PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Emotions ran high in court Thursday as a convicted killer was sentenced for a triple murder in Providence.
A judge sentenced Quandell Husband to two consecutive life sentences plus ten years in prison for the 2012 shooting that claimed the lives of Shemeeka Barros, her boyfriend Michael Martin, and their friend Damien Colon.
In July, a jury found him guilty on multiple charges, including first-degree murder. Police allege Husband plotted with three other men to break into the apartment with the intent of stealing money and drugs.
Husband, 18, sat silently in court while the family of Damien Colon fought tears as they read statements.
“There’s a void, a hole, an emptiness in life that will never be filled,” said the victim’s mother, Liz. “As a mourning mother, I still wait to hear his footsteps like I used to.”
Although a different suspect, Russell Burrell, already admitted to shooting all three victims, prosecutors told the jury Husband is just as responsible for the killings. Husband was offered a plea deal to serve 20 years for robbery, which he turned down. His lawyers said that showed a lack of maturity, and argued for Husband to receive a more lenient sentence as a juvenile.
As Husband was taken out of court, his grandmother burst out, saying he was innocent.
“My grandson did not do this. He did not do this, and I’m going to prove it,” said Kathryn Husband.
Husband insisted that her grandson was not even a part of the murders that night.
“They have these families hating my grandson when he was never there in the first place,” she said. “He was home with us. Quandell was home with us. On the blood of Jesus, my grandson was home with us.”
Judge Robert Krause said Husband will be eligible to face a parole board in his mid-50s.
Burrell, Donovann Hall, and Timothy DeBritto have each pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the murder. DeBritto pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder; Burrell, to three counts of first-degree murder; Hall admitted to assisting in the planning of the robbery.
Husband, who was 16 at the time of the shootings, was the only defendant to go on trial.
Colin Spence contributed to this report.