Victim’s mom offers forgiveness as son’s killer pleads guilty

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Submitted: Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:00pm
Updated: Fri, 12/13/2013 - 11:27am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A killer will not be put to death after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

In the year since Joshua Proutey was shot and killed in downtown Wilmington, his mother says she has struggled to find the will to live. But as her son’s killer pleaded guilty Thursday, she found the will to forgive the man who took her son’s life.

“This young man touched a lot of lives,” District Attorney Ben David said about Proutey. “He knew no hate.”

Cameras were not allowed in court as Quintel Grady avoided the death penalty the state was seeking by pleading guilty to first-degree murder.

Proutey, 19, was leaving the Hannah Block Community Arts Center when he was shot and killed, Dec. 13, 2012. Investigators believe the killer shot about two to five inches away from Proutey’s head. Detectives say Grady and three others who robbed Proutey made off with $10, a cell phone and a sandwich.

Investigators say a tip led to solving the case after someone overheard one of Grady’s co-defendants bragging about his involvement.

“All calls had gone basically cold, and it was based on that anonymous call that we were able to send this detective (Matt Fox) in,” David said.

Grady’s friends and family say he did not want to plea out, but decided to at the last minute because of money.

“I was told Quintel was given $300 to take this plea,” said Tiesha Sweet, the mother of Grady’s child. “He was denying the plea up until the last two days he was given.”

Grady’s lawyers had no comment about any such arrangement.

Christopher Cromartie, Jasmine Dottin and Daniel Henry still face charges in the case, including murder and robbery.


  • mylifemyfamily says:

    Well my nephew was killed by his mothers boyfriend, and yes it should have been ness worthy so we as a family have been wondering the same thing. so could you please keep smart comments like that to yourself.

  • familyfirst says:

    Can you please leave the child out of this. She is a baby.

  • guest123123 says:

    Sorry not your call. She is the victims mother and the DA can take her suggestions to heart when making a decision. You can feel all the anger you want but you need to learn how things work in a courthouse and in any DA’s office.

  • Resident says:

    What a reason to take a life. They should execute all those who perpetrated this crime and it should be painful and extended for as long as possible. Putting them in prison is being to generous.

  • Friend says:

    I was a friend of Josh (the boy murdered) and I love his mother for being able to forgive. With the amount of despise that is in my heart for the man who shot him and the men witnessing the murder and being able to eat a murdered man’s sandwich, I have a hard time forgiving… An eye for an eye just makes the whole world blind. Mrs. Proutey understands that just because her loving son was taken from her, a child should not lose their father. She still has some faith in humanity.

  • Guest2020 says:

    What a heartless, bitter person you are. This mother lost her child and chose to forgive the murderer. I think it’s very admirable of her. I think it is horrible of you to put her down for doing so. Forgiveness does so much more for the giver than the receiver.

  • taxpayer says:

    “Where is the justice?”

    Cell block D…with Bubba waiting in the wings.

  • Shyteria Brown says:

    He has done a lot of wrong things in his past, but Quintel was starting to turn his life around. I am Shyteria Brown. The mother of his 17 month old child who had passed earlier in 2012. The same detective that handled our son’s murder case found nothing on the murderer of our child, had the nerve to come and try to blame him for everything like she was present on the scene. Causing Quintel to shut down and take any plea just to be relieved of the aggravation. When you are grieving you are not in your right state of mind. Then to make matters worse, The New Hanover County Police Department took advantage of his state of mind by offering him two ridiculous plea bargains. How can you charge someone with murder when you have absolutely no Hard evidence. I thought that “word of mouth” was considered Hear say in the court of law. That’s exactly why the murderer of my child was never convicted. So what makes this young man’s death any different? Because he was a Caucasian and Quintel and his conniving, backstabbing, so called friends where all African American? Based on the facts and lack of evidence Quintel has every right to an Appeal and a second chance at life. Where is the justice?

  • Forgiveness says:

    God bless Mrs. Proutey for the lack of hate in her heart. It takes a lot bigger person to forgive someone and free your heart of hate than it is to be a vengeful, hateful person.
    She’s right. Killing that slimeball that killed her son won’t bring him back.
    Capital punishment is not a deterrant to murder. If it was we wouldn’t have all these people on death row in America. No civilized country other than us has state-sponsored murder. Remember, I said civilized.

  • antithug says:

    all of them who were involved!

  • Ryan M says:

    he knew no hate . cost him his life

    Psa 139:21 O יהוה, do I not hate them, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
    Psa 139:22 With a complete hatred I hate them; They have become my enemies.
    Psa 139:23 Search me, O Ěl, and know my heart; Try me, and know my thoughts;
    Psa 139:24 And see if an idolatrous way is in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

  • Old Guy says:

    Grady’s friends and family say he did not want to plea out, but decided to at the last minute because of money.
    What a crock of crap!!! One does not plead guilty because of “money”. Especially when there are public defenders here in New Hanover County that are really good attorneys. I am surprised they didn’t pull the race card and say that he plead guilty because he was Black. What a piece of crap this person is. Not a man but a person!

