Shawn Hunter sentenced to 17 years and 4 months for murdering his mother

Posted at 8:37 PM, Jan 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-30 20:38:41-05

Update: Shawn Hunter was sentenced to 17 years and 4 months to serve for 2nd Degree Murder and Use of a Fire Arm.

He had previously pleaded guilty to these charges on November 20, 2017. The charges stem from the killing of his mother, 43-year-old Sonya Hunter.

Court documents say Shawn Hunter buys and sells guns for extra money. They also say he has no adult convictions, but he was previously charged with malicious wounding and use of a firearm, but he was found not guilty in 2015.


Norfolk, Va. -- Norfolk police have arrested 22-year-old Shawn Hunter after they say he shot and killed his mother, 43-year-old Sonya Hunter.

He's charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

A woman who says she is Shawn's Godmother tells NewsChannel 3 that he was a great kid and did well in school while growing up, but often kept to himself.

"He appeared to be a very distant individual, he always stood alone, he did everything by himself and I had some concerns there," says Jacqueline Hill.

Hill says she raised her family on the same street as Sonya.

As a single parent with four kids, she says Sonya struggled, so she stepped in to help often. When Hill moved to North Carolina, she says she brought Shawn to live with her for a year. He was 15 at the time.

She says the most recent conversation they had was about a year ago.

"He said he still suffered from hearing voices, he didn't trust anybody and I asked him I said have you ever thought about getting help," she says. "That is a sign of mental illness.  It only gets worse as an adult if it goes untreated and it seems like it kind of grew and grew until it became this situation with him and his mother."

Police say they received a call 9a.m. Saturday morning for a woman who had been shot in the 7900 block of Westcliff Drive.

She had been shot several times.

Medics rushed her to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital but she died shortly after 3p.m.

Police found three small children near the scene unharmed. Investigators say the children were related to Hunter, and they are now with their parents.

Detectives have not released their exact relationship to Hunter.

Hunter was taken into custody inside the home without incident.

He's being held in Norfolk City jail without bond.

Norfolk Police say they are still investigating the motive behind this murder.

"He loved his brothers, he loved his mother, he loved his sister, he was a protector, he would do anything to protect anyone," says Hill. "That's why I`m really really surprised of what happened."