The parents of an Ardmore High School student shot to death Sept. 19, 2015, by a peer, delivered heart-wrenching statements to the court Wednesday as their son’s killer appeared for sentencing.
Tyrik Cohee, was in District Judge Dennis Morris’ courtroom for formal sentencing. Cohee pleaded to first-degree manslaughter in the case two months ago. At the time of his plea, the 17-year-old apologized to Carmel Stoliby’s family.
Wednesday the family responded. Stoliby’s mother had written what was described as a “heartfelt and moving” letter. Emotionally unable to read the letter herself, a cousin read the missive for her. Stoliby’s father also offered a powerful statement to the court.
Cohee was charged for going to the back door of Stoliby’s Monroe Street residence, knocking on the door, and when the AHS student opened the door, shooting him in the head with a .25 caliber handgun. Since his arrest, which was within hours of the slaying, Cohee has been detained on a $1 million bond.
Late Wednesday afternoon Ladd said the state had recommended a 25-year prison sentence with five years suspended. Ladd said the case contained “mitigating factors” along with the fact Cohee was just 16 when the slaying occurred, which prosecutors considered when recommending the sentence.
Morris sentenced Cohee to the state’s recommended punishment. It is a sentence that will require the teenager to serve 85 percent of the time before he can be considered for parole.
Evan Knox was originally charged along with Cohee. Knox was driving the car Cohee was riding in when Ardmore police found the pair shortly after the slaying occurred. However, the district attorney’s office later dropped the case against the other high school student when Ladd pointed to “newly discovered evidence” that showed “reasonable doubt exists as to whether Knox knew of Cohee’s intentions to shoot the victim prior to his firing the fatal shot.”
Following Cohee’s sentencing, Ladd praised the Ardmore Police Department’s work on the case, “particularly Sgt. Larry Payne’s efforts.”
Ladd also said “I’m glad the case has been resolved. I just hope and pray this will bring peace to the family of the victim.”