DETROIT (WJBK) - A man who opened fire in Detroit's Greektown area last summer is going to prison following an emotional day in court Thursday.
Denzel Talbert, 22, was sentenced for the shootings last June that killed one teen and injured another. The teen murdered was 18-year-old Martez Taylor. During Thursday's sentencing, the family of Taylor fought tears and still tried to get the question of why, answered.
"Why? Why is it fair that a person disregarded all the judgment and steal someone's life without a true explanation?" his niece, Jeranique Jernigan said.
Talbert was convicted of involuntary manslaughter as well as weapons and assault charges following the shooting outside of Greektown Casino in June.
"My family will never see Martez's smile, feel his embrace, or hear his voice again. My uncle was an innocent bystander. The only crime he committed was being at the wrong place at the wrong time," Jernigan said.
Talbert apparently got into a fight with Taylor and chased him down. Then he pulled a gun and started firing shots, one of which killed him.
On Thursday, Taylor's brother, Thaddeus Hopkins, reminded the judge that the only place he sees him now, is at the cemetery.
"I gotta go rake where my brother is buried and put some flowers out there. I hope none of his days are sunny, give him what he deserves," Thaddeus said.
His loved ones describe Taylor as a good kid who hadn't even turned 19 yet. They say the man who took his life has no remorse for what he did.
"He could've made a better decision but he chose to do what he wanted to do. He had the time to think, went in that alley did what he did. He deserves to pay," his sister, Maria Hopkins said.
Just before sentencing, Talbert apologized to Taylor's family.
"I hope you can forgive me and I will continue to pray for your family. I hope the lord will lead you and guide in the right direction," Talbert said.
In the end, the judge sentenced Talbert to 17 years in prison and reminded him that the pain he caused the family would never go away.