if u ever need anything i am here for you !!!!! your brother loved you so much and was a great guy. . .. but God is taking care of him now and he is watching ove… you ..and we both know he is in a WAY better place up there than down here.. and we all will see him agian one day !!!!
    ! GOD BLESS! i love you becca you will always be in my prayers!



    My heart goes out to not only to the Ferguson famliy but also to the Bates famliy. I see so many responses to this and I think we all need to pray for all of the people effected by this. I know nothing I can say can ease the pain or make anyone feel better but I would like Ricky Bates and his family to know that my prayers are with them, Jennifer,and the Fergusons.

    Carls daughter Denise Wilkerson

  103. risia says:

    I have started to write here several different times and each time I have had to stop. There are not enough words to describe how I felt about Dustin.
    I have watched him grow from a cute, sweet child, into a handsom, caring young man. I hope and pray that all the people who thought so highly of Dustin let him know how loved he was before he went to live with his Savior and Lord in Heaven. I know every time I saw Dustin and he said “Hey Momma, How ya doing?”, I was blessed by knowing him. There have been many words to describe Dustin and every one of them are true.

    Tina, Ray & Becca,
    Only God can get you through this. I know it is easy to ask why, and honestly we as humans may never understand why God does things the way He does. The day we are called home, all things will be new again. We will see the bright smiles from all the ones who have gone home before us, and we will no longer have to ask why.

    When you read all these special words people had written about Dustin, know that without a loving, caring family he would not have become the wonderful, caring person he did.

    I love you all very much and I am here for you anytime of day or night.

  104. Rooster was a great guy when I heard the news I broke down and cryed …today when I went to art class … My teacher Ms. Gibson had 3 paintings of a rooster hanging in the front of the room in memory of rooster …she also had a picture that rooster drew and colored when he was in her art class …I could’nt take my eyes off of it broke my heart …because you know when you think about it he just painted that like 2or 3 years ago …and now he’s gone…but we all know that he is in a better place ..with god and god is taking care of him…But we all know he will be missed ..To: Mrs.Tina & Mr. Ray- your son was amazing he always put a smile on your face no matter if he was having a good day or a bad day!
    ….Becca-your brother was great and he loved you very much matter how many fights ya’ll had …ya’ll fought because you loved each other…
    You are all in my prayers and I love you all ! And just because Dustin is gone.. he is just gone for now …we will all see him agian in heaven …I will miss you Dustin …. God Bless all the family & friends of our Rooster
    Love, Brooke

  105. anita walker says:




  107. Uncle Bill aka Dah-Bur says:

    I loved him like a son. I called him “Roos” – short for Rooster. He was the best babysitter I ever had for my grandsons. Ray, Tina, Beck-Beck,
    Unk Bommie, & Momma D. – I love yaw’ll.

  108. quashundra thomas says:

    rooster was a great guy and also a wonderful classmate. He was funny ,always smiling, and i never seen him down. He also tried his best to keep others smiling. we always joked and played around. We will always miss you at Monticello High School. There is no way that i could tell you Mrs Tina i know how it feels but i want You to remember that you and YOUR family are in my prayers.

  109. Ryan Watson says:

    Theres not alot I can say to change feelings and thoughts right now… But Rooster was one of a kind! Dustin is one guy that you can sit back and think to yourself, and realize that life is preciouse! Dustin is one guy you never heard anything negative about. He was a great friend, and would step up for anybody at anytime. He is very loved and missed

    Ryan Watson

  110. Rooster was like a brother to me he always had my back no matter what,he would make me smile when i needed it. Rooster didn’t deserve to go this way i pray for all the ones who cared about him especially Meagan,Becca,and his parents.We love you rooster

  111. Jesse Pipes says:

    To the family my prayers go out to you. I’m going to miss Rooster very much cause he had a way to make you smile when you where down about anything. I will also miss him calling me “Mac Daddy Pipes” and asking me where all my women were at. I pray to be more like him in that I would take out of my time and care for others as much as he did in his short live. Mrs. Tina, Mr. Ray, and Becca just want ya’ll to know that I love yall and will be praying for you daily and just remember we will get to rejoice with him in heaven one of these day.

  112. Kimberly A. says:

    I can’t say that I know Dustin my oldest son was one of his many friend’s. I’m sorry for the loss of this young man. My heart goes out to his family and all of his friends. I’ve been reading all thats been said about him and he really seemed to had been a good kid. Years ago I was send something in my e-mail and I would just like to share it with all who will take the time to read it. I kept this because as I read it I flet like it was something to keep and maybe one day share it with others and tonight I feel like I need to share it. I only changed one word in it instead of it being she I will put “his” instead. This is how it read’s…….
    The Dash
    I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates of his tombstone from the beginning… to the end he noted that first come the date of his birth and spoke of the following date with tears. But he said what matters most of all… was the DASH between the years for that dash represents all the time that he spent alive on earth. And now only these who loved him know what that little line is worth. For it matters not how much we own; the cars… the house… the cash… and how we spend our dash. What matters is how we lived and loved… So think about this long and hard; Are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged. If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real… and always try to understand the way other people feel. And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So when your eulogy is being read… with your life’s actions to rehash… would you be proud of the things they say… about how you spent your dash?

    It sounds to me Dustin’s Mom and Dad can be very proud of how he spent his DASH.

  113. Misti says:

    A twinkle in his eyes and fast on his feet, he was the little brat that ran around the pool pushing people in at July 4th parties. Forever a jokester, and all gangly arms and legs, he was the first one you wanted on your team for anything. He knew how to aggravate you just to your breaking point, then give you a smile and a hug and you couldn’t help but love him.
    Tonight’s visitation for Dustin was a glimpse into the many lives he touched in his short lifetime. I’ve never seen so many people, so many tears, and so much love poured into one building in such a short amount of time.
    Tonight, Tina said “hug those babies tight.” I hug my son a lot longer now. I watch him sleep at night when his childish features remind me of what a precious gift he is. Every moment with him is priceless. I look at him and think of another blond-haired, blue-eyed little angel that was taken from us all too soon.
    We all need to hug our kids tighter, to hold on a little longer. I’m sure Dustin’s death has awakened many parents to the necessity of holding on to life’s precious moments. I know it did for me.
    Tina, Ray, Becca…and all the rest of the family…I love you all and will continue to pray that God bring you peace and comfort.

  114. Ginger says:

    I didn’t know rooster but I heard about him. God only chooses a few and the ones hes chooses are the best. We all know that Rooster is in a better place and we’ll be there soon. God Bless the family and friends. My family and I will keep everyone in our prayers. Love you all very much. RIP Rooster!!! Love ya!!!

  115. Juanda says:

    My heart goes out to this family. I have known them for many years and have always thought they were well known and loved, but as I stood in the line at visitation night I was amazed at the number of people, there must have been hundreds waiting to show the family their love and respect, and I thought, what as awesome tribute to a young mans life and to his family. So many of those standing in line were young people, which just shows that in Roosters short live he effected so many lives. I know that the family is going through a hard time by loss such a fine young man,son,grandson,nephew,cousin friend, but be assured God has a special angel seating at His feet.

    I Love you all so much, and I will continue to pray for you in the hard months ahead.

  116. Nikol Kulbeth says:

    Rooster, you were the best friend to my brother at A.L.E last year and you were the best freind he had, i met you and approved of you because you were so sweet and kind and you will never, never be forgotten. you were one of the best boys i know, and i will never forget you, I LOVE YOU!!!! And so does everyone elso, i cryed like a baby at your visitation so i don’t think i could handle the funeral so just know that i love you to death and you were very strong and loved!!!!!

  117. “I saw a ship asailing..asailing out to sea. It wash laden with beautiful to see! Strong hands that held the sails so tight and faces that laughed at the cold for every child upon it, was worth his weight in gold!”
    To the families of this wonderful christian young man, there are no words that can be said to take away the pain and sorrow that is there. Nothing can fill the void that has been made by the death of this young life. I know it will take a long time to recover from this.. but always know that God is there with you and will bring you thru it. Take care and May God Bless You Always. Love you all..
    Nan Carter, Robin and Michael Smith and Sean Harmon

  118. kathy says:

    His death made a difference!

  119. Nikol Kulbeth says:

    Rooster, you were the best freind anyone could ask for, you were always there for me wheither i needed to cry, laugh, need someone to hang out with, or needed someone to talk to. You were also a really good freind to my brother at a.l.e last year and i never got a chance to actually say thanks.You made his year wonderful…You will be missed sooo much and everybody just loves you to death. If i could i would go back in time and happily take your place, but i can’t all i can do is hope and pray for your family and know that you are in a better place.I lOvE AnD mIsS yOu So MuCh!!!! We won’t ever forget you, we never could!!!

    Tina and Family,
    I’m so,so sorry..I wish i could take back all of your loss and hurt. All we can do is know that Rooster is in a better place and that he was VERY loved.I hope to see ya’ll again..

  120. Judy Langley says:

    I just want the family to know our prayers and thought are with you. I can’t imagine what you are experiencing. I didn’t know rooster, but from what I have heard, he was an awesome person. I pray I can affect others the way I heard he has.

    I know Tina, she is a awesome lady. It is apparent what kind of a person she and her husband has raised.

    My heart aches for your loss. Our prayers are strong for you and your family.

    Judy, Autumn, and Rubin Langley

  121. Tess says:


    Ive sat here and read every entry before mine….WOW! What an awesome tribute to such a remarkable young man. The old saying goes…”children are products of their parents”….in more cases than not, I truly believe that….certainly with Dustin. Tina is one rare woman….she has been in the teaching field for as long as I can remember. She ALWAYS loved, nutured and cared for my girls at Jellybean Junction. I knew that they were provided for and deeply loved by her and never did I worry about them in her care. All of this showed through the character and personality of Dustin.

    This entire community mourns the loss of such a sweet, funny and loving GODLY man. Im certainly going to miss seeing him cut up at church and picking on Karson. Karson just LOVED flirting with him at Pauline and she really enjoyed saying his name….”Rooster”. :) Channing and Kailyn have lost a wonderful friend also. He was just simply LOVED AND ADORED throughout.

    The last four days have been just a constant blur. As parents, seeing our children in pain is heartwrenching. Parents arent suppose to say goodbye to their babies…..I pray that God holds you so very tight Tina, Ray, Becca and family. Please know that you guys have an incredible, overwelming amount of love and compassion that surrounds you all. Dustin is holding hands with our Jesus……..and we shall all be with him someday. Thank you family for raising such a cool kid that touched so many people. :)

  122. sunshinegirl says:

    Dustin made such an impact on the world-especially the youth of Monticello. Last night’s visitation was an indication of how much he was adored and loved. His life was a true testimony of faith and love for others. As you walked through the crowd, one heard story after story of how wonderful Rooster was-how he always put others first, loved everyone, and lived life to the fullest. Through many tears, there was always a smile of rememberance. God definitely chose the best on that sunny afternoon.

  123. Rena McCone says:

    There were thousands of people that could have been in the exact spot of that fatal collision and lost their life on September 22. But I dare say that the loss of only a few could have equally impacted our community as Dustin has. When I got out of church last night around 8:30, I went to the funeral home for visitation. The line of people extended out of the building, down the sidewalk to the street. I was amazed as I looked at all the people. I am sorry that I have not been able to talk to you Tina, Ray, Diane and Tommy. I am lifting you up in my prayers. I hope, in time, you will find comfort in the fact that you raised a child that was so loved and respected. ….Maybe now would be a good time for us all to examine our lives, and wonder if when we are called away from this life…would we have the same impact on our friends and community???

  124. Lydia says:

    I truly understand what his family is going through. 12 years ago I lost my son David when he was 19 years old in a wreck. He was hit head on and passed away within 30 minutes of the accident. I never got to say goodbye. I too questioned why. I do my best to keep going and with the help of many friends and family we are taking it one day at a time. God bless this family. They are in my thoughs and prayers. Lydia

  125. Lauren G. says:

    My prayers go out to all of you who loved Dustin, he was obviously an amazing person to have touched so many peoples lives.
    I grew up with Jennifer Bates’ husband, James and always remember Jennifer from school. I have a nephew in first grade with one of her small children.
    My heart is breaking for all of you affected by this tragedy.

