At a formal sentencing hearing Tuesday morning, the judge upheld the jury’s recommendation: a 45 to life prison sentence for the murder charge, plus 17 years for each robbery conviction.
A total of 62 years in prison with an 85 percent mandatory serving time means Sam will be at least 70 before he can request parole.
Stephens’ mother, who planned to be in court for all testimony, wants to keep her son’s memory alive. She said Stephens was a great father to his young daughter, a loving son and a person with a smile always on his face.
Stephens' family is working to pay for a final resting place for him in a special plot near his family.
Those who would like to help can visit their GoFundMe page.