The creature who chose to fire repeatedly on the mother and child was sentenced today to 25 years in prison, and the judge was so disgusted by the vile character of the man he sentenced that he vowed to personally pay a visit to the parole board in 2033 to argue that he should remain in prison.
"I've seen a lot of evil in this building, perhaps a hundred lifetimes of it, but this one certainly takes the cake," [Judge] Allen said.
Handcuffed and surrounded by deputies in front of a Wayne County Circuit Court judge, Calvin Tillie loudly demanded Friday to be returned to jail rather than face the sentence he had agreed to for shooting a little girl seven times at point blank range when she tried to protect her mother.
"I'm ready to go back to the bullpen. I done spoke my mind and my piece. I don't have nothing more to say," the muscularly-built prisoner in a green jail uniform announced. "Take me back, now. Now!"
After the small demonstration of rage that prosecutors say has fueled Tillie through 15 years of violent criminal behavior, deputies led Tillie, 29, away and Judge David J. Allen issued a rare sentence in absentia.
"He has proven himself as someone who shouldn't be walking among us," Allen said after ordering Tillie to prison for at least 25 years and up to 60.
Tillie's victim, Alexis Goggins, turns 8 later this month. The pain from her wounds has mostly passed. She still suffers complications and occasional hospitalizations. An artificial eye has replaced her right eye that one of Tillie's bullets destroyed. There still is talk about the need for surgery to replace missing bone from the left side of the girl's skull.
It's simply amazing how children can seem to possess such remarkable resilience in the face of daunting challenges, revealing themselves to be not so fragile as we may be tempted to believe. In some ways young people are just not that different from older people: when much is asked, and for a worthy enough cause, then much may be given. It's comforting to know that if we, as adults, should waver in our commitments to carrying the crosses we each have to bear, there exist inspiring examples such as Alexis to teach us what it means to have inner strength:
Psychologically, Alexis has moved on in a way her mother hasn't.
"She's doing fine, wonderful in fact. Better than I ever thought. She's the same wonderful little girl," said [Alexis' mother, Seliethia Parker] ...
Mementos from the recovery are displayed in Parker's china cabinet. Members of the Detroit Pistons visited Alexis in the hospital. She was hailed a hero by the Detroit Police and a church. ...
"We did 'Good Morning America' and a lot of interviews for newspapers and television," Parker said. "A man in the Army sent her one of his medals for bravery." ...
...[A]s long she is well, I am well. I have to live with this. I just wish he was getting life for trying to take my pride and joy from me. She is my little hero."
[Go here to see Alexis' appearance on Good Morning America]