Georgia's Supreme Court has upheld a life sentence for a Macon teenager convicted of fatally shooting a woman in 2010.
Terrilyn Williams, a mother of four, was shot to death outside the Westminster Apartments in Macon on Sept. 22, 2010. Police said the shooting was connected to a neighborhood gang feud, possibly involving Bloods and Crips.
Dasjwan Foster, who was 17 at the time, was convicted of killing her after several witnesses identified him as the shooter. He was sentenced to life without possible parole.
According to the Supreme Court's summary of the case, Williams was outside the apartments preparing for a cookout. She took her children inside when Foster fired a shot into a group of people he did not know.
When one of her children stepped outside the apartment, Williams rushed out to get the child and she was shot in the neck. She died on the scene.
Foster was convicted of malice murder and aggravated assault and sentenced to life without parole.
While in jail awaiting trial, prosecutors say, he sent a letter to a friend, telling her to keep quiet about the shooting and to throw away his letter.
At his Supreme Court appeal, Foster's lawyers argued that the letter should not have been used at his trial because there was no proof that he wrote it. The letter was signed, "Trae the Truth," which was reportedly Foster's alias.
Defense lawyers also argued that a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling said a mandatory life sentence without possible parole for a minor was unconstitutional. They argued that the trial court did not consider Foster's age and that the sentence was "cruel and unusual punishment."
But the state Supreme Court rejected the defense arguments. They noted that Foster's sentence was not mandatory, but at the discretion of the judge.