AMELIA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A mother says she has received justice after a suspect charged with the homicide shooting of her 16-year-old son pleaded guilty to all charges in Amelia Circuit Court.
Jennifer Wallace first spoke with 8News in July 2022, when charges were first brought against her son’s killer. She says it’s been an emotional rollercoaster since. Wallace says that even with the conviction, every day is still a struggle without her son.
“Justice is all I’ve wanted for Lucas since day one,” Wallace said. “It’s a start I guess but it doesn’t take away what he did at all.”
Lucas Hanna, 16, was shot and killed at his friend’s house in the 4000 block of Richmond Road. According to authorities, Hanna was found with an injury to his right shoulder from the accident.
It was initially believed to be an accidental shooting, however, on July 26, police arrested Hanna’s friend in connection to the shooting.
“His friend who was honestly like family ruined his life,” Wallace said.
Michael Lee Cook, 18, was initially charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection to Hanna’s death but those charges were later upgraded to homicide in August 2022 after further investigation. Cook was 17 years old at the time, meaning that his identity was withheld during his arrest.
On Thursday, Jan. 5, Cook pleaded guilty to all charges in Amelia Circuit Court.
“When he first walked in, he looked at me. Any court date we’ve been to he’s never looked at me,” Wallace said. “I can’t even describe it. I don’t want to say remorse because he hasn’t shown that, but it was just a start.”
According to the Online Virginia Judiciary database, Cook was charged with the following — in addition to the homicide charge (18.2-33):
- Maliciously shooting into an occupied building (18.2-279)
- Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony (18.2-53.1)
- Obstruction of justice; providing false information to law enforcement (18.2-460)
- Two counts of possession of a firearm by a person under the age of 18 (18.2-308.7)
“I’m grateful that he is getting the justice he deserves,” Wallace said. “That’s all a mother could ask for because there’s so many that never get that justice, and this is a pain I never wish on any parent.”
Cook is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 7, 2023.