Inez Fortson still grieves every day for her daughter Telacia Fortson, whose remains were discovered at the home of accused serial killer, Anthony Sowell.

“I just wish I could reach into that picture and hug her,” said Fortson. “It hurts in the mornings when I get up. I come and look at her picture and speak to her.”

The remains of 11 women were found inside or buried in the yard of Sowell’s home on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland last fall.  

Sunday, Fortson and other family members learned that perhaps only one person from each of the 11 victims families will be allowed to sit in the courtroom during Sowell’s trial due to limited seating.

And that doesn’t sit well with Debra Williams, aunt of Telacia Fortson.

“I don’t think it’s fair to the families,” said Williams, who is caring for one of Fortson’s three children. “I’m going to call the prosecutor’s office (Monday) because I think we deserve, I think my niece deserves the best.”

Sowell will be facing the death penalty when he goes to trial, which is scheduled to begin in early September.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose said the seating plans are tentative. Judge Ambrose, who will preside over the trial, said that 28 courtroom seats are available after adding four seats.

Eleven courtroom seats will be reserved for family members of the victims families and two for Sowell’s representatives. Four or five seats will be made available for the general public. The remaining seats would likely be for the media covering the trial.  

Judge Ambrose said the hope for a seating plan is to be “fair to everybody understanding that everybody is going to want (to attend the trial).”

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