CLEVELAND (WJW) – Pictures and a few handwritten cards are all that’s left for the family of Michael Roman Jr. to hold.
“Dad, I admire everything you do because you do it so well,” read Michael Roman Sr. holding a yellowed handwritten card from his son. “Much better than anyone else could ever think of doing. You’re a one-of-a-kind model and I hope one day I will be able to do as you do because I know there’s none better.”
Sitting next to several poster boards filled with pictures of his son, spanning infancy to young adulthood, Roman’s eyes began to water. His son was shot and killed in Cleveland at the age of 26 in November of 1994.
“I don’t have holidays, you know, I go to the cemetery every November,” he said. The anxiety that I go through when I’m driving. When I go past a cemetery, why?”
Samuel Bulgin was convicted of aggravated murder and is serving a 25-to-life sentence. A parole hearing is scheduled for next week. He was imprisoned in 1998.
Roman’s death left a crater of a hole in the hearts of loved ones including his son, only 5 years old when his father was killed.
“They say ‘Aren’t you Mikey Roman’s kid?’ I get that a lot,” said Roman III. “You look up to your father, he’s kind of your rock and to not have that rock is life-changing. Hard to put into words but it’s something you hope other people don’t have to experience.”
Protecting others, he said is why the family created an online petition to keep his father’s killer behind bars. They plan to send the petition to the parole board for consideration during the hearing.
See the petition here.
“I’m hoping…that the parole board continues to keep him accountable for the decision that he made that can’t be undone,” said Roman.
The Roman family says no punishment or hardship Bulgin endured compared to dreams for Michael’s future that will never be achieved.
“I’ll love you as long as you’re in existence, to me you’ll be around forever,” said Roman Sr. reading his son’s card. “Happy Birthday, dad you’re in a market of your own. The best there is, love you always, Mikey.”