Skylar Powell’s mother says she can now move on, but that she’s not happy with death investigation

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Summer Phinney wore this sweatshirt to the hearing

Summer Phinney wore this sweatshirt to the hearing

The mother of a man killed while trying to rob a marijuana dealer says the sentence handed down to the dealer was not long enough, but Summer Phinney says she can now move on.

Phinney’s son Skylar Powell was killed last summer during the robbery in a parking lot near 22nd and Frederick.

Phinney says she thought Dayne Matthews should have received more than the ten year sentence ordered by Circuit Judge Patrick Robb. (click here)

“I feel that it wasn’t really appropriate, I feel like he needed more time, because I feel he was a part of the situation that led to my son’s death,” Phinney said. “My son was one of the main culprits, Ashton (Surritte) was, and I feel like Dayne was also.”

Surritte was sentenced to 15 years in prison for helping Powell set up the robbery. (click here)

She said she is not happy with the results of the overall investigation, because no one was charged with her son’s death.

“Because no one actually got sentenced in my son’s murder, no one was actually charged with his murder,” Phinney said. “I feel like there could have been more put into it to figure out which one actually shot Skylar.”

Justin Smith was originally charged with volunary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the case. Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Scroggins says the judge cited the self-defense statute when he rejected Smith’s guilty plea. Smith later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute and armed criminal action.  (find more here)

Phinney and her husband wore sweatshirts to the sentencing hearing that depict Skylar’s tombstone. She says the family can now move on.

“I’m glad that I don’t have to come up here and deal with this anymore,” she said. “I can know that my son’s in heaven and move on from it, and me and my family can enjoy the good memories of my son.”

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