'I never meant to hurt you': Man who killed former fiancée in front of her kids apologizes

A Warren man convicted of killing his former fiancée in front of her young children was sentenced to life behind bars.

"Two days after Bella's 10th birthday, our lives were changed in an unimaginable way," Vicky Greer said in court Monday.

Vicky Greer continues to grieve the loss of her daughter, Michelle Siegel.  On March 10th, 2022 - Siegel's former fiance, James Rockett, showed up at her home in Warren - and shot her 15 times in front of her young children - ages seven and 10.

"She didn't have a chance to defend herself or protect her children," Greer said. "I thank God every day they were not part of the killing - they will live with this, though, for the rest of their lives."

Greer addressed the court and the man who helped raise her grandchildren - on this - the day of his sentencing.

"I cannot even begin to try and understand how or why James would do what he did," she said. "Nowadays there's a lot of day-to-day pressures but you don't resolve them with a gun.

"The devastation that James has caused in our family is something I can't put into words. James took my daughter, Bella and Eric's mom, Rochelle, Lexi and David's sister.

In court Rockett apologized to Siegel's family, her friends, her children - and to the victim herself.

"I also would like to apologize to Michelle Siegel for my actions on the day of March 10, 2022 - I never meant to hurt you - let alone take your life," he said.

A life lost - and so many others - forever altered.

"Unfortunately the real life sentence is the friends and the family," said Judge Jennifer Faunce. "Those children will never ever - I don't know how they could possibly ever recover - they won't - from watching the heinous and gruesome death of their mother right in front of their eyes. It's unimaginable - and yet it happened."

Rockett was sentenced to life in prison without parole - the victim's mother told the court - she wished it was the death penalty.

"James - you will have a long time to think about what you did and all you've lost in your life," Greer said. "Now it is between you and God. And it would be in your best interest to do a lot of praying."

James Rockett (inset: Michelle Siegel).

James Rockett (inset: Michelle Siegel).