Murder victim's mother helps killer escape life sentence

by: Ross Cavitt Updated:

Josue Chapa

COBB COUNTY, Ga. - An admitted teenaged killer will not face the rest of his life in prison after getting a rare second chance in a courtroom Tuesday.

 “I'm a changed person. I'd just like to ask you for a second chance,” Josue Chapa said.

When Chapa turns 19, he will get a second chance, despite being an admitted killer.

He is back in juvenile court, even though authorities had previously charged the then-14-year-old as an adult for the murder of another teen along busy south Marietta Parkway.

According to authorities, it was connected to a drug robbery.

Chapa asked the victim's family for forgiveness and the judge for mercy.

“I want to show everyone how good I'm doing,” Chapa said. “I'm not the same person I was back then, I've changed.”

Chapa faced life in prison if tried as an adult, but got his second chance thanks in part to the victim's mother.

She told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt after the last hearing, that as much as she misses Marquis Carruthers, she couldn't fathom Chapa losing his life behind bars.

“Yes this is a tragic mistake because I lost my son, but that doesn't mean he should spend the rest of his life because he might be able to change,” she said.

Chapa’s brother and mother tearfully asked for mercy.

Judge Jeffrey Hamby was strict by juvenile standards and ordered Chapa held in juvenile detention for 52 months.