Victim's Family Members Tell Real Cost Of Tulsa Best Buy Murders
TULSA, Oklahoma - The family of a man shot and killed by mistake while shopping at a Tulsa Best Buy store gave emotional victim impact states in court Monday.
A judge followed the jury's recommendation and sentenced Willie Wise to two terms of life without parole. Wise murdered two people almost two years ago.
Three of Wesley Brown's sisters and his mother took the stand Monday. They wanted the world and Willie Wise to know how much Wesley Brown meant to their lives.
Willie Wise was convicted last month of killing two people at the Best Buy on Skelly Drive in the summer of 2012. Prosecutors say Scott Norman was the intended target, but 58-year old Wesley Brown was also shot.
He was at the store with his young daughter, shopping for a present for his wife, when he died.
"When is the violence going to stop in this community? It will only stop when we as the community rise up and say, 'We will not allow this to happen in Tulsa, Oklahoma.' And I believe that's what the jury said with their verdicts," said Tim Harris, Tulsa County District Attorney.
Wesley Brown's sisters and mother read prepared statements during Monday's hearing. His sister, Anitra Brown, told the court, "It has been extremely hard to go on without the brother who was always there for me. I sometimes feel that I don't have the strength to go on without him, that something inside me has died."
Another sister talked of Brown appearing in a dream and talking about everything in the afterlife as being "big."
"The next time I hear a song I'm going to swallow my tears and sing along to celebrate the beautiful life of Wesley Brown, and that big, loving, compassionate world he says is waiting for us all," she said.
Willie Wise was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. But his attorney says Wise maintains he didn't do it.
"It's a tragedy all the way around, for both sides, nobody wins in these cases," said Adam Haselgren, Wise's attorney.
Tim Harris spoke briefly with the Brown family after the sentencing. He says it will take longtime for the family to recover.
"It just shows lives were taken, futures were altered forever," Harris said. "The kinds of things that dads want to do for their children will never happen."
Two other people were arrested in connection with the shootings. Shania Craven had her charges dropped and Jeremy Foster was charged with two counts of murder.
He is scheduled to be in court Tuesday.