The business suit and the freedom that Kawame Mays enjoyed in the courtroom is gone. For 23 hours a day, his home is now cell C-101 in the maximum control section of the Polk Youth Institute. But, he's glad to be alive
"A lot of people wanted me to die, they didn't even know me," said Mays.
Due to the fact that he killed a police officer, many people, including Mays, thought for sure he would get the death penalty.
"I was scared, I just prayed my faith would be strong," Mays explained.
Like a lot of prison inmates, Mays says he has found religion. He credits God and jurors for sparing his life.
"God bless them." Mays said. "I'm, thankful God worked through them to save my life. I was thankful."
The 20-year-old has been sentenced to two life terms for murdering Det. Paul Hale and Michael Walker. He says he intends to use the time in prison to learn and reflect.
"In a lot of ways prison has helped me," he explained. "It has opened my eyes to a lot of things."
He refuses to make an on camera apology to his victims saying it may come off as insincere. But he says he understands the gravity of what he has done.
"I feel terrible about what I've done," Mays said. "It was a terrible thing to do."
When Mays turns 21, he will probably be moved to an adult prison. But one thing is for sure. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Mays has appealed his conviction in the murder of Walker. He says he intends to appeal his conviction in the Hale murder case as well.
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