A 30-year-old man was sentenced to four life sentences Wednesday for the 2014 shooting that killed a 34-year-old man and paralyzed a 10-year-old boy at a gas station at 45th Street and Cleveland Avenue.
Dontae D. Jefferson was convicted in August of first-degree murder, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action in the death of Ka’Vyea Curry. He will not be eligible for parole.
In a shooting that horrified the community and was captured on surveillance video, Jefferson walked up after Curry got into his car on April 18, 2014, and fired eight .40-caliber bullets. Curry died immediately and a bullet also pierced his son, Ka’Vyea Tyson-Curry, in the spine. An unrelated 5-year-old boy in the car was unharmed.
During the sentencing on Wednesday, Jefferson expressed remorse for shooting the 10-year-old.
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“Everyone thinks I’m a monster but that’s the furthest from the truth,” Dontae Jefferson said.
Forest Tyson, grandfather of Ka’Vyea Tyson-Curry, said every step Jefferson took toward the victims’ car before opening fire was a step he could have taken to turn around and drive off.
“I don’t accept his apology,” Tyson said.
After the sentencing, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker tweeted, “KC is finally safe from this man!”
The shooting shocked the community, and officials pleaded with the public to offer information, but tips were few.
The break came from surveillance video at the BP station and from people who were later interviewed, according to court records.
Curry, his son and the other boy had just bought candy and juice inside the store before returning to their car parked at the gas pumps.
The video shows the boys getting into the car and Curry pumping gas. After Curry slid into the drivers seat, Jefferson, in a dark hoodie, ran up to the car and opened fire at close range. Curry and his son were hit.
The boy later told police he heard his father’s last gasps for air.
Jefferson, meanwhile, ran off toward a waiting Chevrolet Tahoe and took off.
Prosecutors said Curry was a witness to an armed robbery in Grandview that Jefferson pleaded guilty to in 2004. He was sentenced to 10 years.
Jefferson was released in August 2013. Eight months later, Jefferson fatally shot Curry.
His attorney, Jarrett Johnson, said Jefferson was 17 years old when he was part of the robbery, in which no one was injured, and sent to a maximum security prison.
“My client when he was still learning how to be a human being got thrown into the wolves with the wolves in prison when he should have been put in a program to rehabilitate him,” Johnson said.
While waiting trial for Curry’s killing in the Jackson County Detention Center, Jefferson allegedly raped a woman. Prosecutors also say he tried to escape and smuggle a gun into the jail.
Jefferson was charged with first-degree rape, first-degree burglary and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse in an attack that happened Aug. 26 inside the Jackson County Detention Center.
Prosecutors said Jefferson stole keys and wandered the halls of the jail for almost two hours with two other inmates before he allegedly raped the woman.