Lakewood Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting Man To Death

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on March 28, 2023, Jahvontae Debose, 26, of Lakewood, pled guilty to Manslaughter before the Honorable Lisa A. Puglisi, J.S.C., in connection with the shooting death of Dajour Randolph in Lakewood Township on February 21, 2021.

Debose also pled guilty to being a Certain Person Not to Possess a Weapon, Possession of a Firearm in the Course of Committing a Drug Offense, and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute. At the time of his sentencing on May 22, 2023, the State will be recommending a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) as to the Manslaughter charge – subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act.

Additionally, the State will recommend a term of seven years NJSP with a five-year period of parole ineligibility as to the charge of being a Certain Person not to Possess a Weapon, and seven years NJSP with a 42-month period of parole ineligibility as to the charge of Possessing a Firearm in the Course of Committing a Drug Offense. These sentences are to run concurrently. Finally, the State will be recommending a term of seven years NJSP as to the Possession of Marijuana with Intent to distribute charge. This sentence is to run consecutively.

On February 21, 2021, at approximately 7:40 p.m., Lakewood Township Police were summoned to the area of Tudor Court in response to a 911 call regarding a male who had collapsed in the middle of the road. Responding Officers found Adjourn Randolph, 20, of Little Egg Harbor, with an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. Mr. Randolph was transported to Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, in Lakewood, where he subsequently succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. On February 22, 2021, the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of Mr. Randolph’s body. The Medical Examiner determined the cause of Mr. Randolph’s death to be multiple gunshot wounds, and ruled the manner of death to be homicide.

Debose was initially charged on February 23, 2021 with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Firearm in the Course of Committing a Drug Offense, and being a Certain Person Not to Possess a Weapon. Debose was taken into custody without incident by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force in Pleasantville, New Jersey, following a motor vehicle stop on February 23, 2021. He was transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he has been lodged since his apprehension.

A thorough and extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit between February 21, 2021 and February 25, 2021, revealed that Debose was, in fact, the individual responsible for Mr. Randolph’s death. On February 25, 2021, Debose was served in the Ocean County Jail with the complaint charging him in connection with Mr. Randolph’s death.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman and Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Veni who are handling the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center, Brick Township Police Department, Manchester Township Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Pleasantville Police Department, and the United States Marshals Service, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Debose’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and soon his state prison sentence.

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