CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte man will spend a little more than three years in prison for shooting and killing his friend last year.
Ricco McHam pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Markas Vereen, 19, on the Fourth of July in the Grier Heights neighborhood.
Vereen was shot in the back of the head.
Officials said McHam shot Vereen and then drove him to the hospital.
Tonya Evans, Vereen’s mother, spoke in court and said that her son’s death has devastated her family. She told Channel 9 that three years in prison is not enough.
“Life is priceless. No, it’s not enough. Having my son for 19 years was not enough. So there’s no way in (expletive) that three years will ever be enough, never,” Evans said.
McHam’s family did not speak after the hearing, but his attorney called the situation a tragic and unfortunate occurrence.
The day after McHam was sentenced, his family came to his defense because they said McHam is not a cold-blooded murderer.
They said what happened was a tragic accident for two young men who lived a dangerous lifestyle.
“Thank you, God, just save my nephew. That's all I want,” Ladrailia Davis said about her nephew, McHam.
“This accident, I think, is going to be a wake-up call for Ricco to where I don't think he wants to be in the streets or live that lifestyle anymore.”
Davis said the two teens were like brothers.
McHam's family believes they went together to settle an ongoing feud with someone, and in the woods that night, Vereen was accidentally hit by McHam’s gunfire.
“He is devastated that his best friend’s momma is treating him like that, when once that was her son too,” Davis said. “And now, she (is) treating him like a stranger.
Davis wants people to know her nephew is a good father and after he serves his sentence, she hopes he can shake others' stereotypes.
“This time away from everybody, I just want him to get rehabilitated and become a better person,” Davis said.
McHam never admitted to pulling the trigger.
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