CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The family of a murdered Charlotte Uber driver finally got some closure.
James Stevens, one of the two men charged in the killing of Marlo Medina Chevez, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder and armed robbery. He was sentenced to prison for 25 years.
Stevens will spend 20 years of those years in prison for the murder of Chevez. He will spend five years behind bars on the armed robbery charge.
As Stevens shuffled into the courtroom, the only sound was the rattle of his shackles.
He listened quietly as chilling details were told of how Stevens and his friend Diontray Adams robbed Chevez in May 2017, and how Adams killed the Uber driver when he fought back.
“The co-defendant tries to rob the victim, a struggle ensues in the vehicle and the co-defendant ends up cutting the victim's neck with a utility knife,” prosecutor Kevin Minton said.
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Channel 9 has covered every development in this case for more than a year.
It may have been the first time Chevez’s family heard those details as well, but they held their emotions in check and didn't share their feelings as they left the courthouse.
“It's very tough for them, but it's evident they have a big support as evidenced by the number of people showing up in court for these appearances,” Minton said.
Stevens provided no indication as to what he was thinking after he pleaded guilty.
Stevens and Adams are accused of robbing Chevez, whose body was found beaten and bound in a field in York County.
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Police said they caught Stevens and Adams driving Chevez's car in Maryland a week after the murder.
Eyewitness News was there last week when Adams pleaded not guilty to the crime. He turned down a plea deal that would have guaranteed at least 30 years in prison, sending the case to trial.
There were a lot of tears and raw emotion in the courtroom when Chevez's family learned they will have to wait years and go through a painful trial before they can get closure.
The death penalty was not pursued in this case because Chevez's family said they don't hate the accused killers and do not want them to die.
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