SUSSEX — London White, 23, who was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of 16-year-old George Erickson of Sussex, was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday, Aug. 9.
White is eligible for probation after 35 years if he meets the following criteria laid out by the court: Expresses sincere remorse for his actions, has completed programming and education that will allow him to enter the community as a prosocial and responsible individual, and that he does not engage in any violent or aggressive behavior during the time of incarceration.
White was also found guilty of possession of THC with the intent to sell. For that crime, he was sentenced to 3½ years in prison, to be served concurrently to his life sentence.
He will receive a 452-day credit for time already served.
The Erickson family is also seeking restitution from White for funeral expenses and lost wages. A restitution hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 11.
Erickson shot six times
The crimes stem from a drug buy in May 2016 when Erickson, a Sussex teen, had planned to rip off White in the Sussex Pick 'n Save parking lot near the Bugline Trail.
Erickson was shot in the head by White and died one month later.
According to Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper, White fired at Erickson six times at a short distance.
White’s co-defendant, Niikwame Bell, who was 19 at the time of the incident, was convicted for his role in the incident and sentenced last fall.
Bell drove White to the phony drug buy and faced less severe charges for his role in the shooting, according to the complaint.
Bell was convicted of maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of THC with intent to distribute, and sentenced to 1½ years in prison and five years of probation.
Emotional day in court
Three members of Erickson's family spoke at the hearing: his mother, Kim Erickson, and aunts Karen Glapinski and Lynn Stoeveken.
The one-year anniversary of the murder fell on Mother's Day this year. The family said it will never truly heal from Erickson's murder.
"When I'm asked now 'how are you doing?' My answer is 'I'm still standing,' " Kim Erickson said. "Can you see my eyes now? Did you see his eyes the day you shot him? Did he look at you in the face when you pulled the trigger to his head?"
Glapinski said George was the only son of her sister.
"The horror of your actions has sucked the life out of our family," Glapinski said. "Even in jail, you will get to speak and laugh and see your family."
Judge Ralph Ramirez, who issued the sentencing, addressed the pain White's actions not only has caused on the Erickson family, but also his own. White has two children, ages 2 and 5.
"Whatever happens here today brings nobody solace," Ramirez said. "Mr. White, not only did you kill George (Erickson) and hurt his family, you drove a knife through your mother's heart. You don't have a long criminal history, but it's an intense criminal history; it tells me you are ready, able and willing to continue this type of behavior."
Raised by his mother, Bridgette Hayes, White was her first born child.
"I did not raise London like this," Hayes said. "God is the only one who really knows what happened that day."