AP NEWS

Missouri woman forgives man who admitted killing her son

January 15, 2018

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Shaunte Harris lost her son to one of the many homicides that plague St. Louis, but the man who pleaded guilty in his death has her forgiveness.

Charles Cornet Napper was in court last week to be sentenced for the January 2016 killing of Nathaniel Stansberry III. Stansberry was shot to death inside the Northway Market.

“You took my baby away from me,” a tearful Harris told Napper, now 31, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “He was a good kid. And I forgive you because you was man enough to plead guilty.”

In response, Napper apologized to Harris. Circuit Judge Mark Neill accepted guilty pleas of second-degree murder and armed criminal action. He sentenced Napper to 25 years in prison as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

“It’s a beginning,” Neill said of Harris’ forgiveness and Napper’s apology. “That is the beginning of a healing process that we all need to take part in.”

Neill said the whole community loses when someone is killed. He expressed hope that Napper might in some way redeem himself after his release from prison years from now.

Napper was originally charged with first-degree murder. On Tuesday, with the jury ready to hear opening statements, the prosecution and defense announced they had reached a plea agreement.

Napper must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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