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Holland man sentenced to 18-42 years for murder

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Jan 29, 2018 at 6:31 PM

A Holland Township man has been sentenced to 18-42 years in state prison for killing his mother's boyfriend.

Darveaille Blakeney, 25, was sentenced Monday by Judge Karen Miedema for shooting the victim 13 times on Oct. 19, 2016.

The victim, 41-year-old Joseph Shatown Jordan, was killed in an apartment complex in Holland Township.

According to previous court statements from Ottawa County Sheriff's Office Detective David Bytwerk, Blakeney admitted to shooting and killing Jordan. The shooting took place at Blakeney's mother's apartment.

Blakeney and Jordan were having a verbal argument when Blakeney's mother tried to separate them. At that point, Bytwerk said, Jordan pushed Blakeney's mother off himself and Blakeney tried to get Jordan out of the apartment. Jordan then told Blakeney that he would only leave if Blakeney had a gun, so Blakeney went to a clothes closet and retrieved a 9-millimeter pistol.

Blakeney shot Jordan twice, then Jordan fell to the ground. Blakeney then shot another 11 bullets into Jordan's body, emptying the gun.

In November 2017, Blakeney pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and using a firearm to commit a felony. Based on his previous record, the minimum sentencing for these crimes is 13 years and six months to 22 years and six months in state prison.

In 2015, Blakeney also got in a drunken fight with a different, former boyfriend of his mother's, according to his criminal record. On that occasion, the responding police officer pointed a Taser at Blakeney and called for backup. This prior incident influenced his sentencing for the 2016 murder, the judge said Monday.

"This is a sad day for you because of the consequences here," Miedema said at Blakeney's sentencing. "It gives the court no joy to sentence you. I'm hopeful that, in the end, it will prove to be the right decision for you."

During a statement to the court, Blakeney said his 15 months in jail has been an "enlightening experience," though it’s been difficult to not be with his children.

"I know the type of person I am, this is not who I am," Blakeney said. "I know that, at the end of the day, whenever I am released from these chains, I know I am coming home a better man, a God-fearing man. I pray that no matter what, that I continue to follow (God). This has been a blessing."

Miedema, however, chose to sentence Blakeney to longer than the minimum prison term due to the severity of the crime.

“This was an avoidable homicide," the judge said. "It took time for the defendant to reach up into the closet’s top shelf and go underneath the clothes to reach his gun. It took time for the defendant to remove the gun from the shelf. It took time for the defendant to put a bullet into the chamber. It took time for the defendant to raise the gun and point it directly at the victim. The victim was unarmed, standing about 5-6 feet away.

"The number of shots fired by the defendant into the victim’s body weighs significantly in this court’s sentencing,” she continued. “There were 13 shots. Not one, not two, not three ... but 13 shots into this victim’s body."

Blakeney was sentenced to 24 months in prison for using a firearm to commit a felony, with credit for 467 days already served. For the second-degree murder charge, he will serve 16-40 years. The sentence for the second-degree murder must be served before the two-year sentence for using a firearm, making his total sentence 18-42 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections' custody.

Blakeney will be between 43 and 67 years old upon his release from prison.

“The court wants to say to you that every life has value and you have value," Miedema said to Blakeney. "It is the court’s desire that you make good use of your time of incarceration and that you become a productive, positive member of the community upon your release. Good luck to you.”

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