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Third man sentenced in Markiya Dickson murder: 'Horrendous, horrible tragedy'

Markiya Dickson
Posted at 4:01 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 18:12:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The third and final man convicted in the shooting death of Markiya Dickson was sentenced Thursday to 33 years in prison for a 2019 shootout at Carter Jones Park that left the 9-year-old dead.

Richmond Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant accepted the sentence recommended by the jury that convicted Jesus Turner of first-degree murder in June.

Marchant called the case a "horrendous, horrible tragedy" for Dickson, her family and the city.

Two other men, Quinshawn Betts and Jermaine Davis, were convicted of second-degree murder while Turner was convicted of first-degree murder.

Mark Whitfield, Dickson's father, said he felt they could have gotten more time since he has to live his life without his daughter

"Can't no time give her back, you know," Whitfield said. "I never get to watch her grow up, graduate, have kids, be a granddad -- none of that. I mean, it is what it is now. I'm just glad this part over it. I guess, I just go home and just keep trying to move forward and keep her name alive."

Jesus Turner
Jesus Turner

The shooting happened on Memorial Day weekend when Dickson was at a nearby cookout with her family when she was hit and killed by one of those bullets.

"I relive it every day I close my eyes. I'm the one that picked my baby up off the ground," Whitfield said.

Caitlin Kelly, Richmond's supervising assistant commonwealth's attorney, tried all three cases and says what happened that day represented the worst of the city.

"You would never want to have fear of going to a park for a barbecue on Memorial Day weekend and have to be afraid of being shot or that your child is going to get murdered, which is exactly what happened," Kelly said.

Whitfield said he would never wish what happened on anyone and added that he misses everything about his daughter.

"I miss her smile or laugh or waking me up in the morning to give me a kiss when she got to go to school," he said.

Whitfield said once the pandemic is over he intends to go back to hosting cookouts at Carter Jones Park in Dickson's memory as well as working to end gun violence in the city.

"We got to keep our people name alive and let people know it's safe to come back to the parks. Taking kids out to play," Whitfield said.

Turner did not speak at the sentencing on the advise of his lawyer -- as his lawyer said he intends to appeal the case.