Murder-for-hire sentence sparks outrage

Posted at 7:19 PM, Apr 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-12 19:19:53-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va (WTVR) The 26-year-old mother to be, Keiona Braxton died in 2008.

Friday morning, the woman behind her death, Kayla Armstrong was sentenced.

The commonwealth mentioned that Braxton was stabbed 43 times and shot 3 times.

They also said that Armstrong took out $2,000 for a hit and that she used another PIN number when she wanted to talk about the hit.  Lawyers said that "she never takes responsibility for what happens."

Armstrong was charged with plotting to kill a love interest of both her and Braxton, while she was behind bars awaiting trial on Braxton's death.

Layers also mentioned a case where Braxton stabbed a person, and she said the person was just cut.  They asked for a swift and strong sentence.

Henrico Circuit Judge James S. Yoffy talked briefly about Armstrong having no regard for life and then pronounced the sentence:

  •  Voluntary Manslaughter: 10 years (Range is 1-10 years)
  • Attempted Capital Murder: 60 years with 40 suspended for life (Range is 20 – Life)
  • Solicitation To Commit Capital Murder: 40 years, all suspended (Range 5-40 years)

Armstrong was given a total of 110 years, with 80 years suspended.

Joyce Braxton and her family became upset in court, but later, Joyce said, its time for closure to begin.

She said she understands her baby daughter is gone and while not happy with the sentence handed down in court, she realizes she must continue on with her life which includes her other two daughters and grandchildren.

CBS 6 legal analyst says while 80 years suspended might sound excessive, in reality, Armstrong will have to serve 85 percent of her 30 year sentence.

That will put her in her mid 50's when she is released from prison. The remainder of her sentence still intact, if she was to break the law after getting out on probation.