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Life sentence for shooter in pistol slaying

COVINGTON - Steven Bernard Lackey, who shot the boyfriend of his child's mother earlier this year, was sentenced to life in prison Thursday morning in Newton County Superior Court.

Last week a jury found Lackey, 26, guilty of the murder of 25-year-old Larry Richardson Jr. Lackey shot Richardson once in the neck with a 9 mm pistol after he and his girlfriend, Christina Parker, arrived at the defendant's residence on Morningside Drive to pick up Parker's 4-year-old son, Amir, in late February. Lackey is the youngster's father.

Prior to sentencing, Judge Samuel Ozburn allowed Richardson's father, Larry Richardson Sr., to address the court.

"This particular act has impacted our family tremendously," he said. "As a father, Larry being my namesake ... my legacy has been depleted."

The District Attorney was not seeking the death penalty in this case and the father said that he wasn't in favor of a death sentence for the defendant, but requested the judge impose the maximum penalty allowed by law.

"I ask that the full arm of our judicial system be extended to these offenses," he said.

In addition to the life sentence, Judge Ozburn sentenced Lackey to 22 years in prison for the offenses of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and obstruction.

"It's pretty obvious when a tragedy like this occurs that there are many victims." Judge Ozburn said. "I wish that through some type of sentence I could give, I could make this a better situation."

Lackey, who pleaded guilty to several unrelated charges prior to sentencing, which included the offenses of felony battery, burglary, theft by taking, criminal damage to property and bail jumping, was also personally admonished by the judge.

"You have done a good job of ruining your life," he told the defendant. "All of this is based on what you chose to do. It was a terrible and senseless thing."

Lackey was ordered to serve time for the unrelated offenses concurrent with his sentence for the murder, possession and obstruction charges.

According to Assistant District Attorney Melanie McCrorey, Lackey will have to serve a minimum of 30 years in confinement before he is eligible for parole.

"I think the sentence was fair given Mr. Lackey's actions," McCrorey said. "As Judge Ozburn stated, there is nothing anyone can do to bring back the victim, but this gives closure to the family so they may begin to heal."