Man gets life in prison for murder of cab driver

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The man who killed a Lexington taxi driver back in 2011 found out this morning how long he'll spend behind bars.

John Cherry was found guilty of murder by a jury in January, for the death of 28-year-old Amine Lemgaili, who was found shot to death behind the wheel of his cab on Woodhill Drive.

WKYT''s Sean Evans was on the scene in the courtroom as the jury handed down Cherry's sentence this morning.

In the courtroom, Cherry's attorney offered a plea to Judge Goodwine to consider the sentence, and to show leniency.

"This was a tragic event that would have never happened, but for John's drug use that night," said defense attorney Erica Roland.

Taking all of the information of the case into consideration, including statements by the victim's wife, who said that she had forgiven Cherry for the crime, the sentence was read.

"At some point in his life, he allowed drugs to take over. He's an admitted dealer. He testified to that almost proudly," said Judge Pamela Goodwine. She continued, "Simply giving an excuse, that I was high on drugs, and drugs controlled my life, and I didn't know what I was doing is not acceptable. Not by this jury, not by this community, and certainly by me."

Cherry had no previous felony record prior to the murder.

Lemgaili's widow said she would not fight Cherry's wish to pursue parole when he becomes eligible.

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