PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) -- James Stevens has been given to a 30-year sentence, with 20 years served behind bars and the balance on probation.

In April a jury found the 31–year–old East Providence man guilty of voluntary manslaughter for stabbing 24–year–old jasper Williams to death during a fight in 2016.

Today Williams' mother was pleased with the sentence.

"I'm satisfied with the judge, I'm thankful for his decision, and I respect his thought process through it all," said Alecia Williams.

The defense argued for a shorter sentence, and said Stevens -- the father of a five–year–old -- has made many positive contributions to his community.

But the judge said Stevens did not show enough remorse, until today.

During the sentencing, Stevens apologized to the Williams family.

And remarkably, during her statement, Alecia Williams turned to face him directly, and publicly forgave him.

"I will keep him in my prayers. I will pray for him, as I will pray for the rest of his family," Williams said. "I will pray for his son, because he is not there to raise his son. He is not going to experience – as well as my son Jasper won't experience – graduations, proms, weddings. The luxuries of freedom in this world, he won't experience. That's my motto: forgive to live, and to live you must forgive."

Williams says she hopes to keep her son's memory alive through meeting the recipients of his donated organs and through a new scholarship.



©WLNE-TV 2019