COLUMBIA — Gloria Hobson, the grandmother of a young man slain last year, told a defendant in court Monday that she forgave him for his involvement in the death of her grandson last October.
"As a Christian, I must forgive you, but you are responsible for the choices you make," she told Patrick Rashod Marshall. "And there are consequences for taking a person's life."
Marshall, 18, is the youngest of eight men charged in connection with the Oct. 23 robbery and fatal shooting of Aaron Hobson in the parking lot of a Break Time convenience store on East Nifong, the Missourian reported. Aaron Hobson, who lived in Wichita, Kan., was in Columbia to watch his cousin, Trey Hobson, play in Missouri's Homecoming game against Oklahoma.
Marshall pleaded guilty in August and was sentenced Monday by Judge Gary Oxenhandler to a total of 15 years for second-degree robbery and armed criminal action.
Daron Martez Peal, 24, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 45 years in prison Sept. 12 and is believed to have fatally shot Hobson.
While giving a statement during Marshall's sentencing hearing, Gloria Hobson's voice broke as she said her grandson was not a threat to anyone.
"Your choice will alter and change your life also," she said, looking at Marshall. "The most productive years of your life will be spent in an institution."
She told the court that she wanted the maximum sentence of 20 years for Marshall.
Boone County Chief Prosecutor Dan Knight argued for a 20-year sentence — 15 years for robbery and five years for armed criminal action — for Marshall's role in the "well-coordinated attack" that resulted in Hobson's death.
"He (Hobson) had no chance at all against this group of thugs associated with the defendant (Marshall)," Knight said.
Marshall's defense lawyer, Douglas Forsyth, said his client accepted responsibility for his actions and deserved a lesser sentence of five years for second-degree robbery and three years for armed criminal action. Forsyth argued that Marshall was "tangentially involved" in the robbery and eventual shooting that caused Aaron Hobson's death.
"There is no evidence that my client directly participated in the robbery," Forsyth said. "There's no evidence my client ever touched a gun."
But Knight said Marshall knew the group involved would attack Hobson.
"He was a central figure, to say the least," Knight said.
Darris Arlando Peal, 22, another defendant in the case, is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 27. He is Daron Martez Peal's younger brother.