A Suffolk Superior Court jury today acquitted Lakeisha Gadson of charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment of a child, improper storage of a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm, but did find her guilty of misleading a police officer following the death of her son in 2007.
Jayquann McConnico today admitted he left a loaded gun in his bedroom that a 7-year-old relative used to kill his brother Liquarry last summer, the Suffolk County DA's office reports.
McConnico, himself only 16, was committed to DYS until he turns 21. He was also sentenced to four to six years in prison for manslaughter and 2 1/2 years in jail for lying to police. However, Boston Juvenile Court Judge Stephen Limon suspended those sentences for nine years.
Liquarry's mother, Lakeisha Gadson, is scheduled for trial in April on charges of involuntary manslaughter, wantonly and recklessly permitting substantial bodilty injury to a child, child endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm, improper storage of a firearm, and misleading a police officer.
Prosecutors McConnico stored a 9-mm Norinco semi-automatic handgun with live ammunition in the unlocked top drawer of a small dresser in McConnico's bedroom at 266 Seaver St. They alleged that Liquarry routinely played in the room - and that it was this gun that the boy and his cousin were playing with when it went off around 11 p.m. on June 24, 2007.
The father of Liquarry Jefferson, the little boy accidentally shot to death last year, was one of two men arrested yesterday for a pair of brazen convenience-store holdups last month, Boston Police report.
Liquarry's father, 28, and also named Liquarry, and Nazareth Perkins, 37, were both captured on in-store video, according to Boston Police, who say they are looking for at least two more men. In both incidents, the robbers used silver-colored guns to order employees to the floor and make off with money and lottery tickets. Jefferson was charged with drug possession while Perkins was charged with armed robbery (masked) and assault by means of a dangerous weapon (hand gun).
The elder Jefferson has a lengthy record of violence. Last year, the Globe reported his record includes beating his son's mother (with a barbell and belt) when she was two months pregnant with him (at the time, she was herself facing charges of stabbing Jefferson in the stomach). He's been convicted of manslaughter for helping another man stab a guy to death in 1997 and of a string of armed robberies.
Little Liquarry Jefferson's mother and stepbrother face charges of involuntary manslaughter and lying to investigators in connection with his death. Prosecutors say the stepbrother left a loaded gun lying around.
This Sunday, there's going to be a "Man Up for Liquarry Jefferson Accountability March" from Grove Hall to City Hall, to try to get black men to take more responsibility for stopping violence in inner-city Boston (starts at 11 a.m.; it's named for the little boy shot by a cousin with an illegal gun a family member left lying around).
I didn't read about it in the Globe or the Herald, of course. Instead, I heard about it this morning on Touch FM, the pirate radio station a toothless FCC can't seem to shut down.
But maybe it's not such a bad thing the FCC can't figure out how to dismantle an antenna. For the 20 minutes or so I listened to the station in the car (came in very well in Roslindale, slowly faded out as I got toward Rte. 9 in Newton), I listened to callers discussing what "brothas can do" to change the 'hood - and which song they'd pick as a theme for the march or which best reminds them of somebody they'd lost to violence. The DJ recited names of young victims of violence and reminded listeners that the mainstream media only seem to care about the inner city when somebody gets gunned down - where are the stories about good things in the non-white areas of Boston?
The answer to that one is easy, of course: If you look at today's Globe, you'll notice the paper assigned two metro reporters to the Patriots/Herald story (and another to cover a mock hurricane evacuation on the Cape).
UPDATE: Gadson acquitted on the most serious charges.
Lakeisha Gadson, and her son, Jayquan McConnico, 16, were formally charged today with involuntary manslaughter - and lying to investigators about how Liquarry Jefferson, 8, died.
Although police still say the person who actually fired the gun that killed Liquarry was his 7-year-old cousin, prosecutors charge Gadson and McConnico are equally to blame, because they stored a 9-mm Norinco semi-automatic handgun with live ammunition in the unlocked top drawer of a small dresser in McConnico's bedroom. They alleged that Liquarry routinely played in the room - and that it was this gun that the boy and his cousin were playing with when it went off around 11 p.m. on June 24, 2007.