  126. kyler johnson says:

    (rooster) was a role model for me since i was 5 at pauline. i will always remeber him as PAPA ROOSTER cuz thats wat i always called him and i just cant move on. my heart goes out to becca and the family i am truely sorry about what happened, just know you raised a boy who made a impact from monticello to my heart in hamburg.

  127. monica owens says:

    this one of his good friend i though i nver had someone so nice i felt like he was sent from god to show use how someone is the same and that god love us as much as he love us to he always made me so happy and felt like some actully care about me i will always have him in my heart his was a gret man that was sent hear for every one to make them happy and feel loved

    love monica

    to dustin i wont forget

  128. Miranda McMahon says:

    To the Ferguson Family:

    I am probably one of the few people who did not know Dustin or know someone who did, however my heart breaks for you. As his family, I’m sure you knew all of these wonderful things about your son that everyone is writing about, but it’s good to see and this is something you will always be able to look back on as you remember him. Wow, your son made such an impact on this community that he will never be truly gone. He has touched everyone’s life that he came in contact with and in my case a life of someone he never met. That kind of life, I believe, is a reflection of Jesus. May you find comfort in that. It’s made me think, what would be said of me on monticellolive when i leave this world. I believe you will never see the end of the impact your son’s life has made. May you hold to that and rejoice, Christ has been there, and He’s with you now.


  129. MEME says:

    Our prayers go out to the entire family of Dustin. I came to know him through Ms. Denise, Josh and Aunt Diane. I know that he loved everyone and you could not help but to love him. So on this day we send our deepest sympathy and we will continue to keep the family, friends and loved ones in our prayers. We love you.
    Miyoshi Smith E-911 Coordinator
    Drew County Courthouse

  130. jay kulbeth says:

    I cant even begin to describe how I felt when I got the call that (Roster) had been in a car accedent. I sat there on the couch and thought about the time that I was privliged to get to spend with Roster. I didnt know weather to laugh or cry just thinking about how roster would just go struting across the field just to see how many heads he could turn and how many smiles he could make. I have known no better friend than Roster he made me look forward to geting to school. He gave me a real look at what friends should be like. I can just imagin it know Roster up there in heaven making God laugh just the way he made us. WE ARE SURE GOING TO MISS YOU GOOD BUDDY.

    To his family
    Iam sorry for your loss but I want you to know that you raised a fine man and that God is smiling down on you. Loseing a family member is hard so is losing a good friand I feel like Iam being robbed of a brother Iam glad that I had the honor of knowing him.

  131. kristin atkins says:

    Rooster was one of the finest men ive ever met, he was so sweet, and respectful. there wasent a time i saw him that i didnt get a hug, he would even give my little girl hugs an kisses. Megan, my heart goes out to you, i can truly say i know what your going through, be strong and hang in there, it gets better. to rooster’s lil sis an mom, im truly sorry for your loss, stay strong, and god will do the rest! rest in peace rooster, we love and miss you!

  132. Amy Brunson says:

    Tina, Dustin was most definitely a bright spot in the life of anyone he came in contact with. Our thoughts and prayers are with you constantly.

  133. Debbie Poe says:

    Ray and Tina, I can’t imagine what you and your families are going through. I am so sorry. I remeber when Dustin and Cody were in elementary together at DC. It seems like yesterday they were just little guys. You shouldn’t have to be going through this, it just isn’t right. I am praying for you as so many others are. He was loved by so many people. I hope that helps comfort you in some way.

    Love, Debbie

  134. Mary says:

    I had the pleasue of meeting Dustin and talking to him a few times. He was a very sweet and very funny guy. I have seen how hard it is on families that lose children, especially when it is so unexpected as this was. It is something no family should ever have to go through. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family, especially his parents and little sister. Dustin was a very special person, and was cared about by so many. He is in a much better place now, watching over us all.

    Although the pain and hurt that his family feels will stay with them always, I wish them the peace of mind only God can give.

    R.I.P. Rooster.
    God Bless,

  135. Beth says:

    i didnt know him very well i’ve just seen him once or twice but from what i hear he was a really nice, and if i wouldve known him then i wouldve thought that he was nice too, i am praying for all the family of dustin and anyone who was involved in the crash and even for the people who saw the crash…i will miss dustin even if i didnt know him

  136. Bradley Day says:

    Rooster was a pretty good friend of mine. I hung out with him alot and every time he made us all laugh. There was never a dull moment around him. He was always there for you no matter what and he had every quality that you wanted a friend to have. I will always remember him.

  137. Stacy S says:

    I can only repeat what Lydia, Rena, Sunshinegirl and Tess and so many have already stated. I have never seen so many people at a visitation before. What a testament to his life, indeed. Ray and Tina, you raised a truly amazing son and he will be missed by so many. May God be with you both and the rest of the family at this time. As you can see, many prayers are with you ~ as is ours.

  138. Ty'Keela Danzie says:

    First and formost my heart and prayers go out to Dustin’s family and other loved ones…I did not have the pleasure of knowing “rooster” but I have heard many great things. I had been praying for him every since 4th block when becca found out about the accident and I continue to pray for him. I know that he is with our Father because He wouldn’t have it any other way. It hurts to think that someone so young and pleasant can vanish just like that but God felt that he had served his purpose and it is a lesson that we as young people ARE NOT INVINCIBLE. I know it hurts a lot now but we should all be happy that Dustin is in a place free of all the stress and evils we deal with here on earth… may his soul rest in peace you will be truly missed

    -Love Your Fellow Billie
    Ty’Keela Danzie

  139. Emily Loveless says:

    Wow… what can I say! Rooster was one of a kind. He was in my 2nd grade class and anytime I was too shy to get involved in class he would sit by me and make everyone come around us. He was such a loving person. You would never meet anyone funnier than Dustin. I think the world got a little less funny with the loss of Rooster. He was my friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace Rooster… I LOVE YOU!! You will not be forgotten… I PROMISE!!

    To Rooster’s Family: You had an amazing son who changed many lives, which means he must have had amazing parents as well. You are in my prayers.

  140. Leslie Nicole Beard says:

    Dustin was an exceptionally funny person. I loved him so much!! He always kept me laughing! I grew up with him in church and attended several church camps with him. We have had some fun times together that I will NEVER forget. He was a sweet boy who touched many lives including mine. It is very sad to loose such a wonderful, young person like this but I have no doubt in my mind that Rooster is having a blast right now in heaven with God.

    To Family: Yall are in my prayers…love yall!

  141. WHITTNEY says:



  142. Cindy & Mike Featherston says:

    Wow…..such a small word, but as I sit here and read about this young man and his life….that’s the word that comes to mind. We do not know Rooster but it’s plain to see and feel the love and his faith he shared with others. What a great testimony for the rest of us. Life truly is short and each day is a GIFT from God almighty. Our prayers are with you. May healing come quickly to your hearts as God holds you and every tear in his hand.

    Mike and Cindy Featherston

  143. shadow says:

    I never had the chance to meet dustin, but from what I have heard and read I have come to the conclusion that he was an Amazing young man! I am really sorry for your loss, it just breaks my heart to hear of this. I pray that God will comfort your family at this time and help you take each day one step at a time.

  144. Westley W says:

    Rooster was a big brother to me and my cousin Tres. I didnt know him as well as my cousin Megan and him did unfortunatly. One of the few things Rooster ever told me was “I like you dude you crack me up.” Im so glad i made him laugh and enjoy life while he was with us. I Love You Big Brother I Will Never Forget You.

  145. Amber Barnett says:

    ROOSTER Was wellloved you could tell by his visitation and his funeral!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mrs. Tina and Mr. Ray & Becca as you could tell everyone loved ur son/brother.He was a great influence on mine an alot of other peoples life everyonein town new himand loved him he is greatly miss and lovedwe will never forget him he will always be in my heart an i will always love him!!!!!!!!!!! You are in everybodys prayers and we all love yall!!!!!!!!!!!! And even though he was only 19 he has made a great influence and had a great reputation WE LOVE YOU ROOSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  146. AUNT KRISTI (MEGAN & TRES) says:

    We spent the 4th of July and Labor Day with Rooster and Megan at Melissa’s house. Rooster bought all of us a flaming chicken at the firework stand on the 4th. That was all it took for our two boys to have a new best friend.

    We know your life with Rooster was happier. We understand what he means to you and why the pain is so intense. Draw strength from his love for you, the memories that are in your heart, and the support of those around you. Your family loves you so much and we are going to help you through this.

    I know that you are thinking “I got too close to him and I won’t do that again”. Keep putting your heart out there just like Rooster would want you to do. You have such a big heart to share. Your family loves you so much and we are here for you.

    Ray, Tina and Becca
    We wanted to let you know that Rooster was already a part of our family in the short time we were honored to spend with him.

  147. Hunter Matthew's MommIe says:

    * First off i would like to say today was a very sad day of many people.. even though the past few days hasn’t been much better. As we all have said ” Rooster ” was a wonderful,care free, loving guy. He loved spreading the word of God. He loved to make everyone laugh and just have a good time.. He was the life of the party as some say.. But even though he is gone doesn’t mean he isn’t still in the hearts of many.. He is also watching over each and everyone of us now.. Saving everyone a place in heaven.. My heart and prayers go out to his family. But be strong and always remember he fulfilled his mission God put him on Earth for.. He was involved in many people’s life, made alot of people happy, and changed many lifes. He was an amazing young man and I dont thing anybody will ever forget him.. He is loved by multiples of people.. I believe he is in a better place waiting for everyone to join him one day.. STAY STRONG AND KEEP YOUR FAITH GOING WIDE OPEN BECAUSE GOD IS THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN LEAD THE WAY THROUGH THIS TRAGIC SITUATION..

    && Megan I love you hunnie and like i’ve already told you im here for you..

    && To his parents and sister.. I didnt know you well but my heart goes out to you and i will deff. be praying for you all..

    Jessica ((hunters mommie))

  148. i wrote this after the funeral.
    He gave me a friend.
    He gave me a friend to talk to in hard times.
    He gave me a friend to help lead me to the lord.
    He gave me a friend to help reserve my spot in heaven.
    He gave me a friend who would make one of the most life changing impacts in my life just being his self.
    He took away ROOSTER.
    He gave ROOSTER eternal life and no more pain, praise to the lord for he is good in all times.


  149. Renee Rochell says:

    My Condolences go out to all the Friends and mostly the Family of this Precious life and Wonderful Young man. I did not have the Pleasure of meeting him nor ever being in his presences. But I sure would have been happy and Honored to have met a young man like him. He seems to have been loved so very much and i could not imagine what anyone of you all are handling it but turn to God and ask him to get you through this horrible loss. We (my family) and alot of others here in Star City will be praying for your family in this most difficult time. May God Bless each and every one of your Family and Friends who are involved in this Tragedy. God Bless You All!!!!! With All Our Love, The Rochell Family!!!!

  150. Sarah says:

    To Tina, Ray, Diane, Tommy, and all of Rooster’s friends: words are not adequate to express our sorrow this week. But the Bible tells us we “do not grieve as those who have no hope.” We know, because Rooster gave his life to the Lord, and lived for God, that we can be confident he is in heaven waiting for us. In life he loved the Lord, and he loved his family and friends. I believe his death will have even more of an impact than his life, as his friends take the message of God’s love and salvation to everone they know, and bring people to the Lord. This may be the beginning of the biggest grass-roots youth revival Monticello has ever seen, started not by a church or ministry organization, but started by Dustin’s death and continued by his friends who love him so much. That is my prayer.

  151. Heather says:

    I started reading some of these replies, and I can’t keep from tearing up. I’m sorry for everyone’s loss…W will keep you all in my prayers

  152. Caroline (also a grieving grandparent) says:

    I read about Dustin’s death on the internet. We live in Arkansas and lost our 16 year old grandson last year in a car accident. I am so sorry for your loss. We do know your pain and grief. It is something I wouldn’t want anyone to go through. We never will understand why God has allowed someone so young and wonderful, with seemingly such a future here on earth, to be taken on to Heaven. We won’t know until we get there. God bless you and cradle you in His arms during this terrible times. I am praying for you all.

