Shawn Rodgers. Credit: provided
Porche Holloway, 27, was sentenced Monday to 11 and a half to 23 months, to be served on house arrest, on involuntary manslaughter charges for fatally stabbing her former boyfriend during a fight.
Victim Shawn Rodgers, 30, died on Oct. 21, 2012, after Holloway stabbed him with a kitchen knife inside the Lawncrest home on the 600 block of E. Carver Street that Rodgers had recently moved out of due to ongoing disputes between the two.
Prosecutor Peter Lim sought the maximum sentence of two-and-a-half to five years for Holloway.
But defense lawyer Jack McMahon argued that Rodgers had recently come back from prison and was attacking Holloway at the time when she fought back and stabbed him.
"We can't know what happened behind closed doors ... The key eyewitness is dead," Judge Jeffrey Minehart noted before handing down the sentence.
"I would like to apologize to his mother, his father, his kids and my daughter. And I'm sorry," Holloway said before sentencing.
Rodgers mother was overcome with grief after the sentence was announced, sobbing loudly in the hallway and crying, "I can't live! I can't live!"
"My brother won't be coming back. And she's out," said Richina Pickron, 36, Rodgers' sister. "Justice wasn't served today."
Pickron disputed the defense argument that her brother attacked Holloway.
"They tried to make him out to be some complete monster," she said. "She didn't have any bruises on her. Shawn was 6'1" ... if he was abusing her, she would have bruises."
She said the fight was precipitated by Rodgers receiving text messages from another woman.
"They were clearly arguing over infidelity," she said. "They were fighting, then they stopped, and she went to the kitchen. ... Out of all the knives, I think a whole set of 12 knives, she picked up the biggest one."
Rodgers had recently completed an Orleans Technical Institute degree in carpentry, and was set to graduate a month after he died. His family received his degree for him.
Pickron said that Rodgers had come home from prison 10 months before his murder and was living with Holloway, with whom he had a daughter. That child is now living with Holloway's family, she said.
"Shawn was very caring," Pickron recalled. "He would come in for a popsicle, and he would be gone with six of them. My mom would be like, 'Shawn where you going?' He's taking popsicles for the whole block."
"He loved his kids. He loved her [Holloway]. That's the part that really hurts me. No matter how bad I feel, I think, what would Shawn do? How would he feel? He probably would want her to be out, to be a mother to [their daughter], because he always put himself last, he always put himself aside for others."