Gang-related shooter draws 30-year sentence

·3 min read

Nov. 18—LIMA — Jamaree Allen will spend a minimum of 30 years in prison — half the amount of time behind bars ordered for his co-defendant — for his role in a gang-related shooting at a busy Lima intersection more than two years ago.

Allen was sentenced Wednesday by Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser after accepting a plea offer from prosecutors earlier this month. That deal included an agreement that Allen's prison time would be capped at 30 years.

Kohlrieser said plea agreements are a necessary part of the criminal justice system and that she would follow the agreed-upon recommendation. She told Allen, however, that the plea deal "is the only reason my sentence is as low as it is."

The judge said Allen and Wilson created a "war zone" by firing 19 rounds of ammunition near the intersection of Cole Street and Brower Road in the summer of 2019. Prosecutors said the shootout was part of a gang war that followed the June 21 funeral of 19-year-old Christian Laws, who had been murdered a few days earlier.

Prosecutors charged Allen and Eric Wilson with engaging in gang activity in an attempt to send a message that violent gun crimes in the city will not be tolerated, Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Juergen Waldick said during Wilson's trial.

Prior to the imposition of sentence on Wednesday, Waldick said Allen "has absolutely no respect, no concern for anyone else. He has shown absolutely no remorse."

The prosecutor cited Allen's lengthy criminal record, both as a juvenile and as an adult.

"Rehabilitation apparently is not an option for this defendant. The only option should be to warehouse him," Waldick said. "The only appropriate sentence is a mandatory 30 years.

The alleged target of the shots fired by Allen and Wilson was Romelo Blackmon, an alleged rival gang member. Blackmon's mother addressed the court before sentence was passed.

"This incident has affected my son and our family greatly," she said. "We live in fear in our own community. My son suffers from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and he's lost his job. Our house has been shot at numerous times. I'd like to know what my son did to deserve this. I really want justice to be served."

Allen, who elected not to address the court before sentencing, was charged with participating in a criminal gang, two counts of felonious assault, two counts of discharging of a firearm into a habitation, having weapons under disability, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon.

Specifications for the use of a firearm, participating in gang-related activities and as a repeat violent offender added more than a dozen years of mandatory prison time to his sentence.

Kohlrieser said it was a "miracle" that no one died in the hail of bullets that fateful day.

"I don't know when, if ever, people are going to buy a clue that when you fire a gun, someone might get killed," the judge said.

Wilson, 27, of Lima, was convicted by a jury last year and was sentenced to at least 62 years in prison on charges identical to those faced by Allen.

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