Judge calls birthday party gunman ‘cold-blooded,' sends him to prison for 90 years

The judge said there is no question in his mind that Lowery killed the victim.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A man who pleaded no contest for his role in a deadly birthday party shooting last fall has shown “no remorse whatsoever,’’ a judge said before sentencing the 21-year-old to up to 90 years in prison.

“This was clearly a cold-blooded, well thought out execution,’’ Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark A. Trusock told Jokari Lowery. “You’ve shown no remorse whatsoever for what you’ve done here.’’

Investigators say Lowery opened fire at an after-hours party at a business on 28th Street SE in Grand Rapids, killing 21-year-old Juwan Boykin. Eight others were wounded. Lowery was arrested more than 3½ months later.

He was initially charged with open murder, gang member felonies, three weapons offenses and being a habitual felony offender. Lowery pleaded no contest to second-degree murder with an agreement that he would serve 28 years for the murder and a mandatory two-year term for felony use of a firearm.

In court Thursday, Lowery extended his condolences to the Boykin family, but said he was not responsible for the murder. “I’m not the one that killed him,’’ Lowery said.

Trusock saw it differently. “There is no question in my mind that you killed this young man,’’ the judge said. “You went through with a plea bargain here which you agreed to serve, in the end, 30 years.’’

The judge sentenced Lowery to between 30 and 90 years, which includes a mandatory two-year term for felony use of a firearm.

“I don’t believe that you’re someone who can ever live in society, quite frankly,’’ Trusock said. “It is my hope that you never get released from prison.’’

The victim’s sister addressed the court prior to sentencing, telling Trusock that she is still grieving over Boykin’s death.

“I feel like the sentencing in this matter is not enough,’’ Jhalisa Cage told the court. “I’m livid with this situation. I got to live with this the rest of my life and I just want justice for my brother.’’

Boykin was pronounced dead at the scene of the 3:45 a.m. shooting at Clearance Outlet, 1850 28th St. SE, east of Kalamazoo Avenue. Just 11 days after the Oct. 9 shooting, a woman was wounded while attending a funeral reception for Boykin at Urban Family Ministries on the city’s Southeast Side.

Lowery had seven delinquency cases as a juvenile; offenses included destruction of property and possession of a BB gun.

In September, 2014, Lowery was charged with carrying a concealed weapon after Grand Rapids police found him with a loaded handgun inside a vehicle at Logan Street and Fuller Avenue SE.  He was sentenced to 150 days in jail in that case.

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