Murderer gets 63 years

Published 10:21 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Windsor man was sentenced to 63 years in prison Wednesday, almost one year to the day after he murdered 18-year-old TyQuan Lewis.

Dontaz Latray Wilkerson, 20, was found guilty by a jury in May on first-degree murder and other charges. He fired 15 rounds at Lewis and three other teens on Walnut Street in the early morning hours of Aug. 1, 2010.

Lewis would have graduated from Lakeland High School in June.

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He was killed after a party on Manning Road, according to testimony during the trial. After he broke up a fight between Wilkerson and another man, Lewis and some friends left and went to McDonald’s and some other places throughout downtown Suffolk. Eventually, there was some communication that led Lewis and Wilkerson to the same place on Walnut Street, near Booker T. Washington Elementary School, supposedly to fight.

However, as Lewis and three others with him exited the car, Wilkerson appeared across the street and began shooting. One bullet hit Lewis in the jaw and lodged in the back of his neck, causing fatal injuries. Remarkably, none of his companions was injured.

The jury recommended a sentence of 53 years. The judge imposed that time, plus 10 more years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, which had not been included in the trial, and for violating his probation.

Wilkerson also was ordered to pay $6,400 in restitution for Lewis’ funeral expenses.

A co-defendant in the case, Randy Sherrod Copeland Jr., is set for trial Dec. 7-9.