CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A 20-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of a Rand resident last summer.
According to a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, Brent Burdette received mercy and will be able to ask a parole board for release after serving 15 years.
Burdette pleaded guilty to first-degree murder last week for the death of William Cordle II. The incident took place on Elaine Drive in Rand on July 12.
The victim's mother, Sherry Lawson, spoke in court at Burdette's sentencing. She made it clear she hopes no parole board will ever free him.
As family and friends of both the victim and the defendant cried openly in the courtroom, Lawson said, "I hope you wake up every day for the rest of your life in jail for taking my son."
She then recited the Lord's Prayer, looking calmly at Burdette and the crowd of people in the gallery.
Burdette sat at the defense table with his head deeply bowed, as he did at his plea hearing.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles King asked if he wished to speak.
"I can only say I'm sorry to the family; that's all I have to say," Burdette said. "There's nothing I can say."
The judge said, "Do you want to turn and look at them?"
"I can't," Burdette responded, and sat down.
His attorney, Clint Smith, put his arm around him and said quietly, "Yes, you can."
"I can't," Burdette whispered.
His mother, seated behind him, was bent over and weeping for much of the hearing and appeared agitated and wanting to be heard. After the sentencing, she made an outburst and Smith turned and motioned for her to leave.
She did, and on exiting said to her son, "I'll be waitin'."