A mother’s fight to protect her son from facing a murder trial and a jury ended bittersweet.
“We took the deal, I could not play Russian Roulette with my child's life and place his life in 12 jurors’ hands, I couldn't do that,” Kristy Finch, mother of Chauncey Thomas, said.
Thomas’ charges changed, he pleaded guilty this week to hindering apprehension and now does not face murder or battery charges.
Finch spoke exclusively with Region 8 News on Wednesday about her son’s outcome.
“He doesn't have to go to prison for life, but he's still in prison for life,” Finch said.
She said her son is now a convicted felon for a crime he didn’t do.
“Hindering apprehension,” she said. “What? I turned Chauncey in. They are trying to say he concealed Kalius.”
Finch stands beside her son’s innocence. He told her the night of the shooting, he was another face in the crowd.
“All the sudden he heard bam, bam, bam and he said so I take off running, just like everybody else,” Finch said.
Hours after the shooting, her son’s photo hit the news as investigators were searching for him and Lane.
“He said momma, I haven’t had a gun,” she said. “I haven't shot a gun, haven't seen a gun, he was like mom take me up there so I can clear my name.”
Investigators found probable cause to keep him, and that’s when the nightmare started.
“I’d be telling a story if I wasn't overjoyed that he was out, but I hate that it came with a condition that he still had to compromise his life to have his freedom,” Finch said. “Because now not only is he a young black man, he's a young black convicted felon for a crime he didn't do.”