An avowed white supremacist who killed 10 black people during a shooting rampage at a Buffalo, New York supermarket in May last year has been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Nineteen-year-old, Payton Grendon earlier pleaded guilty to a total of 15 charges including murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate.
During a period set aside for victim impact statements ahead of sentencing, a man tried to rush and lunge towards the killer forcing several officers present to intervene and escort the handcuffed Grendon out of the courtroom.
Prosecutors say the gunman targeted a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, in western New York State, intending to kill as many black people as possible with an assault weapon last May.
Barbara Massey spoke emotionally about her 72-year-old sister Katherine Massey who was killed in the attack, leading to a scuffle in the courtroom when a man charged at the accused.
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“My son called Kat ‘triple black’ because she was so proud of her heritage. My nephew said ‘Kat was a saint among sinners.’ My sister Katherine Massey was a great person. Kat didn’t hurt anybody. You gonna come down to city, decide you don’t like black people, you don’t know a damn thing about black people. We’re human. We like our kids to go to good schools. We love our kids. We never go to no neighborhoods and take people out.”
The murderer, whose online writings referenced white supremacist conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic rants, was quickly removed from court after the incident, but he was earlier able to address the proceedings.
“I’m very sorry for all the pain I caused the victims and their families to suffer through. I’m very sorry for stealing the lives of your loved ones. I cannot express how much I regret all the decisions I made leading up to my actions on May 14th. I did a terrible thing that day. I shot and killed people because they were black. Looking back now, I can’t believe I actually did it. I believed what I read online and acted out of hate. And now I can’t take it back. But I wish I could. And I don’t want anyone to be inspired by me and what I did.”
Prosecutors urged the judge to sentence the defendant to the maximum possible sentence under New York State Law. Presiding Judge in the Erie County Courtroom, Susan Eagan has condemned the killer, saying there could not be second chances after what he did.
“There is no place for you or your ignorant, hateful and evil ideologies in a civilized society. There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances. The damage you have caused is too great, and the people you have hurt are too valuable to this community. You will never see the light of day as a free man ever again,” says Eagan.
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“It is the judgment of this court for your conviction under the first count of the indictment, a domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate in the first degree and a one felony that you be sentenced to life in prison and without parole.”
Grendon is expected to be transferred from state to federal custody for the further prosecution of federal hate crimes. He now faces additional federal charges which make him eligible to face the death penalty unlike under New York State Law which does not have capital punishment.
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In other news – Kevin Hart prepares for his SA tour
His first performance is tonight (15 February) and the star is just as excited as the locals.
The comedic actor posted a funny skit video of him at the gym doing exercise routines with Amapiano sounds as the soundtrack preparing for his shows for the next coming days. Learn more