  • craig says:

    I believe in Christ. I have been a Christian since before I could walk. That being said I do not know that I would be so forgiving. That shows you what kind of role model this young man had. He would really have set the world on fire. I admire you ma’am. I will think of you through Christmas. This must be a difficult time of year for you.

  • BillG says:

    Don’t be silly you know it can only be a hate crime if the perpetrator is white.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    at his age, assuming he does not play tough guy in prison and disrespect the wrong inmate, he probably has 50 years to serve.

    That’s 50 years of 3 squares a day, a roof over his head, clean linens, color cable tv, and a chance for further education.

    At least he got this over before the holidays so his child and the baby’s mama can get accustomed to him not being home for Christmas. No doubt they’ll want him to have access to Skype so he can be a part of the baby’s upbringing. With his sterling qualities, he certainly has much to impart to a developing child.

    And, he’s in early enough he can begin his class selection in time for the spring term.

    What did the Baby Mama not understand? He admitted he did it. He was the shooter. His other option was facing 6 or 8 years on death row with a lethal injection to follow.

    As another noted, it’s unfortunate they no longer use public hangings for execution. I wonder how smirky his look would be when he would ascend the stairs to the gallows and take his place on the trap as the hood and noose were put in place. That might well be a detriment to future shootings.

    Too bad he weaseled out and copped a plea. Let’s hope he at least has to testify against the other 3 at their trials; and then faces fellow inmate reaction to his status as a snitch.

  • guest456987 says:

    Youd think since this guys own little boy was accidentally killed by the moms boyfriend just a year prior, he would have gone after him. smh

  • guest123 says:

    Who cares if the mother of the deceased boy offers her forgiveness to the murderer? No one else does! He is low scum bag who ambushed a 19 yr old for what? The $10.00 he stole off of him? wow. No forgiveness would come from me if he murdered my son. He doesn’t deserve any peace of mind or kindness this mother showed him. she could choose to forgive him in the privacy of her own thoughts.
    But then I doubt the person who would shoot a boy 5 inches from his head even has a consience to care if he is “forgiven” or not.

  • boldizar says:

    Cant find ant reference to his kid being killed by anyone, only an obit for him. One would think that would have been news worthy when it happened.

  • Amber says:

    True, and is a shame.

  • dontunderstand says:

    This group of black young adults said they were out “looking for white people to rob” why are they not being charged with a Hate Crime?

  • Marie says:

    Soulja Boy

    I’m a white female who knew Joshua, and I don’t know anything about you except what I just read. I know that the “distant relative” of Grady will think I’m only agreeing with you because you have compromised your ethnicity, but the fact is you are clearly able to see past your race at the truth here. I was just discussing racial tension with my family, and whether or not there is an end in sight. I know that these posts are not about this issue but I was compelled to tell you that men like you are the answer to the problem of racism. Thank you for speaking out on this issue.

  • soulja boy says:

    Im a black man and theres no need to call those folks rascist…maybe they are, but the fact of the matter is they killed that boy over nothing and all of them need to rot in jail..especially that Grady kid, that boy is nothing but trouble..just got of prison for robbery, nit long before that he was charged with numerous crimes. Hes a joke, his whole family is, they are a discrace to the Wilmington community as a whole. So to that distant family member..u should be ashamed, your the reason why white people look at us like that. Do me a favor and teach your other family members how to get a job so they wont have to take an innocent life. Teach that Grady boy family to do something with there lives besides sit up on section 8 & spit out babies and claim to be thugs. Teach them how to eespect people. GET A LIFE

  • dickerson says:

    Guess what Bozo? Hangings aren’t a black thing, hangings have been around for white folks since the beginning of time. EVERYTHING isn’t about blacks, don’t flatter yourself. Your distant family member is s piece of human excrement, I wouldnt brag about being related to him. I hope he enjoys his little cage for the rest of his pathetic life.

  • Chris says:

    We have a waiting period for executions for a reason. New evidence comes to light, scientific testing of evidence is found to be flawed, appeals are filed, etc. In the 21st century alone 60+ death row inmates have been exonerated. But I’m guess you don’t care about any of that. Carry on watching Fox News and basking in sweet, sweet ignorance.

  • 3293 says:

    The problem I have with your rationality is this:

    No death penalty….will cost the taxpayers 50+ years to provide for him.

    Death penalty…..will cost the taxpayers 8+ years to provide for him and an injection.

    Hanging…..will cost the taxpayers a few days to provide for him, a rope, and a tree.

    So if you were a tax paying citizen and it was costing you…which would you choose?

    Your distant family member didn’t get what he deserved….he deserved to live no longer that the person he murdered.

