GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - With tears in her eyes, Jeannette Davis was sentenced Tuesday for fatally shooting Lance Byers during a road rage incident earlier this year in Grand Rapids.
A jury in July convicted her of second-degree murder in the death of Byers. That same jury ruled her brother, Jountay Davis, was not guilty of helping her after the fact.
It was Feb. 21 when Byers, 43, was driving to work and rear-ended the Davises' vehicle on Lafayette Avenue SE at State Street in Grand Rapids, causing minimal damage to both vehicles.
Jountay got out of his vehicle and started fighting with Byers. Jeannette said she shot at the two men to stop them from fighting, but a bullet hit and killed Byers. Jountay then drove Jeannette away from the scene.
Before the sentence was imposed by Judge Paul Sullivan, there were no impact statements from Byers' family. Sullivan told her he does not look at her as a bad person, and said he saw no indication that Byers' job as a DHS worker had anything to do with the case.
Through tears, Davis said she never meant for anyone to get hurt, and she feels sory for the Byers family.
Her attorney said she was the first client he ever defended to ask him to pray with her. She did that on their first meeting which, he said, indicates her faith is not a jailhouse conversion.
Despite the attorney's statement that Davis has "the very real potential to become a productive member of society," Sullivan said she had to pay a price.
Davis will serve 2 years on a gun charge, followed immediately by 20-35 years for shooting Byers to death.
24 Hour News 8's Steve Kelso contributed to this report.
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