Fort Mill victim 'a loving mother who didn't deserve to die'

Herald ColumnistJanuary 7, 2012 

— Rena Green worked the overnight shift registering patients in the Piedmont Medical Center emergency room until her shift ended around 7 a.m. Thursday morning.

A little more than an hour later, her sister - whom Green said had just this past weekend come to her home in the middle of the night, scared of her ex-boyfriend and seeking refuge - was brought into that same emergency room as a gunshot victim.

Jackie Craine, 34, Rena Green's baby sister, who had completed massage therapy school after styling hair for years and dreamed of owning her own spa, was pronounced dead in the same room her sister had just left.

The "ex" the family called "Rico," James Enrico Diago, was at that time in custody for killing Craine and wounding her 16-year-old son.

"If I was working, I would have had to put that bracelet on my own sister's wrist, the bracelet that identifies someone even if they are deceased on arrival," Green said Friday, after an awful two days of grief that showed no sign of ending anytime soon.

"I almost had to find out my sister was murdered by identifying her in the room where people who are killed are identified."

Jackie Craine leaves a 16-year-old son, a 13-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter - her child with Diago, family members said.

"My sister was a loving mother who didn't deserve to die," Green said.

Jackel, the oldest son, 16, was shot in the knee Thursday morning in the incident at a parking lot of apartments around the corner from where Jackie Craine lived in a rented home with her three kids.

He is expected to recover and is staying, for the time being, with his father, said James Craine, Jackie Craine's brother.

Craine and her son were shot as both sat in her SUV, police said.

"He hurt his hand, cut it, smashing the window to try and escape," James Craine said of his nephew. "He's a strong young man. He loves his mother.

"There is not enough anger in words," Craine said, to describe his fury at Diago for allegedly killing his sister after she had been in fear of him for at least months - if not longer.

"The man was in my house, he is the father of her daughter, and now my sister is dead after being shot," James Craine said. "It's horrible."

Linda Craine, Jackie Craine's mother, said her daughter was a giving person and dutiful mother, whose first priority was always her children.

"My daughter was a good person, a decent person, a loving person," Linda Craine said. "She smiled. She was known for her smile. Sad does not cover how we feel. We are in shock."

Jackie Craine's father, John Stevenson, said he is just "sick" that the father of his granddaughter is charged with killing his daughter.

"I am angry," Stevenson said.

Family members said Jackie Craine moved from Lancaster, where she was raised and graduated from high school in 1996, to Fort Mill, for her children.

Jackie wanted a better life for her kids and herself, they said.

"She was working toward that business dream, to own something of her own," said Rena Green, her sister. "She worked hard. She was a great person, generous and loving. Rico took it all away. These three children do not have a mother."

Linda Craine said the children will stay with her. The family, loving and generous, vowed as a whole to make sure these kids have what they need.

Yet one thing most kids need in life is a mother. They had one, until Thursday, when she was shot in the head.

Green shudders to think of her sister's death, her nephew's terror and strength during the awful shooting, and what this family will do to try to nurture the surviving children.

"My sister was a great girl, a fine person who wanted the best in life for her kids," Green said. "This family will take care of these children. People should know that."

As for Diago - who was around the family for the past few years at times, sometimes ate with them, laughed with them some - these good people named Craine and Green and Stevenson said that the jails and the courts will take care of him.

The 13-year-old son of Jackie Craine, Aaron, a middle-schooler in Fort Mill, was among his aunts and uncles and so many loving family members Friday at his grandmother's home in Lancaster.

Aaron talked about how his mother made sure that he and his brother did their schoolwork, encouraged them in sports and never missed a game - but above all, she loved them.

The older boy, Jackel, who was shot and survived, played football and wrestled at 142 pounds at Nation Ford High School.

"He was undefeated," said Aaron, of his brother that he so looks up to.

Aaron on Friday had to deal with things that no 13-year-old should have to deal with. Grief and sadness over his mother, allegedly shot by the man who had been a part of Aaron's life, at least somewhat, for years.

He has pictures of his mother on his laptop computer. He has memories. He has a brother and a sister and a father, and a grandmother and so many loving aunts and uncles and more.

As he stood in the kitchen of his grandmother's house Friday, Aaron, surrounded by these sad people, said simply:

"I love my mom."

Andrew Dys 803-329-4065 adys@heraldonline.com

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