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Killer of Brooklyn security guard forgiven by victim’s mother

A gunman got sentenced Monday to 76 years to life in prison for callously murdering a hardworking father of six and permanently injuring another man.

He also got something else grace from the heartbroken mother of the man he killed.

I ll forgive you, but I will never forget what you did, Cheryl Locklear, the mother of Aaron Locklear, told killer Antonio Mahon.

Locklear, 30, and trainee James Merced, 28, were taking a lunch break from their job as security guards on Nov. 28, 2014, when Mahon walked passed them on Dumont Ave. in Brownsville. Then Mahon turned around and opened fire.

Killer Of Brooklyn Security Guard Forgiven By Victim's Mother

Cheryl Locklear, mother of murdered Aaron Locklear, forgave her son’s killer.

(Jesse Ward/for New York Daily News)

My son left behind six children, you took them away from him. You took him away from his family. I m praying you seek a Christian life while in prison, but I have forgiven you, Cheryl Locklear said in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Mahon, 22, admitted he thought Locklear and Merced were his enemies and was on drugs at the time of the shooting. Merced now uses a wheelchair.

I must say this, I never thought in my life as a judge, did I think I d have to impune a sentence like this to anyone, Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson said before giving Mahon 76 years to life.

Killer Of Brooklyn Security Guard Forgiven By Victim's Mother

Aaron Locklear was shot outside the housing complex where he worked by Antonio Mahon.

(instagram )

Prior to the shooting, Mahon chased after a young man armed with the murder weapon and pointed the same gun at a maintenance worker.

This is a very sad case. It pains my heart. It pains my soul that three young mens lives are ruined, but two really good men s lives are ruined, said Simpson.

Mahon told detectives he always walked around with a gun because he has problems with several gangs, including the HoodStarz, in the neighborhood.

Clayton Gravenhise, 22, a HoodStarz member, was on a revenge-fueled crime spree in 2014 after his brother Nathaniel Gravenhise was killed. Gravenhise suspected Mahon was the killer, sources said.

Tags: gun violence[1] new york murders[2]

Mississippi Delta has many stories to tell

By BETH J. HARPAZThe Associated Press

CLARKSDALE, Miss. The Mississippi Delta has no shortage of museums, historic attractions and clubs devoted to the blues. But visitors will find the region has many other stories to tell, from the cotton plantations where African-American families worked and lived in desperate poverty to culinary traditions that reflect a surprising ethnic diversity. THE BLUES TRAIL AND MUSEUMS

You can’t miss the big blue guitars marking the famous crossroads of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale. This is where, according to legend, Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to learn how to play the blues. Roadside signs for the Mississippi Blues Trail make it easy to find other sites as well, from Clarksdale’s Riverside Hotel, where Bessie Smith died, to the Dockery Farms cotton plantation in Cleveland, where many pioneering bluesmen lived, worked and made music, among them Charley Patton, Roebuck “Pops” Staples and Howlin’ Wolf.

A sign in a field at Clarksdale’s Stovall Plantation notes that Muddy Waters’ songs were recorded here in 1941 by musicologist Alan Lomax as he collected folk music for the Library of Congress. The sharecropper’s shack that Waters lived in has been restored and relocated to the nearby Delta Blues Museum . In Indianola, the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center pays tribute to King’s life and legacy. He’s buried there as well. These museums and others use photos, artifacts, videos and other exhibits to explore the blues’ roots, beginning with African musical traditions brought to the South by slaves. Because Delta cotton plantations were relatively isolated, musical styles developed here uninfluenced by trends elsewhere. But eventually many African-Americans who barely eked out a living working for white landowners in the decades after the Civil War migrated away from the South, seeking economic opportunity elsewhere along with an escape from segregation and racial terror. Muddy Waters left the Delta for Chicago in 1943. B.B. King left Mississippi for Memphis, where he got his big break at radio station WDIA. These and other bluesmen were worshipped by 1960s music giants like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. “Muddy Waters’ music changed my life,” said Eric Clapton. As the title of one of Waters’ songs puts it, “The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock And Roll.”


Stop in Cat Head, a Mississippi blues music and gift store in Clarksdale, for a chat with owner Roger Stolle, a blues fan who moved there to “help pull the blues scene together in a way that would get people to come.” Local clubs stagger their schedules so you can hear live music every night. Stolle keeps a list online of who’s playing where .

