Benjamin Washington, still professing his innocence in the shooting death of Chad Henderson, was sentenced on Friday to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Washington, 28, was convicted last month of first-degree murder for fatally shooting 19-year-old Henderson during a party at a Mayport condominium. Prosecutors said a swastika tattoo Henderson wore angered Washington.
Before the sentence was announced, Henderson's mother offered a tearful victim impact statement.
"I can not begin to explain to you the pain I felt and still feel to this day," she told the court. "I just wanted (the murder) to be a bad dream, but reality set in week of April 23 (during the trial) when I had to see blood stains on furniture from my son."
Washington cried as he stood before the judge, saying he knew "deep in his heart" that he didn't commit the murder.
Washington's mother then asked the judge not to sentence her son to life in prison, saying he could make amends to Henderson's family.
Judge John Merrett then read a stern statement, calling the murder an "act of cowardice and stupidity."
"Chad David Henderson has left this world because he had the bad luck to utter foolish ideas in the presence of exactly the sort of coward who would shoot him in the back to shut his mouth," Merrett said.
- April 30, 2007: Jury Finds Man Guilty In Teen's Shooting Death
- April 27, 2007: Prosecutor: Racial Remarks Led To Killing
- May 18, 2006: Suspect In Mayport Murder Arrested In Glynn County
- May 17, 2006: Police Name Suspect In Mayport Murder
- May 12, 2006: Homicide Unit Investigates Shooting Death In Mayport