It’s been a long five years for Dean Hyatt’s family. On Friday, they saw the trio charged with murder plead guilty and were sentenced to prison.
“I have no words, just no words, no justice,” said Hyatt’s mother, Sharane Bowlin Luke.
“They get a chance to make a deal today and he doesn’t get a chance to plead for nothing because he’s a meter below them. He was her boyfriend,” Hyatt’s grandmother Nadine Peterson Blair added tearfully.
Hyatt was just 20 years old when his friend Richard Cunningham and his former girlfriend Kizzie Thomas hatched a plot to kill him, according to court records.
Broward Sherriff investigators say Cunningham shot Hyatt multiple times in the parking lot of the Caravel Arms Apartments in Lauderdale Lakes. Cunningham pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and faces 25 years in prison.
Thomas, who police said lured Hyatt to a meeting on the evening of August 4, 2018, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
According to investigators, Thomas planned the murder with Cunningham days before the fatal shooting.
The Hyatt family say their loved one was close friends with the suspects before the crime. So much so that the family knew her well.
“They used to come to my house and my husband would cook and feed the guy who killed him,” Blair said.
According to investigators, cellphone evidence from text messages between Cunningham and Thomas revealed they conspired to kill Hyatt. These texts also indicated that Thomas continued to be Hyatt’s boyfriend who set him up.
Somehow Hyatt’s mom says she forgives them.
“If my heart were a window, you could look through the pain and scars today and see that I am here today in complete forgiveness because my son Dean would have forgiven them had he not succumbed to his injuries. He was a forgiving one,” she said.
A third co-defendant, named Miguel Harvey, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder and received a five-year sentence.
A fourth co-defendant, Kamarley Wilson, the man who investigators said drove Cunningham away from the scene on the night of the murder, was sentenced to 10 years’ probation after he pleaded not to be an accessory to the murder.