Charlene Cowans young granddaughter still asks if she can stop by and see her grandmother when her family drives through the slain womans neighborhood.
The girl was 2 when her father, Grelan Angelo Muse Jr., drove his Mitsubishi Montero onto the porch of Cowans duplex at 2892 Elpis St. on Aug. 25, 2012. The car struck 48-year-old Cowan as it toppled bricks and crashed into the home.
When police arrived, Cowan was lying in the rubble. She later died of her injuries.
Muse, 25, who initially was charged with murder in Cowans death, pleaded guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter during a hearing in Bibb County Superior Court. He was sentenced to the maximum 20 years.
Prosecutor John Regan said Muse and his daughters mother were arguing and, at some point, Cowan argued with Muse and told him to leave.
Muses daughter, Harmonie, was in the living room of Cowans house with her mother when the car crashed into the house.
Muse drove away, but he later turned himself in to police.
He was charged with murder and two counts of aggravated assault. All the charges except the murder charge were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
Cowans sister, Rachelle Head, spoke in court as part of Mondays hearing.
She said her family doesnt hate Muse, but they feel he must be held accountable. Regan said Cowans family members agreed with the plea deal.
Speaking to Muse, who sat a few feet away on a bench, Head said he had written Cowans daughter while hes been in jail but remarked that he never said he was sorry.
You took my only sister. You took a mother. You took a grandmother, Head said. You took a beautiful person away.
She said Harmonie, Muses daughter, has nightmares.
Family members dont want to tell the little girl anything bad about her father, but one day he will have to explain what he did and why, Head said.
More than a year later, Head said she still doesnt understand what happened. Initially when she heard her sister had been struck by a car, she thought she was driving to Macon from Atlanta to nurse her through broken bones.
But when I got there, she was gone, she said, crying.
Muses lawyer, Franklin J. Hogue, said later in the hearing that Muse was overcome with rage when he drove his car toward Cowans house.
He is here to take responsibility for what he did, Hogue said.
Muse spoke briefly before the judge issued his sentence.
I know I cant take back what I did, but Im sorry, he said.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.