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Manslaughter plea in Columbia shooting nets 7 years in prison; family of victim ‘upset’ by outcome

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The family of Nadria Wright, an 18-year-old woman who was killed in a September 2019 Columbia shooting, feels like justice wasn't served today.

"I was told explicitly how they [the prosecution] feel about it," Hamilton said. "That they don't represent me and my family and now that I know that, I'm gonna see what I can do to try to make sure that our families are represented when something like this happens."

The Columbia man accused in the shooting killed Nadria Wright and left a man injured. He was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison.

Javion Lawhorn, 31 entered an Alford plea Friday to second-degree assault and first-degree involuntary manslaughter. Under such a plea, a defendant admits the state has evidence for a conviction but does not admit guilt.

Lawhorn was accused of a September 2019 shooting that injured Sam Baldwin IV and killed 18-year-old, Nadria Wright near Forest and Grand avenues. He was scheduled to stand trial starting next week and was in court Friday for a pre-trial hearing.

Nadria's mom, Shaunda Hamilton started Boone County Community Against Violence after her daughter died. The organization helps families who have gone through trauma and losses similar to hers.

"I keep her memory alive mainly through the organization," Hamilton said. "I keep her memory alive in everything I do. A lot of the decisions I make are based on things that have happened with her and happened with things that my family has gone through for this process."

She says the community has really shown support for her and her family.

"We've had a lot of support from the community and I really appreciate that so much," Hamilton said. "We've had a lot of support from the police department. I've met a lot of people I don't know because of her and who have came out and wrapped their arms around me and my family and supported us."

Judge Kevin Crane sentenced Lawhorn to seven years in prison on each of the two counts. The sentences will be served concurrently and Lawhorn will get credit for time served.

Hamilton said she's upset that no one informed them of the plea deal before it happened.

"No one let me know so it was all very unexpected for me today," Hamilton said. "I'm very upset by it, not only for myself but for every other family."

Lawhorn also pleaded guilty to an unrelated misdemeanor resisting arrest charge. He will serve one year for the charge concurrent with the seven years served for second-degree assault and first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

ABC 17 News Team

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