After hearing the outpouring of anger, tears and sadness from those whose lives were destroyed by two murdersand regret from whoever is in charge, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Matthews on Tuesday had few words to express herself.
“The best word for today is agony,” Matthews said Nov. 22 after statements from family and friends of South Lyon father and son Kevin and Dylan Stamper and the man who killed them, Fadi Zane.
“The whole situation is a waste.”
She added that Zane caused irreparable pain and hardened her heart with his actions.
Matthews then sentenced Zane, who pleaded guilty last month to two counts of second-degree murder in the death of the Stampers, up to 30-50 years of imprisonment.
Makayla Stamper said she hoped Zane would spend the rest of his life in prison after he fatally shot her father, Kevin Stamper, 43, and brother, Dylan Stamper, 17, in their home at 347 Liberty St. overnight on december 30, 2020. Court testimony later revealed that the shooting happened during a marijuana deal that went terribly wrong.
She mourned her hard-working father and brother who never fulfilled his amazing potential. She cited a “long list of nevers” for her lost sibling, including high school graduation, college, marriage and parenthood.
“On December 30th, my life changed forever,” Makayla Stamper said. “My brother was stolen and I lost my father… (Zeyne) tortured me and his family. He does not deserve the chance to be released again.”
Sharma Daniels, Kevin Stamper’s sister and Dylan’s aunt, spoke live during the sentencing as her mother sat nearby.
“My nephew was only 17 years old and had his whole life ahead of him,” she said. “My brother was happy, in a good place in his life and looking forward to the future. He was a jolly giant who worked hard for his children, a kind and gentle soul who would give his last dollar to a stranger. That (Zeyne) took irreplaceable. He killed my family and left without a second thought.”
Zane, who was 19 at the time of the crimes and a former South Lyon East student, read a lengthy statement in which he repeatedly expressed remorse and regret.
“I want to apologize for my actions,” he said. “Every day that I wake up, I pray to God and Dylan’s family that they find a way to forgive me.”
Although he said he was “not trying to make excuses,” he revealed that he lived with domestic violence, drug abuse and more for the first 13 years of his life.
“I’m asking you not to take me as a bad person,” he said, before apologizing to his own mother and siblings, also sitting in the courtroom.
“Why did I have to screw up like I did?” he asked at the end of his speech, adding that he could still hear the gunshots in his head.
These arrows will continue to reverberate for many years in all the lives left after them.
Laverle Stamper lost her only son and grandson and said nothing said or done at the sentencing will replace what is now missing from her life.
“We will spend the rest of our lives asking why,” she said. “Thirty years is not justice for all the lives you’ve ruined.”
Contact reporter Susan Bromley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-281-2412. Follow her on Twitter @SusanBromley10.
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