  153. Matthew Jones says:

    I never knew rooster but i have heard all thease great things about him i will continue to keep his family and freinds in my prayers

  154. Hilary Hatley says:

    I didint know rooster all that well…but the sort time that i spent with him i was laughing the whole time. He didint know me He never meet me before but he treated me like a best friend. The first time I meet him he had a smile on his face and the last time I saw him he had a smile on his face. That is how I will remember him as a very kind and funny person. He will be missed.

    To the family:
    Death is never easy but you will get through this just know that your son was loved by many and will never be forgotton. Yall are in my prayers! God Bless

  155. LIL MOMMA AND POPS says:

    I have read through each one of these messages and I am not suprised but yet pleased that so many people have reached out to the family and friends of “Rooster”, especially for Megan. I am Megans’ step-mom and her daddy and I have had the absolute pleasure of getting the know the “TRUE ROOSTER”…there wasn’t a day that went by that he wasn’t at the house. He was definitly a fine young man but, let me enlightenen those of you who didn’t know ROOSTER very well of exactly what kind of man he was. He was the kind of young man that did whatever needed to be done and without it being mentioned or him asking about it. We would come home and the yard would be mowed…trash taken out. When my dad had surgery on his knee and couldn’t mow his yard…ROOSTER took his mower and used his gas and mowed for my daddy and wouldn’t take a dime for it!!! He talked to me everyday about how much he loved Megan and how he just didn’t feel like he had shown her how much…and I have told Megan…you don’t find young men like him very often anymore. ROOSTER gave Megan flowers everyday, whether it be ones he bought or ones he picked from a yard he had mowed that day. He asked me to go with him to pick Megans’ promise ring out and that was a special moment for the both of us. My husband became “POPS” and I became “LIL MOMMA” from the very beginning!!!
    My heart goes out the Tina and family…your son touched many lives as you can see!!! We miss you dearly ROOSTER but will see you again soon. I pray that God fills each one of our hearts and gives us the strength and courage we need to live each day one day at a time through this loss!!!

  156. Faith says:

    to me this just doesnt even seem real like it just couldnt happen it just seems like a horrible nightmare that i just wish i could wake up from this is so horrible rooster was so nice to everyone and didnt deserve this he was always making me and marissa laugh evertime he was around us he never wanted to see anybody upset he was always trying to make things better and he was really good at that i dont anybody could be mad at him he was tha best friend anybody could have and we all love and miss him so much i cant image what the fergusons are going thru…….

    Becca i just want to let you know that i am here for u anytime you need me or need somebody to talk to or just anything im here for you girl i love you and im praying for u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i love u rooster!!!!!!i miss u!!!!!!!

  157. Faith says:

    Megan i cant imagine what your going thru everybody knew that you loved him alot and you could just tell by the way he acted around you that he loved you alot too….i just want to let you know that im praying for you!!!!!

  158. Drew Higginbotham says:

    wow! after reading all these comments about dustin my eyes teared up. I no that rooster well was known and well loved. Every one was touched in some way by his death. When i first moved to monticello rooster was my first friend. Rooster and I wrote notes back and forth all my 9th grade year. We shared something special. A friendship that i have not shared with any other person. When im down, i think about his goofy grin. Always ear to ear. and i laugh. i will always love rooster and miss him terribly

    all my prayers go out to his family and his friends

    love drew

  159. nick gifford says:

    rooster was my best friend he called me shuger dady for some reson he might have died but he just went home befor us he made me laugh but i now when it is our turn to go and we get to those gates we will see rooster and he will be naked and proboly dancing but he will be in our harts always
    i know he is in my hart

    i miss you rooster i always will till i see you agen

  160. Daryl says:

    Dustin is a really great person, and I have never met someone who was always smiling. He had such a big heart, no matter what you were going through he would say that it is going to get better. When I heard about the accident, I thought about what he said. I pray for his family and all his friends. The whole town will be diffrent with out seening him all the time. You will be truley missed ROOSTER… RIP

  161. linda says:

    may the lord wrap his arems around you to comfort you

  162. Tessa Marie says:

    To Rooster’s family..
    You are in my prayers. I could not imagine what you are going through, but I hope you know that Rooster was an amazing person and right now he is in an amazing place. He loved everyone and always made people laugh. He will be missed tremendously, but we will be with him soon.
    If there is anything I can do, I’m here for you. I pray the Lord will be with you everyday and comfort you through this.
    Rooster, we will never forget you and you will always be in our hearts.
    Love always, Tessa

  163. Ann says:

    I’m praying that the Bates and Ferguson families will have comfort and peace that passes all understanding. Please continue to pray for Jennifer.

  164. Brit-nay Sloan says:

    He was such an amazing person and he made a huge impact in my life he made me strive to be a caring person and that i should show love to everyone no matter what im so sorry for his loss and i pray for his family in this diffcult time he meant alot to me may God bless your life as you have mine love in christ love Brit-nay Sloan

  165. James Taylor says:

    We are praying for the Ferguson family and Ferrell family here in Kenya, Africa. My heart aches when I consider your loss. May God give you grace and peace that only He can in this time of need.

  166. Local Pastor. says:

    From hia teacher, friend, and a minister

    Everything that I have read about Dustin is so true. I was his Excel teacher. The frist day day when he came to my class he greeted me with a smile and stated” I am so glade Mr. Binns I am in excel with you”

    Not once, but every day when he entered my class he spoke, gave a warm smile and a hug. When he left at the end of the class, he would say”Have a good day Mr. Binns “and he gave me another hug.

    I taught his mother Tina, years ago, She too was so sweet and loving. When Dustin came along and his sister Rebecca, It was obvious that they had the personality of their mom.

    On that Monday during a faculty meeting, I was called to the office by another student who felt that I should know what had happen to Dustin. As I spoke to the caller Brittany Flemister, I said ” calm down and lets pray for him”. When the faculty meeting is over I will be right there!

    At the end of the faculty meeting a teacher stood and said Dustin Ferguson has just passed away! I felt myself getting disoriented and an increase in blood pressure. The instructor that announced his passing had receive a text message from some one.

    I kept saying to myself, this is just a mistake, small town gossip!

    As I left the building to go to my car, I was met by many students . They all said the same thing. “Did you hear about Dustin”?

    My mind quickly went back in time to Chris Ivy, my buddy Thomas Bostick and others. I have been blessed to have taught 34 years in the Monticello School District.

    My students respect me as a teacher, and they know that I am a friend also. NONE have crossed the line. Dustin like so many didn’t mine giving me a hug. as so many in he past have done.

    Just a few more comments. What ever it is that my students see in me, like Dustin, I thank the Lord! They talk confidentially to me and dont have a problem saying I love you Mr. Binns. Thank you for being here for me.

    I am fifty five years old and it seem like there is something wrong with this picture. Once more, I taught the mom, the son and the daughter.

    If it were left to me, I would rather have the Lord take me, than to see my students leave this world so young.

    I am one that would lay down his life for a friend!

    I have been a pastor for 30 years, and have either sung at a funeral or gave the eulogy. In this case I did neither. This was a good thing as I struggled from day to day in the classroom, looking at my students, and wondering ” Lord? will I see them tomorrow!”? It is a hurt that I cannot explain.All I know is that it doesn’t get any easier when I hear of one of my students passing.

    I pray for the strength of the family, but most of all I pray that young people will give and devote their lives to serving the Lord. Be ye well assured, this is only the beginning of the beginning.

  167. Many prayers have been offered on the behalf of Rooster’s family and friends. I can only imagine the pain. May God be with you all and the peace that passes all understanding comfort your hearts. This is a huge bruise to the whole city and region, and many lives have been affected. My prayer is that many will realize what Rooster already knew, that Christ is the answer, and it’s time to awaken, and turn to Him.

  168. Andy Green says:

    Wow…Root was a very good friend of mine. He was always the happy go-lucky kind of guy. He made me smile even when I was down. My heart sank when Katie and I got the call saying that he had passed. It is very hard loosing a very close friend like that, especially when you are flying back to Iraq. It was very tough to leave home at a time like that. I felt that I needed to be there but I know that Root would be with me in spirit no matter where I was. His spirit will live on through everyone’s lives that he touched. Root, you are the best friend anyone could ask for. You are missed so very much and loved more than any other friend. We’ll all see you again some day. We love you Rooster!!!!

  169. Leeann Sadler says:

    I’m @ Jefferson Memorial Reading the Article about this young man. MY father @ this time is dying of terminal cancer. My heart weeps,my eyes weep for the friends the loved ones of tis young man and the family of the others of this accident.What a tremendous loss. I will spend the night with my father until we can get him home. I can only imagine what a fantastic father this young man would have been. My father was one of the truly fantastic guys. Honest,loyal,faithful,hardworking,non-judging the list could go on forever just like Dustin. Im just so moved I had to write. Why so young?Our world needs more young people like this gentleman. As i sit here today I can honestly say I need more friends like him.Some people live to be positive examples-others live just to be examples. Thats my feeling. I will always live to be a positive example of my upbringing. Live on Dustin Ferguson. I encourage all of you who knew this young man to live on in his honor with respect and courage through Jesus Christ. He truly has your back through it all.

  170. candy says:

    I never met Rooster but once and it was at another family members funeral. But I think he seemed really sincere and sweet and well behaved. He was respectful and was there for his mom and now we all need to be there for her and her family! I am their cousin and I just want to say to Tina, Diane and Denise and Shannon that I love you all and am praying for you still and I think it is very nice of you to be praying for the other person involved. It takes alot to forgive someone who has hurt you so so deeply, but God will bless you all for that! I am here if you need me just give us a call..


  171. Kelly says:

    We miss and we will never foget u rooster

  172. Dustin's Nana/Diane Ferrell says:

    I do not know if anyone will be reading this again but I read it quite often. It is a comfort to me as I continue to miss you Dustin. I have no doubt where you are.You made your choice as to your eternal destiny before you left this world. Your belief in your heart and your confession with your mouth of Christ as your saviour is my assurance that I will again see you one day. God’s word tells me that this is true. We do not grieve as those who have no hope. Our hope is in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for the forgiveness of all our transgressions. He is the one mediator between man and a sinless God. He is our hope of eternal life in heaven with the father.

    I would like to thank everyone who has written so many nice things about Dustin. You will never know what a comfort you have been to his family. Everyone has been so kinds to us in every way. Your calls, visits, and prayers have held us up during this time.

    From the moment you heard about the accident,you came to the hospital, our home, the funeral home and our church home. I know that many of you still visit the cemetery. Words will never be able to express to you our appreciation but please know that from our hearts we are so grateful.

    For those friends of Dustin’s who have come to know Christ Jesus as your saviour since his death, you are in our prayers daily. We pray for your spiritual maturity as you study the Word and serve Christ throughout your life.

  173. Momma Gretch says:

    I pray that it is of some comfort to this family knowing that even though his years on earth was not long-he lived such a purposeful & meaningful life that he left a very important message to so many.I hope it is a blessing to know that he left a legacy to the young people whose lifes he touched.He will not be forgotten.

  174. i don’t know if anybody is going to be reading this, but life is so precious. Don’t take it for granted.
    Rooster was the happiest person in the world nothing could bring him down, and i bet you all the money in the world, when our hearts are hurting, he’s saying “you’ll see me one day, we’re gonna see each other again, and were gonna laugh, and not cry.”
    I remember one day me and my ex boyfriend were fighting, i was crying my eyes out, when Rooster saw me. That was the first time we met. He came up to me and said,” now look here, no guy is worth crying over, because your to pretty to be crying.” and he sat down beside me and was telling me jokes and making me laugh. now i look back on that, and my heart sinks because now when i cry i think about him and the look he gave me when we saw each other….. i never could hurt so bad when i saw it happen before my eyes. it felt like i quit breathing. and nobody knows if ther’re next to be taken.

    i still pray for his family and friends


  175. steven stults says:

    we still love u and miss u brah keep ya head up while were tryin to keep ares up to R.I.P. “ROOSTER”

  176. TRa tRa says:

    R.I.P Rooster

  177. Heather Bratton says:

    It’s getting extremely close to a year since Rooster’s passing. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about him at least once a day still. Everyone already knows what a great person he was, so I don’t need to say it… but he was amazing. He always knew what to say or do to make someone smile.

