?By your hand, you took away our son'

By Todd DeFeo

Susan Alexander started crying as her husband, Mark, began to speak, confronting the man who killed their son.

"We come to court today for the worst of reasons," Mark Alexander told Kelsey Lee Hall, charged in the June 2003 shooting death of 25-year-old Michael Patrick Rudy.

"By your hand, you took away our son, a brother to his older sister and younger brother, a nephew to his aunts, a grandchild to his grandmother," Mark Alexander said, while Hall appeared to show no emotion. "You left a huge hole in this family, one that will never be filled."

Hall pleaded guilty Monday to murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Henry County Superior Court Judge Hal Craig sentenced him to two life sentences with no chance of parole.

According to police, Hall and Kami Anise Faison entered the Kangaroo convenience store on Jodeco Road where Rudy was working as a clerk. After demanding money, Rudy opened the cash register and Hall opened fire, Flint Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tommy Floyd said.

Before agreeing Monday's plea, prosecutors met with the Alexanders, who agreed to settle the case.

"We thought this was an appropriate resolution for this case," Floyd said.

Floyd declined to say whether a similar deal might be reached in Faison's case. Originally, prosecutors intended to seek the death penalty against Hall had the case gone to trial.

Following the plea, family members n including Rudy's older sister, Heather, and his younger brother, Robert n gathered outside the courtroom. The family thanked Floyd and members of his office.

In the end, Hall's plea doesn't make life any easier for the Alexanders, who have attended every hearing where Hall or Faison have appeared. The family has also set up a memorial fund in their son's honor.

"Maybe tomorrow, it'll feel different," said Mark Alexander, adding he appreciated Hall's standing up "like a man" and pleading guilty. "It's a sad end to a sad story."