Dozens of friends, immediate and extended family members attended the Sept. 18 sentencing of the 28-year-old man convicted of killing a loved one.
Circuit Court Judge Harry Storm sentenced Kairee Dorsey, 28, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the joint charges of felony murder and armed robbery, plus an additional pair of 20-year sentences for conspiracy to commit murder and for commission of a felony with a firearm, respectively.
The nearly-18-year-old Andrew Turner had just graduated high school when he was shot and then stumbled into the doorway of his family home before dying in December 2017. The family and friends of the victim packed the courtroom to support him. At least four people wore t-shirts with various designs to remember the teen who lost his life.
Storm said he considered three victim-impact statements and Dorsey’s comments during his trial in reaching a decision.
“You testified and wove a tale that neither the jury nor I believed,” Storm told Dorsey just before announcing the prison sentences.
The mood after the sentencing was festive as the immediate family’s two-year nightmare was over.
The parents and other relatives and friends of the late teen poured out of the courtroom and conversed with each other, exuberant that the judge had administered what they considered justice. They mingled for a few minutes, and several in the group gave Eric Turner (Andrew’s father) warm hugs.
They, along with a few reporters, the co-prosecutors and a couple of others, filled two-and-a-half court elevators down to the fifth floor of the courthouse, where the family and friends exited to briefly celebrate in a meeting room in the state’s attorney’s office.
During the hearing, however, the victim’s mother and father described the void in their lives left by their dead son, and they repeatedly asked Storm to sentence Dorsey to life in prison without parole.
Andrew Turner’s mother, Gail Davis, said she was concerned about her, her children and grandchildren’s safety, in case authorities released Dorsey at the conclusion of a prison term. Davis said part of the reason she and the older Turner wanted a life sentence was so hat Dorsey could not murder anyone else.
Co-prosecutor Mark Anderson said that less than two months had passed between Dorsey’s release from prison for armed robbery and when Dorsey showed up at Turner’s doorstep and committed first-degree murder and armed robbery.
Before he died, the nearly-18-year-old had just graduated high school and was raising a young son. He allegedly thought he was meeting someone for a drug deal.
Turner had arranged to make a transaction with Christopher Breeden, also convicted in connection with the incident.
Instead, Dorsey, another man Turner had never met, showed up at his front door and robbed him of his half-pound of marijuana. Dorsey attempted to enter Turner’s home, but the young father stopped him. Dorsey then shot him in the throat and killed him, while Davis, one of her other sons and Turner’s 8-month-old son were inside the home.
“Breeden did not know him (Turner); he knew of him and that he sold marijuana,” Anderson said. Breeden found out about Turner through the social media application Snapchat.
The young father’s parents told Storm about the son they lost, and how his absence has forever changed the lives of the surviving family members. The teen was the fifth of six children and their youngest son, Davis said.
Davis used to host a family brunch on Sunday mornings with her children and their children. Ever since the death of Andrew, she stopped hosting the family meals.
“I don’t want ’em there no more; I don’t,” Davis said of the family gatherings. “Other grandchildren (who were) just born will never understand what we (had).”
As Davis spoke, a few of the family members and friends’ cheeks were wet with tears; one wiped his nose with a tissue.
Turner’s father, Eric, said to the judge that Andrew had enjoyed fishing with him. Eric Turner will not receive another chance to fish with his youngest son, nor will the teen’s young son ever be able to fish with his father.
“That’s my baby boy,” Eric Turner said after the hearing. “Me and my other sons, we all fish!”
During the hearing, Eric Turner, donning a white T-shirt with photos of Andrew on the back, quietly stood up from his first-row seat intermittently out of respect for his son.
Back in the courtroom, Storm offered Dorsey a chance to speak before he ruled on the sentence. Dorsey stood up and, with his attorney standing between him and the audience, apologized to the family for the pain they continue to suffer. He also said he sympathized with the young son who will grow up fatherless.
“I feel for that baby,” Dorsey said. “Yeah.”
Dorsey said he never asked his attorney to talk about his troubled childhood and that he did not want pity from the victim’s family. He said that society judges him for a “piece of paper” without knowing him, and then began to sing “My Story,” a song by R&B singer Sean McGee. Family and friends of Turner ignored him, however.
Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said the trial by jury lasted four days. He said during a press conference that Dorsey was “very well-known to us.” He had been in and out of prison since he was 18 years old, never being out of prison for more than six months at a time.
Dorsey’s sentencing required a larger police presence than most sentencing hearings due to his past behavior in court. McCarthy described an instance in 2013, when, during a hearing, Dorsey bolted from the courtroom, hid in a women’s bathroom and tried to escape.
Early this year, Christopher Breeden pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of first-degree murder and to armed robbery in connection with the incident, Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s office spokesperson Ramon Korionoff confirmed. His sentencing is scheduled for early November.
Eric Turner said after the hearing he will miss seeing his son and his grandson spending time together. He was glad Dorsey will spend the rest of his life in prison.
“We all lose people, but losing a child is like, it’s totally different,” Turner said.
McCarthy said in the press conference that during the past two years, in nearly all Montgomery County criminal cases he has seen where one or more person is killed during a drug dispute, three or four times, the crime centered around one drug: marijuana.