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Man Gets Life In Prison For Murder Of Childhood Friend Who Spurned Romantic Advances

BOSTON (CBS) -- As her daughter's killer was sentenced to life in prison, the mother of Keosha Gilmore remembered her as "compassionate, caring, and non-judgmental" and "an angel."

Christopher Jackson, 29, was convicted of second degree murder last week for the killing of 25-year-old Gilmore in Mattapan in February 2012. On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Jackson to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years.

Prosecutors said Jackson and Gilmore were childhood friends, and that Jackson murdered her because she did not share his romantic feelings for her.

Keosha Gilmore. (Family photo)

Keosha's mother, Gloria Weathersby, said words can't express the pain and anguish the family has endured since losing Keosha.

"Keosha was 25, very loving, caring, and giving young woman with a heart as big as the world," said Weathersby. "She was friends with everyone she met, including Mr. Christopher Jackson."

She said she suffers from anxiety and depression, and hasn't been able to sleep a full night since Keosha died.

"Myself and the family are still dealing with fear, depression, panic attacks," said Weathersby. "We're dealing with self-blame, hopelessness, fatigue, nightmare, numbness, mood swings, sadness, and for the first time in my life, I'm dealing with hopelessness."

Keosha Gilmore's mother, Gloria Weathersby. (WBZ-TV)

"Christopher, may my God that walks with me walk with you and your family," she said, addressing Jackson. "You just have to pay for the crime that you've done."

Prosecutors said Jackson was angry that Gilmore did not share his romantic feelings, and shot her twice as she sat in a car with her then-boyfriend. They said he fled into New Calvary Cemetery after the shooting, attempting to hide a gun, latex gloves, and other items that were later found by police. DNA testing later matched those items with Jackson.

He told police in an interview after the items were found that he had discarded them, and "made the mistake of letting my anger overshadow my intelligence."

Katrina Mitchell, who was Gilmore's best friend, said she remembered talking to Gilmore as she lay in a coma after the shooting, begging her to wake up.

"All I did was hold her hand and continue to say please get up, wake up, we have things to do," said Mitchell.

Mitchell told the court she spoke to Gilmore on the phone the day she was murdered, and remembered the conversation "like it was yesterday." She recalled asking Gilmore if she wanted to be picked up from work, but she declined.

"Not only did the call end, but my relationship with my best friend, my sister, ended," said Mitchell. "I can't help to think that if I had picked her up, she would be here with me, with us, her family."

Herman Weathersby, Keosha's stepfather, read a statement from Keosha's aunt, Jackie Gilmore, which addressed Jackson.

"Your selfish, uncontrolling act robbed me, Christopher," the statement said. "I could have died from the pain."

Weathersby said in his own statement that Jackson's actions left the entire family feeling empty.

"Keosha was very bright, friendly, and full of life," he said. "She had her whole life ahead of her, and she didn't deserve to die in this horrible manner."

Michelle Ross, Keosha's stepmother, also addressed Jackson during her statement.

"I don't know if I have forgiveness," said Ross. "Only time will tell...and now Christopher, you're going to have to live in this hell that you've created for yourself."

Jackson was also convicted last week of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and carrying a loaded firearm, and received concurrent sentences of six to seven years on those charges in addition to his life sentence.

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