YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A man who pleaded guilty in the killing of a promising baseball prospect at a Burger King parking lot in Yonkers last year was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison.
Nashaun Hunter pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first degree manslaughter back in July in the death of Michael Nolan.READ MORE: 2 Women, 4-Year-Old Girl Shot In Times Square
Acting Westchester County District Attorney James A. McCarty said Hunter was remanded into the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections.
WEB EXTRA: See Donna Nolan’s emotional statement.
Nolan’s grief-stricken mother made an extensive, emotional victim impact statement during Hunter’s sentencing.
“Nashaun Hunter, I wondered for weeks, months, who was the person or the punk who took my son. I pictured him to be big,” Donna Nolan said. “When I watched you walk into this courtroom, I thought to myself, ‘You make me sick.’ You are nothing but a punk coward, OK?”
Telling Hunter “you murdered my son,” Nolan said, “There’s nothing you can do that you can hurt me or my family any more than you’ve done.”
“So many times I just wondered what were you thinking,” she said. “Like, you were a man that night? You were a man? You got into a car with a bunch of other punks and shot my kid?”
Authorities said Hunter opened fire from a car, hitting Nolan in a Burger King parking lot on Central Avenue in September of last year. Three other suspects were in the car during the shooting, authorities said.
Nolan was shot in the head, authorities said. He was taken to the hospital where he remained in a coma until he died from his injuries on October 9.
“I think about singing to him three or four times a day “You are my sunshine,” wondering, ‘does he know I’m here? Does he hear me?'” Nolan said.
Police said the shooting was connected to a fight during a drag race two nights earlier. Authorities said it was in retaliation for beating someone who was known to the suspects.
“You had not one ounce of remorse in you. The only thing you’re sorry about is that they caught you. The only remorse you have is that you were caught and you are going to jail,” Nolan said. “You walk out here, you smile at your mother, you mouth to her ‘I love you.’ You know what I get Nashaun? I get a cemetery! I go to a grave! I look at his pictures! But you don’t care about that, because you’re a punk. Nothing but a two-bit punk coward.”READ MORE: COVID Vaccine In NYC: Pop-Up Vaccination Sites Across City Offer Johnson & Johnson Shot To Tourists
Asked if he had anything to say before he was sentenced, Hunter made a short statement.
“The only thing I have to say is their son was not innocent,” Hunter said.
The remark drew a rebuke from the judge.
“You know, that type of comment from you fits perfectly with what you did on the night in question. Somehow not really realizing the gravity of what has taken place, what you did,” he said. “And let me emphasize, you didn’t make a mistake that night. You made many choices and many decisions and none of them were good. They were all cruel, they were all evil. There was no mistake here, there was no tragedy, there was a crime that you committed. And even today, you’re shifting responsibility to the person who you shot in the head?”
Hunter’s lawyer, Sherman Jackson, has said his client wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, but that it was a vengeful attempt to frighten Nolan.
Hunter’s sister, who would not give her name, defended her brother outside the court.
“I’ve been in the same house as my brother these 17 years that he’s been on Earth,” she said. “He’s not a monster, and I think every human being should understand that.”
Nolan’s mother said she cannot forgive and shared the last conversation she had with her son just hours before he was shot.
“He said, ‘I’ll be home in a little while,’ and I said, ‘OK kid,’ as I always said, ‘I love you,’ he said, ‘I love you more mom,’ and that’s the last time I ever heard those words,” she said.
Nolan had been drafted by the Oakland Athletics out of Oklahoma City University, but had never pitched in an official Minor League game. At the time of the shooting, Athletics general manager David Forst said “Michael will always be a member of the A’s family.”
Two of the other suspects, Tejmitra Singh and Darren Dawson, both pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in connection with the case, authorities said. Singh was sentenced last month to 11 years in prison while Dawson received nine years in prison.MORE NEWS: Officials Narrow Down Where Chinese Rocket Debris Could Crash
Another suspect, Garth O’Neil Cole, pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon, authorities said. He is due to be sentenced in December.