KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 15-year-old football player who was fatally shot while shielding his friends from gunfire was “always the protector” who “wouldn’t back down,” his mother testified at his murder trial Thursday.

Zenobia Dobson told jurors she was a “football mom” as prosecutors in Knox County put a photo of her slain son, Zaevion, on the easel next to the witness stand, WBIR-TV report ed.

She said she heard gunfire after her sons left the game and her phone started ringing. The mother testified that her son, Zach, who was crying, told her they had been shot at for no reason.

Zenobia Dobson testified during the third day of the trial for Christopher Drone Bassett, Kipling Deshawn Colbert and Richard Gregory Williams III. They face murder charges in Dobson’s death Dec. 17, 2015.

After the shooting, Dobson was praised by then-President Barack Obama for his bravery. Dobson posthumously received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2016 ESPYs. The award recognizes individuals embodying the spirt of Ashe, who dedicated his life to human rights advocacy.


Information from: WBIR-TV, http://www.wbir.com/

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