Shawnette Nicole Carter was born in Abington Hospital, Abington, Pennsylvania to Irene and Melvin Carter on July 24, 1979.

She was raised and educated in Philadelphia.

Shawnette accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and became a member of Bethel Deliverance, Pastor Eric Lambert Jr. where she sang in the choir the praises of the Lord with a beautiful voice. She later attended Mt. Airy Church Of God In Christ, Pastor Morris. She was no stranger to Holy Temple Baptist Church, Pastor Davis where they took good care of Shawnette in the daycare.

Shawnette attended John L. Kinsey School Elementary School, Ada Lewis Middle School and worked at The Randolph Skill Center where she earned credits affiliated with Murrel Dobbins and later returned to Benjamin Franklin to attain her diploma. Shawnette was determined to graduate and in doing so became a role model to others by demonstrating courage to go back which showed that, with God, all things are possible to those who believe. Her last concern was extended to her baby sister, Tyesha Carter to finish school.

Her hope was to do a work that made a difference. Shawnette was employed at McDonald’s in Hatboro where she was promoted to a manager position. She looked out for many of her friends, offering recommendations for a position in customer service. Her intentions were to go back to school, Pierce Jr. College, for management. She was an asset to the McDonald’s staff in Hatboro, PA and they too miss her terribly.

Shawnette had a bubbly personality that touched everyone no matter who she came in contact with. You could always find her singing or laughing. She had the gift of laughter, and could make everyone laugh. She had a special relationship with children and a heart of gold for them. Shawnette had a special way about her in reaching to those in pain. She herself knew the challenges of trials and tribulations and through them learned to look to God to help her through. 

Shawnette was brutally murdered on February 22, 2000.

Shawnette leaves to mourn: mother, Irene L. Carter, father, Melvin Carter, sister Tyesha Carter, grandmother, Gertrude Mitchell, grandfather, Marvin Carter, stepbrothers, Melvin Lyons, Dominic Carter, stepsister, Renee Goldsby, and a host of relatives: uncles, aunts, cousins, godparents, co-workers, former classmates, staff, and friends: We all sorely miss her.

Tuesday April 1, 2003---Samuel Riddick, 46, was convicted of first degree murder and arson and sentenced to life in prison for the stabbing death and burning of neighbor Shawnette Carter, 20.

Common Pleas Court Judge Jane Greenspan accepted a guilty plea and heard victim impact statements from the victim’s parents and sister, stating the profound impact of the loss. Judge Greenspan then sentenced the defendant to life in prison without parole for murder and 10-20 years in prison for arson to run concurrently.

The defendant and victim both lived in an apartment complex at 5832 N. Camac Street where the body of Carter was found with multiple stab wounds and severe burns. She suffered defensive type wounds and over a dozen stab wounds, numerous abrasions and burns to the buttocks and back that occurred before she died.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Phillips said, “Shawnette was a truly innocent victim. She was good to him, gave food to him, and this is her reward. The sentence is a reflection of justice for the brutalized victim.”

After sentencing, the defendant returned to prison to serve his life sentence.
















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