FARGO — "Nobody will ever know what they took away from me," said Lakisha Henderson.
May 12, 2020, started off as a great day for her: Henderson's youngest daughter had graduated from high school. Hours later, she received the call telling her that her brother had been killed.
"I am stuck with that memory for the rest of my life every year," she said while fighting tears.
Anquine White, 39, was shot several times as he sat in the backseat of a car outside the main entrance of Hornbacher's grocery store on Fargo's northside just before 8 a.m. Prosecutors said more than a dozen shots were fired as chaos erupted inside the car during a botched drug robbery plot where no drugs were found.
Prosecutors said Reng Ayong, 22, was the mastermind.
He had been looking at life behind bars.
Prosecutors said the main reason they went for a plea deal calling for only 15 years in this case was because one of the guns in the fight belonged to White. They admitted Ayong could have a self-defense claim.
"We could also lose, this was one of those cases. We don't want Mr. Ayong to walk free. We want him to be held accountable," said Cass County Assistant State's Attorney Ryan Younggren.
The family wanted life in prison for Ayong, pointing out he will be a couple years younger than White was at the time of his death when he gets out.
"It was a slap on the wrist. His life was taken over some change. I'm just stuck with a box of ashes. It's not fair," Henderson said.
Lee Fry, 30, will be on trial in a few weeks on murder charges connected to White's death.
Darrell Simmons, who was friends with White and staying with him, got 10 years on a drug charge in the case.