CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Two men, convicted in the murder of Diamond Russell, were sentenced to a combined 30 years in prison Thursday.
Dontez Long, 24, and Alonzo Patterson, 20, pleaded guilty last month to murdering the 18-year-old nephew of Glenville High School Coach Ted Ginn, Sr.
Before being sentenced the victim's mother Arnetta Hill shared her memories of her son with the court and asked for the maximum sentence.
"The last photo I have of him is on that day [prom]. I was smiling from ear-to-ear. He was so handsome. The next memory should have been graduation but they decided to rob my son of that accomplishment. He was gonna make it out Cleveland. He was awarded a two year scholarship for football," said Diamond's mother Arnetta Hill. "I asked for the maximum sentenced allowed. I know it will not bring Diamond back. I know that God will take care of the rest."
Patterson's mother, also at the sentencing, asked the Russell family for forgiveness before asking the court to have mercy on her son.
"First and foremost I would like to apologize to you [Mrs. Hill]. I can't imagine what you go through every night. I am so very sorry and heartbroken that this happened." said Caprice Jones. "He [Patterson] has a son that's going to miss out on him. I just ask and pray for leniency on him."
Before Long and Patterson were sentenced, they each apologized as well.
Patterson, the triggerman, was sentenced to 25 years in prison while Long, who was with Patterson and gave him the gun, will serve five years behind bars.
Russell, a senior at Ted Ginn Academy, was shot to death in May of last year. He planned to go to Garden City Community College in Kansas to play football.
Russell was killed outside the Shell gas station on Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland just days before his high school graduation.