For 31-year-old Bonnie McIntosh, the horror is still crystal clear in her mind.
"I can still feel it when I sleep at night. I can still feel the coldness. I can still feel the gun moving. I can feel him shaking. All I'm thinking is I'm never going to see my children again," McIntosh said.
On Friday morning, Corey Blackman, the man holding that gun to McIntosh's head is sentenced to 25 years behind bars. Blackman, convicted for felony first degree murder, faced between 20 and 60 years in prison for his involvement in this Rockford home invasion last November. The botched robbery on Kentucky Drive turned fatal when police say the homeowner Scott McIntosh wrestled away a gun and shot one of the invaders. 27 year old Joshua Kahl died. But Blackman's father Mario thinks the sentence is far too severe.
"Probably 10 years for home invasion, or whatever the statute is for home invasion, but not murder. He never killed anybody," Mario Blackman said.
But what a convicted man's father and the state's criminal system believe is the right sequence is not always the same. The prosecutor says even though he didn't pull the trigger, Blackman is involved, and ultimately responsible for his friend and accomplice's death.
"The fact that his friend was killed is no different than if he would have shot the homeowner himself. So there's absolutely no overreach, and the statement that this is overreaching or anyone's statement that it's overreaching, is outrageous," Winnebago County's Assistant State's Attorney Glen Weber said.
Meanwhile, Bonnie McIntosh says the home invasion has taken away her ability to trust others or feel safe, even behind locked doors. She's unsure if the man who easily could have taken her life can ever be forgiven.
"I don't know. I'm so angry right now, and my kids are suffering as well as I am. So much that when I see my kids suffering and hurt, I don't forgive anyone who puts pain or fear into my kids," McIntosh said.
Friday's sentencing again reinforces what can occur when drugs, guns, and violence tragically come together, and how families are impacted forever.