Cedric Davis moved part of his family from Michigan to Middletown in 2018 to escape crime in Detroit.
But his nephew was shot and killed not long after the move to Butler County.
Gonnii White, 17, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 21 years today for the May 2018 shooting death of Joseph Davis, 17.
Cedric Davis said he had forgiveness in his heart for the convicted killer who was 16 at the time of the crime.
“It is easier to let it go than hold onto it forever,” Davis told the Journal News after the hearing. “Unfortunately a lot of things happened with Gonnii that people don’t really understand.”
Davis, who has been to prison and emerged a productive man, said he moved the family to Middletown to escape the violence there.
“Nobody wins, Nobody wins,” Davis said about gang violence. “If you are in an argument with someone and it comes to guns whether you shoot them and you survive, you still don’t win because the people on the other side have to live with that for the rest of their lives and if you die then your side has to deal with the loss of you.
“This was not a win for me today. He (White) is a kid, that is not a win, it is very sad. What is even sadder is he couldn’t even feel the emotion because he is so caught in his mind he is thinking this is how he has to be and it is not.”
During the four-day trial, White was shown on social media holding a gun, but he said he never shot a weapon until May 29, 2018.
That night, White said he saw Davis reach for something in his waistband, and since he “feared” for his life, he fired one warning shot in the air. He then closed his eyes and “started shooting,” White said when took the stand in his own defense.
Davis died from multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of his death was homicide. Davis was shot in the neck, back, thigh and buttocks, according to testimony from a Montgomery County deputy coroner.
Butler County Assistant Prosecutor Brad Burress noted Davis was shot four times, and when he asked White about his accuracy the first time firing a gun, White said, “Lucky.”
White admitted to the shooting, but the defense said he acted in self-defense.
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