NEW ORLEANS -- The man responsible for a horrific, violent crime spree a year ago faced his victims in court Monday.
Euric Cain, 22, is now serving the first day of 54 years behind bars for kidnapping, rape, and trying to kill a Tulane medical student last November.
Monday Cain silently sat in court, as he listened to the emotional statements from three of his four victims.
Earlier in the month, Cain pleaded guilty to 20 felony charges, 19 of them are crimes of violence. However, Monday was the first time we got to hear the words of the brave Tulane medical student who was nearly killed trying save a woman Cain was kidnapping.
"I'd like to thank the DA's office and everyone else. Really great," said Dr. Peter Gold to the media as he walked out of court.
His quick passing 'thank you' was outside of Orleans Criminal Court after Cain's sentencing, but the words he spoke inside the courtroom were the most memorable. He held back tears in court about his family, healing from his gunshot wound, and concern for the man and woman kidnapped and raped just a day after Cain tried to shoot him twice in the head when the gun jammed.
"This incident was unimaginable. To think of the terror that one man could cause to so many different people,” said Assistant Orleans Parish District Attorney Kevin Guillory. “To think that four people could have their lives changed forever because of the actions of one person is unconscionable and unimaginable. These are some of the strongest people that I have had the pleasure of working for and working with."
The DA's office considers Cain taking the 54-year plea, without parole, a successful conclusion to the case, tantamount to life in prison, saying victims and witnesses can now avoid reliving their agony in court.
"This marks the end of what I consider to be, albeit a brief reign of terror, a very significant and serious reign of terror that was perpetrated on several victims in this community by Euric Cain," said Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.
Cain's attorney tried to have him declared insane, but doctors did not make that diagnosis.
"He was very remorseful about what happened,” said Cain’s lawyer, Brian Woods. “As you know, some people don't speak very well when there's a lot of pressure, a lot of people in court, so he declined to make a statement at that time."
Woods did take the time to address each of Cain’s victim’s personally.
"I do give credit to his attorney, Mr. Woods, who at the conclusion of the sentencing today, did in fact personally apologize to each victim for what happened to them," noted Guillory.
Here’s Dr. Peter Gold’s full statement:
"The series of events that occurred that night still leave me in disbelief. I question the reality of those moments daily. How was everything timed so perfectly? What if scenarios play on repeat in my head? What if you had driven around the block one or two more times to scope out the scene before deciding to make your move on that girl?
I would have driven right past, no crime occurring yet.
What if I had carried cash on me that night? Would if you have taken my money and run?
Would you still have pulled your gun and at point blank range tell me, "I am going to kill you?"
What if your car license plate wasn't in the sight of that security camera; would you be here? What if your gun didn't jam; would I be here?
I woke up two days later in the hospital surrounded by my family and a group of best friends. This moment will forever be the happiest moment in my life. I was alive. You hadn't killed me. And with my family by my side, I knew I would bounce back stronger than ever. Strong enough to stand face to face with you again.
Standing here really hurts. It tears me apart emotionally to know what you did that night and the following day. I want you to know and understand the effect your individual actions had not just on me, but on those around me. My family was a train wreck. I will never forget the pain and trauma you caused them. Can you even imagine how you made them feel? That pain you caused is a burden I carry with me forever, and you should too.
Secondly, my heart shatters for the couple you sexually assaulted the following day. Their wounds will never heal quite like mine and I feel unbelievably terrible. You committed the ultimate selfish act. I hope your justice brings them peace.
After much critical thought, I feel deeply that no human is born with the hate and rage that you proved possible that night. Violent actions like this are happening daily in our country and have become a systemic problem which is certainly a major issue in our city. I have lived in New Orleans for eight years ignoring our city’s violent reality which you abruptly showed me. I believe we are failing the youngest generation, those who come home from middle and high school with a lack of necessary familial and community support. The lack of guidance at this all-important developmental stage makes the bad path in life an easy path to choose. Being surrounded by a culture that teaches power through violence is how an altercation becomes shoot to kill.
I hope that 50 years from now when you are released from jail, you will use your remaining years to affect young people's lives in a positive way. You have heard here today how your individual actions have created so much pain and trauma, merely adding to the cultural of violence in our city. I will dedicate the rest of my life to work with and support those who want to change our culture, who don't want to see what happened on November 20, 2015, happen again. There is no reason for this terror. We can be better and working as one community we will be stronger."
(© 2016 WWL)