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Mother and Son Sentenced to 15 Years Minimum for Murder Conviction

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, April 9, 2024 5:06 pm

A tragic chapter in a legal saga came to a close on Tuesday as a judge ruled that both a mother and her son convicted for the murder of a woman last year will serve at least 15 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

Sakoya James, 41, was arrested by Las Vegas Metro police in March 2023 for her alleged involvement in the shooting death of Rose-Maree Abeita, 33, at an apartment complex on Twain Avenue near University Center Drive on Feb. 26, 2023. A few weeks later, police in California apprehended James’ son, Lashawn Hick, 25, also in connection with the incident.

Last month, both James and Hick entered Alford pleas on a charge of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon enhancement. This plea indicates that they do not admit guilt but acknowledge that prosecutors had enough evidence to potentially secure a conviction.

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny sentenced the pair to an aggregate sentence of 15-45 years in prison, a decision reached on Tuesday.

Prosecutors revealed that the fatal shooting took place during a dispute involving several individuals, including Abeita and James. According to grand jury transcripts, James instructed Hick to retrieve a firearm. An altercation ensued, during which James continued to strike Abeita while arguing with Hick about who would pull the trigger. Ultimately, Hick fired the fatal shots, striking Abeita in the stomach and face.

With credit for time served, both Hick and James will become eligible for parole in 2038.

Records indicate that James was already in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections, serving a sentence on a burglary charge since 2023.

Credits: 8 News Now

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