DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - It's finally over for
the DeKalb County family of a 7-year-old child was shot execution-style while he slept in September 2007.
It's been six long years for Lamonica and Timothy Johnson. They've been in and out of
courtrooms, waiting for the man accused of killing their 7-year-old boy, Timothy Johnson Jr., to have his day in court.
Thursday was their chance to speak to a
judge, and raw emotion took over.
"I would like counsel to know he took something from us we can never get back," Lamonica Johnson stated in court.
The man who admitted to killing the boy, Willie Kelsey, also teared up as he pleaded guilty to shooting Johnson Jr. 11 times in 2007.
Kelsey pleaded guilty to a slew of other charges that included attempted murder for shooting Timothy's older sister, Alexus Sheppard, 15, who survived.
It's believed Kelsey meant to kill Sheppard and the Johnson parents to keep them from testifying in another case.
Nine other defense attorneys have represented Kelsey through the years, none of whom are still with the public defender's office.
Judge Linda Hunter made no apologies for the slow wheels of justice on what started out as a death penalty case.
The judge said the defendant couldn't help that he had so many attorneys. She told the court it should be a slow, thoughtful and deliberative process.
The Johnsons were very emotional after the plea. They left the courthouse without talking to the media.
Kelsey will serve life in prison plus an additional 80 years.