First 64 Shooter Sentenced

The younger of the two Interstate 64 shooters has been sentenced to “an indeterminate amount of time at a state juvenile facility,” Tasha Kates writes in today’s Daily Progress. The 16-year-old Brandon Dawson could be in prison until he’s 21, but it’s up to the Department of Juvenile Justice when he gets out, and something closer to a year or a year and a half is more likely. Dawson pleaded guilty to five counts of shooting at unoccupied vehicles. The other shooter, Slade Woodson, has not yet been tried.

9 thoughts on “First 64 Shooter Sentenced”

  1. That is very disappointing. I feel he should be serving a much more harsh sentence regardless of his age. I guess they would have taken it more seriously if someone had died which makes it even more sad. They should take more prevention with this person. Once again the justice system disappoints.

  2. Can someone explain to me exactly what the deal is with “an indeterminate amount of time at a state juvenile facility”?

    Isn’t it the judge’s job to, you know, determine that amount of time to be spent there? I always figured that was sort of a key element of sentencing.


    The kid is 16 years old. People do stupid things when they are 16 years old and most likely drunk in this case. A kid can do something monumentally stupid at 16 and still turn out to be a decent human being. If he had, say, tortured someone to death then I’d say that he’s beyond redemption and we should throw away the key. But what he is guilty of amounts to being really stupid for one night and going along with the retarded shenanigans of some older kid. Nobody got killed

    You put this kid in prison for years on end and he’s not going to get any sort of education and pretty soon his only friends will be other criminals from the prison. He’ll come out a criminal for life. We’re going to end up seeing him in and out of jail for decades and it’ll cost us all a fortune to deal with. For this kind of crime, it’s arguably best the scare the crap out of him, let him see what it would be like to spend the rest of his life behind bars and then get him the hell out of there so that we can still make a useful human being out of him.

    It’s a kid. A 16 year old, whom our society doesn’t even consider to have enough judgment to be permitted to buy cigarettes. If he’d tried to buy a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of beer, he’d be told that he isn’t competent enough to make that decision, but somehow if he does something wrong then he becomes magically on par with an adult in terms of being capable of taking that kind of responsibility for his actions?

  3. Lisa, he got the maximum sentence allowed by law for a juvenile. An indeterminate sentence is the sentence imposed by the court committing a person to juvenile prison for a period not to exceed his or her 21st birthday. If, through programming and rehabilitation a person under this sentence can, in the opinion of DJJ, be safely returned to the community where he or she will be on parole then they will be released early to serve the remainder of the sentence in the community.

    My question is what did he do exactly? Did he do the shooting at any car that was occupied?

  4. “we can still make a useful human being out of him.” Upon what evidence can be base that opinion? He sounds more like a sociopath to me. It will probably take at least five years to learn what really makes him tick. Of course, the State mandate educational instruction while he’s in detention (not jail) and he will have medical and psychological evaluations and intensive counseling.

  5. He may be a kid but thats the problem, kids think that since they are young they can get away with things like that. If punishments arent strong enough it wont set an example for others.

    And I dont know about others, while I made mistakes when I was young I never took a gun and shot at occupied cars or homes! Its not like he didnt understand what could happen when doing something like that. He knew damn well what he was doing and needs to deal with the consequences.

  6. Again, Lisa, this is the very strongest punishment that the law allows for — there is nothing else that could have been done. Also, he was not convicted of shooting at “occupied” cars or houses, only empty vehicles. Given that neither the prosecutor nor the judge have cried out for the option of stronger punishment options, one can only assume that this is, in their judgement, an appropriate punishment for this kid.

    The older kid, though — I expect he’ll be in prison for years.

  7. I believe he did shoot at occupied vehicles:

    “Earlier this month, Dawson pleaded guilty to five counts of maliciously shooting at an occupied vehicle.

    “Lowe previously said in court that Dawson had admitted to firing one shot off the overpass and two shots at homes in Albemarle.”

    So he was convicted of a lesser crime? I am glad he at least go the strongest punishment he could receive.

    “Dawson is scheduled to return to the juvenile court on May 27, 2009, to review three charges to which he previously pleaded guilty but for which he did not receive a sentence Wednesday.

    The charges, which involve shots fired at homes and from a vehicle, will be deferred as long as the boy remains on good behavior.”

    Doesnt make much sense why he wasnt charged for all the crimes he committed. Kind of confusing.

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