Sameania Carey, convicted of first-degree murder, locked eyes yesterday with each of the victim's relatives who took the stand at her sentencing hearing.
Then she stated, "I'm sorry for the loss that they have suffered, but I think a lot of finger pointing and brainwashing has clouded their feelings of this crime."
Allegheny County Judge David R. Cashman gave the Edgewood woman a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole for the execution-style shooting of Termain "Butter" Woodson, 35, of the Hill District. Ms. Carey, a 31-year-old house painter who played professional football for the Pittsburgh Passion and the Erie Illusion, said she plans to appeal.
Assistant District Attorney Julie Capone told the jury at trial that the defendant and Mr. Woodson had a verbal spat outside a bar that Ms. Carey and her girlfriend visited at Chauncey Street and Wylie Avenue. Ms. Carey went to her car to get a 9 mm pistol.
The first trial of Ms. Carey ended in a deadlocked jury. Her former girlfriend Tashaba Troup was acquitted. At the second trial, the key witness was Ms. Troup, who told the court Mr. Woodson held up his hands and removed his coat to show Ms. Carey he didn't have a gun before she shot him once in the head.
The victim coached the Disciples in youth football in the Hill District and had six children of his own. He was raising two of them, who had previously lost their mother to a heart attack.
His mother, Cassandra Woodson, testified yesterday, "I've been on my death bed, in and out of the hospital I've been grieving so much. I loved my baby and she took that from me. She took my heart and I know she doesn't even care."
His sister, Marquice Woodson Robinson, told Ms. Carey, "You took my brother away from me and you also took my mother away. You made my life a living hell."
Ms. Carey responded, "I just want the family to know that my family cares about me, too. All of this is finger pointing to the easiest person to blame it on because she has a record. I will continue to fight for my freedom."
"This is the time of year you're supposed to be together with family," the judge said, before the defendant left in handcuffs. "The Woodson family will be together, without one person. You will be with your new family and you will be with that family for the rest of your life."
Gabrielle Banks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1370.