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'The name of Anitra Gunn will not go away': Gunn's family speaks to judge before sentencing

Little received the maximum sentence; life without the possibility of parole.

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Minutes after Demarcus Little's guilty verdict in the murder of Anitra Gunn was read Tuesday night, her family stood before the judge and asked for the maximum sentence -- life without parole.

Not once did they mention Little by name.

The state then had a chance to ask for the same penalty. Afterward, Judge Connie Williford sentenced Little to life without parole.

Below is a transcript of what Gunn's family said:

"On 14, February 2020, Anitra Lashay Gunn was murdered by the defendant. How do I know this? Because the jury returned a verdict of guilty.

The facts of the case were beyond a reasonable doubt, and the verdict was rendered guilty.

There are no words that can express the pain and anguish our family and friends have endured since Anitra’s murder. The defendant’s decision to put his hands around Anitra Gunn’s neck and watch the life leave her body and take the life… the life of a human being with no regard for the effects it may have on others is unimaginable and very devastating.

The loss of Anitra Lashay Gunn – a daughter, a sister, goddaughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend – is beyond words.

Taken too early, never to walk across the stage at the prestigious Fort Valley University to receive in her hand a degree that she worked so hard, 4 long years, to obtain. After being accepted, now never to continue her education in Arizona.

There will be no more birthday parties, holiday celebrations, or family activities to share, or bear children of her own.

The laughter she brought out, to those unforgettable dimples, will be seen no more. Hugs. The sounds of that angelic voice she had singing through the house, and the opportunity will be no more for us to say, ‘I love you,’ are now forever gone.

Our family is forever broken.

Compassion is a word commonly used for and by defendants, however, I ask how much compassion did the defendant consider when the decision and choice was made to murder Anitra Lashay Gunn? How much compassion did the defendant consider when the decision and choice was made to put his hands around Anitra’s neck, strangling and watching the life leave her body?

Which means there was time. There was time to remove his hands and let her breathe, to keep her life.

Oh, we do have choices if we want them or not. Everything we do or don’t do is based on a choice you make.

It is the request of the family that the maximum penalty served consecutively with life without possibility of parole for the crimes of which the defendant was convicted be imposed, judge.

Honorable judge, on behalf of the family of Anitra Gunn, we wish to express our sincerest gratitude for allowing the opportunity of expression on today, as well as the support of this request.

The name of Anitra Gunn will not go away. We as a family will make sure of that. Thank you."

RELATED: Demarcus Little found guilty of killing girlfriend, Fort Valley State student Anitra Gunn

RELATED: 'I’m not the person that you guys are trying to make me out to be': Demarcus Little takes stand in his defense

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