Convicted murderer Joshua Peterman will spend the rest of his life in prison. Just two weeks ago, Peterman was found guilty of first- degree murder in the grisly 2015 death of Tena Broadus.
On Thursday, Judge Roger Clark delivered the sentencing in circuit court. But before that, the family members of Tena Broadus got a chance to share a final statement, and so did Peterman.
"She meant the world to me. She was my baby sister. Me and Tena have lived together off and on for the past 15 years. She was a really good friend, somebody that you could count on," said Lindsay Allen who is Tena Broadus' sister-in-law.
Due to his long history of violent crimes, Peterman won't be eligible for parole.
Prosecutor Mitch Owen shared Peterman's criminal past that included two burglary convictions in 2006 and 2007 and in 2009 he was also convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
During the sentencing, Peterman told the crowd, "The facts of the court have already come up. But, I didn't touch the victim though, didn't kill the victim. Nothing I can do or say is gonna bring her back or make people feel any different about it. For me to sit here and say I'm sorry would be just fraudulent cause I didn't touch their daughter, and I'm not sorry," he said.
Allen wasn’t convinced.
"He can't own up to it at all. He can't own up to any part that he played in. I mean you just stood back and watched these people kill somebody. And I think he will do and say whatever it takes so that the blame is not put on him. So he can rest easy at night," she explained.
Allen got a chance to address the court saying she was in college when she heard what happened. Broadus' aunt also addressed the court, saying Tena's mother died months after her daughter's death due to a broken heart. She said she prays all the offenders in Tena's death are given a long hard sentence.
Allen said Broadus was the first person she ever cared about and that she lives with the fact that she wasn't able to protect her the day she was killed.
"He'll spend the rest of his life in jail, which honestly he doesn't deserve that. He deserves to be done exactly what they did to Tena," Allen said.
Allen said she is thankful to all involved in Tena's case saying it started as a rumor.
"They built this case out of nothing, out of something that somebody told me over the phone. I just knew in my heart, and I knew it was true. And they did what we asked them to, and they didn't stop until they found something. I am very grateful to all of them," said Allen about the Gulfport Police Department.
Four other co-defendants have pleaded guilty in this case.
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