HOUSTON (KTRK) --A Houston mother's compassion and forgiveness caused an entire courtroom to tear up, including the defendant going to prison in connection with her son's murder over a pair of Air Jordan sneakers.
Kegan Arrington, 23, was sentenced on Friday to 25 years, after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery. He is the fourth and final man to be sentenced in connection with the murder of 22-year-old Joshua Woods on Dec. 21, 2012.
Arrington's eyes filled with tears as he came face-to-face with Woods' mother, Dazie Wiliams, during her victim impact statement. As she's tracked their cases through the court system, she also kept track of their birthdays and she told Arrington, "You're my boys now."
VIDEO: Deron Taylor sentenced to life in Air Jordan murder case
She thanked him for the apology letter he had sent her and asked to see him prison.
"I forgive you. I need you to know I forgive you. That's what my son would want me to do. That's what I want to do," she said.
VIDEO: Mother of teen killed recalls son's murder during suspect's trial
"It was a beautiful thing to see hope, support, even love coming from the victim's mother toward the defendant and the victim's family," said prosecutor Angela Welton.
Defense attorneys pointed out Arrington was the only person involved in the crime to testify against another defendant, and he was the only one to ever apologize.
VIDEO: Jury finds Neal Bland guilty of capital murder in Air Jordan case
"I think that with any luck, he'll not only succeed but perhaps he'll even make them (Arrington's family) proud again and that's the best anyone can hope for," attorney Pat McCann said.
Weltin told Arrington he was getting an opportunity for mercy that the other defendants did not receive, but said Woods' blood was on his hands. Arrington supplied the guns and knew the robbery was going to happen, but didn't try to get help, Weltin said in court.
The prosecution asked for 25 years in prison and the judge agreed, but there were no winners, only broken hearts.
Arrington testified against one of the other defendants, Neal Bland. He and Deron Taylor were sentenced to life in prison and Anthony Wade received 40 years, after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery.