‘It has to stop’: Family of murder victim speaks out as day 2 of trial ends

Man accused of 2021 murder now on trial

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Nearly three years ago, 29-year-old Devon Wilburn was shot and killed outside of a corner store on Dewey Avenue. Over two years after Charles Holley’s arrest for that murder, his family is hoping for justice. 

Day two of Holley’s trial ended early Wednesday after several first responders took the witness stand. The 911 dispatchers, technicians, and officers all recounted their role in processing the scene on March 24, 2021. Prosecutors also played a video from a corner store security camera that had captured Wilburn’s last moments as he was shot several times.

While his family had been prepped for the video, it was their first time seeing it, and many left the room in tears. 

“Just to see him go down like that was enough for me,” his mother Lila Anderson said. “I knew it was him because of the clothing he had on when he left my house that day. And his body was just limped over.”

“He looked like he was dead then,” his aunt Cookie Nelson added.

The shooting happened just before 7 p.m. at the corner of Dewey and Magee avenues. The sun was still up when police say Holley pulled out a gun and shot Wilburn. 

He died later that night in the hospital. Holley was charged with second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

In the three months leading up to the murder, Holley had been on parole for a robbery conviction. Police had been looking for him before the murder because he’d failed to check in with his probation officer.

Nelson told News10NBC the two had known each other for well over a decade, and went to high school together.

“And Devon took care of his son,” said Nelson. “Took care of his son while he was somewhere else. And this is the thanks he gave him.”

Prosecutors didn’t get into a motive Thursday, but Nelson said she had no idea why Holley would have shot her nephew. Wilburn left behind a daughter named Khloee. She’s eight years old now.

“How do you say goodbye to him? You can’t. She just can’t,” relative Deborah Lindsey said through tears. “This is justice for Khloee too. She’s gonna get justice too. And I wish that she could come to see, but she can’t — because she’s too young.”

When Wilburn was shot nearly three years ago, it was the sixth murder in two weeks. His family said over and over again — something has to change.

“It cannot keep going on — all this gun violence has to stop,” Anderson said. “It has to stop. For no reason, people are getting killed. Young people are getting killed. And it has to stop! Yes it does.”

If convicted, Holley could face up to life in prison. The trial continues Thursday.