Cardine Strayer, 15, of York City lights a candle Tuesday at Trinity United Church of Christ. The 27th annual Crime Victims  Rights March and Candlelight
Cardine Strayer, 15, of York City lights a candle Tuesday at Trinity United Church of Christ. The 27th annual Crime Victims Rights March and Candlelight Vigil began at the Colonial Court House and ended at the church. (Bil Bowden photo)

Stephanie Maurer paused for a moment and looked down.

"That's interesting," she said. "This is the 27th annual Crime Victims' Rights March and Candlelight Vigil. My daughter was 27 when she was killed."

Maurer was emcee at the Tuesday event that started with a gathering at the Colonial Court House at West Market Street and Pershing Avenue in York City and then a march to Trinity United Church of Christ at 32 W. Market St.

More than 150 people attended the event, including the York City Police Department Color Guard and the Kiltie Band of York.

The event was sponsored by the York County Victims' Rights Coalition as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, observed from Sunday to Saturday.

At the Colonial Court House, the crowd heard from Rick Azzaro, chief services officer for YWCA Victim Services, York County Commissioner Doug Hoke and District Attorney Tom Kearney.

Giving thanks: They all thanked the community, local victim services organizations and law officials for working together to help crime victims and their families. They also expressed their compassion for families who lost loved ones to homicides.

At Trinity, Maurer talked about losing her daughter, Kirsten Maurer Taylor, who was killed by her husband Toby Taylor in their Lower Windsor Township home January 2008. A jury found him guilty of third-degree murder for electrocuting his wife. He was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.

Maurer thanked county residents, law officials and the jury in her daughter's case for helping bring justice for her daughter and comfort to her family.

In memory: Several people spoke at the event, where candles were lighted in memory of lost loved ones and in thankfulness for those who survived crimes committed against them.

Featured speaker Jim Wallmuth talked about the 2010 murder of his son, James Wallmuth III, a law student who was shot in a botched robbery in the city by Jordan

Wallick, who was 15 at the time and eventually sentenced to life in prison.

Jim Wallmuth, of West Manchester Township, read a paper written by his youngest son, Danny, who detailed how the family continues to hurt from loss of James Wallmuth III.

Wallmuth said his family is grateful for the kind words and deeds of friends, neighbors and compassionate people they didn't know.

"This community lost a man who could have become an advocate for those in need," Jim Wallmuth said in reference to his deceased son. "He would have graduated two weeks ago. Life without Jimmy is incomplete."

Lingering pain: Another featured speaker, Kamilah Washington of Spring Garden Township, was shot in the back Sept. 16, 2011, by her then-husband, Travis T. Washington Sr. He attempted to shoot her in the face, but the gun jammed. He was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.

Kamilah Washington said she still has nightmares and avoids reading newspapers or watching television news because of the pain she feels for crime victims and their families.

"But I have to have strong faith and just be a strong person and what I can do. It never gets easier, but it gets more bearable."

Kamilah Washington said though she is thankful she survived the shooting ordeal, she was hurting for families who attended the vigil because they lost their loved ones.

Maurer gave Kamilah Washington some encouraging advice.

"Don't feel guilty because you survived," Maurer said. "I know my daughter would be happy that you survived."

-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.