  • Norm "Frenchy" LaFountaine says:

    I’m a white man…Sir, I respect your commentary on the murder of Joshua Proutey.
    I’m responding directly to you out of respect for you, as the person
    you appear to be, and I couldn’t care less about most of the other commentaries.
    Everyone is a racist to some degree if they want to admit it! All people are somewhat motivated by the negative influence of others!
    But, the truth is the truth!
    The fact is: “the victims mother” who is so Christian like in her “Forgiveness”,( which is not entirely hers to give) seems to be given all the grandstand here, which is common from the media.
    Another fact is: …Josh has a father who needs to be heard from. He to, is a GOOD Christian! I won’t go into how Mrs Proutey had destroyed her son and husbands home life,with her drug problems.Maybe a lot of her guilt accounts for so much forgiveness, and maybe she could show as much compassion for the rest of her family!
    I’ll stay positive on the “victim’s Father’s” side here.I’ve known the Proutey’s for years, and since Josh was a baby.
    Josh’s father served in Vietnam as a Navy Hospital Corpsman, FMF.
    He was a Marine’s lifesaver! As a Marine, I hold Doc in the highest esteem. On this “racism” thing: One of Doc’s best friends (and mine) was a American-Mexican,a Marine helicopter crew chief that Doc flew Medevac with.”Gooie” was a Khe Sanh, Navy Cross recipient.
    Together,like many of us,they flew into hot LZ’s to rescue the wounded.
    NEVER did I EVER hear ANYONE ask the COLOR OR ETHNIC origin of the casualty(ies)that we risked life & limb to save.
    I don’t give a damn WHAT color or ethnic origin the assailants are that murdered Josh,they should suffer the consequences comparable to the crime! It’s the deed that needs punishing, not the race of either the victim or the assailant!
    I’m sure that the race baiters will disagree to suit their agenda,but again,I couldn’t care less.
    And, I’m sure the media won’t let the facts get in the way of a good, racially charged story!

  • Bradley says:

    THANK YOU. For that comment. It was incredibly insightful and accurate. I, now still have hope for the world. :)

  • Terrance hoffman says:

    Why is the Grady family mad, and why are the in the court room crying like some jackasses ??? They look stupid!!
    His baby momma is an embarrassment to all us black people! Why the hell would somebody offer that boy $300 to take a plea ? What is $300 gonna do for somebody thats gonna be locke dup for the rest of his life?? SMDH!
    We (black folks) need to do better! How would they feel if the white boy would of killed his a** over $10, a cell phone and a sandwich ? They would of had the naacp, Al Sharpton and everybody else they could think of out there rallying and carrying on!
    Im glad hes off the streets…hes a killer and he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison! People like him make innocent black men like me look bad! He got off easy if u ask me! Him and everybody that supports him needs to be ashamed! The only person didnt have a choice that night was the poor lil innocent white boy that was trying to do something with his life!

  • craig says:

    I hope they still give him the death penalty even though he is confessing. I know a confession saves us (tax payers) a lot of money but he really does not deserve to be in this world. Better off dead in my book.

  • Derrick Anderson says:

    As a Black man I concur with all the afore mentioned comments. This guy is an animal and should be put death!

  • lonetraveler says:

    The murderer’s friends were upset that he took the deal? Well, I’m upset too that he took a deal because he needs to be executed just like he executed this innocent kid. The death penalty was intended to be used for murdering thugs like this. Why the heck was he even offered a plea anyway?

  • CoastalJade says:

    Spineless pos. You may have escaped the DP by pleading out, but you will spend the rest of your life, as pathetic as it is, like the animal that you are in a cage. Enjoy.

  • guest01010 says:

    This is a perfect reason to bring back public hangings. Why does he deserve to live on our tax dollars???

  • leapfrog says:

    Oh if they were to bring back capital punishment then we would have less crime on our streets! i so believe in these third world countries that still practice cutting your hand off for stealing or hanging you because you killed someone! Our jails would be less crowded. And us tax payers wouldnt be spending our hard earned money on these dirt bags to live in jail for free.

  • A_GRADY_BABY says:

    You people kill me with always wanting to result back to hangings…This is a distant family member…I don’t agree with anyone displaying negative actions of any level, however, DO THE MATH: 2-Deaths doesn’t = bringing 1 life back!!! Maybe your friends should consider hanging you, how would you feel then???? SMH

  • shut up says:

    He was given a plea because Mrs.proutey said that she did not think that the death penalty was nessecary because it would not bring her son back.

  • GuestGrateful says:

    I thank the person who gave the tip. Without their desire to do the right thing, there may never have been a trial. The entire community of Wilmington owes this person a debt of gratitude. Please accept my thanks for your noble act.

  • 357sig says:

    “David says if it were not for an anonymous tip from someone who overheard one of Grady’s co-defendants talking about the murder, justice would not have been served.”

    Since when? The initial story was that the girl involved with this murder had a guilty conscience and confessed. Why is this only now being released? Is it just a pr stunt to show “the community” that good things happen when you snitch?

    The DA should be ashamed of letting this animal plead. I feel for the mother, however the law is for the protection of society as a whole. Letting this sub-human escape the death penalty does not dissuade the next animal from the next murder. The DA took the lazy way out, and is using the mother for cover.

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