A Detroit area father who shot his 15-year-old son to death after the teen admitted molesting his 3-year-old sister, has received 37 to 82 years in prison

Judge slams door on killer dad

Jamar Pinkney Sr. to 37-82 years in prison on Thursday for fatally shooting his teenage son in a Highland Park vacant lot. (Clarence Tabb, Jr./ The Detroit News)

The Detroit News

APRIL 15, 2010

Detroit — A father, who admitted beating, stripping and marching his naked teenage son into an empty lot in Highland Park where he executed the kneeling youth with a bullet to the face, was ordered today to serve 37 to 82 years behind bars.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Brian Sullivan issued the guideline-busting sentence to Jamar Pinkney Sr. because the judge said the complete horror of the case couldn’t be taken into consideration by the rules used to determine sentences under state law.

“This is the kind of a situation that before this time would not have emerged except in some great tragedy,” Sullivan said. “No one has the right to deprive a person of life because of anger.”

Pinkney, 37, was found guilty of second-degree murder earlier this month after admitting on the witness stand that he shot 15-year-old Jamar Pinkney Jr. on Nov. 16.

Pinkney testified that he had an “out-of-body experience” and uncontrolled rage when during a long family gathering over allegations that the teenager had rubbed a 3-year-old half-sister in a sexual way — the boy, Pinkney said, admitted he had sex with the toddler. All other family members who witnessed the confrontation said the boy never admitted more than inappropriate sexual touching.

Members of the family had gathered to discuss what to do — seek counseling or criminal charges. The son and daughter have different mothers who also differed on the course to pursue.

Witnesses testified the teen at first denied any contact but eventually begged for his father’s forgiveness. They testified that Pinkney erupted in homicidal rage, cursing his son, beating him and ordering him to strip. Pinkney said he didn’t realize what he was doing despite pleas from his son and others to stop.

Jurors had deadlocked 10-2 on convicting Pinkney of first-degree murder, which would have sent him to prison for life without chance of parole, but the majority compromised on the lesser charge, according to the jury’s forewoman.

Pinkney addressed the judge today before being sentenced, explaining he showed little emotion during the trial because he was trying to “hold my head up high.” He assured the judge today he loved his son.

“I am truly sorry for what I did,” he said before apologizing to family members who crowded the courtroom wearing T-shirts emblazoned with photos of Jamar Pinkney Jr. “I’m sad about losing my son … I am horrified by what I did. … I hope one day I could be a responsible parent again, a responsible citizen.”

But the judge, who said there was never any established proof the teenager actually raped the girl, explained the son had admitted his wrongdoing and turned to his trusted role models for guidance. Sullivan concluded, “Instead of giving the type of parental conduct and guidance designed to be for Jamar Pinkney Jr.’s good, he carried an anger with him.”

With the sentence issued today, Pinkney’s lawyer, Corbett Edge O’Meara, said he will be eligible for parole on Nov. 15, 2046, when he is 75 years old.

“I’m glad with the sentence,” the boy’s mother, Lazette Cherry, said while holding a football-uniformed teddy bear that played a recording of her son’s voice copied from his cell phone voicemail.

“This is all I have of my son,” Cherry said, squeezing the bear and listening to the bright voice say, “This is Jamar.”

The judge said the guidelines, which originally called for a sentence of 19 to 31 years, didn’t account for the horror the mother witnessed and for Pinkney ignoring pleas of the mother and other relatives to stop and consider what he was doing.

Pinkney also was convicted of three counts of assault for threatening the others with his the handgun, which he had a license to carry. Sentences of two to four years are to be served concurrently with the sentence for second-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony crime.

He also was ordered to pay $6,600 for his son’s funeral expenses.

Pinkney’s other lawyer, David Draper, said he expects an appeal of the sentence will be filed on behalf of Pinkney, who has been in jail since turning himself in hours after the slaying.

Assistant Prosecutor Christine Kowal said Pinkney has been remorseless even in recorded jailhouse telephone conversations in which she said he never asked about his son’s funeral and referred to the slaying as “the situation that happened.” Jurors never heard the recordings.

