Source – https://www.ketv.com/article/teen-gets-prison-time-for-fatal-shooting-over-bag-of-weed/26092710
OMAHA, Neb. —
A 15-year-old will spend the rest of his teenage years in prison for fatally shooting another teen last year.
Tyon Wells, now 15, was sentenced to 22-45 years in a state correctional facility Wednesday afternoon. Wells was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Zachary Parker, 17.
Prosecutors said Wells, 14 at the time, shot Parker over a bag of weed on February 25 of last year.
Douglas County District Court Judge Shelly Stratman said she was “at a loss for words,” but before handing down her sentence, told Wells that he needs to take the opportunity to challenge and educate himself.
“Zachary doesn’t have a second chance, but you do,” Stratman said to Wells.
Before the sentence, Wells’ defense attorney, Kevin Ryan, pointed out that if the incident had happened eight weeks earlier, Wells would have been 13 and would have been required to be tried in juvenile court. Ryan also said this was a transaction that “Tyon was never supposed to be at.”
Tanya Wells, Tyon’s mother, told the court “I just wanted to say I love my son.”
The judge asked Tyon if he wanted to add anything, and he apologized to Parker’s family and his own.
The courtroom was packed with more than a dozen members from each family.
Zachary Parker’s grandmother, Marcella Clark, read her impact statement that she’d sent to the judge.
“I still don’t understand how this could’ve happened,” Clark said, adding that she has struggled every day since her grandson’s death.
After she finished reading the letter, Clark said prayers are being said not only for her family, but for Wells’ family, too.
“I’m just a grandmother with a broken heart,” Clark said.
Both Wells’ family and Parker’s family declined to comment on camera following the hearing, but when asked about the sentence, Clark said “I don’t agree with the sentence because he’s so young.”
Other members of Parker’s family felt that Wells didn’t get enough time, because he could still be released on parole as a young adult. Wells is eligible for parole after 11 years because of Nebraska’s Good Time Law.