FORT WAYNE, Ind. — When Dakota Waudby received 30 years in prison Monday for the death of Renako Sadiki Kenyatta Thomas, 34, he passed up the opportunity to speak.
That’s what made Thomas’ widow, Latavia, angry as she stood to give her victim’s impact statement in court.
“I don’t even know where to start,” Latavia said. “He shot him on the ground. Who does that?” She didn’t stop there. Thomas called Waudby, 20, sitting in court in prison orange, a “coward” who showed “no remorse.”
Waudby pleaded guilty to shooting Thomas at an apartment in the 7900 block of Decatur Road exactly a year ago to the date of his sentencing. Several people were gathered in an apartment when an argument broke out and apparently Waudby felt as though his girlfriend was disrespected. A witness said she thought she saw Renako take a swing at Waudby.
“Even if he did hit him, why did you shoot him,” Latavia Thomas asked after the plea for voluntary manslaughter, but maintained there was no mark on Waudby. “And he shot him when he was on the ground.”
Police were called to the Arbors of South Towne Square around 1 a.m. Nov. 28 where they found Thomas, also known as “Knockout,” lying on the hallway floor inside the apartment. Officers found no pulse and a gunshot wound to his left chest.
Monday Latavia didn’t waste words.
“You took him from everybody that loved him,” she said. “It’s not fair to only have 30 years. Why should he be able to have a life?”
Thomas’ daughter, Shuntaya Pendleton, said Waudby “took my best friend.”
Also speaking for the family was Chad Sanders, who said “Ike,” as Renako was also known, had changed his life.
“There are no words for it,” Sanders said, adding that he was trying “not to have hate in my heart.” Since Renako’s passing, Sanders said he sought counseling to get through his grief.
Latavia had scorn for Waudby who listened to the statement. “Says he doesn’t remember anything,” she said. “That’s a lie.”