- Associated Press - Friday, November 13, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A judge told a Jacksonville teenager she wasn’t surprised he had ended up in her courtroom on a murder charge, adding that given his childhood he “didn’t stand a chance.”

Circuit Judge Tatiana Salvador sentenced 17-year-old Andrew Ryan Parham on Thursday to 17 years in prison for the death of a man when Parham was 15.

The teen grew up without a father and his mother spent time in prison for several years during his childhood, The Florida Times-Union reports (https://bit.ly/1QlNmao). Parham lived in a crime-plagued apartment complex.

Parham pleaded guilty in October to second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Christopher Alexander Cornelio, who was killed in March 2014.

The judge said she’s frustrated that defendants like Parham show up so often in her courtroom. “It always strikes me that there isn’t a solution that we’ve figured out,” Salvador said. She added that she’s required to focus only on the case, not the sociological conditions that led to his arrest.

According to police, Parham and two older men showed up uninvited at a party at Eureka on March 16, 2014. Parham pistol-whipped a man before shooting Cornelio, authorities said.

Parham said Tuesday that the shooting was accidental. He said he didn’t know there were bullets in the gun and it fired when he hit the other man with the weapon. He told the judge he took responsibility for his actions and was sorry that Cornelio was killed.

Anne Parham, the boy’s mother, served 42 months in prison on drug charges when her son was 11 to 14. During that time, the boy was raised by two teenage siblings. She said she regretted her son grew up in Eureka.

“It’s not a place you want your kids to grow up at,” she said. “The environment is not positive, and there’s not much for kids to do.”


Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, https://www.jacksonville.com

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