Carjack-murder suspect asks victims' family for forgiveness

Johnathan Rosa and Cornelius Crawford.

CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA - A teen carjacking suspect says he hopes for forgiveness for the July crash that killed a Philadelphia woman and her three children.

Johnathan Rosa, 19, says he's "going to ask for forgiveness from the family" of Keisha Williams.

Rosa waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday and blurted out the statement as he left court. Defense attorney Chris Warren said Rosa learned only minutes earlier that the 34-year-old mother had died of her injuries last week.

Warren said Rosa is hoping for a plea deal in the case for something less than the automatic life sentence that he would receive if convicted of second-degree murder, reports CBS Philly. Cornelius Crawford, 23, is also charged in the crime.

"The first thing he asked me when I came in to represent him was, how was the mother doing? And he didn't find out until today that she died on Friday," Warren told the station. "He had been on suicide watch. He is in protective custody. He is devastated."

Williams' young children died the day of the July 25 crash and have already been buried. Her funeral is set for Thursday.

None of Williams' relatives were in court.

Rosa and co-defendant Cornelius Crawford allegedly crashed the stolen vehicle into the family on a busy street corner. Crawford's hearing has been postponed until October.