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

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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.

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