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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Shyteria Brown

    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?

  • taxpayer

    “Where is the justice?”

    Cell block D…with Bubba waiting in the wings.

  • Guest2020

    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.

  • Friend

    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.

  • Resident

    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.

  • guest123123

    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.

  • familyfirst

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

  • mylifemyfamily

    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.

  • dontunderstand

    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?

  • boldizar

    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.

  • guest123

    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.

  • guest456987

    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

  • SurfCityTom

    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.

  • craig

    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.

  • Old Guy

    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!

  • 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.

  • antithug

    all of them who were involved!

  • Forgiveness

    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.

  • BillG

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

  • Amber

    True, and is a shame.

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