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Today closes the chapter of one of the most painful memories in the life of my daughter and me and my daughter's boyfriend's family.

On December 26--the day AFTER Christmas--Quan (the boyfriend) was gunned down at the mall for trying to take up for his little sister who was being harrassed by some "thugs" on the city bus. The suspect, a 17 year old, managed to allude police for 35 days before he was finally apprehended.

This week he went to trial for First Degree Murder. Needless to say emotions were running high. There was alot of crying and anger and uncertainty over how the jury would view the killing.Quan was a good and decent young man who had everything to live for. He was an aspiring actor and chef who had dreams of going to the NY School for the Performing Arts and then on to Culinary School.

The suspect, meanwhile, was a known gang member who had no one to turn to except for his gang banging buddies. Both his mother and father were murdered some years ago and his grandmother didn't appear to be much of a support system. As a matter of fact, she was quoted in the media as saying she was glad her grandson was in a gang because they made him feel like famiy.

After a day and a half of deliberations, the jury finally came back with a verdict of GUILTY. Sentence: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE. My first instinct was to praise God but then I thought there are no winners here. A young man we loved is dead---his infant son will never know his dad---the suspect is on his way to prison for the rest of life with blood on his hands for a murder that never should've happened.


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