Family hurt’ Ferguson shooter is still free
The family of a young father shot dead seven years ago said yesterday they were pleased a man had been convicted for his part in the killing — but that no verdict could bring Colford Ferguson back.
Nkosazana Wilson, mother of his daughter Ny’Ashia Ferguson-Wilson, was speaking after Khyri Smith-Williams was sentenced to life in prison for premeditated murder of Mr Ferguson, who was 29, and use of a firearm to commit an indictable offence on Tuesday.
A Supreme Court jury found that Smith-Williams, 27, was the getaway rider in Mr Ferguson’s killing.
Ms Wilson said that the verdict had brought some closure to Mr Ferguson’s family.
But she added: “To know that the person who actually shot him is still free kind of hurts a bit.”
Ms Wilson said that her 11-year-old daughter knew the trial was taking place and that she had cried when she told her the verdict. She said that the two often talked about Ny’Ashia’s father “and how proud he would be of her”.
Ms Wilson added: “The memories that we both have of him are what we hold close to our hearts now.”
Mr Ferguson was shot dead as he worked on a construction site in Somerset in February 2011.
He had celebrated Ny’Ashia’s 4th birthday, only two weeks before.
Ms Wilson described Mr Ferguson as a very loving father.
She said: “Whenever he was around, I didn’t exist to my daughter.
“She was daddy’s little girl. She adored him.”
Ms Wilson added that the celebration Ny’Ashia had shared with her father for her 4th birthday was one of her daughter’s most treasured memories.
She said that the little girl still talked about sharing a pizza with her dad that day.
Ms Wilson added: “It was like her last memory of him.”
She admitted the years since Mr Ferguson’s death had been hard on her and her daughter.
She said that Father’s Day and the start of the school year were particularly tough on her and Ny’Ashia.
Ms Wilson added that her daughter told her when she was aged eight: “‘Mommy, it’s not fair that other children’s daddies get to see them grow up and my daddy doesn’t’.”
Ms Wilson said Mr Ferguson was a hard-working and loving man and his family and daughter meant everything to him.
She added: “There’s a lot of things that I see her doing that I just wish he was here to experience.”
Desmond Smith, Mr Ferguson’s older brother, said that just before his death Mr Ferguson’s passion for carpentry had led him to find regular work.
Mr Smith added that he had never seen his brother as happy at other jobs and that it was the “perfect thing” for him.
He added: “All the motivation for that was his daughter.
“When he had her is when he decided to buckle down and take care of her, and his life.
“That was his life, his daughter. He was an awesome father.”
Mr Smith said Mr Ferguson was the glue that kept the family connected.
He added: “He was always trying to get us to get together.
“He would be calling and calling to the point of irritation. He always wanted for us to get together as a whole, complete family.”
Mr Smith said the family had not been as close since his brother’s death.
He added: “It’s really evident nowadays. We don’t get together like we used to.”
Mr Smith, a reggae artist with the stage name Rivah, wrote the song Luv You Brah after Mr Ferguson was murdered.
He said his brother was a “wholesome and loving” man, and that the support the family had received after his murder showed “how much love he gave people”.
Keona Smith, Mr Ferguson’s cousin, added he was a “beautiful soul with a brilliant smile”.
She said she remembered the day of Mr Ferguson’s death “like it was yesterday”.
Ms Smith added her cousin had a hard childhood and lost his mother to cancer at a young age.
She said: “Like most male children, he had his share of getting himself into trouble.”
But she added: “One thing I can say, he wasn’t a troublemaker and was not into this so called gang life.”
Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves sentenced Smith-Williams, 27, to life imprisonment for Mr Ferguson’s murder and ordered him to serve at least 25 years before he is eligible for parole.
Smith-Williams was also given a ten-year sentence for the firearms offence, which the judged ordered should run consecutively.
Mr Smith said that he was happy with the outcome of Smith-Williams’s trial. But he added: “There’s no way you can bring back Colford. That part is always going to be pain.”
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