ROCKMART, Ga. — Three children are now dead. And their own mother is charged with murder.
On Sunday, their father sat down with 11Alive’s Tracey Amick-Peer and asked for forgiveness for their mother.
“I want people to know that Ricky Brister is a Christian and he loves his wife,” Brister said, just two days after an unimaginable tragedy struck his family.
He says his wife, Darlene, was dealing with mental health issues when it happened.
“I know it was a mental health situation. We were trying to get help,” he said.
The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office responded to their house on Woodwind Drive in Rockmart on Friday night after getting a call that someone was trying to stab people inside their home while it was on fire.
Two children died at the home and a third died at the hospital on Saturday. His wife, Darlene, is charged with murder.
“There is no hate toward her. I’m definitely, definitely hurt by what she did, but I still have to move forward,” Brister said.
He says he doesn’t know what will happen with them as a couple.
“Do you forgive your wife?” Amick-Peer asked.
“She was forgiven already, she was already forgiven,” Brister replied. "He hopes the rest of the world could also show her forgiveness. I want people to love people like Christ loved the Church and forgive them, have an open heart and compassion.”
And if he could say one thing to her?
“If I could talk to her, I’d want her to know I still love her, I’d like for her to know - I’d like for her to get the help she needs,” Brister added.
He says now he is living for the children he has left.
“That’s my goal -- to focus on them and loving them like they’re supposed to be loved,” Brister said.
There is an online fundraiser set up to help with funeral expenses, new clothing and finding a place to live.