BOSTON (CBS) – A widow startled people in the gallery of a Salem courtroom when she stood up and said she forgives her husband’s murderer.
“I forgive him, but I want him to know nothing will fix what he has done,” said Fabiana Batista.
Jaquan Huston was a line cook at PF Chang’s restaurant in Peabody, when he turned on his fellow cook, plunging a sushi knife into Elivelton Dias’ back two years ago.
The restaurant has since closed, but a memorial to Dias still stands outside the property.
A group of former coworkers crowded the courtroom as Huston changed his plea to guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison, and will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
Dias’ wife spoke through an interpreter. She sobbed as she explained Dias left their native Brazil because he was a police officer there, and wanted to get away from the violence.
She had just given birth to their daughter nine days earlier.
“This gentleman destroyed my dream, the dream of my family,” she told the court.
Huston offered an apology on Wednesday.
“I just wanted to say I’m sorry to the Dias family,” he said.
Huston never gave an explanation, but did say he’d been treated for mental illness.
His mother, who also apologized on the way out of court, said she hopes he gets help.
“I’m sorry for the Dias family. He’s gonna get the help he needs,” she said.