Doug Guthrie / The Detroit News
But Jamar Pinkney, 37, won’t contest the fact he shot 15-year-old Jamar Pinkney Jr. in the head after the youth begged for forgiveness, and then begged for his life, said one of his lawyers.
“He takes responsibility for it. He feels tremendous remorse, but it’s as if he became someone else,” said Corbett Edge O’Meara. “It doesn’t make sense to him. He has no clue as to why he did that.”
That’s why he will ask jurors today in Wayne County Circuit Judge Brian Sullivan’s courtroom to convict Pinkney of voluntary manslaughter instead of first-degree murder. Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 15 years as opposed to mandatory life without parole.
O’Meara and co-counsel David R. Draper say the father was acting in the heat of passion on Nov. 16 when he reacted to admissions by his son that he had touched a young female relative in a sexual way.
The family had gathered to discuss what to do next. The mother of the toddler suggested charges. The Pinkney Jr.’s mother promised her son she would get him counseling.
Witnesses have testified since Monday about the father erupting in a sudden homicidal rage. Pinkney is accused of beating the teen, stripping off his clothes and marching him naked at gunpoint into the vacant lot next door. Lazette Cherry, the victim’s mother, testified on Tuesday how Jamar Pinkney Jr. pleaded, “No, daddy. Please, daddy.”
Cherry stepped from the witness chair to re-enact the moment of the shooting before the cameras of the Tru TV network, which is recording the trial for a nationwide program. Cherry pushed Assistant Prosecutor Christine Kowal to her knees while pointing her right hand at the back of her head.
“He held the gun like that,” Cherry said. “And he shot him.”