Lakewood man pleads guilty in shooting death of Little Egg Harbor resident

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TOMS RIVER - A 26-year-old Lakewood man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to manslaughter in the 2021 shooting death of Little Egg Harbor resident Dajour Randolph, 20, in what had been a drug deal gone bad.

Jahvontae Debose faces up to 14 years in state prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced before state Superior Court Judge Lisa A. Puglisi on May 22, according to a statement from Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.

Debose also pleaded guilty to marijuana possession with intent to distribute, for being a person not permitted to possess a weapon and for possession of a firearm in the course of committing a drug offense. The Prosecutor’s Office will recommend that Debose serve seven years for the manslaughter conviction and another seven years for the marijuana conviction. The two sentences are to be served consecutively, the statement said.

How we got here: Lakewood police investigating fatal shooting

As a result of the plea agreement, the Prosecutor’s Office said it will recommend that sentences for the weapons’ convictions be served at the same time as the manslaughter and marijuana convictions.

Randolph suffered a fatal gunshot wound to his chest while standing in the middle of Tudor Court in Lakewood on Feb. 21, 2021. He was found lying in the street about 7:20 p.m. and taken to Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, in Lakewood, where he died. Randolph also suffered gunshot wounds in his back and shoulder, according to investigators.

Related: Lakewood man indicted on murder charge in shooting death of Little Egg Harbor resident

Just before Randolph died, he told a Lakewood police officer that Debose was the one who had shot him, according to court records.

Two days later, during a motor vehicle stop in Pleasantville, in Atlantic County, Debose was taken into custody by detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force.

He was later charged with and indicted for the murder of Randolph.

Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman and Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Veni represented the state of New Jersey in the case.

Debose has been in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River since his arrest more than two years ago.

Contact Asbury Park Press reporter Erik Larsen at

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Lakewood NJ shooting: man pleads guilty in Little Egg resident death