Church family reacts to death sentence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Church family reacts to death sentence

One day after a Memphis man was issued a death sentence for a carjacking murder, members of the victim's church spoke out about the sentence.

Lawrence Guidroz was beaten to death during a carjacking back in 2005.  Saturday, a Shelby County jury ordered that Corinio Pruitt be executed for that crime.
  
Sunday, Guidroz's church family at St. Paul The Apostle Church said they believed justice was served in this case, but were troubled by the fact that another life will have to be taken as punishment for the murder...

For members at the church, Guidroz's death is still difficult for those whose lives he touched.

"There will never be closure for this," church member Marie Leech said. "We have to live with it every day. No one won in this situation. This man committed a very violent crime against Lawrence when he murdered Lawrence."

Maria and T.J. Leech were in court every day and watched as a jury sentenced Corinio Pruitt to death for killing their friend.

Now the Leeches and others at the church have mixed feelings about Guidroz death and the sentence for the many who murdered him.

"As Roman Catholics we do not believe in the death penalty and we know that Lawrence would not want the death penalty," Marie Leech said. "But the jury did follow the law and because of this crime and the way that was committed they have no other recourse other than to give this man the death sentence."

The Leeches say their faith teaches them to have forgiveness in their hearts when it comes to the man convicted of beating their friend to death.

"We don't have any winning from this sentence," T.J. Leech said. "We hope for mercy and justice for this man."

Corinio Pruitt is likely to appeal his death sentence.  Prosecutors say in most cases the appeals process lasts years before an execution takes place.


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