Elizabeth City, NC - Clara McPherson pages through a scrapbook of her daughter's life.
She ran across many memories including birthdays, graduation and her first job.
But those memories ended years too soon after she was murdered at an Econo Lodge back in 2012.
Court documents say her boyfriend, Gerard Patterson, stabbed her several times.
“When I cry by myself, I can hear her say, ‘Momma, it's OK, I'm alright.’ And that's what keeps me going, just knowing where she is,” says McPherson.
Patterson is still sitting behind bars.
And the district attorney recently announced he'll be pushing for the death penalty.
“I forgive Gerard, but as I said before, he chose his fate. Not me. He chose his fate,” says McPherson. "I never was in agreement with the death penalty back before this happened, but until this comes knocking on your door, that's a whole new story,” says McPherson.
As for Patterson's side of the story, court documents say he told police Shawntae attacked him first.
Her mother is not buying that story.
Nor does she believe he should get off with anything less than the ultimate punishment for robbing her of a lifetime of more memories with her daughter.
“We cannot see Shawntae. We cannot share her joy at Christmas time, Thanksgiving, the holidays, vacation, all that has been taken away from us."
"So to me -- that's some cost,” says McPherson.