Memphis mother says she forgives son's killer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis mother says she forgives son's killer

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - A Memphis mother says she forgives her son's killer, but also says she'll rest easier knowing Montreal Gilliam will spend the next 51 years in prison.

A jury found found Gilliam guilty on one count of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder.

Brenda Henderson, the mother of Gilliam's child victim, says she is grateful for the brave witnesses who testified and for the prosecutors who put her son's killer behind bars.
"I felt like justice was served," she said.

On June 22, 2006, 11-year-old Martez Henderson was playing with his cousins at the Ridgecrest Apartments. He was gunned down on the playground by Gilliam as he tried to shoot a moving car. Bullets ripped through the jungle gym, piercing the boy's heart and lungs.

Almost three years after her son's death, Brenda Henderson says the pain still runs deep.

"That was my baby, my youngest baby, and it hurt me to lose him at an early age," she said.

But she says she can't live with vengeance in her heart. "I have forgiven him for what he did. That's what God wants me to do."

And Henderson says she pities Gilliam and feels for his family.

"I just hate he got himself caught up in that situation, too, because his family is probably hurting, too," she said. "They lost a child as well as I lost one."

The grieving mother says too many innocent lives have been lost to violence in Memphis.

"He's going to be in jail the rest of his life," she said. "So, I hope that sets an example to the ones that are picking up these guns and stuff."

Henderson says she believes her son is at peace. But with the anniversary of his murder just around the corner, she says that won't make it hurt any less.


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