By Linda Cicoira
The 14-year-old member of the East Side Blood Gang Villains, who opened fire on a local deputy in July 2022, apologized Monday while testifying at his sentencing in Northampton Circuit Court.
But, Jamarion (Khoppa) Javion S. Lafferty, now 15, of Parksley, still wouldn’t give authorities the names of the others who were with him in Cheriton that night.
The defendant said he thought the Dodge Charger occupied by Lt. Steve Lewis belonged to a rival gang member. The long-time officer was not injured. Thirty-one spent cartridges were found at the scene. Four of those came from Lafferty’s gun. There were five shooters with Lafferty. One shot right through the windshield of the stolen SUV that was found abandoned a few hours later.
At first, the officer thought the gang members were shooting at each other. He soon realized that wasn’t the case as his vehicle was hit twice. It was confirmed that a rival gang member drives a similar car.
Lafferty was given what is called a “blended sentence.” That means he will continue to be held in juvenile detention until he is 21. He will then serve the rest of his nearly nine years of active time in prison with adults.
His terms were set to run consecutively. Lafferty was given 20 years with all but two years suspended for attempted 1st-degree murder involving a mob, five years with four suspended for attempted unlawful bodily injury, four years for use of a firearm in a felony, five years with four suspended for shooting at an occupied vehicle, six months for reckless handling of a firearm, and five months for possession of a firearm by a person under of age of 18.
The total sentence was 34 years and 11 months. The active time was eight years and 11 months. Lafferty has been in detention since December 2022.
“I would like to say I’m sorry for what happened that night,” Lafferty told Judge W. Revell Lewis III. “I just have to worry about the future and do better.”
Lafferty admitted to using a 9mm pistol with an extended magazine to shoot at Lewis who was doing surveillance work regarding an unsolved murder and a drive-by shooting that occurred in the vicinity.
When asked who was with him that night, Lafferty shook his head and said, “I don’t know.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Thornton said Mr. Lafferty has a lot of things going for him. He’s smart, athletic … He seems to have a good head on his shoulders. He seems to be repentant for some of the things that he has done. I don’t know if this is a fear thing” about not telling who the others were. “It was my hope that Mr. Lafferty would be willing to cooperate… as opposed to taking the fall all by himself. … He doesn’t want to do that. While I appreciate his statement about Lt. Lewis … without the further step in bringing the others … to justice … it is much more (like) he’s sorry because he got caught.”
Defense lawyer Carl Bundick argued that his client has adjusted well and is moving forward successfully at the detention center. “He has been cooperative except for providing those names.”
“This is a very, very, very serious situation,” Thornton continued. “Whether he thought it was a police officer or not, he opened fire … If you’re man enough to pick up a gun … there needs to be consequences. The ball is in his court. He could help himself by helping society,” the prosecutor said.