    I miss him. And to his family: you’re still in my prayers. I know it’s tough during holidays… and it will be extremely tough in September… but you’re still in people’s thoughts.

    God bless and stay strong.

  178. possumfabulouse says:

    rooster its been a year but it still hurts like it was yeasterday, theres not a day that goes by that i, charlie or cj dont think of you and miss you a little more. with love and support to your family, becky charlie and cj

  179. Risia says:

    Dustin is still very missed by many. He will always hold a special place in my heart. Tina, Ray and Becca, you are forever in pour prayers. As we both know this is not something that ever looses its presence in our lives. We just learn to live day by day, with some days been better than others. I am only a phone call away and I truely hope that if you ever need to talk , etc. you will not hestitate to call.

  180. Uncle Bo says:

    A year has passed. The times the memory does not.The love we felt for Dustin has nothing but grown,if that seems possible.We all know you are in the presence of the ALL MIGHTY GOD, in heaven with Christ Jesus Himself to soothe your wounds and ease your pain.He gives us the peace of surrendering you to Him to wait for us.We will ALL be there with you soon enough,and we will see your smile and feel your Hug once again.Until then,thank you Lord for giving Him your most precious gift,eternal life,with you in paradise.

  181. Wade says:

    I’d like to be the first to say that I notice quite a few people with Rooster stickers on their trucks driving the same way and in the same place as the person who caused the accident that killed him…If you really want to remember him, try driving like normal people.

  182. Amber Barnett says:

    RIP ROOSTER I love you and Miss you So much! But I Know that you are in a better place! You were a great friend and anyone could come and talk to you about anything. He was always a Joy to be around and Kept you laughing. I think about you all the time and Iknow that everyone else does two. The Ferguson family isinmy prayers and I Love You all!

    Amber Barnett

  183. Megan Boykin says:

    I miss & love you dearly Rooster.I can’t believe its been a year. But i know everything is okay and that your looking down on everyone of us and still with us in our hearts.We’ll be seeing you again someday :)! & to your family their still in my thoughts and prayers

  184. Destinee Marie says:

    It really has been a year. I can still remeber the day my dad called me after he left the accident (he was one of the cops that were there working) He called and said “Honey, Rooster is gone” it didnt hit me at first what he ment. Then i was getting txt messages and everything. My heart broke right then. He was the greatest friend anybody could ask for. He never asked for much and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. There is an old saying “only the good die young” and now after loosing Rooster i strongly believe in that. My heart goes out to Megan. I know this is hard for her. Along with Becca and her family. He will always be missed and always be loved! We miss you!
    ?Destinee Marie?

  185. It has been over a year and I find myself looking at the wonderul things that have been said about our son.I miss him so much.More than anything I wish I could hold him,look at his great smile or hear his laughter.Yes, I have faith that Dustin is with our Heavenly Father but I still miss him.This is the hardest thing I have ever been through!I want to wake up and this all be a terrible dream.From the sleepless nights,to the crying until it hurts to touch your face.Durng Christmas I found myself looking at things Dustin would like or hesitating when signing a christmas cards.My heart still stops every time I hear a siren.I have changed things in our home but no matter what I do I still miss him. I just want this to never happen to any other family.Its horrible!You never forget, you never stop hurting!My children were my life and now a part of it will never be the same.I know that I have to be his voice.

  186. Sue Smith says:

    i didn’t know either of these people, but I wonder if there will be a lawsuit against Jennifer as well. She has already suffered medically and will have to live with the knowledge of this for the rest of her life. My heart goes out to HER and HER family as well as the Ferguson’s. No one ‘wins’ in this situation…

  187. Melissa Sawyer says:

    You can be charged with negligent homicide without drinking or being under the influence..

    I have put the entire Negligent homicide statute in this comment. You can be charged with negligent for (a) and (b). Part (c) defines intoxication

    Part (a) is under intoxication and part (b) is just causing the death of another negligently

    5-10-105. Negligent homicide.

    (a) (1) A person commits negligent homicide if he or she negligently causes the death of another person, not constituting murder or manslaughter, as a result of operating a vehicle, an aircraft, or a watercraft:

    (A) While intoxicated;

    (B) (i) If at that time there is an alcohol concentration of eight hundredths (0.08) or more in the person’s breath or blood based upon the definition of breath, blood, and urine concentration in § 5-65-204, as determined by a chemical test of the person’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance.

    (ii) The method of chemical analysis of the person’s blood, urine, or breath shall be made in accordance with §§ 5-65-204 and 5-65-206; or

    (C) While passing a stopped school bus in violation of § 27-51-1004.

    (2) A person who violates subdivision (a)(1) of this section is guilty of a Class B felony.

    (b) (1) A person commits negligent homicide if he or she negligently causes the death of another person.

    (2) A person who violates subdivision (b)(1) of this section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

    (c) As used in this section, “intoxicated” means influenced or affected by the ingestion of alcohol, a controlled substance, any intoxicant, or any combination of alcohol, a controlled substance, or an intoxicant to such a degree that the driver’s reactions, motor skills, and judgment are substantially altered and the driver therefore constitutes a clear and substantial danger of physical injury or death to himself or herself and other motorists or pedestrians.

    SO has the prosecutor’s office charged her with being intoxicated?

  188. Jason says:

    According to the report,s he was way above the legal limit of alcohol, therefore causing a death. She is being charged with what is correct by law. As far as lawsuits, that is up to the Ferguson family, not the Prosecutor. Someone is dead, someone is hurt, and someone must pay. You can’t break the law and go unpunished.

  189. Jenn says:

    YES Jennifer did wrong. She shouldnt have been drinking and driving. It is a horrible tragedy and I pray for Dustins family. ON THE OTHER HAND… Jennifer is already in prison… and will be for the rest of her life. There is no “out for good behavior” or “parole”. The only thing that could be done to her at this point is a monetary settlement, which would take years upon years to pay because she cant work. Dont you think both families have suffered enough???

  190. Michelle says:

    Jennifer was wrong to drink & drive. She’s guilty & at fault.
    But if you’ve seen her, as I did in the waiting area at a dr office, you’d see she’s already being punished. . Doing this court process is the way things work in the USA & I understand that but there’s no way she can be put in jail;
    May God be with BOTH families! They didn’t deserve it.

  191. justlovinlife says:

    Regardless of who you are or what the crime is, if you break the law, you should be punished!!! It is a sad situation for everyone involved but a young innocent life was taken away needlessly.

  192. m says:

    At lest she gets a life even though it is restricted she must be held accountable for her Choices. If you want to get DRUNK STAY AT HOME!!!!!!!!

  193. Preston Owens says:

    hey i really miss him he was a friend like no other he was never stuck up to any one he also set a good rolemodle for every one he was one of my best of friends we will miss you Rooster

  194. possumfabulouse says:

    I know the law is the law, I know both families well, and with any crime there is legal punishment, to keep it from happening again, and makeing sure the one that commited the act will not do it again. Now having said that I can assure you Jinnifer is not a threat to society and never will be again, the person that caused the accident is long gone, the accident was the judge and jury for her. I understand people should answer for their crime, but unlike those that walk away with theier lives healthy and unscaved, get sentenced to prison for forty years and get out a week later and get drunk before they get out the prison parking lot and drive home, and are a threat to society, jennifer will never be able to do that. I dont condone drinking and driving I miss Rooster everytime I look out at our flatform where the last time I seen him he was practice shooting his bow, but having someone stand trail for a crime they dont even realize took place, and is already serving life with no parole, in a mind and body that will never heal enough to get out of the confinement of a nursing home, and will never ever be able to comitt the crime of drinking and driveing again, just seems frivalous, and not nessacary. A court cant do anything that the accident didnt already do.

  195. Susan Davis says:

    What happened is tragic for both families in every way. I pray I never have to be a mother that has to endure such sorrow and pain as Tina did and in a selfish way am glad that Aunt Wandie was not here to go threw it. I have been a sister that at 15 lost a Sister and Brother-In-Law and almost a nephew due to a drunk driver that was celebrating a divorce and that people knew she was to drunk to drive and still let her. I have been the one to come home at 15 and stay with the father that adored his daughter watched him turn his room into a shrine of her pictures and objects, drove him around and tried to offer comfort knowing that a big part of his life was taken in the split second. Tammy and Larry were just trying to make a living running a paper route with their child in tow. For many many years I found satisfaction in the fact that the other person also lost her life. But as time went on and I grew up I felt bad for having that thought she had parents, siblings and children that also were victims that would never feel the love of their mother again. I would say that in time I was able to forgive and come to peace with it. Yes Jennifer is still here in body she will never be right, never know the loving feeling you feel with your own children. Nothing any one says or does will change what has happen to either family or how they feel. Only time and the Lord above. Hopefully people will learn something, change something or live a better life when they think of this tragic situation. And I pray for all the families.

  196. justlovinlife says:

    Although it is sad for both parties, she BROKE THE LAW and should be punished. She took a life so it is okay to say, “well she has been punished enough.” What kind of message does that send to all other people who knowingly drink and drive. Rooster did not deserve his punishment so why should society pat her on the back and say it’s okay. I hate that she is in the condition that she is in, however, she MADE THAT CHOICE, not Rooster. There are many friends and family members of Dustin Ferguson who want justice.

  197. Lorien says:

    What good will that “justice” do? I do not understand your reasoning. In 2005, a special young man was killed in a car wreck by a drunk driver. A good friend of our family was left disabled. Nothing that could happen to the kid responsible for that would undo it, regardless of how much some people wanted it.

    Drinking and driving is a terrible choice to make and I have zero tolerance for it. Once upon a time I thought Jennifer most definitely should be criminally punished for making such a stupid decision that took the life of an innocent young man. However, like someone said in an earlier comment: that Jennifer is gone. In a sense, she died in that wreck as well. If you knew the Jennifer that was left, you would understand why so many people are incensed over this new development.

    Both of these families have suffered greatly and will continue to feel the loss caused by this accident. This entire situation, though fuel for the small-town gossip mills, is just reopening wounds that had possibly started to heal.

    My prayers are with BOTH families at this difficult time.

  198. godzilla feet says:

    jennifer bates killed my best friend and its not fair that he is no longer with us anymore. i know it happens everyday around the united states, but this time it happened in monticello arkansas. there were a lot of people that loved rooster and miss him dearly.

  199. blessed says:

    Upon veiwing the mock wreck I have come to relize that we only live once. What if the roles were reversed and Dustin hit Jennifer. I have known both familes for several years, and know that they are both hurting. So for those that post harst comments are only husting the families involved, and not to mention boosting your EGOS. Ephesians 4:31-32 ” Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32- And be ye kind one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as GOD for CHRIST’S sake hath forgiven you “

  200. blessed says:

    KYLER JOHNSON says it best everyone needs to read his comment. God knew on September 22, 2008 he was coming to get Dustin and noone was stopping GOD from his mission. Kyler said that Dustin helped lead him to the LORD, and even through his death he lead so mant more. To MRS. TINA, I know all the comments and tears will never bring DUSTIN back but if it wasn”t for DUSTIN who would have lead those children to the LORD????

  201. Ashlee says:

    I miss Rooster every single day nad after watching the MADD video that they did at the high school touched me in alot of ways!!! Everyone needs to understand that if we get behind the wheel when drinking it only takes that one time for you hurting,killing someone or hurting yourself!! I am a Mother and can’t imagiane the pain Mrs.Tina and Mr.Ray are going thru i’m sure it gets worse every single day gor them but as strong christians i know that god will seek them thru!! They have him in their heart forever!!! They are the sweetest people i know and did a very good job raising a wonderful son and daughter!!!!! The girl that killed dustin should suffer consequenses she got behind the wheel drunk and took the life of a precious young man. I saw the girl the other day in the Salon n she seemed to be fine to me just cusing up a storm so yeah God will take control of this she lived Dustin didn’t!!! alot of people are hurt n angry cause her habit took his life n affected others as well!!!! these stupid bars need to be shut down and no liquor stores anywhere near us no matter if the liquor store is 10min out of town young kids today don’t realize when you get behind the whell ur making bad decision when drinking,high whatever….. our community needs take action and stick together!!!! RIP ROOSTER love n miss you every single day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  202. NAN CARTER says:


  203. blessed says:

    this is for ashley comment august 13 @ 11:33am.. U couldnt have seen Jennifer Bates in No salon around here because se gets her hair cut at the place she lives at……….

