A Chicago man was sentenced to 100 years in prison Monday for providing his 14-year-old niece with the weapon she allegedly used to kill another 14-year-old girl after a Facebook dispute over a boy, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Judge Thaddeus Wilson, who handed down the sentence, blasted Donnell Flora, 27, saying, "There is no excuse or rationalization for giving a child a gun to take to a ridiculous fight about a boy—none."
"Children in this city are dying by the hundreds because adults fail and/or refuse to be adults and accept responsibility for their actions," Wilson added.
According to the Tribune, as he was sentenced, Flora grimaced and shook his head. He later apologized to the family of the young victim, Endia Martin.
"It was never supposed to go the way it went," Flora said. "I wish I could trade places with this young lady, but I can't."
Flora was convicted in January of first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery charges.
"Adults are supposed to serve as role models," Assistant State's Attorney Athena Farmakis said at the time. "[Flora] brought in a young, impressionable 14-year-old niece into the cycle of violence he knew was so bad."
Flora's lawyer, Joel Brodsky, tried to argue that although Flora had been 'incredibly stupid," his actions were not criminal, seeking a reduced sentence of 20-25 years.
"It wasn't intent to kill, it wasn't intent to hurt," Brodsky argued at the time.
The incident unfolded in April 2014, when Endia's best friend, Lanekia Reynolds, and, authorities say, Flora's 14-year-old niece (who is not being identified because she has been charged as a juvenile) agreed over Facebook to fight outside the home of one of Lanekia's friends. Endia and Lanekia were sitting on the porch when a group of about 40 people, along with Flora's niece, arrived at the house.
Endia and Lanekia went back into the house, and one of the three adults in the home tried to stop the fight. Flora's niece is allegedly seen on video raising the gun and shooting while standing by a utility pole near the street, according to the Tribune. The girl in the video then continues to move forward, while shooting, as everyone runs away. Endia was behind Lanekia on the stairs when she was hit from behind. Endia rmade it back into the house before collapsing in her own blood in the kitchen. Lanekia was grazed on her arm.
"[Flora] should've been trying to stop the violence, and instead he continued the cycle," Jonie Dukes, Endia's mother, said after court. "And now he cost a life—my daughter. She's not here no more."
"He brought a gun to a child's fight," Endia's stepfather, Kent Kennedy, added, according to the Tribune. "These are just little girls. … This is madness. He didn't act like an uncle, he didn't act like an adult."
Flora's niece, who was charged as a juvenile, goes on trial in May. According to the Tribune, even if the girl, who is now 16, is convicted of murder charges in juvenile court, she could be paroled by age 19.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.