It was a long day for the family and friends of Shea Stremcha, who was shot and killed by home invaders nearly two years ago, and those convicted in his death will be spending a long time in prison.
Loved ones came back to the Hennepin County courtroom three times on Tuesday to tell those who gathered about Stremcha before hearing what sentence would be delivered to the three men convicted in the crime.
Semaj Williams, 23, was the first to be sentenced on Tuesday Morning. He will spend 460 months, or just over 38 years, in prison with credit for 615 days served.
Next, 29-year-old Robert Shelby was sentenced to 426 months in prison, 35.5 years, with credit for 616 days served.
Xavier Walker, 25, was the last and also received the longest sentence of 480 months, a total of 40 years, with credit for 457 days served.
"If you go with someone and break into a house and your buddy has a gun and somebody dies, you are just as responsible and you are going to do big time," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said after the sentencing. "These types of home invasion crimes don't happen very often, but the victim and community impact statements made it very clear how painful this murder is to family, friends and neighbors."
Leanne Stremcha, Shea's mother, gave an emotional victim impact statement in which she talked about how Shea's birth was a miracle that came four years after his sister died as a newborn. She said it "affirmed our faith in God."
"I cry every day," Stremcha told the court. "He woke up to a noise, never expecting, none of us ever do, to find what he found in his home. They chose to murder Shea because they had a gun and they could."
Stremcha was a successful athlete and student at Northfield High School, and a popular student at St. John's College who graduated with art and business degrees. He was employed at Amerprise Financial at the time of his death.