Man sentenced to 40 years in prison for role in death of 1-year-old son

Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 1:59 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A man who was found guilty in April in connection to the accidental shooting death of his son back in June 2020 has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Police say 1-year-old Javion Sexton was shot after his 4-year-old sibling found - and accidently fired - a handgun inside a home in the 600 block of Leland Avenue on June 18, 2020.

“I do think the sentence is appropriate. The circumstances and the events all together were very difficult for everyone involved, all family members. I think that, given the surrounding circumstances, that it was very appropriate sentence,” remarked Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Golebiewski of the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.

During sentencing, Sexton was visibly emotional and told Hon. Elizabeth Hurley, “If [the sentence] is what it takes to pay the debt for [his] son’s death...” and also admitted he wasn’t living “a good lifestyle” at the time of his son’s shooting.

Golebiewski pointed to police finding bags of fentanyl at the home where Javion Sexton was shot and that firearms were “routinely” in reach of Javion and his sibling.

“I hope that he learns that the surrounding circumstances and his lifestyle do play a large effect and the impact that it can have on his children and other family members in a situation like this. It’s not just the immediate family members, but everyone involved extended family members, a lot of people were greatly affected by what had happened,” Golebiewski said.

Hon. Hurley said she completely believed Sexton’s remorse but told him, “Your child who pulled the trigger has to live with that for the rest of his life.”

On April 21, a jury found Avion Sexton guilty on 13 counts, including Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death, Dealing in a Narcotic Drug, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Entering judgment of conviction on those three counts, Sexton was sentenced Friday to 40 years for Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death, 25 years for Dealing in a Narcotic Drug, and one year for Possession of a Controlled Substance. The sentences will run concurrently.

Per Indiana statute, Sexton will serve 75 percent of his sentence, or 30 years, in prison.

He plans to appeal.

On July 14th, Sexton appears for a status hearing for his other pending cases that included domestic battery allegations as well as a probation violation.

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