WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WTXF) - A Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a recent high school graduate during a road rage incident has been sentenced to prison.
David Desper was sentenced to 20-40 years in the 2017 road rage death of Bianca Roberson.
Hugs and tears of joy from the friends and family of a joyous young woman whose bright future was extinguished, at the news that her killer will spend at least the next 20 years behind bars.
"I just want to thank them all for doing the right thing by finding justice for my daughter, Bianca Nicole Roberson," said Michelle Roberson, Bianca's mother.
"It's my daughter that's lying there dead, so it's her father and mother that have to carry on for her - the strength. And, I want to believe that I'm my daughter's strength," added Rodney Roberson, Bianca's father.
"She didn't see any wrong in anyone. It's just the child that she was. And, I miss her every day," stated grandmother Josie Tiller-Perry.
Roberson's supporters came to court sporting t-shirts bearing her likeness, wearing buttons asking "Justice for Bianca" and carrying signs showing their support for a much-beloved 18-year-old with a heart of gold.
"I wish I would have told her how much I appreciated everything that she ever did. So, by being here, I just think all of us showing up was just like, we want to be there for her and her family," said friend Laurynn Payne.
In September, 28-year-old David Desper pleaded guilty to third degree murder, admitting that back on June 28, 2017, he pulled a loaded handgun from the center console of his pick-up truck while dueling with Roberson over a lane entering Route 202 in West Goshen Township, and fired a bullet into the side of her head.
In court, Desper cried as he apologized for his actions, insisting he felt afraid as the vehicles jockeyed for position that day.
Desper's attorney called him a gentle giant, but prosecutors bristled at that description.
"If you're a 28-year-old man operating a motor vehicle with a loaded firearm, you're not a 'big kid,'" explained Prosecutor Chris Miller.
Judge Ann Marie Wheatcraft brushed away tears as she announced the sentence, telling Desper,
"I don't believe you were afraid. I believe it was anger."
Sitting through it all, was the killer's despondent mother, whose mind was on Bianca Roberson as she made a simple, tear-soaked request.
"Just please, everyone, just pray for her family. That's all I ask," cried Wendy Desper.