WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — It was a case that broke when the teen suspects bragged at school about a murder.
Today the victim’s own nephew found out how he would be punished for the crime.
Monday a Columbus County jury found Marquice Antone guilty of killing his uncle. Tuesday a judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole.
In a letter read in court during sentencing, Wanda Gachett, widow of victim Keith Gachett, wrote, “On April 13, 2012, my life as I knew it came to an end. The man I loved for 26 years and was married to for just three years was gone!”
Investigators say her nephew Antone and two other teens robbed Keith Gachett at his Hallsboro home and shot him in the head.
“You stole his life for what, guns?” Gachette’s children wrote in another letter. “He was always looking out for you, and how did you repay him? You took his life.”
In court Antone said he grew up without a relationship with his father for the majority of his life. Although he said he was not in a gang, he admitted hanging around with members of the Bloods.
“While a young man is going to prison for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole, that is certainly not a happy moment. It reminds us all that there is responsibility for criminal behavior,” District Attorney Jon David said.
Another suspect, Kenneth Williams, pleaded guilty earlier this year. Tarrence Hazel, the third co-defendant, is still waiting trail.
Antone’s family was emotional leaving the court house Tuesday morning and did not want to comment.
First-degree murder usually carries an automatic sentence of life without parole, but because Antone was under 18 at the time of the murder, the judge had the choice to sentence him to life with the possibility of parole after 25 years.