ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A 22-year-old man offered an apology Wednesday before being sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison for his involvement in the 2013 fatal shooting of a University of Michigan medical student.
"I know words really don't do anything here at this point," Shaquille Jones told the court. "I wish I could take it back."
Jones in January pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Paul DeWolf, 25, who was attending medical school on an Air Force scholarship when he was shot during an armed robbery at the medical fraternity where he lived.
Judge Archie Brown said Jones' sentiment seemed heartfelt.
"What you do over these next few decades ... maybe you'll be able to do something that will further define your life," he told Jones.
Jones had stopped cooperating with prosecutors in September and had an earlier plea deal withdrawn that would have sent him to prison for at least 18 ½ years.
During the sentencing, Paul DeWolf's father, Thom DeWolf, said he has had to forgive those responsible for his son's death to overcome hatred, anger, bitterness and other difficult emotions.
A trial started this week for Joei Jordan, 21, with jurors on Wednesday viewing photos of DeWolf's bloody body and hearing testimony about the crime scene. The prosecution resumes presenting its case Thursday.
A third defendant, 22-year-old Dajeon Franklin, was convicted by a jury last year and is imprisoned.
DeWolf was from the southwestern Michigan community of Schoolcraft and a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He was a reservist second lieutenant and had planned to join the Air Force full time after graduation.
It's because of Jones' actions that "the super hero of our family in life has now been taken from us," Thom DeWolf said.
"We have only good memories now and no future here on earth," he said.