Re’Deyon Hughes of Roswell was handed a life sentence on Monday for shooting and killing a local teen in 2017 as he fled a residence in south Forsyth.
On Jan. 15, 2019, a jury in the Superior Criminal Court of Forsyth County chose to convict Hughes, 17, of felony murder and aggravated assault for the shooting death of Drelandon Brown, while acquitting him on one charge of malice murder.
Hughes appeared before Judge David L. Dickinson at Monday’s sentencing hearing and faced the mother, grandmother and girlfriend of Brown as they spoke about how deeply the shooting had affected their lives.
“I just want to say that I’m very sorry and hurt that I’m up here at this time,” said Marjorie Reed, the grandmother and adoptive mother of Drelandon Brown. “Because my son was killed and now his little boy will never see his dad ever, ever again … It’s just a no-win circumstance.”
During the hearing, Hughes himself took the stand to thank Dickinson for his time and respect, while expressing his remorse at the situation.
“I would just like to let everyone know in the courtroom that I’m very sorry, I’m very remorseful for what happened to Dre,” Hughes said. “I’m sorry for my choices that brought us all here today. If I hadn’t gone over there, none of us would be here in this courtroom today.”
After hearing the testimony from Hughes and other witnesses, Dickinson called the shooting “needless, senseless and inexplicable,” before imposing a life sentence for the murder conviction and a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault, to be served concurrently.
As part of Hughes’s sentence, Dickinson also stipulated that he could have no contact with any members of the Brown family, including his infant son.
“The court understands that Mr. Hughes wished to see his son, but you don’t parent and you don’t conduct yourself by the commission of violence,” Dickinson said. “So much could have been different if Mr. Hughes acted not out of desire or disobedience or selfishness, if he had been an adult and accepted responsibility.”
Hughes was then placed into the custody of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and will be transported to the Department of Corrections to serve out the term of his sentence.
Following the sentence, Hughes’s attorney Evan Watson said they respect the judge’s decision but have already filed an appeal with the court.