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Judge recognizes pain of mother who lost both her sons to violence

Younger son killed in Landing shooting, older son sentenced to 25 years

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Before a man convicted of attempted murder was sentenced to 25 years in prison, a Duval County judge recognized the pain of the 22-year-old's mother, saying she did not deserve to lose both of her children to violence. 

Monifa Petersen's 16-year-old son, Khamoi Petersen, was shot and killed last month at The Jacksonville Landing and her oldest son, Leroy Bostick, will spend more than two decades in prison after he was found guilty of shooting a 14-year-old girl in the chest two years ago. The teenager survived.

Bostick also put the gun to someone else's head, but it misfired. 

"Mr. Bostick, having being convicted by a jury, I hereby find you guilty of count one (attempted murder) and sentence you to 25 years minimum mandatory," Judge Roberto Arias said at Wednesday's sentencing hearing. 

Bostwick will serve 25 years on the attempted murder charge and five years, which will run concurrently, for his aggravated battery conviction.

Although Bostwick will be behind bars, Arias told Monifa Petersen inside the courtroom that no one deserves the pain of losing both of their children. 

"I think everybody in this court understands the pain you're going through, because after all, we all are human," Arias said. "You didn't deserve the tragedies that are before you. The streets are mean. Even thought we try out best to raise our children, God has given us the ability as humans to think for ourselves and the ability to make decisions for ourselves."

Cries could be heard from the mother in mourning during the hearing.  

"I just don't know. I'm sorry," Monifa Petersen said. "I tried to get him off the streets. I'm the one that'll keep calling the police if I see him in certain places I don't feel is safe for him."

Bostick's girlfriend and cousin pleaded for leniency, saying he was a good father to his children. 

Arias offered Bostick advice before he's locked away.

"Mr. Bostick, if you thought you have met thugs in the street, you're about to meet a whole bunch of a new breed of thugs. You're going to be there for a long time. I understand that," Arias said. "For the sake of your family, I hope your keep a clear mind, so that you'll be ready to be released."

Bostwick's attorney did ask for a retrial, but the judge denied that request. 

After the sentencing, Monifa Petersen told News4Jax that she wasn't ready to speak at that time.