YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - The man accused of shooting and killing a 27-year-old Rock Hill woman in 2018 plead guilty in the case on Thursday.
Michael Donovan plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault and battery of high and aggravated nature in the death of Kathy Terry.
Police say the shooting happened during some sort of drug activity on Farlow Street in York County.
A number of family and friends were in the York County courtroom Thursday to show support for Terry, who went by Gina.
“I blame a lot of us. First, I blame myself for not helping her with her addiction,” said Sheila Estes, Gina’s mother.
Estes says her daughter was lured into a life of drugs and addiction by Jesse Mericle, another victim of the shooting.
“He took her away from us and he was the reason Gina wasn’t Gina anymore,” said Estes.
Miracle was also at the home at the time of the shooting and was shot himself.
“She shouldn’t have been in the car with me that night,” said Mericle. “She gave up her life trying to save mine.”
Mericle and Gina had one child together and Gina had a child of her own. Police say both had guns with them the night of the shooting and they had come to the home for drug transaction.
“I regret not getting my gun up quick enough and blowing his [Donovan] brains out because I would have done it,” said Mericle. “Two kids are living without their mother while this one gets visitation with his kids in jail.”
Donovan will spend up to 17 years in prison on the charges and didn’t deny his role on Thursday.
“Meth is a crazy drug. It really is. Drugs are just bad,” Donovan told the judge. “I am not right for taking a life no matter what the situation is.”
Donovan says he never fired the shots with intention to killing Gina only to scare the two that were in the car.
“I want it to be known that I did not mean to shoot her. I did not,” said Donovan. “I hope God forgives me. I really do. It is not up to them, it is up to God.”
Sheila Estes says her daughter’s two children will now be forced to grow up without a mother.
“I know you will burn in hell for what you have done," said Estes. “You took away more than you will ever know from our family.”