A young woman who stabbed the father of her child during an argument was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday in a courtroom filled with grief for her and for the young man who died.
Kearra Bailey, 19, wept and apologized to her family and the family of the victim, Shaundez Davis, before Justice Christopher J. Burns pronounced the sentence.
Bailey pleaded guilty in May to manslaughter. Security camera video captured the crime on Nov. 20, when Davis came to Bailey's apartment to bring groceries for their 11-month-old daughter.
Davis' death stunned those who knew him. He and Bailey both had been good students at Oracle Charter High School and both had college plans – plans that were interrupted by the birth of their daughter in December 2015.
Davis went to Medaille College for one semester before leaving to take a job at a fast-food restaurant so he could help support the baby. In a letter to the court, his manager described him as a hard worker who never called off and was always willing to come in for extra time when he was needed. He also said that Davis' daughter was his pride and joy.
And just the week before his death, Davis reached out to his high school basketball coach, telling him he wanted to go back to college and asking for advice. The coach was glad to help, describing Davis as "a bold leader who impacted many of his classmates and teammates."
The two agreed to meet the following Monday for lunch. But later on Sunday night, the coach wrote, "Text messages began to roll in, teammates of his reaching out to me to ask if it was true" – that Davis had been killed.
Davis was an inspiration to his mother, Latrice Green. In a letter to the judge, she told how her first-born son always did what was expected of him at home, in school, playing sports and at work. He was, she wrote, a team player, never selfish, and full of dreams for the future.
“He was just an amazing son. He motivated me to want more out of life," she wrote.
Before the sentencing, defense attorney Paul Dell also said that everyone was shocked by what happened between the two young parents, and Justice Burns acknowledged the "unbelievable emotion on both sides of this."
In explaining his sentence, Burns said neither parent "was a perfect angel" in the situation that night, which escalated into something they were unable to handle. He said that he accepted the plea to manslaughter because "no one expected a death to occur here. But it did."
In addition to the 10 years in prison, he ordered that Bailey spend five years on post-release supervision.