Gunman in Tre'Veon Marshall's death receives life sentence

Monday, July 28, 2014 | 8:16 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The gunman convicted of killing a Columbia teen at a city park was sentenced Monday afternoon to life in prison without the chance of parole, plus 20 years for armed criminal action.

Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane read the sentence to Nicholas Raheem Thomas for the July 2013 murder of 17-year-old Tre'Veon Marshall. A jury in June convicted Thomas of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Swanetta Marshall, Tre'Veon Marshall's mother, paused to steady herself before reading her victim impact statement. She said she won't have the joy of seeing her son get his driver's license or come home with his family for the holidays. She said that she "cannot bear another mother to feel what I feel."

She asked for Thomas to receive the maximum sentence allowed by law — for this case, life in prison without parole — and then stepped down from the stand with tears in her eyes.

According to previous Missourian reporting, Tre'Veon Marshall and Haley Hatton were walking in McKee Street Park late at night on July 14, 2013, when they passed two masked people, one of whom was Thomas.

After the two pairs passed, Thomas turned and shot Marshall multiple times, killing him. The two masked men then fled the scene.

On Aug. 14 and 15, the Columbia Police Department arrested Thomas, Joshua Dewayne Murray and Kimberly Makayla Huett-Linzie in connection with the killing. Columbia police charged Thomas and Murray, who was identified as the second masked man, with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Huett-Linzie, who drove Thomas and Murray to the park, was charged with hindering prosecution. The charge came after she told a witness not to talk about the incident.

Boone County assistant prosecutor Tracy Gonzalez alleged that Marshall's murder stems from the April 2012 murder of Bryan Rankin Jr. Lamarr Mayfield, a friend of Marshall, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection to Rankin's death in July 2013. Gonzalez said that Thomas and Rankin were friends and that the murder was retaliation.

Murray is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on Aug. 18 and for trial on Aug. 27. Huett-Linzie is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on Sept. 15 and for trial on Sept. 24.

Boone County Public Defender David Wallis plans to appeal the case. Wallis said that among the reasons to appeal are Boone County not having a fair cross-section requirement for a jury panel, the court not allowing presentation of a complete defense and a lack of evidence that incriminating letters written to Murray were written by Thomas.

Supervising editor is Mary Ryan.

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