More than three years after Patrick Moffly was gunned down inside his downtown Charleston apartment, his mother says she still has one lingering question: Why did her son have to die.
Elizabeth Moffly, her husband David and others attended the four-day trial this week of Charles Edward Mungin III, one of two suspects charged in her son's March 2016 death.
Mungin, 24, was found guilty on Thursday and received a life sentence for murder and 30 years for armed robbery, said Andy Savage, an attorney who is a close friend of the Moffly family.
The case against a second suspect, John Glover, is ongoing.
"We miss him every day," Elizabeth Moffly, said. "It was so senseless."
Patrick Moffly, 23, was shot March 4, 2016, at his apartment on Smith Street. When officers arrived, they found him behind a partially closed front door, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest. Xanax pills were scattered by him and on the sidewalk in front of the house.
A thin man with curly blond hair, Patrick Moffly was called "Patch" by his family members, and he had cooked in some of Charleston’s restaurants and taken classes at Trident Technical College.
His shooting was linked to a stunning drug bust that exposed how a network of College of Charleston students and their associates funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in cocaine, pills and other narcotics into downtown Charleston’s white-hot party scene.
The group operated from million-dollar homes steps away from the college’s oak-shaded courtyards and used fraternities as drug distribution centers. They stamped out pills by the thousands using chemicals from Chinese internet suppliers.
Moffly had connections to the network’s members, and his death happened as the Charleston Police Department was investigating the ring.
Looking for other clues, officers also found a lease agreement for a small house behind 43 Gadsden that was connected to the ring. The house was believed to have been a “stash house” for a narcotics operation. Nine people eventually were arrested in connection with the network.
Sitting through the trial, Elizabeth said she felt sick. Hearing the case's details and watching an officer's body camera footage was painful, but she said some measure of justice was served.
"We got no enjoyment out of the sentencing whatsoever other than the fact that (Mungin's) off the street," the mother said.
As Patrick bled out on the floor of his home, he told investigators that a woman and another man had robbed and shot him, detectives testified.
Investigators later cleared the woman.
During the trial, they also heard from one of Patrick's friends who was at the home when Patrick was shot, Elizabeth Moffly said. The friend had gone into the kitchen to try and find a clean towel to apply pressure to Patrick's wound.
Patrick told his friend: "Please, please tell my family that I'm so sorry and that I'm going to die," according to Elizabeth's recollection of the testimony.
Police said that Mungin had met with Moffly to buy drugs, and an altercation led to the shooting.
"An avalanche of circumstantial evidence" against Mungin included phone records showing the two had spoken and matching Xanax pills spilled around Moffly's body and in Mungin's car, Assistant Solicitor Denton Matthews said.
Moffly's family and Savage praised the prosecution team's efforts on the case, especially those of Managing Assistant Solicitor Stephanie Linder.
"I thought the police did a fabulous job," said David Moffly. "(Patrick) wasn't an angel. He made some bad decisions in the friends he chose, but he didn't deserve to die."
Moffly's parents, meanwhile, continue to remember the son they lost: his trusting nature, the way he would light up a room, and his permanent place in their hearts.
Elizabeth and her husband get a little frustrated from time to time. They had warned their son to be careful of who he hung out with. But in the end, they simply miss him.
"We talk about Patrick all the time," she said. "We laugh and we joke ... It's been devastating for the whole family. We've all been trying to support each other.
"I am a big believer in faith. I think he's in a good place, but I'd like'd to have kept him longer."
Sara Coello and Tony Bartelme contributed to this story.