The judge was disturbed at the way Shakoor took the law into his own hands.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Jamal Shakoor had nothing to say in his own defense before being sentenced for murder, so Judge James C. Evans said it for him in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
"This is a killing that did not have to take place," Judge Evans said before sentencing Shakoor to a minimum of 18 years to a maximum of life in prison. "Mr. Reeves did not deserve to die that night."
Shakoor, 20, of Early Road, was convicted by a jury Thursday in the January 2000 shooting death of 31-year-old Benjamin Reeves of Bennington Avenue.
Shakoor was angry because Reeves was dating his former girlfriend. He shot Reeves six times in the parking lot of Ursuline High School, where Reeves had taken the young woman to retrieve her broken-down car.
What judge said: "It's very disturbing that our society has people in it who take the law into their own hands," the judge said before imposing the sentence. He gave Shakoor credit for 519 days he served in the county jail awaiting trial.
Under Ohio law, 15 years to life is the mandatory sentence for murder. Judge Evans tacked on another three years because the jury found that Shakoor used a gun to commit the crime.
Shakoor must serve at least 18 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Reeves' family and friends were in the courtroom for the hearing, but none addressed Judge Evans before sentencing.
Assistant Prosecutor Jay Macejko said Reeves was "a good man, a good friend and a good worker" who did not deserve to die.
Defense attorney James Gentile said he will appeal the verdict and sentence.