Two Akron men were sentenced to prison Wednesday for the 2017 shooting death of an 18-year-old Akron man whom prosecutors say was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Cquincey Chatman and Lamarr Jackson, two of four men charged in the shooting, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter last month, as well as aggravated robbery. Both charges included gun specifications.
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty sentenced Chatman to 20 years in prison and Jackson to 21 years, the amount agreed to by attorneys.
“I understand no one was thinking of killing anyone that night,” McCarty said. “When you have a loaded gun and break down a door, that’s what happens. People die.”
The courtroom was packed with family members of both the victim, Brandon Belleville, and the defendants. They sniped at each other before the sentencing but remained quiet during the proceeding under the watchful eye of eight deputies scattered through the courtroom.
McCarty ejected many of them from the courthouse during Chatman and Jackson’s pleas in late April because they were fighting. She asked several family members of Belleville on Wednesday to cover up or turn their T-shirts inside out because they showed an obscene hand gesture on the back.
Chatman, who recently turned 18, was bound over to adult court from Summit County Juvenile Court. He was originally charged with aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, and having a weapon under disability, which means he was prohibited from having a gun because of a prior conviction.
Jackson, 26, was initially charged with murder, felonious assault and aggravated robbery.
Harold Burros, 27, a third man charged in the shooting, also accepted a plea agreement last month. He pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, both with gun specifications. McCarty sentenced him to life in prison with possible parole after 23 years.
A fourth Akron man wanted in the shooting remains at large. Chris L. Johnson, 26, is charged with aggravated murder.
Police say the four men kicked in the door of a residence in the 600 block of Minerva Place in Akron on Sept. 19, 2017, and shot and killed Belleville.
Prosecutors say the shooting happened during a robbery that had nothing to do with Belleville. He just happened to be home at the time.
Dania Garcia, one of Belleville’s cousins, said she blames all four men for his death.
“Everybody is guilty in this situation,” she said. “Whoever pulled the trigger doesn’t matter. If you’re not safe in your own home, where are you safe?”
Chatman apologized to both Belleville’s family and his own.
“This is not me — at all,” he said. “You will never see me in this situation again.”
Jackson chose not to speak. He was represented by attorney Charles Quinn.
John Alexander, who represented Chatman with attorney Ed Smith, said he hopes McCarty will consider an early release for their client.
McCarty said she will but can’t guarantee she’ll grant it. She said she’ll allow Belleville’s family to weigh in when this request is made. The judge said the families of everyone involved in this shooting have suffered.
“There’s no winners here,” she said.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, email@example.com and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.