D.C. Man Sentenced in Murder of Hagerstown Teenager


HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A Washington D.C. man was sentenced in a Washington County Court Monday after pleading guilty to the murder of a Hagerstown teenager earlier this year.

Shakur Thornton, 17, died in March 2013 after being stabbed on West Franklin Street during an altercation between two groups of people.

Antonio Gardner, 26, learned his fate Monday as a judge sentenced him to serve 15 years behind bars and five years probation for second-degree murder.

Although Gardner expressed remorse for his role in the fight that led to the teen’s death last March, he told the court he was not the one who stabbed and killed Shakur.

The defense attorney spoke about Gardner’s troubled past, including the fact that his son passed away just days before Shakur was murdered.

Several family members of the victim read statements, one tearfully telling the judge that the 17-year-old was too young too die.

Shakur’s family says there is unspeakable pain that comes with knowing his life was cut short.

"My cousin had a bright future and he was going to go to college and go somewhere in life and I’m just hurt by my cousin's death,” said Shakur’s cousin Alize Thomas.

"Time ain't going to bring my son back so like the judge said, there's no winner,” said Shakur’s father Dushaine Ashley. “We have no winners in it because his life is done and my son is gone."

Prosecutors also said no one can be pleased with the outcome because the bottom line is, a 17-year-old died tragically.

"We don't know what Mr. Thornton could've been,” said Leon Debes of the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office. “He could've been a doctor, a lawyer, he could've gone into the military, could've been a husband, a father, we don't know and his family doesn't know.

For now, Shakur's family says they are going to focus on the healing process.

"My son is gone so I got to move on with my life, try to make the best of the situation,” said Ashley. “I've got a young daughter I’ve got to raise up now and just got to try and move on with my life.”

No one else has been charged in connection to this case, and although Gardner says he's not responsible for this murder, he refused to tell authorities who he thinks stabbed Shakur.

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