Skip to main content

Jesup Man Pleads Guilty in 2021 Shooting
State v. Lavonte Tamar Stokes

July 17, 2023

District Attorney Keith Higgins announces that Lavonte Tamar Stokes, 39, from Jesup, pled guilty to Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in lieu of a criminal jury trial, pursuant to a negotiated guilty plea entered in Wayne County Superior Court on July 10, 2023.

The Jesup Police Department investigated the incident, which occurred on Cherry Street in downtown Jesup on June 16, 2021. The defendant, Stokes, owed a sum of money to the victim, and was not happy that the victim was telling other people that Stokes owed him money. Stokes called the victim that morning and was to meet him outside of the victim’s business. Around 08:20 a.m., the victim walked outside to meet Stokes and got into Stokes’ vehicle. Once inside the vehicle, Stokes pulled a gun on the victim. As Stokes pulled the trigger, the victim was able to grab the barrel of the gun and push it away while he attempted to get out of the vehicle. The first shot grazed the victim’s right hand and the second shot struck his right calf as he was exiting the vehicle. The victim ran down the middle of the street and collapsed as he saw Stokes drive off.

According to Wayne County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Tiffiny Montenegro, the defendant did not believe the victim would come to the trial, but subsequently changed his mind and accepted the plea agreement on the day the trial was to start. In line with the negotiated guilty plea, Judge Robert W. Guy sentenced Stokes to 15 years serve 8 years in the GA Department of Corrections.

Members of the media with further questions may contact the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office at 912-554-7200.