“He doesn’t have any remorse,” Cherry said after the sentencing. “He only said those things because he thought he had to in front of the judge. If you love your son, you don’t kill him.”


12 thoughts on “A Detroit area father who shot his 15-year-old son to death after the teen admitted molesting his 3-year-old sister, has received 37 to 82 years in prison

  1. Quite frankly I think this man did the world a favour.

    Today a 15-year old toddler ‘molester’, tomorrow a 25-year old child rapist.

    If you’re sexually attracted to children, you always will be. And eventually you will act on those urges.

    There’s no ‘cure’ for pedophilia.

  2. This entire situation was a tragedy. first of all there was no physical evidence that he sexually assaulted his sister. 2nd it was not his father place 2 make the decision 2 take his life. as a parent it was his duty 2 do what he felt was in the best interest of all his children. those of you they say he did the world a favor explain how executing a 15 year old is a favor 2 anyone. shame on you for your complete lack of empathy.

  3. I think this is a tragedy on all sides and I can’t imagine going through that on both sides, the dad had no right commiting murder now the child he killed for won’t have a father, it’s like he sacrifice one child for another I just wonder had the son ever been molested and maybe if he had a chance to get help they would know also.

  4. I was molested as a child by my step-father. There was no evidence or proof. He was good at lying. The 15 yr old admitted. No one admits things like that unless they did it. I would have killed him, too. Simply because I can relate to the pain the 3 yr old will deal with in years to come if he is not stopped. A child molester never stops and I’m sorry that the father is serving time but what else could have been done when you SNAPPED out? That is all that happened.

  5. This story is a horrible tradegy. I can’t imagine the little boy being executed while begging for his life. By someone who should have been acting like a parent not an executioner. There has to be more than what’s on the surface as to the real motive this makes no sense that this man is really that stupid and cold with his own son. Incest is not right but it is not at all uncommon. Where did the boy get this from?

  6. KUDOS to the judge!!!!. The teenage admitted to the act and was crying out for help. He felt horrible about what he had done and confessed to his Mom about it. What did the Mom do? She called his crazy abusive father. Number one: This child had been physically beaten by his father in the past. You could hear the boys screams from outside the house in the neighborhood as he was being whipped, 2: The father was in jail a couple of hours before he murder his son, so he already was angry and had serious mental issues before the killing. My question is, why hadn’t the mother reported previous beatings by the father. The mother is guilty of abuse as well. (Everytime her son “farted” she would call the abusive father). It is very difficult to say what I would do if I was the mother, because I was not in her shoes. But, I would not have let the father take my son outside the home in the first place. Never, ever, allow a killer to take you or someone to the second location. I wonder why the father felt the need to kill the son outside instead of in the house. This was an extremely sad situation. I grew up in this town. I did not know these people personnally, but I knew individuals that knew this family. Oh yes, just to add a liitle more information, the father’s wife, hated the son. Rumor is the father’s present wife (not the boys mother), nagged, argued, and demanded the father to take action against the son. She should have been jailed as well. This is the story of the century!!

    • “Never, ever, allow a killer to take you or someone to the second location. ” —Unless of course you DO NOT KNOW that your dad is a killer. You would only find that out AFTER you are dead.

  7. After studying the story of Noah in Genesis, the 2nd covenant God our Father makes with us, is never to destroy or strike down all living things. This man shows how horrible this story is from the bible. God was trying to show us how destructive regret can be.

    • I thought the Old Testament God was the one who asked fathers to kill their sons–wasn’t that why Moses was found in the river? Also, God in those days made people annihilate places like Sodom and Gomorrah as well as the Israelites to genocidally savage the Canaanites. That’s a pretty horrible God, to cause death and destruction and hatred. I’d never draw blood from my brand new child (penis/clitoris), let alone agree to slice them in two with a sword to prove my superstitious belief in an invisible concept. Yikes!

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