North Carolina Man Sentenced to 19 Years for Crashing Into, Killing Church Usher Who Was On his Way to Church

Steven Curtis Stewart
Steven Curtis Stewart

On Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016, Steven Curtis Stewart walked from his apartment to the intersection of Link Road and Peters Creek Parkway to wait for a bus to take him to United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as an usher.

He went to church every Sunday, his friends and family said.

But that Sunday, he never made it to church.

Instead, he was fatally injured when Erik Brandon Randolph, 38, of Pine Shadows Court lost consciousness, ran off the road and struck Stewart with the 1996 Dodge Caravan he was driving.

According to prosecutors, Randolph was high on heroin and other impairing drugs and had to be revived with Narcan, which is used for opioid overdoses.

Stewart died nine days later — Aug. 16, 2016 — at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Randolph pleaded guilty Monday morning in Forsyth Superior Court to second-degree murder, careless and reckless driving, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license revoked, failure to reduce speed and driving while impaired.

Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court sentenced Randolph to a minimum of 19 years and four months to a maximum of 24 years and three months in prison.

Stewart’s family attended the hearing, along with his friend from church, Nicole Drake.

Tamika Stewart, Stewart’s sister, said she wanted to hate Randolph. She wanted to lash out at him. She remembered seeing her brother in the hospital and how her brother reacted when he found out his left leg had been amputated. Steven Stewart was devastated.

“Why couldn’t it have been my hand,” he asked, according to Tamika Stewart. After he died, she was angry because she had lost her brother and her children had lost their uncle.

Her brother, she said, loved her children as if they were his own.

And her brother had been in a really good place, she said. He was going to get married, and he loved his family and his church.

“I forgive you,” she told Randolph.

“I forgive him because my brother would forgive him. I forgive him because my brother wouldn’t hate him. … I pray that you find forgiveness within yourself. I pray that the Lord will help you throughout your problems. I pray that this be a lesson for everyone sitting in this courtroom. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it.”

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: Michael Hewlett
Winston-Salem Journal