Sadly, my story that leads to that day is strikingly similar to that of most young people who get into serious legal trouble. As a kid, I experienced almost constant hunger, neglect and physical abuse. In the months that led up to the crime, my grandfather, my only real mentor and source of moral authority, was battling cancer. All of our bills were overdue, and we had just received an eviction notice at our home. My mother, a recovering addict, had recently suffered through a very abusive relationship with her boyfriend, a D.C police officer. He had assaulted both of us several times. He once bashed in her skull so severely that she nearly died, and he pistol whipped me.