YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — In a courtroom filled with sobs, a woman who pleaded guilty in September to killing her best friend’s daughter during an outdoor party was sentenced Wednesday to seven to nine years in prison.
Judge R. Scott Krichbaum handed down the sentence in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to Shamara Green, 29, of Liberty, on a charge of involuntary manslaughter with a firearm specification.
The attorneys in the case had recommended the sentence to the judge when Green made her plea.
Green pleaded guilty Sept. 8 for the May 19 shooting death of London Jones, 13. Jones was killed while her mother was at an outdoor gathering about 12:30 a.m. in the 400 block of Carroll Street. Detectives said Green was arguing with someone when she pulled out a gun and began firing. One of the rounds hit London, who was on a sidewalk. A man who was there was also hit in the foot by a bullet.
Green was taken into custody several hours after the shooting after she was questioned several times by detectives.
London was a student in the Liberty school district and detectives said her mother was friends with Green.
Dynasty Jones, London’s sister, told Judge Krichbaum her life has been shattered since London’s death.
“She was all I had,” Dynasty said of her sister. “She was the reason I had good days.”
Dynasty also said the fact Green was so close to her family makes the hurt even worse.
“We loved you like you were ours,” Dynasty said.
She asked why Green had to fire a gun that night.
“My baby sister was out there and you know bullets have no name on it,” Dynasty said. “You shot a gun and took my sister. This is crazy.”
Dynasty said she could not forgive Green.
“I can’t say what I want to happen to you,” Dynasty said.
Jasmine Levy, London’s mother, told the judge she is wondering when the pain will begin to subside.
“Most nights I cry because I’ll never hear my baby’s voice again,” she said.
Detectives also said in the immediate aftermath of London’s death that they were frustrated because several witnesses outright lied and also because a young girl was outside late on a school night.
Levy said she did wish she had done things differently.
“I hate that we did not make better choices that night because if we did we would not be here today,” she said.
Judge Krichbaum said he agreed that better choices had to be made that night.
“I don’t know what the hell a 13-year-old girl is doing out at a gathering at 12 o’clock at night,” Judge Krichbaum said. “It’s a all a recipe for disaster, isn’t it?”
Defense attorney Mark Lavelle said Green is not an evil person but she made a horrible mistake. He said that night Green was knocked down during an argument and shot the person she was arguing with in the foot.
However, she kept firing her gun and London was hit. Lavelle said Green thought she was firing in the air.
Green, through tears that also prompted everyone else in the courtroom to start crying, said she was sorry.
“I go to sleep every night and I think about it,” she said. “They’re like my own kids. I know that I can’t change it but I’m sorry. I’m very sorry.”
Judge Krichbaum said he does not understand why people use guns to solve disputes, because everyone loses.
“It never ends up good for anyone,” he said.