The day after Christmas in 2016, a young duo planned to sell Xanax to a teenager at an Alabama Sonic restaurant. Instead of a drug deal, the victim was shot to death.
Now, the man who pulled the trigger so he would be known as a “gangster” will head to prison.
Recently, a judge in Alabama sentenced Dacedric Deshun Ward to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the killing of Jason West, 18. He was convicted of two counts of capital murder.
Police say on Dec. 16, West met Ward along with Trevor Cantrell to buy some Xanax at a local sonic, according to WHNT. Instead, Ward — who was 22 years old at the time — shot West in the chest.
Cantrell, who was 19 years old, allegedly told police that Ward pulled the trigger so people “would know he was a gangster,” according to WHNT.
The victim’s mom, Maureen Mack-West, told WHNT that she drove by the Madison, Alabama, Sonic shortly after the shooting and saw the news vehicles. She texted her son, but he didn’t answer.
She went back to the restaurant and spoke to police, who told her that her son had been shot, according to WHNT.
West graduated from high school shortly before the shooting and was reading for college, according to WHNT. Mack-West added that she worried for her other kids in the town after the murder.
“I never want my 4-year-old at age 7 or 11, or 22 or 30 to walk through the streets of the Madison Parade or go into a store and run into one of the people who killed her brother in cold blood,” Mack-West told the TV station.
Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones told WAAY that the family waited six years for justice, which came with the sentence.
"They never lost faith in the process," Jones said, according to WAAY. "They were here for every moment in the trial."
Cantrell’s trial is set for the coming weeks.