Family of murder victim gets justice, forgives convicted murderer

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 17:41:25-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Robi Berry used words like, “devastating” and “mind-blowing” to describe how he and his family members have felt since 2017 when their relative, Lowell A.J. Johnson was shot and killed in Lexington.

Today, Mr. Berry had a chance to face his cousin’s killer when Nathaniel Kincaid was sentenced on one count of murder and another count of homicide soon after entering a guilty plea.

“It’s a sense of relief because it’s behind us,” Mr. Berry said after Kincaid was sentenced to 25 years. Kincaid was given 25 years for the murder charge and another ten years for the homicide plea, and those sentences will run concurrently. He was 17 years old when he shot and killed Johnson and Bruce Trice.

“At his age, it’s the best we can really do at this point, and hope that things will be better for him in the future,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Traci Caneer. Caneer also confirmed that Kincaid will not be eligible for parole.

Mr. Berry feels as if the sentence was fair. He’s also feeling bad for Kincaid, who — it was learned — had only an 8th-grade education.

“It’s a huge mistake, but the compassion we have for one another has taught us a lot,” Berry said. “God is a forgiving God and he (Kincaid) really needs help,” he continued.

Kincaid’s mother also addressed the court. She thanked the families of Johnson and Trice for their forgiveness, apologized to them, and just as she tried to give her son some advice on how to learn from his prison sentence, she broke down in tears and had to excuse herself from the podium.

Sentencing then followed with Circuit Court Judge Julie Goodman who took a moment to explain that her role, once her robe is on, is to set aside emotions and follow the law.

On his way out of the building, Mr. Berry added that A.J. would’ve forgiven Kincaid.