Exclusive: Mother of Acen King Talks About Trial

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Nearly two years after 3-year-old Acen King was shot and killed in his grandmother’s car, Acen’s mother, Gashon Bell, sat down with Fox 16’s Donna Terrell on Wednesday to talk about the sentencing of Acen’s killer that had just happened hours earlier. 

Gary Holmes will spend 50 years in jail. 

It took the jury about 30 minutes to reach its guilty verdict, then an hour to decide his sentence. 

“I felt relieved, ’cause they finally found him guilty of something,” Bell recalled about when she first heard about the verdict. “I was sweating a little bit. My fingers had been crossed, hoping they would make the right decision.” 

Bell says in the past, the trial was pushed back because Holmes wanted to plead that he was insane, and then said he had dropped the gun. 

“It was a lot of mixed stories, so I was glad that they finally got the truth out,” says Bell. 

When asked if she was satisfied with Holmes’ sentence, Bell replied, “Yes and no”.

“I mean, I know he’ll be there for a while, but I feel that it’s something that he should be dealing with for the rest of his life, since it’s something I have to go through for the rest of mine,” Bell says. 

The mother also said there is no perfect ending in this case.

“He’s still going to be able to see his kids and his mom because he has visitation,” Bell says. “I get to go to a gravesite.”

When asked about what she thought of her son, Bell chuckled and said, “A star. Yeah, a star that got on my nerves, yeah.”

“He was my first child,” Bell said. “It took me a while to come up with his name. I wanted to call him “Ace”, which means first, and his last name was King, so he was my first king, so I came up with Acen.” 


Acen’s mother says each day is a test.

“Some days are ok, some days are not,” says Bell. “I have a two year old who pretty much looks just like him. Sometimes it gets scary when I try to do his hair a certain way. He kind of looks just like him so I kind of get shaken up. They used to spend birthdays together, so it’s a little hard.”

She says the nearly two years of waiting for this day has taken a toll. She was pregnant when Acen was killed. 

“I had went through so much,” Bell recalls. “I was holding so much in that I had a little bit of complications with my baby. He ended up passing away two months after I had him.”

She had lost two children in a six-month span. 

She says she has no words for the man who pulled the trigger on her oldest child.

“I mean, I forgave him,” Bell says. “I don’t feel like he, to me, deserves to be spoken to. He took away somebody that I can never speak to.”

She says now, she just has to take it day-by-day, learn to accept the fact he’s gone, and try to raise her other kids and make sure they have a better life and help them to remember Acen.  

You can see the raw interview in the clip above.

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