PANOLA COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - "She was cheerful, giving. She was kind. Yeah, funny."
Elaina Johnson's mother remembers her daughter as a good mother who loved her children.. and as a person who accepted others as they were.
"This is a picture of her on the day that her daughter graduated from high school. She was shot also."
Today Elaina's family and friends filled a Panola County courtroom as her accused killer, Jeffrey Mickens, went before a judge and entered into a plea of not guilty.
"How can you say you not guilty? If you're man enough to take life from the family and close friends…how can you do it?"
The shooting happened back in February along a private road near Beckville. Officials say they were told Elaina and Mickens were dating, and got into an argument that led to Mickens firing multiple shots into a car, hitting Elaina Johnson and her 21-year-old daughter, Raven. Her 2-year-old daughter was in the back seat. The child was not hit.
"God forgive me if I'm wrong. But I want him to get the death penalty. Because he shot my baby six times. And there was no need for that. You already killed her. You already shot her."
Mickens allegedly got in the car with the child still inside and fled. He was eventually arrested following a 10-hour standoff, during which he shot at a deputy. The bullet narrowly missed him.
"The way he looked. It's like nobody mattered. She didn't matter. I saw no remorse in his face. None."
Mickens is facing several different charges, among them murder, assault, kidnapping, and attempted murder of a peace officer. Today's court appearance was just the first step in a long process of serving justice. Justice that Elaina's family and friends say can't come soon enough...