Patricia McCall makes no bones about her feelings for her son-in-law.
"He's real bad, he's a control freak," she said. "I hate him, I never liked him."
Next week she plans to be there as Richard Hatchel answers to the charge that he murdered her daughter, Shannon, last January.
According to police reports, 31-year-old Shannon was shot and killed in her home while babysitting her five-year-old nephew.
Last year, family members said Shannon had filed for divorce from Hatchel and he was unhappy with the impending divorce.
Affidavits obtained by The Leader state Hatchel told police he returned to the couple's home to give her money, but they reportedly began arguing. That's when Hatchel went to his truck to get his .270 rifle, returned to the home and shot Shannon, knowing the five-year-old was inside.
According to Hatchel, he dropped the rifle on the living room floor and fled the residence.
Deputies were dispatched to the home to check on Gardner after Hatchel sent a text message to his mother, Ann Prather, telling her he'd hurt Shannon.
He later turned himself in and has been in custody since.
McCall said the last year, especially Shannon's Dec. 6 birthday and the Christmas season, has been difficult for the family, especially for her three children.
"I've been down in the dumps about it. I didn't really celebrate, but the kids put flowers on her grave."
McCall said Christmas mornings would usually find Shannon with her children, opening gifts and enjoying the day.
This year, though, Shannon's children – ages 14, 13 and 9 – spent Christmas morning with a foster family.
The children are doing well, and she likes their foster mother, but she wishes things were different.
"They had a fantastic Christmas. They cried a little bit, but they prayed to her and asked her to watch over them. I tried to reassure them that she was singing with the best choir in Heaven."
Shannon's five-year-old nephew has had to work to overcome the trauma of his aunt's murder, but McCall said he is now doing well.
Angry with her son-in-law, McCall shares that Shannon and Richard's love story began before it should have.
"They started dating when she was 16. One day she called me and asked if she could babysit for Richard and (his first wife) Linda. I didn't think anything of it."
When Shannon ended up pregnant, McCall said she believed the baby belonged to the boyfriend she knew, not Richard.
"I didn't know her father was Richard until nine years later."
By that time, McCall said, Richard and his first wife had split up and Shannon had two more children. He and Shannon rekindled their romance and married.
McCall was never happy about the marriage, but never expected Richard to kill her daughter.
She was crocheting at her Oakland home when she heard the news Shannon had been shot. She didn't know Shannon was dead until she arrived at the scene. She said she'd like the death penalty, but the state is seeking life in prison.
"If I could have found him, I would be in prison for killing him myself."
Though other families have been outspoken about their shock and grief, McCall said she hasn't allowed herself to grieve yet and will only do so after the trial, which is set to begin on Jan. 8 in Tipton County Circuit Court.
"I won't allow myself to break down," she said. "If he gets what I want him to have, the first spot I'll be in is at Shannon's grave, telling her we done it and she can rest in peace."