Wife lashes out at husband's killer in auto store robbery
During an emotional sentencing hearing Friday, Patricia Haller confronted the woman who shot her husband to death last year at a Detroit auto parts store, telling Shawnta Anderson she wanted to "hang" her for the crime.
Patricia Haller had to be restrained by several deputies at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice as she was overcome with anger at the sentencing for Anderson and Eboni McEwen-Ross, both of whom received prison terms for the slaying of military veteran James Haller Jr.
"I'd like to get a hold of her," Haller said as she stood a few feet from Anderson, who looked straight ahead. "I wish I could get to you to hang you in here today ... to hang you, 'cause that's what you need ... taking an innocent life ... an innocent life. You destroyed a family."
Anderson, who pleaded guilty last month to the lesser charge of second-degree murder, was sentenced to 30-60 years by Wayne County Circuit Judge Catherine Heise for James Haller's death during an armed robbery at the O'Reilly store on West McNichols near Schaefer on Detroit's northwest side.
Anderson, whom authorities said shot Haller, got an additional two years, to be served consecutively, for a felony firearms conviction.
When asked by the judge is she wanted to make a comment, Anderson said, "People make mistakes."
McEwen-Ross was sentenced to 21-50 years and will have to testify against any future defendants in the case. Like Anderson, she pleaded guilty to lesser charges a week before she was scheduled to go to trial.
James Haller, 69, a Vietnam veteranand manager at the store, was shot Nov. 1 as he came from the rear of the business after hearing the commotion of the robbery.
Another manager at the store testified during a preliminary examination that Anderson and McEwen-Ross came into the store and told the manager and another store employee to open the register and give them cash.
After Haller was shot, Anderson and McEwen-Ross ran outside and jumped into a truck.
Ruby Williams, the grandmother of Anderson’s other co-defendant Leviticus Butler, was also among the witnesses testifying in the case. Williams told the judge Anderson came to her with her grandson a few nights after the O’Reilly incident and told the woman she had committed the robbery and shot Haller.
“She let me know she had shot the man,” said Williams.
Williams said Anderson told her nervously, “‘I’m the one that robbed (O’Reilly)’ and she said ‘I’m the one that shot the man but I wasn’t intending to ’cause I didn’t know he was shot until the next day.’”
Butler was sentenced earlier this year to probation on a conviction of accessory after the fact.
During McEwen-Ross' sentencing, one of James Haller's children, Christopher Pasha, told her her "was going to make sure" she served every bit of her sentence.
McEwen-Ross told James Haller's family, "I know it doesn't mean much, but I'm sorry."