CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man accused of killing a young mother at an east Charlotte apartment complex in April was sentenced Thursday and her family told Channel 9 his punishment isn't long enough.
Reco Perry, 23, will spend 38 to 58 months behind bars for killing 21-year-old Shalecia Williams.
Our crime reporter Glenn Counts was in court and spoke with Williams' family, who said they think the criminal justice system is broken.
“My daughter is such a fragile woman, a mother. All she wanted is to just be free and enjoy life, that’s gone now,” Williams' father Thomas Asbury said.
Perry apologized to William's family in court and walked out with a deal.
Instead of murder, he pleaded to involuntary manslaughter.
“I would have like to see him get a life sentence that he deserves,” Williams' mother Shelita Thomas said.
(Reco Lamont Perry)
Police said Perry was taken into custody in April with the help of the Gastonia Police Department.
Officers responded to the Heritage Park apartments on Snow Lane near the corner of East W.T. Harris Boulevard and Idlewild Road for reports of a shooting.
When they arrived, police said they found Williams and a man inside an apartment with gunshot wounds.
According to CMPD, both victims were rushed to Atrium Carolinas Medical Center, where Williams was pronounced dead.
The defense argued Perry was unarmed when he went to the apartment complex. They said he had been set up for a robbery and shot Williams in self-defense.
The prosecutors did not contest the allegations.
When Counts asked Shelita Thomas if she believed Perry's story, she said, "Not at all, that’s not true at all. He was armed when he went over there he knew what he was doing.”
Channel 9 has covered Perry in the past. He was one of the suspects charged last year with shooting a pregnant woman, then leading police on a wild chase. Charges against Perry for that deadly shooting are still pending.
Officials said Perry was out on bond at the time of the shooting on Snow Lane.
“Why was he free?” Williams Aunt Ryan O’Neal said. “Why was he free? I'm just, I'm angry.”
(Listen to the 911 call below)
Police said Beyonce Rorie, 18, was also arrested in connection with Sunday's shooting. She's charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.
Police said the man who was shot is expected to be OK.
Charles Robinson is a community activist working to stop violence like this in Charlotte.
He told Channel 9 he went to high school with Williams' father.
"That man worked hard to help raise that baby and now he has to get ready to lay her to rest, and that simply shouldn’t be. My heart goes out to that family,” Robinson said.
This isn't the first time police have investigated a shooting on Snow Lane. The community has seen several deadly shootings over the years. Police responded to the Heritage Park apartments in July after three people were shot and again last October when a man was shot to death inside an apartment.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.
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