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A birthday without Genna

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

A birthday without Genna

CREATED Nov 7, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Genna Ayup's family cried tears of sorrow instead of joy on what would have been Genna's 28th birthday. Making matters worse for the family, a sense of justice denied.

"It's just a really hard day," said Toni Solheid, Genna's mother.

But the one person they're waiting for won't be showing up this year.

"It's just another day realizing she's really gone," Solheid said.

She's gone, but on her 28th birthday, Genna Ayup is definitely not forgotten.

Now, a move is underway to help craft "Genna's Law".

"If we're going to throw the book at people for drinking and driving, we need to hold them accountable for shooting people and drinking," councilman Paul Cunningham said. "You can't have one without the other."

The law would allow police to conduct sobriety tests on people who fired a gun, after consuming alcohol. Ayup was 27-years-old when she was killed on June 26. The night Ayup died, no sobriety test was conducted on the shooter, Ronald Corbin Jr., who had been drinking.

Nine On Your Side spoke with newly elected State Representative Bruce Wheeler by phone about changing the law.

"I think this is an issue both parties can come to agree on," said Wheeler. "It's not a partisan issue, it's an issue about justice."

Cunningham agrees. He tells 9OYS, the law would be a common sense change and the right thing to do.

"The bottom line is, it's important to decide her death will be for not," he said.

So Wednesday night, as friends and family gathered for Ayup's birthday without her, they're hoping for the same thing: that Genna is not forgotten and that her name will live on in a new law that leads to justice.

"If it brings justice, it's worth it, and I'm sure it will," said Solheid.  " I can't see anybody not wanting this to pass."

A copy of what would become "Genna's Law" has been posted under related documents on this story.