  204. blessed says:


  205. trottergirl says:

    Yes, she was very wrong for drinking while driving but I disagree with Ashlee, they shouln’t shut down the 2 bars we have or the liquor store because of this. That was her individual choice to DUI.

  206. knows both says:

    weather or not jenifer is guilty is not of question , yes she did it. I knew both her and Rooster well, and their familys. and i agree people should pay for things they do. But what good is a big expencive trial that will not bring Rooster back, and just make both of the familys relive the event over again gonna accumplish. im sure the first thing many will say is who cares about her family? let me ask those this…if a member of your family does something beyound your control and acts in a way that you were not raised to act do you think you should be condemed personally for their actions. and a good part of prosacution is not only to punish for the act but to get them off the streets so it dont happen again. No mater what the jury doses to her Jenifer will never be a threat to anyone again, she will never be a nurse again, never have the ability to get behind the wheel never have the ability to live outside of a nurseing home, or be independant in any way. And im sure theres a lot of Bible thumpers out there sayin id hate to be in her shoes when she goes before God for this…Oh Gods gonna make her pay someday. Well theres nothin a judge or jury can do to her that the events of that day didnt take care of. and what God dose to her upon her arivel at his doorstep, is really his buisness, and no one elses. Instead of bein so hell bent on revenge of someone whos body lived and still walks even though what was inside is dead and gone, and will never be back. Think of this if she would have walked away unharmed that day like so many drunk drivers do, she would have done been to trial, sent to prison, let go due to overcrowding, had her licens back, and been back on the road, cuz in the majority of people tried and convicted of acts of this nature are back doin what they were doin in less than 18 mo. Now before yall start passin judgment on me thinkin im just makein excuses for Jenifer and mistakenly thinking im not missin Rooster every day espespecily now with huntin season comein round, not only are you sadly very wrong your also refuseing to see the point im trying to make, that point is, prosacuting Jenifer is like beating a dead horse, she is and never will be a problem or threat to society ever again. Use your anger and fustration over looseing Rooster in a way to benefit all others by ralling together and getting laws changed to stop those who cause these types accidents walk away unharmed, get a slap on the wrist, and are free to do it again. Instead of prison someone like Jenifer would be good as someone that goes into schools and work with MADD, to let kids know just how horible the effects of drinking and driveing can be. I know that if i was still in school and I was introduced to the REAL story of these two people who grew up together, and whose family were friends, and the day Both familys lost theier children but in different ways, and the way it impacted the entire town from a rescue worker that worked the seen of two kids he had known since theier birth, and had taken them both hunting because they all belonged to the same camp all the way to the people just spoutin off because they want to be apart of a sad situation they know nothin about and all the affects in between, could very well stop someone from drinkin entirely, let alone drinkin and driveing.

  207. Mary Ann says:

    This is a victory. Drive under the influence and suffer the consequences. It is your decision whether to get behind the wheel while drinking or under the influence of drugs. Even if you do not think you are affected, you are. Be responsible, don’t drive even if you have had only one drink.

  208. Rick says:

    I’m having a hard time following the time line here. What is the definition of the “guilt portion of the trial”?

    Explanation: There are 2 parts to criminal jury trials. First is the “guilt or innocense” trial, which results in a “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict.

    If the jury finds the person guilty, then they are sent back to determine the sentence that will be applied.

  209. A Friend says:

    For those of you who think Jennifer needs to go to prison, I have one question: What is the maximum sentence she could possibly get for vehicular manslaughter? The reality is that regardless of how much time she could spend in prison she is going to be locked up for the rest of her life. She has lost everything – her freedom, her friends, and any chance of a life outside a nursing home. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a life I would want to live.

    Instead of all this arguing and being hateful, we should be supporting these families. Both sides have lost more than we could possibly ever understand. My heart goes out to them everyday and I pray that they don’t have to hear the things that people say around town. Monticello is home, and I love it here, but people should really be more considerate of others. The people hurt by your words are not the ones you want to hurt.

  210. Unsure says:

    I really don’t agree with putting a handicaped person in prison for 16 years. Yes she is responsible for the death of a innocent wonderful young man, my son was friends with and thought highly of. But she was brain damaged during this accident and loss her life as she knows it. I’m not saying she should get off scott free, but what good is sending someone with this mental capacity to prison? Yes they testified that the ADC is capable of caring for a handicaped person. Who foots this bill? The taxpayers do. She was living in a nursing home as it is. She is not living the life she did before this horrible thing happened. So what justice is it to put someone like this in prison? Her family has suffered as well as the other family. I don’t see any compassion for them. They are not responsible for her actions but they love her anyway. Just as we all do our children. Gods Word is forgiveness.

  211. Thoughts says:

    I, as well, am praying for both families because there have been losses in both. However, to “A Friend” and “Knows Both”, if we didn’t spend the money on big expensive trials on everyone who commits a crime because it wouldn’t bring the victim back or whatever the case may be, what kind of world would we be living in. Every person who drinks and drives and kills someone probably is a different person after the event. But if we let them off because it wouldn’t bring back the dead, there would be no consequences for their actions. I have a sensitive heart… and I feel for both sides. If it were my family member that was killed, I would want the drunk driver to serve time for their actions. If it were my family member that was drinking and driving, I wouldn’t want them to have to go to prison. But we all make our own decisions and have to face the consequences for our actions.

    How a person views that situation would depend on which foot the shoe is on.

  212. wondering says:

    Wondering why the juror was dismissed. Could we have a
    public report on that?

    When potential jury members were being questioned about their prior opinions and beliefs (this is referred to as “voir dire”), all selected jurors agreed to “consider the full range of the possible sentence”. This would include the minimum, as well as the maximum sentence. This doesn’t require them to agree with any particular sentence, but to be willing to at least consider other possible sentences.

    Reportedly the dismissed juror wa not willing to even discuss prison as an option, because of Bates’ current condition.

    Joe Burgess

  213. what if it happened to you says:

    yes she was driveing drunk and yes she paid the price…twice both familys lossed children that day. it was a tradgity like no other i know both familys in this case. And if anyboby thinks either famy has felt a victory since that 08 accident in any way then you dont know jenifers or roosters family well enough to have an opinion about it either way and about 98 percent of the cocky people mouthin off are just as quilty about diveing impaird and do it several times a day….think about that the next time your cell phone rings or your texting while driveing, thats against the law too, and if your doing it and cause an accident of this magnitude your just as guility a person is just as dead and you could be just like jenifer is now, all by doing something YOU made the choice to do knowing what could happen and doining it anyway. And when they drag you or your loved one out of a nurseing home and do this to you or them even though you or they have been left with the mind of a child who has no chance of ever doing the crime again, i hope yall get the same jury.

  214. Mary Ann says:

    Some of you are really missing the point. If you drive drunk or under the influence of drugs you can hurt, maim or kill other innocent people. What she did was and is wrong. She needs to suffer the consequences of her actions for the rest of her life. She killed an innocent boy. She was and is responsible for her actions and I will not excuse her because she was hurt in the process. When you commit a crime prepare to do the time. It really is just that simple.

  215. Lorien says:

    This is an example of small-town politics at its finest.
    Jennifer Bates is a prisoner in her own mind. If Jen was the same now as she was before the accident, I would be 100% in favor of her going to jail. I have ZERO tolerance for drunk driving. But that is not the case here. What purpose will 16 years in jail serve to someone who doesn’t understand the levity of their crimes?
    Not only was the accident tragic, but so too is the revelation that the “Christian” population of our small time is comprised of so many self-righteous pseudo-Christians who try to talk the talk, but never even give a thought to walking the walk. All these comments raging that God will punish Jennifer Bates? I don’t know who you people serve, but MY God is just and fair, and he erases the pasts of his people who repent.
    As the survivor of a young man who was taken far too early by a drunk driver, I know where the hurt is coming from. Nonetheless, I chide you fellow Christians who are so elated because this childlike woman is being sent to prison. What you should be doing is praying for BOTH families affected by the accident and praying that the rift this situation has caused can be mended.

  216. skw says:

    This is in reply to Nan Carter’s comment of Aug. 13. I’m not trying to diminish the tragedy for the Ferguson family in anyway.
    But I do want to say that it was a tragedy for all involved — including the Bates family. You said you would hate to be her when she faces God for what she did. She can be forgiven by God. As the Christian young man he was, I am sure that is what Dustin would want.
    As human beings, we sometime make terrible mistakes that have awful consequences. This will affect BOTH families forever.
    Just remember that Jennifer could be one of your or my family members.

  217. Jana Owen says:

    To everyone:
    I truly am sorry that my sister committed this horrible act. I truly am sorry for the pain and suffering that the Ferguson family are going thru. Nothing can bring Rooster back. I remeber very well playing with him at the deer camp during hunting season. I have never denied Jennifer’s guiltiness in this situation and my concern is not in that part of this. My twin sister, best friend and a part of my heart also died that day not physically but mentally.. You see is not the same person and I understand that you don’t care. But so of us do. She will always live in a facilty and never drive again. You see my concern for her going to prison was not that I did not want her punished but that I fear for her safety!! Imagine a 4-7 year old behind bars with people who could easily abuse her, manipulate, and take advantgae of her.. Now imagine how I can possibly fall asleep at nite with that fear.. She has become like my other child now and I worry about her the same way I do my other children, yet now I can not protect her and they can not see her. I hope that maybe this has enlighted some of you all”s veiw on how we her family feel.. We lost her once, and have learn to love and accept who we were left with and now we have lost her again.. The Ferguson are not the only ones that have lost a child, my father has too. I understand if hateful, mean things that you need to say about this comment. You have a right to your opinions. As do I. But I sincerely as that for the both families that ya”ll could please just use alittle compassion and respect.

  218. trottergirl says:

    I feel, compassion, hurt, sadness, and sadness for both families. I hope that both families will get thru this. I agree with Jennifer’s sister. Stop with the hateful comments. They read this just as well as you do. But there was worse comments when the 16 yrs old was murdered. I recall ppl calling him a thug and such but showed compassion for a child molestor but it was ok because he was “in the church” Monticello is full of hypocrisy.

  219. I join my voice with Jana. Please show some respect for both families. The Bates family and Jennifer have been in our prayers since Dustins death.

  220. Dana says:

    To “unsure”-

    Yes the taxpayers will foot the bill of her being in prison but we wouldve also foot the bill of the nursing home. I’m sure we’ve been footing the bill already with her staying there and her medical bills. We will also foot the bill when she leaves prison and goes back. We will foot her bill as long as she lives because of the mistake she made.

  221. Nana says:

    This case would give Soloman pause. One family is sentenced to life without its son and another to life without its girl as they knew her. There’s more than one type of death. And all so preventable…tragedy in both households.

  222. oy vay says:

    A juror was released for disagreeing?

    Am I reading that wrong…so it wasnt a FAIR trial,it was only if you agreed with putting her in prison,that you could be a juror?

    Do the parents of Rooster agree with this decision?Does this small town even care what the parents think?

    She will be in the regular prison population?

  223. MAH says:

    Perhaps someone can explain why this trail was necessary. How much did this trial cost the taxpayers in this county? To what end…to move Jennifer Bates from a tax supported nursing home to a tax supported jail. It would appear the county prosecutor does not have enough to do. If he was seeking justice, I fail to see that end was achieved here.

  224. justlovinlife says:

    Are we missing the point here? She knowingly drank and drove and in the process killed an innocent young man. It could have been your child or mine on that particular day. I truly am sorry that she was injured, however there was no excuse for her actions. I do go to church but you cannot blame or fault Christians for wanting punishment for a crime committed against a fantastic young man! Maybe this will deter other individuals from drinking and driving!

