Year later, slain mother of 3′s family still seeking justice

Liza Dukes would have turned 31 on Thursday

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Liza Dukes, her boyfriend and his father were all shot at a home in Keystone Heights in December 2019. Her boyfriend was the only survivor.

More than a year later, Dukes’ sister, Keri Lewis, told News4Jax the family’s journey to find justice has been frustrating. This week, the family celebrated another one of Dukes’ birthdays without her.

“We’re definitely wanting to, you know, to celebrate her life any chance we can,” Lewis said.

Dukes would have turned 31 on Thursday.

“It’s been hard adjusting to life without her and adjusting for her kids, as well as what kind of roles, you know, our family has to play in their lives,” Lewis said.

Family members feel like they’re in the same place they were a year ago. Court dates have been pushed back because of COVID-19. And no one has been convicted in the mother of three’s death.

“I’m just ready for this to be over with so that we can grieve and move on,” Lewis said.

RELATED: Clay County triple shooting started with an argument over stolen clothes, suspect says

Two suspects, Taylor Hill and Victoria Scifo, were detained in connection with the shooting after a police chase that ended in a crash on State Road 100 near SE 81st Street, about 15 miles away in Bradford County. Scifo was charged with accessory after the fact.

In February, a grand jury indicted Hill on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. The state said it intends to seek the death penalty. His next pretrial hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24.

RELATED: State to seek death penalty against man indicted in deadly New Year’s Eve shooting

Asked what she misses most about her sister, Lewis said:

“She was always that person for me. No matter what time of day where I was, where she was, I could always call her, and she was always there for me.”

Even if another birthday goes by without a trial, Lewis said she won’t give up fighting for justice for her sister.

About the Author:

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.