By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two young women were sentenced today for the carnage they caused outside a North Philadelphia after-hours club on Labor Day weekend 2010 (see related story).
Sharonda Cheeves, at the wheel when a female bystander was struck and killed, has been sentenced to 4-8 years in prison. Her co-defendant, Jesslyn Williams, got 2-4 years.
Fueled by alcohol and anger after they weren’t allowed into the club because they had alcohol and were abusive to staff, defendants Cheeves and Williams got into a car and circled the block repeatedly, hitting more than half a dozen people, killing a 27-year-old woman and seriously injuring several others, including club manager Kadella Davis, who says she never saw it coming.
“One (victim) was down the street — he had been hit twice already. He was laying in front of a car. I had my back to them approaching me, so that’s why I didn’t see myself being hit.”
The victims and families wanted longer sentences, but Judge Benjamin Lerner says he considered many factors in the sentencing, including the fact that both defendants had no previous criminal record and both pleaded guilty (see related story), sparing the other victims the trauma of a trial.