Mother of teen who shielded friends from bullets addresses convicted gunmen

Posted at 11:45 PM, Feb 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 23:45:41-05

KNOXVILLE, TN (WATE/CNN) - A teenager who died protecting his friends got some justice on Friday.

Three men were sentenced to essentially spend the rest of their lives in prison for the murder of 15-year-old Zaevion Dobson. 

The Knoxville teen died in December of 2015.

His story gained notoriety because he died trying to help save his friends' lives in a drive-by shooting. He shielded three girls from the bullets.  

Zaevion became the face of anti-gang efforts in Knoxville.

His legacy was honored at the Espy Awards show in 2016, where he received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage posthumously. President Barack Obama even called him a hero.

In court Friday, Zaevion's mother confronted the men responsible for her son's death.

"Sometimes I wonder if any punishment fits this crime for the murder of my innocent son. His life mattered," Zenobia Dobson said. "I would give anything in the world, even my own, to get my son back."

One defendant was sentenced to life plus 35 years in prison. The other two got more than 100 years each.

Copyright 2018 WATE via CNN. All rights reserved. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.