Inspired by tragedy, families fight for positive change

In the wake of tremendous tragedies, two Michiana families are coming together to fight for positive change.

In June, Steven Clippinger allegedly murdered his brother, Matt Clippinger, and Matt’s wife, Lisa.

Steven had previously been convicted of murder in 1990, but only served about half of his 45-year sentence.

“I don't want anyone else to go through that horror and the pain,” said Matt’s sister-in-law, Chris Clippinger.

But, just about two months later, the family of Trina Winston did.

In August, Trina’s husband, Tarrence Lee, allegedly murdered her.

He’d previously served nearly two decades in prison on two murder charges from the ‘80s.

“When I looked at the time these guys they had and how they were released back into the community, good time credit for these violent, known murderers, I said I'm going to find Chris and we are going to make a difference,” said Trina’s sister, Traci Winston.

The families are now working together to get Indiana laws changed.

On Thursday, they held a petition drive in front of the St. Joseph County Courthouse, hoping to get signatures in support of eliminating good behavior credit for violent offenders.

“For every day that a murderer does in jail, he gets one day off of his sentence,” Chris said. “For every degree he completes, he gets four years off his sentence. And, we just feel that's wrong for taking a life. You need to do the time you were given.”

So far, the families have just over 700 signatures. Their goal is 10,000.

They’ll hold another petition drive at 5 p.m. Friday in front of the St. Joseph County Courthouse.

“My whole fear is reading about another family going through this,” Traci said.


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