A man in his early 20s will spend the next four decades of his life in prison for the murder of a 14-year-old girl in New Jersey three years ago.
Jeavonte Dennis was sentenced Friday to 45 years in prison and must serve at least 37 years before he is eligible for parole. He was convicted in June of murdering Nazerah Bugg, who was shot Sept. 20, 2014 near basketball courts in Paterson. The high school freshman and aspiring professional basketball player died of a single gunshot wound to the heart.
Prosecutors initially said the shooting was not gang-related, but Dennis and Nyje Johnson, who was found guilty of aggravated manslaughter in the case and sentenced to 22 years in prison Friday, made statements to police in the days following the shooting that indicated otherwise.
The two confessed they had driven to the scene with three other men to avenge the shooting of a fellow gang member, according to NorthJersey.com.
Bugg's friend was wounded in the shooting. She testified at trial that she and Bugg had gone to a cookout and left to buy sodas at a store near North Main and Clinton streets, which is where they were shot.
Two alleged gang members accused of ordering the shooting, along with three other men, face charges in the case as well and are awaiting trial.