'The judicial system sucks': Redford mom says daughter's killer got lenient sentence

Lakeisha Matthews is mourning the loss of her 27-year-old daughter Markayla Sadler amid total frustration with the justice system.

"It’s very difficult because you basically just feel helpless," Matthews said.

After an altercation escalated, Markayla of Redford Township was shot in the head outside a party store on Merriman Road in Livonia in July of 2023, just before 1 a.m.

On Thursday, her convicted killer, Lania Juleiah Conn, was sentenced to three to 15 years for second-degree murder.

Matthews said she believes Conn did not get nearly enough time behind bars.

"I just think that’s terrible for someone who openly murdered someone," the mother said. "They were in the store and the girl bumped my grandson, and that’s what started the argument. And it went from inside to outside."

That’s when Markayla was shot and killed, according to police. 

Matthews said it happened right in front of Markayla's only son, Omari, who even told her about the shooting. 


Detroit woman sentenced 3 to 15 years in fatal shooting outside Livonia party store

A Detroit woman who pulled the trigger in a fatal shooting outside a party store on Merriman Road in Livonia, learned her fate Thursday.

"Markayla was basically the life of the party. She was just a good time, always," Matthews said. "Just like I said yesterday in court, she was a normal person. She got up every day, she went to work, she took care of her son, she had her own place, paid her own bills. …She was independent."

Dressed head to toe in Markayla’s favorite color, purple, her family keeps her memory alive every way they can.

"Every time I go somewhere, I always have on my t-shirts, I always have on my sweatshirts with her face on it," Matthews said. "People are always stopping me (to ask) ‘are you Markayla’s mother?’"

According to the family, they were told that Conn’s sentence would have been more severe if not for a plea deal.

"I think the judicial system sucks," Matthews said.