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He was new to Erie. Now he’s headed to state prison for shootings in ‘hunting’ of teens

Jamaica A. Boyd had been in Erie for only a year or so when he participated in two gang-related shootings two days apart in February 2023.

He helped spray 15 to 20 bullets at a house at West Second and Poplar streets the night of Feb. 6, 2023.

And he provided the gun that one of his four codefendants used when a 14-year-old boy was wounded in the neck in a drive-by shooting near West 29th and Cherry streets on the afternoon Feb. 8, 2023.

Both times, the police and the prosecution said, Boyd and his codefendants missed their intended target — a 15-year-old boy linked to a rival street gang.

Boyd, 21, had moved to Erie from Memphis to live with relatives. The incidents have forced him to relocate once more.

Erie police converge on a house on Cherry Street, just south of West 29th Street and near Stafford Avenue, as they investigated a gang-related shooting of a 14-year-old boy on Feb. 8, 2023.

He has been sentenced to six to 12 years in state prison for both shootings.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the defense recommended that penalty in light of Boyd’s guilty plea, in January, to four charges: attempted homicide and carrying a firearm without a license in the Cherry Street shooting and aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure in the Poplar Street shooting.

Erie County Judge John J. Mead followed the recommendation when he sentenced Boyd on Friday.

Mead called the shootings “very disturbing” and another example of “young people hunting young people all over the city.”

Boyd said he took responsibility.

“I am not a bad person,” Mead told via videoconference from the Erie County Prison. “I was just around the wrong crowd at the wrong time.”

Two rival gangs, two shootings in Erie

Boyd got involved with the wrong crowd not long after he arrived in Erie. His lawyer, Bruce Sandmeyer, said Boyd moved to Erie from Memphis about a year before the shootings.

The members of the crowd were gang members.

Boyd and his four codefendants were connected to the 2-5, a gang from the area of ​​East 25th and German streets, according to information Chief Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Lightner presented in court on Friday and at earlier court proceedings.

Lightner said the 15-year-old boy who was the target of both shootings was affiliated with Pop Block, a gang from the Poplar Street area.

The main defendant in the two shootings is Kremeer K. Thompson, who was 17 at the time and was charged as an adult.

Police said Thompson was armed with an assault rifle when he and Boyd shot up the the house on Poplar Street at about 8:45 pm on Feb. 6, and police said Thompson used a .357-caliber handgun from Boyd to shoot at the 14 -year-old boy at West 29th and Cherry streets at about 4:35 pm on Feb. 8.

The gun was fired from an SUV that was driving through the neighborhood, which is just north of Erie High School. Boyd, Thompson and two other co-defendants — Anfernee K. Graves and Elijah R. Ward — were in the SUV, which Graves was driving, police said.

The 14-year-old was hospitalized and recovered, Lightner said. He said Thompson meant to fire at the 15-year-old.

A group of people in the area shot back at the SUV. That gunfire led police to charge two others: Orguna L. Sanders Jr., 21, who got probation, and a defendant who was prosecuted as a juvenile.

In the Poplar Street case, the house sprayed with gunfire is next to the residence of the 15-year-old target, police said.

The bullets pierced the house’s windows, walls, paneling and doors, one of the residents testified at the preliminary hearing in the two shootings cases, in May 2023. He said the shooting sounded like a war zone.

Two codefendants also pleaded guilty and sentenced

Thompson, now 19, pleaded guilty in January to attempted homicide, aggravated assault and other charges in the shootings. He pleaded guilty to intimidating a witness, for contacting the 14-year-old victim to try to get him to lie about what happened.

Mead followed another recommended sentence and gave Thompson 10½ to 30 years in state prison in March.

Thompson, Boyd and two other codefendants — Graves and Ward — were charged in both shootings. Another codefendant was charged only in the Poplar Street case.

That defendant is Saron D. Tate, 22. He pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to discharge a firearm into an occupied structure, and Mead immediately sentenced him to 11½ to 23 months in the Erie County Prison and two years of probation, according to court records.

Graves and Ward, both 22, testified for the prosecution at the preliminary hearing on the shootings in May 2023. They are both awaiting trial while they are incarcerated on bond.

With the sentencing of Boyd, the main codefendants in the shootings have been ordered to prison.

As Lightner said in court on Friday, the shooters fired the bullets in both cases for the same reason: Boyd, the newcomer to Erie, joined with Thompson and the others in “trying to chase a 15-year-old boy who had upset them “

Contact Ed Palattella at [email protected] or 814-881-0238. Follow him on @ETNpalattella.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Newcomer to Erie sentenced for two-gang related shootings days apart