ATLANTA - The last seven months have been hard for Gloria Hardeman. They've been compounded by the pain she's lived with the last seven years.
In October 2011, Matthew Hardeman, 19, was shot 50 times outside of his sister's southeast Atlanta home. Investigators say Verlaine LaGuerre and another man got into a fight with the victim and returned for revenge.
In April 2018, LaGuerre appeared for trial. Before proceedings continued, the judge called for lunch. LaGuerre, who was on bond for Matthew Hardeman's murder, left the Fulton County Courthouse and did not return.
“I just felt like we were in prison in our own world because I felt like the system had failed us,” Hardeman told FOX 5's Kerry Charles.
A Crime Stoppers tip led to LaGuerre's arrest on Tuesday.
“I forgave him, but it's between him and God now,” says Mrs. Hardeman. “I just hope he gets rid of the demons that's fighting him that's on the inside.”
Matthew Hardeman was a college student. He was the youngest of four children.
“He was funny, he was friendly, he respected people.”
Mrs. Hardeman has a message for those who think about bringing harm to others.
“My grandmamma used to say, 'If you go out there and you a criminal, you goin' have to pay that time when they catch up with you. It might not catch up with you today, but (it's) going to soon catch up to you.”
In his absence, a jury sentenced LaGuerre to life in prison plus five years.