The D.C. man who admitted killing Hae Soon Lim, a beloved northeast deli owner, in June of last year has been sentenced to 27 years behind bars.
Steven Williams, who prosecutors described as a "career criminal" was arrested after police used DNA to connect him to the crime scene. The 46-year-old apologized in court, telling the judge he takes "full responsibility" for the murder.
Few people in Courtroom 318 were able to keep their composure as Peter Lim told Judge Robert Morin how the murder of his mother had devastated his family.
Lim described in detail how he learned so much more about his mother after her death.
"I always thought she was a wonderful person, a good person, she has a kind heart, she's honest, hardworking but because of this tragedy I was able to discover a side of her I probably never otherwise would have, just hearing from so many people about how she touched their lives".
In the days after the murder, customers of the deli and residents in the surrounding neighborhoods came together to show their support.
Some were in tears as Peter Lim stood by and listened to their kind remarks.
"Everyone from young children to elderly people, male, female, black, Hispanic, white, I mean, there was no....she touched so many lives and that just makes me proud".
Prosecutors described Steven Williams as a career criminal who had 20 arrests and six convictions on his record.
He was apprehended after police found his DNA on a gun holster left inside the deli.
"A week ago today on the anniversary of her death Peter Lim erected a plaque in his mother’s honor, it's on a light pole across from the main entrance to the deli she used to operate here on H Street, Peter Lim said he was dreading the moment until he arrived and something changed".
"The week leading up to it I was emotional, I was scared, I didn't know what to expect but the day we were there I was surprisingly very peaceful, I felt peace and at ease".
As Peter Lim addressed the court he told Steven Williams he was not vengeful or full of hate anymore.
In fact, today would be the last day he would ever think of him again.
"As a new father I don't want to feel that way I would just rather forget about Mr. Williams and focus my energy and emotions toward my new born son and family and friends and try to live a happy life".
Although a full year has passed since Hae Soon Lim was killed here--a message from a friend has survived.
"You will be missed Mrs. June, u was a great woman".