CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Darne Brown didn’t head off to prison quietly.
"This whole trial is just – it was clear it was to get a conviction,” Brown said before he was sentenced for killing pregnant 17-year-old Hawa Gabbidon. “This wasn't about justice for Hawa. There's no justice for Hawa to this day because the wrong man is being sentenced to something he did not do.”
Police arrested Brown in 2016 after four years of investigating the shooting death of the pregnant teen whose body found in a park.
Brown went on trial for first-degree murder, murder of an unborn child and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Last week, a jury in Mecklenburg County convicted him. Today, Brown had a sentencing hearing.
Before he heard his sentence, Brown was defiant to the end. He told the family he didn't kill their relative. He said he was innocent and called it a one-sided trial.
Brown's defense attorney also insisted his client is innocent and took issue with the investigation and trial.
Prosecutors say investigators spent years tracking down lots of leads and eliminating suspects. They say the evidence led to Brown.
Hawa Gabbidon's family told the judge about the loss they suffered.
Before he was sentenced two life sentences, Brown had to do some listening. The prosecutor read a letter that the victim's young son wrote.
“Why did you kill my mother? You didn’t want the baby,” the young boy wrote. “I was two years old. I didn’t know my mother. The only person I know is my other mother. You will go to prison and learn your lesson for what you did to my mother. I hate you.”
Judge Eric Levenson told Brown he believes Brown is the person who killed Gabbidon, and that he’s to begin serving his sentence immediately.
Brown’s defense lawyers say they’re appealing the conviction.