Brittany Southwell was 26 years old and had an infant in her arms when she was brutally shot by 20-year old Anthony-Gelia. He allegedly also streamed part of the murder on Facebook Live.
The video has been submitted to the court and will be viewed by the jury as evidence.
Police have alleged that Gelia smashed in the door of Brittany’s house in Michigan, and then opened fire inside. One of the stray shots struck and killed Brittany, a mother of free, who was holding her infant child in her arms. She collapsed on the spot.
The murderer was streaming live on Facebook when the incident occurred. The video was 25 minutes long and recorded the events before Gelia committed the murder – and also some of the actual gory scene.
Right before the mother’s tragic murder, the video showed Gelia sitting in a car with a woman, who was apparently his girlfriend. The pair were seen laughing together and were both heavily drunk. Gelia had a gun in his hand. He was also making various threatening statements, MLive has reported.
His threats kept on getting more aggressive as time passed. At one point in the video, Gelia could be heard saying he wanted to “pop someone”. The next moment showed him knocking on Brittany’s door and then the camera went black.
Despite the lack of clear footage, chilling audio was heard; Gelia could be heard kicking down the door. He then started to fire. Multiple gunshots reverberated through the house as Gelia’s bullets met their intended targets.
He could also be heard in the video. Gelia screamed, “What’s up, who’s crazy?” along with “see you in prison”. Prosecutors also allege they heard a woman panicking in the background, frantically asking whether he had shot somebody.
Gelia stands to get a maximum life sentence. The jury is still out on whether he will be prosecuted for first or second degree murder. The Facebook live video is what stands between them and the final verdict.
The murderer’s history shows he has already been charged with one count of first-degree home invasion and felony firearms. He is also guilty of open degree murder.
Brittany was an unfortunate victim. However, despite the obvious cruelty of Gelia’s actions, his lawyer has tried to stop the jury from using the recording in the trial. According to him, the video footage is ‘prejudicial’. Prosecutors blocked his action, arguing that the video helps set a precedent about Gelia’s state of mind before he murdered Brittany.
“We cannot get better evidence in this case than what we just saw,” said Kati Rezmierski, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Jackson County. “He worked himself into a murderous frenzy and owned what he was going to do.”
Gelia’s murderous spree came to an end when he was placed under arrest on the same night. He was apprehended by a Michigan State Police trooper and a police officer from Columbia Township. He appeared to be suicidal and was seen holding a gun to his head.
His sentence will be decided soon when the jury weighs in on the severity of his crime.