After he pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday, Travon Evans will spend at least 12 years in prison for killing his grandmother, Carolyn Hemingway, and stabbing his 4-year-old brother. He’ll get credit for the more than five years he’s already spent in jail since he was arrested.
But that sentence didn’t satisfy Hemingway’s brother Julius Robinson, who stood in the courtroom and addressed Evans.
“I am a Christian, but it doesn’t make it right for what Travon has done,” Robinson said. “He hasn’t gotten enough time for what he did.”
Then, he asked why Evans did it.
Evans whispered in his attorney Dawn Baxton’s ear. He didn’t want to answer.
Baxton spoke on his behalf. “He does want the court to know and his uncle to know that he is sorry for what happened to his grandmother,” she said.
Before the Tuesday hearing, the 22-year-old sat on a cold wooden bench with his head down, looking at the floor through oversized aviator glasses with his hands cuffed. His orange Durham jumpsuit didn’t hide that he had gotten much heftier since he committed the crimes when he was 17.
Scarred by a violent household growing up, Evans had post-traumatic stress disorder. He was immature for his age, prosecutors said. That reduced his culpability, according to prosecutor Kendra Montgomery-Blinn.
With credit for time served, that meant he could be in jail for between six and a half and about 10 years in prison. That didn’t sit well with Robinson, who noted how Hemingway had cared for Evans.
“She took him in at six years old and raised him,” he said of his sister. “She showed nothing but love for him.”
Montgomery-Blinn provided a detailed account of the crime. She said Evans had cut the lights. Police found his grandmother dead and bloody in bed. Beside her in bed were an unharmed baby soaked in Hemingway’s blood and a large kitchen knife.
In the ambulance, his brother said what happened.
“Tra had tried to make it dark and scary,” he said. “Tra killed my meemaw with that old ugly knife.”