Two years and many continuances later, Teresa Rivera will find herself again sharing a courtroom with the man accused of killing her 18-year-old son Felix Jimenez.
Two years to the day since his death, Rivera hopes a Cook County judge will set in motion the criminal trial against Derek Grib, who is charged with fatally stabbing Jimenez.
"I just keep crying," Rivera said, of her grief. "I'm still going through it."
Jimenez, an Oak Forest High School graduate who had military aspirations, was attending a party in the 15300 block of Arroyo Drive on July 12, 2009, when Grib allegedly stabbed him several times. He died shortly after midnight July 13, 2009.
Grib, who was 16 years old at the time, was arrested in connection with the stabbing and released on $100,000 bond. He now awaits trial on first-degree murder charges in the death of Jimenez and aggravated battery charges in the stabbing of another teen at the party.
Prosecutors claim Jimenez was attacked, but Grib's attorney has argued that Grib acted in self-defense. Family and friends say Jimenez was a "peacemaker, not a fighter."
His parents and stepfather grapple with his loss everyday, said Jimenez.
"He [Grib] destroyed our lives," said Rivera's husband and Jimenez's stepfather Luis.
Family and friends will sit beside Jimenez's family in the courtroom Wednesday. Before they enter, they'll pray together for the start of the trial, progress, peace—and justice for Felix.
"For this day to fall on the 13th ... instead of going to the cemetery to be with our son ... we have to go to court to see this boy," said Jimenez's father Felix. "It was like a smack on the face."
Whatever the outcome of the day in court, afterward they'll go together to visit Jimenez's gravesite.
Friends say they'll never have closure, but some may find relief if the man charged with killing Jimenez is found guilty.
"I just want this to end," Jimenez said.
Mother Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Homeowners
Jimenez's mother Teresa Rivera alleges that homeowners William and Deborah Flatley negligently permitted minors at the party to consume alcohol and/or illegal drugs, according to a Chicago Tribune report. A lawsuit filed by Rivera in March 2011 claims that Grib became intoxicated or impaired by the substances he consumed at their home, which caused him to attack Jimenez, according to the report.
Listen as friends remember Jimenez and describe what they miss most in our video: For Friends, Loss of Stabbing Victim Is Still Fresh.
Patch will be attending the courtdate Wednesday. Check back for updates.