HOUSTON – In December of 2003, Kent Whitaker lived through his own worst nightmare. His wife and son were murdered in their Sugar Land home – at the hands of his other son, Bart.
He did it to get to the family inheritance.
Bart Whitaker has been sentenced to die for plotting the murders.
But now, Kent Whitaker is spreading the word about the power of forgiveness.
"You know, the truth is, left to myself, I’d probably choose revenge over forgiveness nearly every time," Kent Whitaker said.
Whitaker took his message to Riverpointe Church in Richmond Sunday as part of a series of appearances across the country.
"I believe God has better plans for my life than anything I could come up with, and part of His plan is for me to obey His command and to forgive," Whitaker said.
Whitaker said he’s turned his anger into a message – one he hopes can convince others to forgive, no matter how badly they’ve been hurt.
"If we don’t forgive, then the bitterness that comes from the result of the event stays with us forever," he said.
He said he’s written Bart a letter detailing the pain he caused as part of the forgiving process, and he visits his son regularly.
But even though Bart has been forgiven by his dad, he has not been forgiven by the state.
He remains on Death Row, but his execution date has not been set.