Man who killed local mom on Facebook Live gets life in prison


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — It was an emotional day in Jackson County Court as a 20-year-old was sentenced to life in prison for killing a woman on Facebook Live while she held her infant son.

Brittany Southwell’s family has been in the courtroom for every devastating moment of this case.


 “I don’t care if it was an accident. I don’t care if there were eight or nine bullets, it takes one to kill somebody, and he had no right to take her from us,” said Southwell’s aunt Michelle Swartz at the sentencing.


A jury found Anthony Gelia guilty of murdering Southwell in March.  


In Nov. 2016, Gelia started a Facebook Live broadcast that shows him chugging alcohol, brandishing a handgun, and making threats.


The video shows Gelia going to a house to confront his brother over a Facebook feud, kicking in the front door, and firing multiple shots.


One of those bullets went through a basement door and hit 26-year-old Southwell as she held her baby boy.


She was just an innocent bystander.


At Wednesday’s sentencing, Gelia spoke to her family, saying he never meant to kill anyone. 


“I deserve to do this time. I sincerely apologize. I really do,” Gelia said.


Judge John McBain says Gelia has shown no remorse for what he did, and gave him the maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.


Southwell’s family is satisfied that Gelia will spend the rest of his life behind bars.


But they say justice can never truly be served because this is something they’re going to have to deal with the rest of their lives.


Her family also says the murder means three young children with grow up without a mother.


 “Just seeing the suffering in their eyes, and just wanting their mom,” said Southwell’s sister Brandi Robey at the sentencing.


“We tell our kids that there’s no such thing as monsters. But with people like this in the world, Brittany’s kids do believe in monsters now,” said Swartz


Anthony Gelia is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Brittany Southwell, who was shot and killed on Facebook Live while she held her baby boy. 

Gelia, 20, was doing a Facebook Live stream  when he shot and killed a young mother in Jackson.

Gelia admitted to firing several shots into a home on Jefferson Street in 2016.

He says he wanted to confront his brother about a previous fight.

One of his shots struck and killed Southwell while she was holding her son.

Gelia was found guilty of felony murder, home invasion and felony firearm.

This story is developing and will be updated online and on 6 News.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

StormTracker 6 Radar