Clarksdale’s best-known club is Ground Zero, co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman and Clarksdale Mayor Bill Luckett, but blues fans may be disappointed by party-vibe bands playing songs here like “Sweet Home Alabama.” A more interesting venue is Red’s. Don’t be fooled by its rundown appearance and tiny, informal living room-style interior. Red’s showcases under-the-radar, brilliantly talented musicians like Lucious Spiller whose performances will make you realize why the blues still matter. Delta festivals include the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival, Aug. 11-13, and the Oct. 12-15 Deep Blues Fest. Next year’s Juke Joint Festival will be April 12-15, 2018. FOOD, LODGING AND CURTAINED BOOTHS

Mississippi cuisine isn’t just catfish and barbecue. Doe’s, in Greenville, where a security guard watches over your car as you dine and walks you to the parking area when you leave, is known for steaks the size of your head and has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation. Chamoun’s Rest Haven in Clarksdale, founded by a Lebanese family in the 1940s, serves some of the best kibbe you’ll find outside the Middle East. At Larry’s Hot Tamales, ask owner Larry Lee to share stories of how Mexican tamales became a scrumptious Mississippi staple. For upscale bistro fare like ceviche and roasted vegetables, try Yazoo Pass in Clarksdale.

To learn more about culinary traditions in Mississippi and elsewhere in the South, visit the Southern Foodways Alliance website. Delta accommodations range from motels to the Alluvian, a luxury boutique hotel in Greenwood. The city, once a major shipping point for Delta cotton, is also where the movie “The Help” was filmed. Today Greenwood is headquarters for Viking Range, the kitchen appliance manufacturer, and a Viking cooking school (classes fill up fast so book ahead). Other Greenwood spots include the excellent Turnrow bookstore and the tasting room for the Winery at Williams Landing, which specializes in wines made from Mississippi-grown muscadine grapes. Pick up a bottle for dinner at Lusco’s, a BYOB restaurant famous for whole grilled pompano fish and for curtained booths that offered cotton traders privacy for business deals, romantic liaisons and alcohol consumption. A unique lodging option in the Delta is spending the night in a preserved sharecropper’s shack at the Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale or at Tallahatchie Flats in Greenwood. Some travelers may find the concept offensive as a sugarcoating of the misery experienced by those who had no choice but to live this way. But for others, a night spent in a rustic cabin that rattles with the howling wind or shakes to its foundations in a thunderstorm may evoke the very vulnerability that makes the blues so haunting.

‘Hacksaw Ridge’ writer pens anti-Trump play ‘Building the Wall,’ coming to D.C. theaters

With President Trump s first 100 days in the books, a provocative new play about Mr. Trump s immigration policies is opening less than 2 miles from the White House. Referring to Mr. Trump s campaign pledge to construct a big, beautiful wall to stop undocumented migrants illegally crossing from Mexico into the U.S., Building the Wall, opening Thursday at Arena Stage, dramatizes a dystopian vision of Mr. Trump s border policies. In the play s version of the near-future, millions of rounded-up, undocumented immigrants are confined to detention centers, where they face a final solution to the alien question, with thousands gassed and their bodies burned. The one-act opens inside a maximum-security prison s visiting room, where Gloria (Tracey Conyer Lee), an African-American female historian, interviews Rick (Eric Messner), a Caucasian male inmate, veteran and former security guard, now incarcerated.

Building the Wall was written by by Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Schenkkan[1]. His play All the Way, about President Lyndon B. Johnson s fight to pass 1965 s Voting Rights Act, was adapted as a 2016 TV movie, starring Bryan Cranston, who won the best actor Tony for the Broadway show and an Emmy nod for the HBO TV movie.

Mr. Schenkkan[2] said he wrote Building the Wall in a white heat immediately following Mr. Trump s shocking November election.

Although I expected a different outcome, I already felt we d crossed a line in this country and that we d broken something, Mr. Schenkkan[3] told The Washington Times via phone from New York. Nothing since then has changed my mind; my worst fears have been confirmed.

Mr. Schenkkan[4], who also wrote the Mel Gibson-directed film Hacksaw Ridge, wanted the play to be produced as far and as widely as possible. And sooner rather than later.

I think that we are in the middle of an extraordinary political crisis, he said. I don t see it as a conflict between Democrats and Republicans, or even between conservatives and liberals. I see a concerted attack on fundamental American values on separation of powers, an independent judiciary, freedom of the press, free speech.

Building the Wall debuted at Los Angeles Fountain Theatre March 18, and has also had a run in Denver. The play will soon expand to New York, Miami, Austin, Texas; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and even Vienna, Austria. However, the version District audiences see will not be precisely identical to earlier iterations of the show. Mr. Schenkkan[5] continues to add to the play as news from the White House rolls in.


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