Jekym Dowell

Jekym Dowell

A man received a 20-year sentence for a fatal shooting in New Orleans East under a plea deal with prosecutors on Tuesday.

Jekym Dowell, 25, averted a trial set for Tuesday by pleading guilty to one count of manslaughter before Criminal District Court Judge Byron C. Williams. He was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the May 25, 2014 killing of Clarence Wilson, 44.

Wilson was shot as he returned with his family from a weekend vacation in Atlanta, according to police.

Detectives said that family members told them Wilson stopped at several locations along Chef Menteur Highway before parking his white limousine at the corner of Chef Menteur Highway and America Street.

Wilson stepped out of the limo and greeted a man, according to witnesses. A gunshot rang out and Wilson fell to the ground. Police said the second man then took off running and fired a shot back toward the limo as he escaped.

Detectives said they found surveillance video from a nearby store showing a man meeting Dowell’s description fleeing the area. Dowell’s phone number also appeared in records of calls to Wilson just before he was killed, police said.

Authorities also claimed that Wilson’s family sought to retaliate against Dowell the day after Wilson was killed.

Dowell, who was a parolee at the time of the shooting, has been in custody since his arrest on Aug. 6, 2014. He has pending open charges for jail contraband, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

“I’m glad that we were able to come to an agreement that the victim’s family was happy with,” said Dowell’s defense attorney, Andrew Bevinetto. “Our firm was ready to vigorously defend Mr. Dowell in the case, but we believed it was in his best interest based upon a number of factors to take the deal that the state offered.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sarah Dawkins.

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