A Clinton man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for killing a 30-year-old mother of three, shot through her bedroom window at Springwood Apartments in January 2015, reportedly in retaliation for a dispute the man had with the woman’s boyfriend.
Antonio Cyree Lamont Lockamy, 22, pleaded guilty Monday in Sampson County Superior Court to second degree murder and discharging a firearm into occupied property in the death of Gerri Newkirk, 30. Lockamy, represented by William Morgan of Jacksonville, was sentenced by presiding Judge Joshua Willey to an active term of no fewer than 192 months (16 years) and no more than 243 months (20 years, three months) in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.
In presenting the facts of the case, Assistant District Attorneys Arneatha Gillis and Jennifer Barnes said that, on Jan. 18, 2015, Lockamy and Dartez Faulk attended a gathering at Springwood Apartments in Clinton. Lockamy was in possession of a .38 caliber revolver and Faulk asked Lockamy if he could see the gun, to which Lockamy complied. When Faulk didn’t return the gun, a fight ensued between the two, investigators said.
Two days later, in the afternoon of Jan. 20, the two men fought at Springwood Apartments, near the Big Blue Store, in front of a crowd. Lockamy lost the scuffle and a video of the fight circulated. He expressed his anger to his girlfriend and others that he looked weak in front of everyone and told his girlfriend through text messages and phone calls that he and “his boys” were going to get Faulk that night at around 11 p.m., according to details that surfaced in court.
She attempted to persuade Lockamy not to pursue revenge, but Lockamy obtained a .380 caliber Hi-Point handgun and went to a friend’s apartment around 9:30 p.m. that same day. Facts presented by the state revealed that Lockamy said he was going to “shoot the boy” and left with two other men.
At 11:42 p.m. Jan. 20, seven shots were fired through a window into the front bedroom at 219-B Morisey Blvd. at Springwood Apartments. A witness described seeing a suspect who fit the description of Lockamy in front of the window before he fled.
Authorities said Faulk and Gerri Newkirk were in the front bedroom of the apartment and her three children were in a second bedroom. Newkirk was lying in bed when she was hit by two projectiles, one entering her leg and the other entering her lower face area, before exiting and re-entering her chest. Faulk ran from the room and Newkirk died at the scene from loss of blood.
Sampson County Medical Examiner Dr. Carl Barr recovered two projectiles. Three additional projectiles were recovered from the apartment and analysis confirmed all five were fired from the same Hi-Point brand gun. Six shell casings were recovered from outside the window, with analysis once again confirming all came from the same Hi-Point firearm.
The Clinton Police Department’s Neighborhood Improvement Team took over the investigation, requesting assistance from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation. Department of Social Services staff were also called in to assist with the children, who were subsequently placed in the custody of other family members.
In the immediate wake of the shooting, Clinton Police officials described it as a targeted “blitz-style” attack, noting that it was believed the boyfriend, Faulk, was the intended target.
Lockamy’s girlfriend told investigators that Lockamy arrived at their residence around 1 a.m. Jan. 21 and told her he had done something he regretted, according to details that came out in court. Lockamy later also confessed in jail to his involvement.
According to prosecutors, Lockamy went to the jail administrator and requested protective custody in March 2015. He said he had been charged with the murder of a woman he did not know, adding that a man took his gun and beat him. Lockamy told the jail administrator that he obtained a gun, went to the apartment and shot into the window, noting that he “messed up,” court records state.
District Attorney Ernie Lee expressed his thanks to the Clinton Police Department, Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and N.C. State Bureau of Investigation for their work in the case.
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