Man gets 38 years for murder

Published 10:23 pm Friday, March 16, 2018

A Suffolk man was sentenced Friday to 38 years in prison for a March 1, 2016, murder.

A jury found Karlton Lamond Boone Jr., 20, guilty in December on charges of first-degree murder, shooting in the commission of a felony and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the death of 42-year-old Wayne Watford.

The jury recommended the 38-year sentence, which Circuit Court Judge Carl E. Eason Jr. declined to increase or decrease.

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“The system of a jury is sacrosanct in our country,” Eason said. “The voice of the community should, in most if not all cases, carry a lot of weight.”

According to prosecutor Tom Shaia, Boone and another man, Quintin Baker, were hanging out that night, and Watford was with them. Boone kept asking Baker to drive them to different places. Twice they stopped at an ATM so Watford could get money to pay back a debt he allegedly owed to Boone, but it wasn’t working.

Eventually, Boone asked Baker to drive into the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in the 800 block of Dill Road/Old Dill Road. Security cameras on a nearby commercial building captured the car driving into and then out of the cemetery.

According to testimony by Baker, Boone told Watford to get out of the car, saying he was going to make Watford walk. Boone then quietly exited the car, walked to the back of it and shot Watford as he walked away.

Shaia, who prosecuted the case along with Matthew Glassman, said mud found on Boone’s shoes was similar to mud in the cemetery, and Boone had also dropped his phone in the cemetery, which investigators later recovered.

“Quintin Baker testified Karlton Boone told him it was over an $80 drug debt,” Shaia said after Friday’s hearing.

Boone was arrested in Atlanta, Ga., more than a month after the shooting.

During Friday’s hearing, defense attorney Robert C. Neeley Jr. made a motion to vacate the guilty verdicts.

He cited prejudicial evidence and the credibility of Baker as his reasons for the motion.

“They could not have made their case without (Baker),” Neeley said in court. “He had motive to lie. He had motive to be biased.”

Shaia said after the hearing that there was “no evidence to show that (Baker) had any knowledge of what was going on” until the shooting happened.

Eason overruled the motions and then heard argument on the sentencing.

“It was a cold-blooded killing done by the defendant, this man, over a lousy couple of bucks,” Shaia said during the hearing.

Neeley argued for the sentence recommended by the jury, which — unlike most jury sentences — was below the minimum sentencing guidelines for the case.

“The jury has found he’s done a horrible thing,” Neeley said. “Give this young man a chance to have a life.”

Neeley said at the conclusion of the hearing that he will appeal.