Home / News / Chicago man sentenced to 62 years in prison for fatal Gary baby shooting – Chicago Tribune

Chicago man sentenced to 62 years in prison for fatal Gary baby shooting – Chicago Tribune

A Chicago man was sentenced to 62 years in prison Friday afternoon for shooting the father of a baby in Gary after the couple refused to let him hold the child.

Ray Dampier, 44, was convicted of shooting and killing 29-year-old Devonte Brown on Jan. 11, 2022, outside the 1700 block of West 5th Street in Gary.

He represented himself at the three-day hearing and at Friday’s sentencing. Dampier said he plans to appeal.

The victim’s father, Elbert Brown, said he was his “firstborn” and “only son.” His son was the “best dad in the world” and was “stolen” while trying to protect his six-week-old child.

“I can never get over burying a child,” he said, “it shouldn’t be like this.”

Dampier did not take “responsibility” or “for once” responsibility for his actions.

“You couldn’t escape it,” he said. “You hurt my family.”

The victim’s mother, Tamesha Goodwin, said she gave birth to him when she was 14 and raised him to be a good man. He later called Dampier a “monster”.

“It wasn’t time to go,” he said. “He deserves to be here.”

Deputy Prosecutor Lindsey Lanham said Dampier’s criminal record began at the age of 12 with a burglary conviction. He spent almost two decades behind bars around 2000 for aggravated kidnapping.

Court records show Judge Natalie Bokota, who previously presided over the case, convicted him twice of contempt of court in August 2023.

Lanham told Judge Gina Jones not to be “fooled” by Dampier saying there was more to him than his criminal record. He said it was “self-serving.”

On the contrary, it was a “miracle” that no children or bystanders in the nearby apartments were hit while Dampier fired five bullets.

wanted 65 years

Speaking for a few minutes, Dampier said he learned and respected the U.S. Constitution in prison. Jones tried to nudge him to focus specifically on his punishment.

He repeatedly asked for the jury verdict to be annulled.

He said prosecutors lied and did not prove that he “intentionally” killed Brown.

“I am absolutely saddened by the loss of life of a young man,” Dampier said. “I don’t want this for anyone.”

Dampier said he “didn’t admit” to anything. “I defended myself but it was not taken into account”

When Jones told him to talk about his sentence, Dampier refused, saying it would be “crazy”.

Lanham argued that a new trial was only considered an “extreme remedy.” He said Dampier refused to call witnesses or give evidence.

During sentencing, Jones said the shooting was senseless and reprehensible. He showed his “reckless disregard for everyone.”

He said there were no mitigating factors or factors in his favor that would mitigate his prison sentence.

“I looked,” said Jones. “I was begging you to give me some.”

He denied Dampier’s request to vacate the jury verdict, but later told him that he was free to apply for a new trial, but that it would likely be denied.

Lashawn Ware testified at trial that she and her boyfriend, Brown, took their children to her sister’s apartment. The woman went out to meet her nephew for the first time.

Dampier, her sister’s boyfriend, was also there. Dampier later revealed that his girlfriend, Ware’s sister, had called him from across the street.

Dampier stretched out his arms and asked how much the baby weighed.

As Ware refused to hold the baby, Brown got out of the car and walked towards them to support her. He took the baby from his sister’s arms and handed it back to Ware, then returned to their car and turned on some music.

“He was minding his own business,” he said.

His sister said Dampier was crazy now.

At one point Dampier “slapped” his gun on the hood, then the woman took the gun and put it in her purse.

Dampier walked up to the car and punched Brown in the head, Ware said. A fight broke out.

“I tried to separate him,” Ware said.

“You’re dead,” Dampier told Brown. He ran across the street to his car, found a gun in a woman’s purse, pointed it at Brown and fired three to five times, according to testimony.

Brown tried to block his face.

Reminding that paramedics were expected at the hearing, the woman said, “I was crying because I didn’t know if he was still alive.”

Brown was transported to Methodist, where he initially spoke with detectives. He later died during surgery, according to probable cause.

Before Friday’s hearing, Brown’s cousin, Sharon Mallory, said she had watched him grow into a mature father.

“He was all about his kids and Lashawn,” she said.

mcolias@post-trib.com

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