Tajh Ross gets life in prison for killing Latasha Roundtree - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tajh Ross gets life in prison for killing Latasha Roundtree

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The man who killed a young woman in Cedar Rapids two years ago will spend the rest of his life in jail without parole.

That's the sentence a judge gave Tajh Ross today. He was convicted of shooting and killing 19-year-old Latasha Roundtree in September 2012.

Roundtree's friends and family members were there. Some read statements out loud in court to tell Ross how his actions have changed their lives.

Then, Ross asked family members for forgiveness. Her father says it's still too soon for him to think about that.

In court, Ross said he wishes he could go back to that day, and not go to that party when he pulled out a gun and shot Roundtree.

A judge found Ross guilty of first-degree murder in August. The mandatory sentence for that crime is life in prison without parole.

Ross also has to pay restitution fees to Roundtree's family, who say they now feel a sense of closure.

"We had good days," said Reginald Williams, Roundtree's father. "We had bad days, too. It's been hard. The last two years have been real hard."

Roundtree was in a car on her way to a party when Ross shot her. Several other people pleaded guilty in this case to lesser charges and testified against Ross.

Roundtree was a graduate of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids and played on the basketball team. Her father says that over the past two years the family has received a lot of support, and heard a lot of great stories about Latasha.

Her father says he misses their daily talks more than anything.

"Her coming in my room, sitting on the bed, talking to me," said Williams. "She'd do that every day. She used to do that every day."

Williams says the last two years have been tough, not just for him and his family, but for everyone who knew and loved his daughter.

"This lady and her son, 7-year-old son, (were) walking down the street and he stopped me and was like 'Mr. Williams, will I see Tasha again?'" said Williams. "I said, 'If you be good, and you go to heaven, Tasha will be there to buy you some ice cream.'"

Ross's attorney asked for a new trial, but the judge denied that motion Friday.

Ross can still file an appeal in the next 30 days.

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