Tammy Suomi's Duluth, Minnesota living room is filled with memories of her daughter Jackie Defoe and her grandson Kevin Shabaiash Jr. Teddy bears line the couch. Photos of her smiling loved ones cover a coffee table and kitchen island.
Defoe was 13 weeks pregnant when she and 21-month-old Kevin were beaten and stabbed to death in March 2020 at her home on the Fond du Lac American Indian reservation near Duluth.
In May, a jury convicted Defoe's boyfriend Sheldon Thompson of first-degree murder in the deaths of Defoe, her unborn child, and Kevin. He was sentenced to three consecutive life terms and given no chance for parole for Defoe's and Kevin's murders. Attempts to reach Thompson through his attorney were unsuccessful.
In Minnesota, Suomi was the first witness prosecutor Lauri Ketola called.
After the verdict, Suomi said of her daughter, grandson and unborn grandchild: "I finally got justice for them."
(Photo Editing Kezia Levitas; Additional Reporting Caitlin Ochs and Donna Bryson; Text Editing Donna Bryson and Rosalba O’Brien; Layout Kezia Levitas)