A woman found guilty of shooting and killing her child’s father as his cellphone recorded the murder was sentenced to 125 years in prison, according to Channel 2 Action News.
A Clayton County judge handed down 29-year-old Ciera Harp’s sentence Wednesday morning. Harp was convicted of malice murder and aggravated assault May 22 in the Dec. 29 shooting death of Rahim Grant, AJC.com previously reported.
Before her sentence was read, Harp took the stand and apologized to the victim’s mother, Channel 2 reported. She said she was drunk the night of the deadly shooting, which happened over 13 minutes in front of their daughter.
“Had I not been drunk, it would have never happened,” she said.
The lengthy sentence follows a heated, emotionally charged court appearance during which Harp’s own mother asked a judge to sentence her daughter to life in prison without parole. Harp was scheduled to be sentenced June 5, but Judge Robert Mack ultimately delayed sentencing until Wednesday after one of Harp’s attorneys left the case.
“We, the family, ask the court to sterilize Ciera Harp to prevent any more children being born,” Harp’s mother, Adrienne Thurmond, said.
Prosecutors said Harp shot Grant seven times in a Clayton County apartment.
Grant’s mother, Geraldine Grant Bryson, previously said Harp was obsessed with her son. Soon after Harp was arrested, Grant Bryson told Channel 2 about her son’s troubled and tumultuous relationship with the woman.
She said she told him to get out his phone and start recording whenever he felt he was in trouble.
"(I told him) get the video, record it and lay the phone down," she said.
Grant did that, recording part of the gunfire, according to officials. Harp, prosecutors said, continued the recording as additional shots were fired.
Initially, police were not able to get evidence from Grant’s phone. Authorities eventually got their hands on it and saw footage of Harp shooting Grant as he begged for water and expressed a desire to hug his daughter, Channel 2 reported.
“It broke my heart,” his mother said. “ ... It's something you don't think when you just talked to your son.”
On the witness stand in court, Thurmond said her daughter was manipulative, connived her way through life and “reveled in disrespect and foolishness.”
“Wherever you went,” she said, “chaos and trouble were sure to follow.”
Thurmond said Harp was upset at Grant for ending their relationship, according to Channel 2.
“Your envious nature took control, and you murdered Rahim for moving on without you,” she said.
Harp countered by sneering and mouthing profanity at her mother, Channel 2 reported.
“You repeatedly hurt the family,” Thurmond said. “Our family.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.