  225. xyz says:

    I completely agree with justlovinlife. The way Jennifer is now is BECAUSE of what SHE did to herself! She killed Rooster and herself that day. That was s choice she made on her own. She knowingly, willingly, and stupidly drove that day. She was smart enough to know better but did it anyway. She’s not as bad off as everyone believes her to be. It’s sad for both families, but I can’d feel pity for someone who did this to themselves or for their family. What she did, in my opinion, is the same as committing suicide. It was a completely selfish act on her part in which she didn’t think of anyone or anything but herself. She was too busy worried about taking that next drink than she was about the possibility of hurting someone else. It really is too bad she “supposedly” isnt in the right mental state, I would much rather her suffer and face prison knowing 100% what she did, and I’m not convinced she isn’t a lot closer to that sane capacity than we are led to believe. I think the sentence: “A psychologist testified that he felt Bates was “faking” during part of her IQ test, and explained his opinion.” says a lot.

  226. Free says:

    I have had the opportunity to become very close in the life of a young lady who was brain injured at the young age of 5, while she is now 18 her mental capacity is still that of a young child. For those of you who obviously have never had any dealings with someone with a brain injury, I ask that you look into doing some research on brain injuries and how they affect the lives of the subject as well as the subjects family and friends. Maybe you should volunteer some time and visit a brain injured client at a facility, so you can see for yourself the fence they live inside of daily! Maybe then you will see that prison is just a place, that truely Jennifer has been behind her own bars for 2 years now.

    For the commenter that claimed that Jennifer was seen in a salon cussing, it’s pretty obvious that you have no knowledge of brain injuries and the affect they have on a person. Many brain injured patients do have issues with cursing. The one I have contact with curses, for no reason at all, it is not because she was raised by a family of people cussing, or because she thinks it is cute, it is due the injuries and conditions of the brain. I have also spent time in facilities that work strickly with brain injured clients and yes, cursing is an issue at hand with a large percentage of the clients.

    I might also add that aggression is an issue that is a major factor to consider when dealing with a brain injured client. I have first hand dealt with brain injured clients that would for what you would see as no reason at all have aggression, to the point of tearing things up, hitting people, etc…so really have our prison employees actually been trained to deal with a brain injured person? I would have to ask for documented proof of such training to be available when this case goes before appeal courts.

    To both families, you have all lost a loved one, and I can promise you to the family of the young man who now looks down through the holes in the floor of Heaven, he is in a better place, than Jennifer has been at a nursing facility or that she will be when she is within custody of ADC. I say that because as a Christain, God’s word tells of of Heaven, and its greatness, and I have had the opportunity to walk into the nursing center as well I have walked behind those bars within ADC, and I can tell you the promises of Heaven are the highest on my list!

    To anyone who sat in that court room during this trial with hopes and prayers that this young woman serve prison sentence, and then rush around telling of your Christainity, and how God will Judge Jennifer. Please Pray!!!!

    When dealing with Jennifer we are not dealing with someone that knows and understands her mistakes, at this point she will never again know and understand her mistakes.

    By the way when you take the time to volunteer/visit a facility for brain injured you may also consider signing up for volunteering at a local prison.

  227. Donna says:

    Ok, I keep reading “ARE WE MISSING THE POINT”…. I don’t think anyone has missed the point. All are in agreement that Jennifer did wrong on that day…. She was drinking and driving and it ended in the most tragic way. A young man lost is life. So did Jennifer. You see, even if they had found her not guilty, she would still serve out her “sentence” for the rest of her life. 16 year in prison WILL NOT change the sentence that Jennifer has truely been served. Nothing will change that. My prayers are with both familes.

  228. oy vay says:

    She was made an example of.

    That’s what I thought.

  229. let the familys have peace says:

    i think all trash talk about the victim, and his family i say his fanily due to the fact what is said about him no longer affects him but is a knife in his familys heart. and Jenifer and her family needs to stop, everybody has done something in there past that they are not proud of, and the ones who have been lucky enough not to get caught at it keep in mind someday your luck could run out. both of these familys have suffered great losses, Roosters folks lost theier child, Rooster lost his life , they live with it every day. Jenifer lost life as she knew it, and even if you dont care about that, her family has suffered a loss also, and are left with the quilt and shame of what a loved one done that they had no controll of. instead of ridicule offer prayers, have some decentcy, and if you cant say anything nice SHUT UP!!

  230. cj says:

    i am praying for BOTH familys.

  231. Nana says:

    The juror was released during the penalty phase because she was arguing a point of law that had already been decided. The defendant had already been ruled, by law, competent to stand trial. This same juror had already voted her guilty, but at the penalty phase began to argue that she was incompetent, ergo she shouldn’t be punished. If she’s comptent to stand trial, competent to testify and competent to be judged guilty, the jury can’t go back and say “No punishment because she’s incompetent.” If she were incompetent, she wouldn’t have been on trial in the first place. Different from what she was, maybe. Permanently disabled, perhaps…but not necessarily incompetent. Had the defendant taken a loaded gun, got stinking drunk and shot into a crowd of innocent people, killing one, injuring another, then shooting herself, leaving herself disabled, we probably wouldn’t be having all this debate. She chose to kill somebody and failed to kill herself with this gun, she must pay. The vehicle Ms.Bates was driving was shooting into rush hour traffic with people dodging for their lives. She was not a stupid kid…she was a 29 year old grown woman who chose to sit at a public place and work on downing 2 bottles of vodka; then chose to fire a deadly weapon into traffic until she found a victim who couldn’t dodge the speeding bullet. There was no one there to protect him, to see to it that no one hurt him, that no one took advantage of him. Dustin had no trial, he had no lawyer, he had no choice nor did his family have a chance to plead on his behalf. The only choice they had was to choose what to bury him in. Ms. Bates lived a normal life 10 years longer than she allowed Dustin to live.

    Ms. Bates’s family has been visiting her in the nursing home, watching her progress and get better. They will go visit her and use their input and influence to see that she is not abused or mistreated. Dustin’s parents don’t have that option..they have no way to appeal. Ms. Bates’s sister and father can lash out at the jury, the victim’s family and the prosecuting attorney and throw fits all over the courtroom, but the fact is…their loved one acted as judge, prosecutor and jury, giving that fine young boy the death penalty, serving as his executioner on a drunken whim.

    Of course Ms. Bates’s family is hurting, but throwing a fool fit at the jury and family of the victim because they didn’t like the verdict was inexcusable. No, Dustin’s folks aren’t happy. No parents of a child who has been violently killed is ever truly happy again. Both families have no choice but to live with the consequences of Ms. Bates’s alcoholic binge.

  232. Concerned says:

    No juror was dismissed for disagreeing with anything. A Juror was dismissed in the sentencing phase because she was trying to determine if the Defendant was competent, and that was established a month before trial. Maybe people should not comment on this unless they were sitting in the courtroom and witnessed the events. And to OY VAY, yes, the parents of Rooster feel terrible, but they weren’t the ones who prosecuted her. The State entered this case based on her breaking the law. And yes, rather you care what the parents have to say or not, they have earned a right to speak whatever because their son is dead over this tragedy. She is not in a regular prison, she is in a rehab unit for people who need assistance. They didn’t send her up the river to Cummins. Get real. The bottom line of this whole case is that an individual broke the laws of this State, and had to be Prosecuted. That is it. The jury found her guilty, and then sentenced her. I am really sick of reading everyones crap on here, so why don’t you show all families involved some respect and keep your traps shut about it unless you were there through the process and through the court.

  233. oy vay says:

    Oh and just to clear this up…I never said I dont care what Roosters parents have to say,I do.

    She is indeed going to prison,I know this for fact…not a rehab facility.

    I respect and pray, for both families.

  234. love says:

    CAN WE ALL GET ALONG !!!!!!!

  235. NAN CARTER says:


  236. Free says:

    Concerned Says, I quote you, “She is not in a regular prison, she is in a rehab unit for people who need assistance. They didn’t send her up the river to Cummins. Get real.”

    If you do not think that Newport Complex, McPherson Unit, is not a “regular Prison”, you carry your concerned self right on up there. The staff that are assigned to work up the river at Cummins, and those who work at this other “regular” prison are all trained at the same facility.

  237. Katie C. says:

    Just a few observations…

    1. Unless you were in the court during the trial, have spent time with Ms. Bates, AND talked directly to both families, everything you think you know is actually hearsay.

    2. You heard the opinion of one psychiatrist, working for the state. Whether he was correct in his findings or not is not for me to say, but perhaps before we form our opinions we should hear what all the other doctors who examined her had to say. If we don’t have that oppurtunity, we are just basing our conclusions on the word of one man, however skilled he may be.

    3. Are jurors not allowed to consider the current state of the guilty in determining the sentence? Is that not why impact statements are made before sentencing? Maybe I am wrong…and after all, only the actual jurors know for sure what was said.

    4. It is my opinion that no man, woman, or child is or has ever been totally impartial. It goes against our nature to do so and our bonds & past experiences play too great a role. Just a thought.

  238. dui says:

    Please pray for all the families involved. I promise you they did not ask to be put in this situation. I am very much against drinking and driving but all we can do know is pray these two families will find peace in gods words.

  239. k says:

    to the juror that said this isnt the same person that was drinking and driving that day, thats right…because she was drinking and driving that day. when rooster died, it didnt just devastate a family, it devasted an entire community. she made a choice. rooster didnt get a choice.

  240. please says:

    This has to end.. No of this makes the situation better for anyone. Miss Bates family was obiviously upset for the fact now they have no control over how she will be treated and noone to call to check and see if she is okay.. And maybe it has something to do with the fact that when miss bates arrives at that prison noone will care that she is childlike. This is hard on both families fortunely Jennifer and dustin neither will ever no what is going on.

  241. end it says:

    Nothing about those girls life has been’normal’ anyone who truly knows them is aware of that. Dustin is gone and that was Jennifer’s fault not Jana’s. She is doing what any good sister would do and that is stand up for her sister and hold her hand when no one else wants to. She is not ashamed of Jennifer or what Jennifer did, she talks to people all the time about the bad choice that Jennifer made. She has had to be a parent to her twin and her own three children. And try to shield those children from all of these comments. And articles. Because she wants them to remember the good things about Jennifer and not the bad decision she made. Nothing will ever bring either Jennifer or Dustin back. And nothing will ever bring either families peace. Please just let them be and end all of this.

  242. justlovinlife says:

    Thank you “Nana” and “concerned” for the facts that seem to have been overlooked! I wasn’t there so you have clarified what most of us did not know.

  243. jay hammock says:

    you folks should be ashamed of your selves i know both of the familys well im best friends with jennifers bother i hunted with roster since we were about six what you people are puttin on here isnt hurting yall but it is hurting them what she did was wrong but it is about time to let it die theres nothin yall say can help it will only hurt and if you dont think its only hurting the bates your wrong it hurts every body to even think about it so let it go

  244. WELL SAID NANA says:


    It is as close as anyone who was in that court room during this case would be able to write OBJECTIVELY.

  245. blade says:

    I dont know what gives you people the right to judge others. There’s a few, maybe alot of you that have drove while drinking or other things.Maybe you drive to fast when you know you shouldn’t. What I’m saying, Nobody is perfect and if you think you are, you need to look in the mirror again and judge yourself. “ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME.” You people have no right judge anybody. My prayers go out to all the family members. To all you readers this girl didnt plan to do this and all these people are good people and they have suffered enough.

  246. Nana says:

    Blade, it is good to know that we can disassemble the court system, since only God has the right to judge us. Since there is no juror or community member who hasn’t made a mistake,we must wait for the afterlife for our punishment. We have no further need for man-made laws in this life. Open wide the prison doors and wait for God to handle it all later down the line.

    Nobody has said that this woman–not “girl”, planned to kill anybody. Society has said that when you are that foolish, 3 times the legal limit, still chugging it down, unable to control your vehicle, and kill somebody in the process, you are responsible for that death. This was no “accident” in its most pure form. It was a deliberate act, taking a period of several hours of deliberate drinking before that deliberate act culminated in a death. Had she stayed at home and drank herself comatose, the public would never have become involved. She took herself into the public, and to say the public should have no opinion on her public actions makes no sense. I also take exception to the fact that a lot of the public has driven when they’re three times the legal limit. And I can pretty well bet that when they go to Sonic to get a corn dog on a busy afternoon, not “a lot” of people will be chugging two bottles of vodka and high speed it through traffic, playing a game of deadly hit and miss. The other public should have the right to decide if they want to be in a demolition derby when they’re driving along, minding their own business, making normal driving mistakes.

