Former Trooper Sean Groubert Sentenced After 2014 Shooting
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Columbia, S.C. (WOLO)– Friends of Levar Jones feel disappointed and angry after former Trooper Sean Groubert received his sentence after he shot unarmed Jones for a seatbelt violation.
“It’s horrible, it’s horrible. I feel like justice was not served today at all,” Cherelle Moss said, a friend of Jones.
In court, Jones made an impact statement and asked the judge to really hear the event impacted his life.
“But I’ve changed and they can tell. They can tell I don’t like to go out in public with friends no more. I don’t hang out and rarely drive. I’m just not the same person I used to be….Right now I’m asking for the maximum. Right now, everybody around me that I know does not feel like he should receive anything less than the max,” Jones said.
The maximum sentence was 20 years, but judge Casey Manning sentenced Groubert to 12 years– suspended that to five years and three years of probation, and he receives credit for the 17-months he’s already served.
Before the sentence was handed out, Groubert requested to speak directly to Jones to tell him he did absolutely nothing wrong.
“I made the world’s biggest mistake the day I stopped you. And I owe you the world’s biggest apology. I’ve searched in vain for 3 years to find words to express to you how sorry I am, but they don’t exist… If there’s anything I can ever do for you and your family, please, I am very sincere, I will do anything for you,” Groubert said.
Both sides are still very emotional but people who were there for Jones say the apology was not sincere.
“I thought it was completely fake, I thought it was completely fake. I mean, of course you’re going to cry and do whatever it takes to get a lower sentence,” Moss said.
“We’re sorry it sorry it happened. Sean said it all. We’re very sorry it happened, and we hope that the healing begins. Thank you,” Groubert’s parents said.
“To Sean Groubert’s family, I know you guys are hurting. But I don’t think you’re hurting as much as Levar and the people who love him. At the end of the day I wish your family the best of luck but to Sean Groubert, I don’t accept the apology at all,” Moss said.
“He’s a liar, he’s a thief, he’s deceitful, and he deserves every bit of the time he got and more,” Karil Parker said, another friend of Jones.
Groubert’s defense said he is suffering from PTSD and when the incident occurred he was having a flashback to a shootout from 2012.