Jody Gordon, convicted of shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend’s 9-year-old daughter, will spend the rest of his life in a Florida prison. It was the sentence he was expecting and one his victim’s mother pleaded for Friday.
“I lost my daughter, I lost everything I had in about 15 minutes because you was mad,” said Shawana Newson, the victim’s mother.
Nine-year-old Mayia Nelson was killed when Gordon fired a dozen bullets into a van full of five kids, Shawana, and Deborah Burnett. One of the bullets from Gordon’s barrage hit Mayia in the head.
“He is a monster, there’s nothing I can say to humanize this man,” said Linda Nelson, Mayia’s grandmother. “He is an abuser of women and children and if you let him out, he will do it again.”
“Because you shot at me, I’m innocent, I did nothing to you,” said Burnett. “You shot at me for no reason. You killed this girl’s baby for no reason; because somebody don’t want you, because you mad.”
Gordon had two children with Mayia’s mom, but couldn’t handle a breakup with her. Gordon, 45, had pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted second-degree murder in the September 2010 shooting death.
While the victim’s family was pleased with the sentence, Gordon’s sister was left despondent.
“This is devastating to me,” Glenda Lee, Jody’s sister, said. “I don’t know what I’m gonna do when he’s gone. What I’m gonna do?”
After sentencing, Gordon apologized to the family of the victim as he left the courtroom.
"I apologize to Shawana for the situation that arose that, you know, caused the death of her daughter and a little girl that I was living with for six years and I grown to love her and she loved me," he said.
Shawana Nelson had one final message for Gordon at the sentencing Monday.
“I hope when you go to bed, you see my daughter’s face at night because I saw a bullet in the back of my daughter’s head because you put it there, because you was mad,” Nelson said.