    Yes, we ALL make driving errors, no one is perfect. But this behavior was beyond the pale, a deliberate threat to the safety of the public. The justice system is representative of the public, public safety and public justice. The family of the perpetrator should not be held liable for her behavior, however they should not be angry at the victim’s family and at the jury when justice is meted out. They’re not responsible for HER actions, but they are responsible for their OWN behavior and control in public. Dignity and decorum is a trait that brings respect and sympathy.

    I also agree that the families have suffered enough. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. There will never be an
    end to the suffering on both sides. Each family has been given a life sentence. However, in less than three years the perpetrator’s family will be reunited with their loved one, albeit changed by her own actions. In the interim, they can visit her. At the end of three years, Dustin’s family will still be awaiting their reunion, not in this life, but the next one. All so sad, all so unneccesary.

  247. Johnny says:

    When u drank and drive u have to pay the price. She my not of want this to happen. But she wanted drink and drive. So she gets to pay. So don’t go crying about it now. If ur going to cry about any thing. U all need to cry about the young man that is no longer here with us.

  248. A Friend says:

    To “Thoughts,” I am very well aware of the suffering of Rooster”s friends and family. Some one I loved was killed by a drunk driver once, too. I live every day knowing he was killed by a man who was breaking PAROLE by drinking and driving. Unfortunately, my friend didn’t rate a trial or newspaper coverage or 247 comments. He was buried quietly by the people who loved him and the rest of you never even notice he was gone. The man who killed him never learned his lesson. Every Friday and Saturday night I’m sure he still goes on his binges and then drives home where ever that may be now. I just find it dispicable that Jennifer gets 16 years while so many others get NOTHING! She will be in a prison of her own making for her entire life while others live happily ever after. This town has picked one person to serve as an example and it has been heard loud and clear by all who read these comments. Unfortunately, most of the people who drive drunk don’t take the time to read Monticello Live first!

  249. wow says:

    Just annouced on kxsa new.. Mcphearson women unit ranked number 9 in the nation on sexual assualt on the inmates and this is were the state of arkansas sent this hanicap women who can not defend herself

  250. Nana says:

    “Friend”…my sympathies on the loss of your loved one by a drunk driver. I believe that anyone who kills another while drinking and driving should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Until the public rises up and voices outrage at EVERY death and injury by drunk drivers, we are all menaced on the road by these loose cannons. We have no way of protecting ourselves from these people who thumb their noses at the law and risk OUR lives with THEIR stupidity.

    If they want to drink and drive, let them get in an open field somewhere, put the pedal to the metal and drive into any tree they want to, maim or kill themselves to their hearts content. But when they take it into the public, they are menacing and killing innocent people and should be prosecuted as severely as someone menacing the public with a gun.

    I am sick of the mayhem on the highways that drunk drivers cause. There’s no sense in it, there’s no excuse for it and everyone who does it knows it’s illegal and dangerous. It’s time that prosecutors and the court system call it what it is–murder by vehicle. Until the justice system treats EVERY case as seriously as murder by a gun, it’s not going to sink in that, if you’re drinking, keep your weapon off the highways.

  251. Nana says:

    WOW–HER OWN ACTIONS caused her to be sent to the unit. She created her own handicap and she will have a better chance of defending herself than her victim did when she crushed, maimed and killed him. In 3 years, she’ll be out of the place and that boy’s body will still be in the ground.

    She can’t make any worse decisions now that she’s handicapped than she did when she supposedly had a “good mind.” If she’d used her good sense when she had it, she, like every other prisoner wouldn’t be behind bars. If she had used her good mind, the “state of Arkansas” wouldn’t have even known, or cared, who she was. Neither would have the prosecutor, the judge, jury and most of the general public….

    The fact is that there are many people in prison who aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box. And every felon has a family who loves him/her and believes that their loved one shouldn’t be in prison because….(pick a reason). I’m not saying this is an evil woman…she might have been a perfectly likeable person for all I know, but she was her own worst enemy and I can’t help but believe that there were people who knew she had a bad problem and either wouldn’t, or couldn’t, stop her self destructive behavior. This type of drunken lunacy didn’t just come about overnight. This had to have been building to a crisis point for years. Most people, except a hardened drinker, would be comatose with that alcohol level…comatose or near death with alcohol poisoning.

    The deed is done, the justice system has spoken…There are no winners here…only destruction.

  252. wow, REALLY? says:

    That would be the McPherson SPU Unit – currently holding 12 inmates. She is isolated with 11 other inmates, not in general population.

  253. Wow says:

    And you alone are part of that destruction. I am sorry that you have lost so much. But death is a part of life and everyone goes thru lost. Its how we deal with the lost, that shows our true character and you have dealt with it far from graciously. We can not control the actions of others only the way we react to those actions. I pray that God helps ease your suffer. I personally dont want to see this girl suffer anymore. Dustin cant suffer anymore but she can and you seem bend on making sure that she and her faimly both so. Its funny this case gets so much attention yet the cases of child abuse and rape get less attention and time than this hanicap women did. And for those of you that say it was by her on hands that she is hanocap, Im sorry but last time I checked my beliefs and Bible God is control of everything that happens. So get off your high horse and realize that in the Bible no one sin is great than the other and he will judge you by the same standards as this woman. And God has already punished her enough. It is not your place to keep beating a dead horse. She will serve out the sentence that a prejudice uncaring and compassionate jury of 12 gave her and all you are doing by continue to harp on the fact that she did this to herself is hurting everyone involved including yourself because aslong as you continue this you will be unable to heal and move on. Now lets just all move on.

  254. Nana says:

    Thank you, “Really”, for clarifying the facts as to the conditions of Ms. Bates’s incarceration. I had thought it unlikely that Ms. Bates would be taken to a facility and that officials at that unit would be unaware of her condition, as one writer stated. No one wishes Ms. Bates to be inhumanely treated. It is good to know that she is in a smaller environment that caters to inmates with special needs.

  255. Nana says:

    Reply to WOW:

    Excuse me, but I had nothing to do with the destruction of either family. I am not kin to anyone involved, nor am I suffering due to this particular loss. I do regret the loss of a seemingly fine boy who apparently was an asset to the community, and neither do I know Ms. Bates, except through her actions.

    I’m sorry that the victim’s family isn’t “gracious” enough about the death of an innocent boy at the hands of a drunk. To say that “death is a part of life”, “at least Dustin isn’t suffering anymore”, and the mark of character is how one deals with the death of the victim is a remarkable statement. Perhaps the victim’s family should issue an apology to Ms. Bates’s family? “I’m sorry I made a victim impact statement”? “I’m sorry your loved one was hurt as she was killing Dustin?”

    So, let’s see what we have here. The victim’s family has been unkind. God, not the alcohol filled victim, set all this in motion.
    God left her handicapped and Dustin in the ground. Since God has handicapped Ms. Bates, the legal system has no business touching her. The prosecutor, the judge and the jury were all prejudiced and coldhearted.

    The destruction of two families is My fault, the Victim’s Family’s fault, God’s fault, the Prosecutor’s Fault, the Jury’s fault and the only ones suffering are the perpetrator and her family, because God handicapped her but was kind enough to kill Dustin so he wouldn’t suffer. Oh, and the dead boy’s family didn’t handle it graciously? Weren’t THEY the ones who were verbally attacked in the courthouse? Were they supposed to beg the jury to forget the whole thing?

    To take the victim’s family to task for being ungracious is ridiculous. For going to court? For giving victim impact statements?

    That jury represented the public, including me. I think they did a good job and I think they reflect the views of most of the public.
    Of course the Bates family is hurting. They feel Ms. Bates has suffered enough, and they’re angry that the legal system even took this case on. Their friends and extended family feel their pain and want to help them. But assuming that only the family of the victim would feel justice has been done is simply wrong. When someone writes in attacking the justice system, championing the cause of the perpetrator, so angry that SHE has been mistreated, there are people who ARE going to say, “Wait a minute, what about the victim?”

    If you’re going to reply to ME…reply to ME, do not attack the victim’s family, lecturing them on graciousness, God and grief and how they should deal with their loss. They have nothing to do with what I write; I don’t share blood, nor am I close friends with either family. If Ms. Bates had been killed by a drunk driver, I would be just as adamant that the driver was wrong.

    I DO believe it’s time to move on. The boy’s family is left with a grave and Ms. Bates’s family is left with an incarcerated, brain damaged family member, and all the lashing out at everybody in the world, raging at the injustice, anger at the victim’s family, attacking anyone who thinks justice was done–all the diatribes in the world will not change the facts. They have to confront and accept their situation the way the victim’s family had to accept their loss nearly two years ago. They will eventually get some form of their loved one back. The boy’s folks won’t. That is not being on a “high horse”. That’s flat out, impartial truth.

  256. oy vay says:

    Originally she was to be included in the general population,she is now in a special area,that is a new thing,but originally she was to be placed in general population.

  257. Lousiana says:

    God does things we will NEVER UNDERSTAND. So before you all go and pass judgement on either family, remember God’s way is NOT our ways. True he took Dustin on September 22, 2008. But he gave Jennifer another chance at life with him. If you know Jennifer now you will see the love of God in her heart. She was always a very caring person and still is. I think that she is truly being punished in her own body, but you know SHE IS GOD’S CHILD. I believe that both families have suffered enough. SO STOP BAGERING THEM AND LEAVE THEM ALONE… INSTEAD PRAY THAT THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO YOUR FAMILY.

  258. Nana says:

    Of course Jennifer is God’s child, as are we all, though I do have a little problem with God being blamed for Dustin’s death. The issue was punishment for illegal behavior on this earth that resulted in the death of another of God’s children who was living his life with decency and respect for God and the community. To stand firm that justice was done is not badgering the family. And I certainly pray that this does not happen to my family. I live in fear that someone I love will be wiped out by someone who is drinking and driving. And I pray just as hard that none of my loved ones will maim or kill someone else or themselves so needlessly. Either scenario is every family’s nightmare. It’s a nightmare from which neither family will ever awaken.

  259. lovingcousin says:

    I’ve only skimmed through and read some of these comments, because there are some that it hurts to read. Rooster was my cousin, and I loved him and his parents and grandparents dearly. They are wonderful, loving, Christian, forgiving people. They have been on the receiving end of a lot of verbal abuse over this entire trial, when the truth of the matter is, they had no control over it. The trial was not “Ferguson vs. Bates.” They didn’t choose to press charges on this lady. The city of Monticello chose to press charges, and the family had to once again relive the most horrible afternoon of their lives.

    How many of you attended Rooster’s funeral? I was there. One of the things I remember most about that day, was the first thing we did when the funeral started. Anyone remember? By the family’s request, the first thing that we did was say a prayer for Jennifer Bates and her family. Yes, she was drinking and driving and she shouldn’t have been. Yes, she made bad choices. Yes, she killed my loving, beautiful cousin Rooster, whether intentional or not. And yes, she needs our love, forgiveness, and prayers…just as Rooster’s parents need them.

    Dustin was a Christian who believed in God’s grace and mercy. God forgives us, no matter what sin we commit, big or small. It’s all the same to Him. However, there will always be earthly consequences for those sins. If a girl gets pregnant out of wedlock, she can be forgiven by God, but it doesn’t take her pregnancy away. She still has to deal with the consequences. Jennifer Bates did something she shouldn’t have done that September afternoon. She drank heavily and drove. Those actions cost the life of my cousin. She is now facing the consequences. She has been facing the consequences for 2 years now, and she will spend the rest of her life doing so.

