Lindsay Nichols wanted to teach her son to be kind to others and once took him to bring blankets and socks to the homeless.
But the single mother, who was described as sassy and full-of-life, didn't receive the same level of compassion she showed to others on the night she was murdered and shoved into the trunk of a car before it was lit on fire. The car and her severely burned remains were found June 21, 2015, the same day she was last seen alive.
Thayon Samson, 33, pleaded guilty on Friday to manslaughter, kidnapping, obstruction of justice and solicitation of murder for the crime.
Her family and friends were given the opportunity to confront her killer in court Monday, according to The Times-Picayune. Her mom, Jolene Dufrene called Samson a "heartless monster" who had robbed her family of future memories with Nichols.
"We will be forever sad on holidays," she said, according to the paper.
Friend Jessica Barrios said she hoped Samson, who worked as both a barber and exotic dancer, understood what he had taken away.
"I know I am supposed to forgive, and maybe one day I will, but today is not that day," she said in the courtroom, surrounded by Nichols' family and friends who wore "Rest In Peace" T-shirts with the victim's photo, the paper reported.
On the day of her death, the 31-year-old Nichols had been out in the early morning hours with friends at a nightclub, where she'd met Samson, according to the The Times Picayune.
Phone records show she called his number at 4:11 a.m. and again at 4:18 a.m. that night. Her last known contact was shortly before 5 a.m. when she placed a 911 call telling the operator a man was pointing a gun at her, according to The New Orleans Advocate.
A man can be heard in the background of the call screaming profanities at her.
The operator, who later resigned, took eight minutes to dispatch police officers and by the time they arrived Nichols was gone, the Advocate reported.
Her body was discovered just a few hours later.
Police say Samson later tried to hire someone to kill co-defendant Troy Varnado Jr., through letters he sent from jail.
According to the Advocate, Varnado will go to trial later this month.
As part of his plea deal, Samson will serve 40 years without the possibility of parole, probation or a suspended sentence.
"I am just at peace that we found justice for Lindsay,” her mom told 4 WWL Eyewitness News after Monday's victim impact statements in court. “I am glad it is over.”
[Photo: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office]
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