Attorney Scott Skier in the Palm Beach Post – Man guilty of lesser charge in fatal shooting of Jupiter High student
By Hannah Winston
July 17, 2019
A 12-person jury found Shamar Lawrence guilty of second-degree murder in the June 9, 2016, death of 17-year-old Branden Jackson.
WEST PALM BEACH — A 23-year-old Acreage man was convicted of lesser charges late Tuesday in the 2016 fatal shooting of a Jupiter High School student.
A 12-person jury found Shamar Lawrence guilty of second-degree murder in the June 9, 2016, fatal shooting of 17-year-old Branden Jackson outside a home in The Acreage. Lawrence, who was represented by defense attorney Scott Skier, originally was charged with first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
Circuit Judge Kirk Volker set Lawrence’s sentencing date for Sept. 17.
Volker allowed the jurors to work well into the evening Tuesday, with their verdict arriving after 7 p.m. When the guilty verdict was read, those in the courtroom remained silent. Lawrence’s younger brother quietly got up and walked out as the lawyers and Volker discussed what needed to be done next. Split between supporters of Lawrence and those of Jackson, people packed the courtroom each day of the trial, leaving standing room only for most of the testimony.
Witnesses told Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office investigators that on the night of the party, Jackson and others came to the home off Mandarin Boulevard and 31st Road North, just north of Lion Country Safari. When they arrived, they were told to leave because the party was getting too big, prosecutors told jurors during opening statements last week.
Witnesses said Lawrence’s younger brother then got into a fight with Jackson, who was a resident of Palm Beach Gardens, and he called for his brother’s help. When he rushed from the home, investigators say Lawrence attacked Jackson, then shot him.
Prosecutors at the trial said Lawrence had taken the firearm away from another party-goer who he thought was too intoxicated to have it.