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“So Long Without So Many Answers:” Peyton Ham’s Family Rally For Shooting Details

LEONARDTOWN, Md. — April 13, 2021, is a day that Kristee and Michael Boyle will remember for the rest of their lives. It was on that day that their son, the 16-year-old Peyton Ham, was shot and killed by a member of the Maryland State Police(MSP).

However, to this day, a significant amount of details from that day have remained a mystery to the family. After being continuously denied access to information by MSP and the St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney, the family did the only thing they could think of: hold a peaceful rally at the county seat to continue seeking “Justice for Peyton.”

“We feel like it's just been so long without so many answers. We have very little information,” Kristee Boyle told TheBayNet. “We know that the information in the final report from the State Police has been in the hands of the State's Attorney's office for quite some time. We wanted to remind the State's Attorney's office that we're watching, and we're waiting for answers and a decision.”

 

PICTURED: Kristee Boyle, Peyton's Mother.

Although the family of Peyton is optimistic that the “locally-elected” State’s Attorney Richard Fritz and his office will conclude their investigation by the end of July, they have offered up some concerns with the entire process.

Some concerns included how the Maryland State Police had not gone beyond getting brief witness statements from the incident during the investigation, how nobody has disclosed how many total shots were fired during at the time of the shooting, and why the family was denied access to an autopsy report months after the shooting citing that it remains a part of an “ongoing investigation.”

While pointing out that they have not had to deal with anything similar to this situation before, they described all of these points as “odd.”

“We've asked [about being denied the autopsy report], we've asked how many shots were fired. And we have been told every time that it is still under investigation,” Boyle said. “It's very hard. And I mean, we just want answers.”

Even though the rally had a purpose, the family said the community support has been overwhelming. They estimated that over 200 family members, friends, classmates of Peyton, and organizations came out to support them last Saturday.

“The [NAACP] was there at the rally and told us that day when I mentioned them that the state [NAACP] president had called our local president here and said, ‘We want you to know you have the full support of the NAACP,’ and that was very touching,” Boyle added. “But the kids were so touching, Peyton's friends and his fellow global international study friends, that was just amazing.”

The St. Mary’s County NAACP First Vice President Janice Walthour spoke briefly at the rally to encourage people to “[Pray] with our feet,” by calling and emailing the State's Attorney, and continuing to seek answers and hold them accountable throughout the remainder of the process.

Several of Peyton’s classmates from the Global and International Studies Program at Leonardtown High School also offered heartwarming stories and speeches about their memories with him.

 

PICTURED: Peyton's classmates get up to speak at the rally.

“I will always be able to look back over these high school years and remember how much of a positive impact Peyton had on everyone he encountered,” one classmate said at the rally.

“Peyton always had a way of making everyone laugh and I will forever cherish that,” another said.

But perhaps one of the most tear-jerking speeches came from someone whose life often centered around Peyton: his grandfather Keith Raley.

 

PICTURED: Keith Raley, Peyton's Grandfather.

“You might notice that I am wearing my Baltimore Orioles shirt today and hat. I am wearing this today because on Saturdays the Orioles wear their orange jerseys,” Raley passionately shouted into the microphone. “I should be going to the ballpark today with Peyton to watch the Orioles game, but instead we are here seeking justice for Peyton.”

The family wanted to express how grateful they are to have such a supportive community, from those who made donations to those that have come out in support of them.

“We can all speculate and there's a lot of negative stuff out there. But we haven't run into a lot of that,” Michael Boyle said. “The positiveness from this community, whether it was food that they sent to us or the signs that were donated to us when they realize what they were for… We’ve been touched many times by what people have done from this community to support us.”

Contact Zach at zach.hill@thebaynet.com on on Facebook @NewsByZach

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