2nd-degree murder charge in girlfriend's slaying

Family disappointed Calvin Wright won't face the death penalty

Published On: Dec 28 2012 05:44:17 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 29 2012 08:26:48 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The family of a 27-year-old woman shot and killed on Thanksgiving Day was in court Friday as the man she was had just broken up with was formally charged with murder.

Rolisha Thomas's family -- many of them having witnessed her being shot in the street in front of her home -- started to tear up when Calvin Wright walked in.

"We can't even sleep. I can hardly rest. I can hardly think right," said Rolisha's mother, Theresa Thomas. "My kids got to go through therapy. (They) watched him murder my daughter in her face."

Family members say the estranged couple was fighting over a cell phone Wright wanted back after he and Thomas (pictured, right) broke up.

Police said Wright hid overnight.  After his own family pleaded for him to turn himself in, he surrendered to police.

At Friday's arraignment, Wright's public defender entered a not guilty plea on his behalf to a charge of second-degree murder.

Prosecutors say they will seek life in prison without the possibility of parole for Wright. They said they that even though Wright is accused of a horrific crime, It doesn't appear to be premeditated.

Thomas's family and friends understand the State Attorney's Office explanation, but say they wish the man accused of killing Rolisha was a possibility.

"I think he should die just like he murdered my daughter, with no remorse, right in front of his own mother and in front of me," Theresa Thomas said. "He shot at me and the rest of my children. That is a monster that should not be even breathing."