Teen Gets 25 Years In Slaying Of Girlfriend

July 09, 2009|By Melissa Harris | Melissa Harris,melissa.harris@baltsun.com

A 19-year-old East Baltimore man was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison for executing his 14-year-old girlfriend, whom he had known for only a few weeks, by shooting her in her right temple at close range.

During the emotional hearing, in which Charles Jakes pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and a gun charge, the victim's mother pounded her fists on a bench and screamed at the defendant: "Nothing you say will bring my child back. ... Read the Bible. You reap what you sow."

Jakes apologized to Shaundretta Griffin's family but his face conveyed no emotion. "It was a mistake from the beginning," he said, craning his neck around to speak directly to the victim's family. "I didn't know she was 14 or anything like that."

Jakes had just gotten out of jail less than three weeks earlier and met Griffin, a seventh-grader at Booker T. Washington Middle School, through a mutual friend, her father, Thomas Streams, said. His daughter, he said, quickly fell in love with Jakes.

The night before the April 2008 murder, Griffin sneaked out of her house and spent the night in his bed in the basement of his mother's home in the 1900 block of N. Patterson Ave., according to an April 2008 Sun article.

After his mother heard a single gunshot from the basement, Jakes told her, "I think I killed her," according to prosecutor Charles Blomquist.

Jakes was on probation for burglary and second-degree assault at the time of the murder.

Detectives, prosecutors and the victim's family said they do not know why he killed the girl.

Upon Jakes' release from prison, he will be on probation for five years. If he violates probation, he could serve up to 50 years in prison for the crime.

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