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Family of deaf man says they can't forgive 3 involved in his death

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CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

A man officials say killed a deaf man four days before Christmas will spend at least 28 years in prison.

Thursday, Davonta Turner pleaded guilty to second degree murder for robbing and stabbing Michael Shull, a 21-year-old who had just graduated from North Carolina School for the Deaf in Morganton.

Michael Shull's father, Clif Shull, says he wanted Turner to get the death penalty, but knew that wasn't going to happen after lawyers negotiated a plea agreement.  But, he did tell the judge how he felt.

"I wanted him and everyone in the court to understand what a good person Michael was," said Clif Shull, "He helped everyone.  He helped this family. He did things for this family.  He did things for these people.  There was no doubt in my mind that that was completely planned.  He was set up, he was ambushed, he was murdered for a couple hundred dollars."

The prosecutor said Michael Shull was set up by his girlfriend's family members and friends.  Based on the statements given to police, Shull's girlfriend was also deaf and taken away right before Shull was robbed and stabbed to death.

Investigators say Davonta Turner worked with Ashley Owens and Aveance Bryant. All three pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges. All but Turner were each sentenced to roughly four years in prison.

Josee Shull, Michael's mother, said the sentencing was "not enough." She and the rest of Michael's family says the three people involved in their son's death deserved more.

"I just can't find it in my heart, I know it's not the Christian way.  I can't find it in my heart to see any forgiveness right now," said Clif Shull.

The family says they are glad all three will be behind bars. The judge ruled if any of them are granted work release in the future, they will owe the Shull family money for Michael's funeral.

A fund has been set for the future education for Michael Shull's nieces and his nephews called the "Memorial Fund for Michael Shull," located at the Peoples Bank on Springs Road NE in Hickory.

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