PennLive.com, The Patriot News, Harrisburg, PA – The mother of 20-year-old Robert Burris, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in March 2013, has forgiven the driver of the car involved in the incident.
“I forgive you, and I pray for you,” said Shurone Carroll, Burris’ mother, at a July sentencing hearing for 19-year-old Jonathan Ramsey. After adding that she wants Ramsey to make every day count when he gets out of prison, she hugged him and shed a tear.
“The court is very moved by Mrs. Carroll’s act of forgiveness,” Judge Andrew Dowling said. If something like this had happened to one of his own family members, Dowling added, “I’m not sure I could have done the same thing.”
During Ramsey’s appearance in court last month, the judge accepted the plea agreement Ramsey reached with the District Attorney’s Office, which called for 5 to 10 years in state prison on a third-degree murder charge – reduced from first-degree murder, which would have meant a life sentence.
The DA said Ramsey was an essential and critical witness in reaching a conviction of the drive-by shooter, Justin Clark. According to testimony at that trial, Ramsey drove Clark to 14th and Vernon streets in Harrisburg after they saw Clark’s intended target, Bennie Chisolm, with a group of people. Clark fired about 11 shots at Chisolm, missing him, but striking Burris fatally in the back of the head.
Just before receiving his sentence, Ramsey apologized to the victim’s family, and to his own family, for putting them through the situation. He thanked Burris’s mother for her forgiveness, and said, “She forgave me, so I think God will forgive me, too.”