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Family members testify in re-sentencing case for 14-year-old murderer

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: May 01 2014 09:11:31 PM CDT
Updated On: May 02 2014 11:04:11 AM CDT

EASTON, Pa. -

Friday, May 2nd would have been Clarence "CJ" Edwards' 25th birthday.

But to family, he will forever be 16 years-old.

Edwards was shot to death back in 2006.

On Thursday, his killer was back in court for another shot at freedom.

Back in 2007, Qu'eed Batts was sentenced to life without parole.

He was just 14 years-old when police say he gunned down Edwards in Easton.

"We miss him every day. We talk about him. We never think that CJ would been gone," Delores Howell shared with 69 News seven years ago.

She told us she watched her grandson die after being shot on her porch. She was back in court Thursday for Batts' re-sentencing.

A 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found it's cruel and unusual punishment to give young killers automatic life in prison without parole.

Inside the Northampton County Courthouse, the prosecution argued Batts should stay locked away, presenting evidence that he's still an active gang member behind bars.

But the defense maintained Batts deserves a second chance at life.

His mother took the stand saying, "We understand that a price has to be paid, but not with another man's life."

Then the 22-year-old addressed the court, apologizing to Edwards' family.

Howell shot back, "You made your bed, you have to lie in it."

After about seven hours, court let out for the night.

The judge says he will issue Batts' new sentence Friday morning.