With Video: Victim's Mother Pleads for Tougher Sentence
"Well to us Shayla was not just a victim in a criminal case. To us she was very much an alive person," a tearful Lori Black, Johnson's mother, said.
In a final push by the prosecution, Shayla Johnson's mother went up in front of Judge Economy to push for a life sentence for 15-year-old Charles Lewis, Jr.
"My daughter was in her home and asleep in her bed and these men came to her and beat her with guns and drug her to a car and tossed her in the trunk like yesterday's garbage," Black said.
Lewis Jr. sat with little emotion as he and his mother listened to Shayla Johnson's parents plead for a tougher sentence.
"Child or not, Lewis is at an age where he knows right from wrong and he knew exactly what was happening that night," she said.
Lewis Jr. was found guilty in connection to the July 2010 murder of Shayla Johnson. His defense has pushed for a juvenile sentence or a delayed sentence. A delayed sentence would put Lewis Jr. behind bars until he's 21 and then reevaluate his sentence. The defense has pushed for a light sentence because of Lewis Jr's. improved behavior in recent months.
The prosecution has argued recent behavior isn't enough to give the 15-year-old a juvenile sentence.
"Knowing the child's past I do not feel he can be rehabilitated or become a productive member of society," Black said.
Judge Economy will hand down his sentence on Friday. We will be in court and will have complete coverage.
Lori Black finally got her chance to be heard in court.
Black, along with Shayla Johnson's father, both read statements to the court in hopes of swaying the judge to sentence Charles Lewis, Jr. as an adult and not as a juvenile.
Lewis Jr. was found guilty of felony murder and there has been a legal battling brewing over whether the 15-year-old, who was 13 at the time of the murder, should be sentenced as an adult.
The defense has argued that Lewis Jr. should be given a juvenile sentence or a potential blended sentence which would keep him in a juvenile hall until he's 21. At that time, a judge would review his situation and could sentence him to more time in prison.
The prosecution argued on Wednesday that Lewis Jr's. lengthy criminal history is enough to put him away and not consider a juvenile sentence. The defense, through testimony, has argued that Lewis Jr. should be given a juvenile sentence and then reevaluated because he is still developing as a human.