Chatham Co. man sentenced to life in prison for murder of 13-year-old

Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A Chatham County man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after being convicted of murdering his teenage girlfriend.

Jeremiah Seaton was found guilty earlier this month of murdering 13-year-old La’Meya Mitchell back in November 2019.

Seaton, who was 16 at the time, told investigators Mitchell was his girlfriend.

family members of both Seaton and Mitchell were in court Friday. The sentencing came just over two weeks since Seaton was found guilty.

He was convicted of felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Seaton was found not guilty of a malice murder charge.

No cameras were allowed inside the courtroom Friday. Seaton was wearing a jumpsuit and had his head down at times during the hearing.

The shooting happened at Seminole and Atwood Streets in Savannah more than three years ago.

The trial was conducted as a bench trial meaning a judge decided instead of a jury.

Judge Timothy Walmsley said Friday that it’s very rare for a bench trial to happen.

He also said that this case will be one he remembers and described it as effectively a throwing away of two lives.

WTOC was able to speak with Mitchell’s mother, April Jones, after the sentence.

She said the result was expected and she just wants people to remember her daughter.

“I just want everybody to remember my baby, don’t forget my baby. Because at the end of the day, they can still visit him, I can’t visit mine. I go to a graveyard to visit mine. This is a mother’s worst nightmare, a parent’s worst nightmare. Yeah, two families are devastated because he threw his life away by taking mine’s away. He took a part of me when he took my child. Something I’ll never get back. My family dynamic, my mindset will never be the same,” said Jones.

Jones wore a shirt to Friday’s sentencing with pictures of La’Meya on the front. On the back were the words “The Heavens Always Win #Vindication & Justice.”

WTOC did try to talk with both Seaton’s lawyer and family after sentencing but they did not want to do an interview.

Judge Walmsley told Seaton during the hearing that he hopes Seaton thinks about Mitchell and her family...a life Seaton has been convicted of taking and has now learned his sentence for.