OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - The family of Zacharias McClendon was relieved knowing that Steven Wilbanks has been sentenced for the 2013 murder of their son.
"Justice has been served," said Percy McClendon, Zacharias's father. "It wasn't about the defendant. It was about a student that was striving to do something with his life, and it was taken from him."
Zacharias was a graduate student when he was killed. He was found dead of a gunshot wound at his home on County Road 140 after his mother notified deputies she was not able to get in touch with him.
"Zacharias was a very happy person, a very smart man," added his mother Paula McClendon. "He was full of joy, and brought a lot of joy to our family."
The McClendon family says they know the verdict won't bring their son back, but they are hopeful it will save others.
"I just believe a new standard has been placed here and the children in this county can feel more comfortable about where they go to school at," added Percy McClendon.
More information on the trial here.