Written by Andrew Forgotch
Last updated on December 08, 2012 @ 12:12AM
Created on December 07, 2012 @ 11:33AM
UPDATE (7:00 PM)
"Relief." That's the word friends and family of Shannon Stafford kept saying on Friday because the man who shot and killer her in a Walmart parking lot found out he will be serving the rest of his life in jail without the possibility of parole.
Earlier this year Larry Mitchell drove from his home in Harrison County to the Walmart off of Hornbeck road and shot Stafford 13 times.
On Friday he entered a guilty plea for that crime.
Stafford went to the Walmart to pickup her daughter, Faith, who was the subject of a messy custody battle between her and Mitchell's son.
During testimony on Friday afternoon, Mitchell claimed he was worried for Faith's safety. He claimed Stafford abused her, but a Harrison County judge never found that to be true.
While on the stand, Mitchell said he was unjust in killing Stafford and apologized for his actions.
The hearing lasted a little over four hours and during that time prosecutors played 911 calls that were made after Stafford was shot, and showed video surveillance of the incident.
It didn't take very long for a judge to make his decision. He ruled the court had no credible reason to grant mercy to Mitchell because he did not show mercy to Shannon Stafford.
Shana Nine, Stafford's foster sister, told 5 News that the decision Friday afternoon is going to help her family move forward.
"It is a relief," Nine said. "At the same time I will not stop my fight for complete justice for Shannon. I feel like certain things need to happen to hopefully prevent this tragedy from happening to another family."
Larry Mitchell, the man accused of killing his son's estranged wife in a Morgantown Wal-Mart parking lot, entered a guilty plea in court Friday. And a judge accepted that plea.
Mitchell, 54, was indicted for first degree murder in the April 21st shooting of his ex daughter-in-law, Shannon Stafford. Stafford was at the parking lot to pick up her 2-year-old daughter.
Right now, Mitchell is being housed in the North Central Regional Jail.
Stay with 5 News for the latest on this story.
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