FORT WAYNE – There were tears in Allen County Superior Courtroom No. 1 on Friday as Rosalind Borum took the stand.
Ill never get to see my son again. Ill never get to be a grandmother, Borum told Judge Fran Gull. If I want to see my son, I have to go to the cemetery and hold his box, and I dont think thats fair.
Her request that the sentence Josiah C. Thomas receive for murdering her son be harsher than what a plea agreement called for were futile: Gull accepted the agreement and ordered Thomas, now 23, to serve 45 years in prison for the March 19 drive-by shooting of Gerelle Borum, 22.
Borum was walking on a sidewalk off Rudisill Boulevard near where Taylor University-Fort Wayne used to be when Thomas drove by in a truck.
After his arrest, Thomas told police he slowed down to make sure it was Borum, then shot him with a .32-caliber handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets, leaving him bleeding on the sidewalk surrounded by spent shell casings. Thomas said he knew he had hit Borum in the leg because he saw him jump.
As Thomas sped off, neighbors ran to Borums aid, calling for an ambulance and reporting a description of Thomas and his vehicle. Thomas was arrested about a mile away a short time later; police found a spent .32-caliber shell casing in the truck that matched the ones found near Borum.
Borum died at Lutheran Hospital during surgery.
I dont believe (Thomas is) sorry, I dont believe he has any remorse for what he did, Rosalind Borum told the judge. I dont know how to get through day-by-day. Its torn me, my family, his friends apart.
Thomas mother, Crystal Bush, pleaded for leniency.
The decision my son made was definitely a poor choice, but all we can offer is the words, We are sorry, Bush said. Just a moment, just a day can rewrite your life. Hes a good person who made an absolutely poor decision. Horrific, tragic – all that. But hes still a good person who loves his child and loves his wife.
Thomas pleaded guilty last month to murder. Under the plea agreement, he was sentenced to 55 years, with 10 years of the sentence suspended. A charge of carrying a handgun without a license was dropped.
Thomas did not speak on his own behalf and answered Gulls questions with a quiet, Yes, your honor, or No, your honor.
As he was led out of the courtroom in chains, Thomas smiled and greeted people in the gallery.