BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Alexia McWaine walked out of the Hugo Black Federal Courthouse very composed Wednesday afternoon just moments after the man who killed her mother plead guilty to the crime. "There's some closure. It will never replace my mom," she said.
The tears began to fall. "I miss her a lot. I'm just glad that it's over," she said.
Those emotions are still raw more than 10 years after Sheila Prevo was killed. Prevo was a teller at the Wachovia Bank in Bessemer on the day of May 14, 2007.
Just minutes after the bank opened that Monday morning, William Merriweather, Jr. walked in and gunned Prevo down along with her co-worker, Eva Hudson. Alexia was just eleven years old then, but still remembers that day very well.
"Going to school and being rushed to my grandmother's house and my mom was just gone,' she recalled through tears. "She wasn't at my graduation, my prom, she won't be able see me live my life."
While McWaine took life day by day, the hope for justice would take a decade as attorneys argued over whether Merriweather was mentally competent to stand trial. "The waiting was just like a dark cloud over your head that you just want to go away so bad," says McWaine.
But then, finally Wednesday came. After being found mentally competent, Merriweather pleaded guilty. He was then sentenced to three consecutive life terms
Alexia realizes that no matter what the sentence was, it won't bring her mom back. But if she could talk to Merriweather, she knows exactly what she'd tell him.
"That I forgive him for what he did and I just pray God has mercy on his soul."