On September 28, 2017 Elijah decided to take a break from studying, he wanted some social interaction so he decided to go to a predominantly white fraternity party with some friends. When Elijah walked through he saw people partying, smoking and drinking alcohol which was given by fraternity brothers from behind the desk, they were handing out liquor and beer. Elijah asked 1 of the fraternity brothers if it was ok if he were to roll a joint, he was told he could so he went to another room as instructed. When Elijah went to the other room he saw 2 white guys and 1 female in the room and saw a white substance which he didn’t know what it was. Once Elijah saw this, he is now being asked to leave. While he is trying to leave he is yanked up off of his feet placed in a head lock, while his feet is lifted off of the ground, unable to yell for help, unable to breath. This is happening while another guy is punching him. Elijah saw fit to defend himself as he went into survival mode out of fear, thinking that he wasn't going to make it out alive. Elijah was finally able to get away from his attackers after he defended himself, as he was running he was being chased while being called a nigger, then he was tripped by the third attacker. These guys bullied Elijah!
On December 17, 2018 an African American man named Elijah Nichols , whom turned 18 years old on August 6, 2017 was handed down a 45 year sentence. The judge suspended the 45 years, however the sentence is over his head for 45 years, being that the sentence is not dismissed. Elijah must serve 10 years immediately, with 20 years of probation following his release for stabbing three white guys whom were attacking him while attending a fraternity party in Radford, VA.
Elijah Nichols is a teen father, was the captain of the William Fleming varsity basketball team and he graduated with honors. It has always been instilled in Elijah to go to college to make something of himself and not to become a statistic. Being a father at 17 years old did not stop Elijah from wanting more out of life and to be a role model for his young son. Elijah decided to go to Radford University so that he would be able to come home on the weekends to be able to continue to have a relationship with his baby boy and be able to raise him.
Elijah is being punished for defending himself against 3 attackers, which is unfair. The judge who sentenced Elijah went over the 1st time offenders guidelines of 3.5 years to 8 years. This judge is known for handing down harsher sentences to people of color. The day that Elijah was sentenced the judge told him that " I am going to use you as an example". The commonwealth prosecuting attorney asked the judge for a sentence of 5 years which the judge disregarded. Elijah has never been in trouble, this is his first offense. The judge did not take any of that into consideration. While Elijah spoke and his character witnesses spoke, which consisted of a police office whom is a former Carolina Panther, a Doctor of Theology, his mother and grandfather. The judge closed his eyes and nodded off showing his disinterest in their statements.
If Elijah would not have defended himself, because of the location and the type of community Radford Virginia is. Just as they are sticking together with their story of the incident, if this would have been about a young black male found beaten or even dead no one would have seen anything amongst a large group of onlookers who are afraid of these fraternity brother bullies, they would have turned a blind eye and nothing would have been done. Even a strong witness for Elijah was afraid for their safety as the detective went around campus with a picture of them asking students is they knew who the person is, due to this it caused this witness to remove themselves from being a witness in Elijah's case. If the roles were reversed and it was 3 African American men attacking 1 white male, they would have been called thugs and the white man defending himself against them would have been considered justified.
These are the words of Elijah Nichols, for I am standing in proxy for him telling his story. Elijah is your son, he is your grandson, he is your brother, he is your nephew! We are asking for Elijah to be released on time served as he defended himself while being attacked.