At a press conference today, Suffolk County DA Dan Conley and Police Commissioner Ed Davis recited a series of changing stories the family told police about how Liquarry died.
When [emergency workers] went to McConnico's room, they told investigators, they found Jefferson grievously wounded. McConnico, with Gadson's knowledge, allegedly retrieved the handgun and some ammunition, concealing them in some clothing and hiding them in the back hall. Gadson allegedly devised the intruder story and told McConnico and others in the residence to repeat it to police.
"The facts are both shocking and sad," Conley said. "Shocking because the actions that led to Liquarry's death were so reckless and the consequences so predictable, and sad because an eight-year-old boy lost his life because the two people who should have been most concerned with his care and protection were utterly derelict in their duties."
Complete statement from the DA's office:
Antonia Gadson, aunt of accidentally shot-to-death Liquarry Jefferson, was arraigned today in Suffolk Superior Court on gun possession and drug trafficking charges related to the aftermath of a still unsolved 2006 murder, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office announced:
The charges against Gadson stem from the May 30, 2006, homicide of Dwayne Turnbow next to his car a short distance from Gadson's residence. Evidence suggests that, shortly after his death, she retrieved a .38 caliber revolver from his car and brought it into her home.
Boston Police investigating Turnbow’s death learned of the gun she allegedly took and obtained a search warrant for her residence. In the course of executing that warrant, they recovered that gun, a second firearm, a quantity of ammunition for firearms of various calibers, 54 Ecstasy tablets, and a large quantity of cocaine in powder and crack forms. Investigators also recovered scales, plastic baggies, and $4,800 dollars in cash.
Bail was set at $15,000.
Good, sad, frustrating story in the Globe today that looks at the poor kid's short life in an awful family and environment in Grove Hall, despite some fairly intensive - and expensive - efforts by social workers to help.
... In Grove Hall, police have said that 2.4 percent of the area's 19,000 residents cause most of the serious crime. Many of those people, police say, are related. ...
Karl is looking at the media when he asks the question after watching the extensive coverage of the Liquarry (Laquarrie?) Jefferson case:
... I don't understand why a child's murder is manipulated by the media to be more tragic than the murder of a 20-50 year old. Death is death ... and if the victim was in fact a victim (innocent bystander versus gang member), I think they all should get the same amount of sympathy. People (and the media) just see a cute kid's school photo on the TV and act like it's the worst thing ever. Yet the same exact thing has happened 30 other times in Boston this year alone (and hundreds of times throughout the country). ...
Will then extends the question to men and people in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It hurts my heart to hear that because I witnessed how good of a kid Laquarrie was. My little sister attended school with him and played with him after school. I was playing basketball with him one day. He did not have a good shot because of his size so i lifted him up so he could shoot the ball. ...
Crazy James writes:
We have the police, we have SWAT, we had the friggin Angels walking the streets and still Boston is suffering from more and more murders. What will it take to get the sanity back into our fair city? When will the violence end? The pointless death of an 8 year old boy in Dorchester might be the begining. ... Whether it is gang related or not...a family will not be able to see a young child grow into a man. Farewell Laquarrie, may angels guide you home.
The Herald talked to the principal at his school:
... "He was a lovely little boy, a sweet little boy, who would help any of his classmates," said Michele O'Connell, principal of the John P. Holland Elementary School in Dorchester. "He was always smiling. ...
Update: Investigators now say a 7-year-old cousin playing with an illegal gun shot him, the Herald reports. See the comments for a statement from the DA.
Laquarrie Jefferson was shot to death shortly after 11 p.m. last night at 266 Seaver St., when three men burst into his apartment and opened fire.
"I am stunned and saddened by the news of Laquarrie's death," police Commissioner Ed Davis said. "His young life has been cut tragically short by senseless gun violence."
The Herald reports three men stormed the apartment, kicking open the door and opening fire.
The Globe has more.
In April, 2006, a 14-year-old girl was stabbed in a fight at the same address.