    I’ve read a lot of talk about how she is a different person now than she once was. I read her sister’s comment of how she has lost the sister she once knew. How her father lost his daughter in a sense. I can understand that it’s hard to look at someone who is still here but is also still so different. I understand it every time I look at Rooster’s mom. She is different now. She doesn’t laugh as much as she once did. She no longer has a son to love, and that has changed her into a different person. His death changed a lot of people. Jennifer Bates was just one of those people who was changed by her actions. Some may think that it’s easier to deal with losing someone entirely than it is to lose the person they once were. But in families who are as close as Dustin’s was, you can’t lose a member to death without it changing the people that loved him.

    I hope that Jennifer Bates understands enough to know that Dustin’s family is praying for her. I hope she understands enough to put faith in God to have the best life she can, no matter what her circumstances. I pray for this for her, because I want her to make it to Heaven one day. I promise Rooster will be first in line to hug her at the Gates.

  260. Tina Ferguson says:

    Today would have been your twenty second birthday. It’s hard to believe that you have been gone almost three years on the 22nd. We miss you everyday but have much comfort knowing “my soul finds rest in GOD alone: my salvation comes from HIM. He alone is my rock and my salvation: He is my fortress, I will never be shaken”. I am sure that you have had the best birthday celebration ever and I am sure you are dancing around.If I know you: probally trying to teach the angels how to do the “motorcycle” dance that your NENE never mastered!HAPPY BIRTHDAY my baby boy!

    Love you forever and always,

  261. Recia says:

    May we never forget that innocent boy :(

  262. Emily Loveless-Groves says:

    Rest in peace my friend and classmate. We will always miss you. See you on the other side Rooster, Happy Birthday!!

  263. kim m. says:

    We miss Rooster so much! Everytime he came over to visit with Dustin or spend the night, I always made sure I had Pizza Rolls! He loved them. Everytime I see them in the store, I think of Rooster. He played soccer with my Dustin and they went to Church together. Rooster was 1 in a million, so happy and so full of life and will never be forgotten! He was such a special young man.
    Love momma # ??? (many)

  264. Devin Horn says:

    Everyday that i come trough monticello, i have a thought about “the towns'” bestfriend! Rooster you’ll forever be missed!! Nowdays, as i think bout it, i realize the impact u had on my life and many others! Honest, comical, faithful are words thatll never begin to describe the man u were! A tear and a prayer go out to you and the fam!
    Love to ya!

  265. Brittney says:

    Earlier today, Becca came in to get her haircut and one of the other stylists made a comments about someone being stubborn . . And at that moment everything just rushed back to me. September 22,2008 was a day monticello felt such an impact . For me, i saw everything. Every night for a whole month i sat there every night with a play back of the accident going through my mind. I remember standing there that day arguing with a man about who was in that truck. I didnt want to believe it was him but i kept telling the man , yes thats Rooster. I have never in my life seen so many people be at a hospital at one time. I hate that the last memory i have of him is watching everything end for him but then i sit back and think about all the nights in ameca parking lot, racing to redlights, and walking down the halls at MHS. He was truly loved by many & will for sure never be forgotten.

  266. Kristin White says:

    To this day I still think about ROOSTER. The wonderful impact he made on my life, i miss his jokes he use to tell me to make me laugh till i cryed and I look back now instead of crying I laugh about the good times! I didn’t know if people still read this and I just wanted to let the family know eventhough all this time rooster has passed I still pray for y’all and always will and sometimes I catch myself praying to rooster but y’all are still in my prayers!

  267. Tina Ferguson says:

    It’s that time of year again. Time seems to pass by so fast. It certainly doesn’t feel like this will be our third Christmas without you. I am not sure but coming to this sight and writing at special times seem to help. We miss you so much and nothing can or will ever be able to fill that place in my heart. I hold on to the memories and our faith. You know our family Christmas traditions and our tree was always up after Thanksgiving. This year time almost caught up but thanks to your sister it is up and bright. The hanging of the stockings were tough but we keep pushing forward. Becca misses you so much! She would love to have you here to talk with. She misses your talks and laughs when you would come in from your dates and just sit in her room “being her big brother”. I know you are in better hands and place, My heart still aches and the tears still come but I keep looking up and keep the faith. Holding on to the memories that GOD allowed me and others to make while you were with us helps ease the pain. The Christmas eve nights at Granny’s putting together all the “special surprises” santa brought to the younger family members. When Christmas morning came and the kids got up and were surprised at what “santa” brought them but in five minutes of playing with the battery operated toys they wouldn’t go. Why you ask because, the night before you and your Uncles would play with EVERYTHING and have the batteries ran down. You guys had just as much fun as the little ones. It time for me to go. Merry Christmas son! I love you forever and always,Momma

  268. Tina Ferguson says:

    another Valentines passed us by. I remember how much you enjoyed this day. Dad and I were talking last night how you cooked meals for your girlfriends, planted flower beds, you always came up with different ways to show how much you care for them. I would get so tickled at you because after mowing and do other yard work you would go and mow the girls yard!You were always thinking of others. I am so thankful to have those memories.I love you son!

  269. Tina Ferguson says:

    It’s that time of year again….
    “prom”! We have yor sister’s dress and nana went this weekend and picked out the shoes. All of this is bringing back so many memories. Good memories but I would be dishonest if my heart wasn’t hurting. I am focusing on Becca and trying to make it a special time. It is hard to believe she will be eighteen soon! Where does time go? The things we once thought were so important are NOT! I keep telling myself, “Where there is life there is hope”! The flowers in the memoial bed by the house our starting to bloom. We wish you very much and know that you are in a better place. We know one day we will get to see you.I love you Dustin.

  270. Denise Frost says:

    Must just be something in the air the past few days Sweet boy because your NeNe is missing you really bad today. What I’d give for a Dustin hug and smile. Always made life sweeter.

  271. Tina Ferguson says:

    What moves through us is silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more hug, we may not understand why you left this earth so soon, or why you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived.Your life gave many memories too beautiful to forget.
    When I read this I couldn’t help but think of you. I love you .

  272. Tina Ferguson says:

    It’s strange how fast time flies. It seems like the accident happened just yesterday. In nine days another year rolls by and yet the pain is still raw. It’s that time of the year and your Dad is getting the shooting lanes ready. He is my rock , that and my faith. It seems like yesterday you were excited about the season and going out helping clean the lanes.Memories! What would we do without them. I hold tight to everyone with you and Becca. I miss you. I know that when you left my arms , you went into the arms of someone that loved you just as much as me. In knowing that statement is true and one day I will see you again “whole” no broken bones ect. I am staying strong. Your family and friends miss you and we still think of you. I love you,Dustin! Love Always,Momma

  273. Tina Ferguson says:

    The day before your birthday. I wonder, if we had any idea that two days after your 19th birthday would have been the last, what would we do? I know that sounds silly because we never know when our time is up. I just know that I would have given more than a hug and kiss before I left for work that morning. I love you son.

  274. PRAYING says:

    Mrs. Tina, Mr. Ray, and Becca,
    As I read these post I only get upset for people not to have compassion for yall as well as the Bates family. What Jennifer did was wrong and we all know that ROOSTER is in the MOST AWSOME PLACE.. I know it won’t ever bringg him back but I am praying for PEACE to COME OVER YOUR HEARTS AND KNOW THAT HE IS SMILING DOWN AND SAYING MOM, DAD, BECCA, do good and we WILL SEE EACH OTHER SOME DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  275. Tia Robison says:

    I can not believe that Dustin”Rooster” has gone for three years…he will always be missed….

  276. Tina Ferguson says:

    The tree is up and the stockings are hung ( yes yours). We miss you so much but
    haves great comfort in knowing where you are. The holidays are hard, but then everyday is hard. There is not one thing here that will ever fill the hole in my heart. I love you Dustin. MERRY Christmas my sweet boy. You are in our thoughts and hearts always.

  277. Denise Smith-Frost says:

    This is the hardest time of the year for me. Memories of you spending the night with us on Christmas Eve when you were little keep coming into my thoughts. Such sweet, sweet memories though. You were THE worst bed partner EVER (well except for your Momma)…..but we looked forward to it so much. I miss you sweet boy…….but NOBODY can ever take away our special memories and times together. Wish I could have one more “Dustin hug”……..Love you.

  278. Tina Ferguson says:

    Valentines Day is just around the corner. You enjoyed this day!
    I can remember the day you ask me if I had any extra flowers (after I finished working in my flower beds) I didn’t need. I found out later you had built your girlfriend a flower bed as a surprise!
    You also cooked a meal one Valentine night for your girlfriend. Let’s just say it didn’t come out the way the flower bed did. One Valentine night the girl you were dating wanted to go to Little Rock and eat “sushi”. You were not thrilled about going but would do just about anything to please her. When you came in from the date I ask you, ‘How was it”? You started laughing and stated, I couldn’t taste anything so all was good! You told me your allergies
    were “acting” up and your taste and smell were off.
    You just laughed that laugh and smiled that “Dustin” smile. The smile and laugh I miss so much! This Holiday is about telling , sharing, and showing your love ones you love them. I can’t do that anymore. My heart breaks when I see a vehicle like yours, or hear a laugh like yours. I had someone tell me that’s just a little special climpse that you are not far away. I try to stay strong but WOW it is hard no matter how you shake it up. Our faith is helping us get through this. We love you and will make it!
    I love you son forever and always, Momma

  279. Denise Smith-Frost says:

    Me and Nana are going to be walking in the 5K MADD walk in Lowell on Saturday in your memory Sweet Boy. While we are there, the rest of your family and friends will be walking at the same time in the one going on here in Monticello. I know you’ll be watching us and smiling! (or laughing…at your NeNe).
    Miss you everyday and love you more!

  280. Tina Ferguson says:

    Yesterday was Mothers Day and Senior Day at our church. The Senior Day was great. You would have been proud of Becca. The Seniors had pictures and specials items from their childhood. There was a lunch for the families and everything would have been complete if you were there. We miss you very much. Becca is going to start college and ready to start a new chapter in her life. We are excited for her. Matthew graduated the other day from UAM! It seems like yesterday you both were in diapers at Pre-K. We love and miss you!
    Forever and Always,

  281. Tina Ferguson says:

    In two days it would have been your 24th birthday. It is amazing how time flies. To me it seems like yesterday. Your Papaw Rooster
    is having a difficult right now. It’s hard to see that because he is always our rock. We loved you so much and it is so hard because it comes in waves. You never know when it is going to hit or what will trigger it. However, each year we are getting stronger. The twenty 22nd you were taken from us. We never thought that morning was going to be the last time we would see you. It something a parent doesn’t want to face or should. You never get over it you get through it. It is one day at a time. Faith, Family, Prayers and Friends have helped us get us through this far. We love you and miss you so much. Happy Birthday my baby boy.

    Love you forever& Always,

  282. Denise Smith-Frost says:

    Another birthday and another year passes by since we lost you……some days its like a knife in my heart….other days…the BEST memories of you flood my day…..I sure do miss your little happy face, but I know that our time together isnt over……we’ll laugh and joke together again some day real soon…….you still are THE best hugger EVER!!!!! Love you Sweet boy……..

  283. Bryan says:

    Dustin Ferguson was such a great guy because unlike many people he didn’t care if you were poor rich had nice clothes was popular or not he did not judge anyone off of any of that he looked at everyone equally, just the nicest person you’d ever meet in your life was way to young to pass on and he touched so many people in his time here and I am honored to have known him!!! Rest In Peace Rooster!! Your never forgotten!

  284. DENISE FROST says:

    The 10 year anniversary of your leaving us just passed and I still miss you like it was only yesterday. So many changes in our family, some awesome…some sad….but none as sad as losing you that horrible day. I still remember the pain of that day and thinking my heart was literally going to burst apart…nothing since then has even came close to that pain. We all miss you sweet boy but have hope knowing we WILL see you again! Until then….I love you Dust….

  285. Denise Frost "NeNe" says:

    I just cannot believe you have been gone almost 15 years sweet boy!! Still miss you every single day….sometimes I’ll see someone that reminds me so much of you and just for a split second…….So much has…. you are there with your Nana and Papaw and Uncle Bo and Granny but I know you are having lots of laughs and joy….Luke is graduating on Tuesday of next week, which is bitter sweet….but you already know all this, right? I miss your hugs and smiles and laughs but I’ll get to see it all again soon. Until then……

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