Steven Williams, the man who pleaded guilty in April to the murder of a longtime deli H Street Northeast deli owner, was sentenced Friday to 27 years behind bars.
Williams pleaded guilty to the June 14, 2012 murder of June Lim, who was found dead inside the Grace Deli early that morning. Prosecutors are asking for no more than 28 years in prison as part of his plea agreement.
During the sentencing hearing, Williams repeatedly said he was sorry.
Lim was killed as she opened her corner store in the early morning hours of June 14, but Williams wasn't arrested until late November for his role in the slaying. His DNA was later found on both a gun holster found at the Grace Deli and in multiple places inside the Grace Deli, which the 64-year-old South Korean immigrant owned.
"With a single gunshot, this career criminal senselessly executed a beloved deli owner," said U.S. Attorney Ron Machen. "Thankfully, DNA allowed us to connect this killer to the crime scene, driving him to accept responsibility for his brutal crime. We can only hope that this lengthy prison sentence brings some measure of comfort to Ms. Lim's family and others who loved her."
The mother of two was a grandmother-to-be when she was killed and continues to be remembered by family, friends and customers as a kind, caring person.
Outside D.C. Superior Court Friday, members of Lim's family, her husband Ho and son Peter, embraced after the emotional sentencing.
"I don't want to hate. I would rather just forget about Mr. Williams," Peter Lim said.
Peter Lim says it's still extremely difficult to deal with. June 14, the anniversary of her death, he returned to the store which remains closed. It no longer belongs to his family.
Prosecutors played a police street surveillance video from the morning of June 14 showing fuzzing images of Lim getting out of her car to open her store. And moments later, a figure apparently following which police believe was Williams. He robbed the 64-year-old woman and shot her in the back to the neck.
He needed money to feed his drug habit, his lawyer said.