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'You killed a piece of all of us': Victims' mothers speak at sentencing of man convicted in Park City double murder
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'You killed a piece of all of us': Victims' mothers speak at sentencing of man convicted in Park City double murder


DECATUR — Kwantrevis D. Richardson was sentenced Monday to spend the rest of his life in prison for the brutal double murder of two Decatur men. 

Richardson, 22, was convicted Oct. 25 after a four-day Macon County Circuit Court jury trial concerning the beating and gunshot killings of Michael E. Roberts-Mathenia, 43, and Johnathan T. Ballance, 34, on Halloween night, 2017. Judge Jeffrey Geisler sentenced Richardson to two counts of natural life for each murder conviction. 

Richardson, who maintained his innocence throughout, said he would appeal.

Both mothers of the murdered men fought back tears as they read victim impact statements to the court. Marilyn Roberts said the emotional pain of Roberts-Mathenia’s death had ripped the heart out of her family and described the suffering of his grandmother, with whom he was particularly close. 

“You not only killed Mike, you killed his grandmother,” said Roberts, staring at Richardson. “You killed a piece of all of us.”

Brenda Ballance said she missed her son every moment of every day and  lives a life of denial, denial that he’s gone. “...But I am wrong. All wrong.

“I will never get to hear his voice again, I will never get to give him a hug, and most importantly I will never get to say ‘I love you’ or hear him say ‘I love you too, Mom.’”

Speaking on his behalf before the judge passed sentence, Richardson’s aunt told him “We love you.” She told the victim’s family’s she prayed for them but the court had convicted the wrong man. 

Security for the verdict was airtight, with eight court security and sheriff’s deputies guarding the courtroom and more officers outside. Additional police patrols could be seen watching the court parking lot, ensuring that  Richardson’s family and the family of the victims remained separated. 

Richardson’s family members called out “We love you” and “It ain’t over, we promise you that,” as he was led away from the courtroom. 

Evidence in the trial, including harrowing photos, showed Roberts-Mathenia and Ballance had been repeatedly bludgeoned before being shot to death in a hail of bullets at a home in the Park City mobile home park. The prosecution said Roberts-Mathenia was a drug user who owed money to Richardson, his dealer. 

Park City (copy)

The crime scene at the Park City Mobile Home community in Decatur is shown in November 2017. 

Defense attorney Chris Amero told the jury that there was little direct evidence linking Richardson to the crimes and said his client had been visiting the victims when he found them dead and fled in panic. 

But the prosecution evidence, presented by Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott and First Assistant State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke, was difficult for Amero to overcome for the jury. 

They heard police-taped phone calls Richardson made to his ex-girlfriend confessing to the crimes, and they also saw a video-taped confession from the defendant while he was being questioned by detectives. 

Jury finds Decatur man guilty in Halloween 2017 double murder

Decatur man pleads not guilty in double murder trial

2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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