Shooter jailed for 23 years for killing friend over $175

| 13/05/2024 | 29 Comments
Cayman News Service
Javon James Dixon (from social media)

(CNS): Javon James Dixon was sentenced on Thursday to 23 years in prison for gunning down and killing his long-time friend, Jovin Omar Fuentes (32), in the street in July 2022 due to a feud over $175 owed on the use of a car. Dixon was tried for murder twice. The first one ended with a hung jury last year; in a second trial in February, he was acquitted on that charge again but found guilty of manslaughter with provocation.

Dixon denied the allegations during both trials, claiming that the killer was a Jamaican man he knew only as ‘Blacks’ who was in his car because he had given him a ride.

Dixon was not able to say much about ‘Blacks’, just that he had picked him up on the side of the road earlier in his journey before the shooting, but he did not know exactly where he lived. Prosecutors said this claim had been completely fabricated, and it was ultimately rejected by the jury.

As he delivered his ruling on Thursday, Justice Philip St John-Stevens, who presided over the second trial, addressed Dixon, saying that ‘Blacks’ was “a figment in your criminal mind to escape what you had done”.

The crown’s case was that after shooting Fuentes dead, Dixon drove towards his home and tried to hide his car at a friend’s house before he was arrested later that night.

The jury found Dixon had gunned down Fuentes on the street in broad daylight in the centre of Bodden Town after he had passed his car, which was parked by a mini-mart. Fuentes was returning from a hospital trip in East End with several family members late in the afternoon when they stopped at the store.

As Dixon passed by, he also stopped, turned his car around and drove back to where Fuentes was parked and waiting for his family members to get what they needed from the shop.

Dixon pulled over and went to confront his once close friend over the money. According to one of the crown’s witnesses, Fuentes had a machete and threatened Dixon, who then pulled a small silver handgun from his pants and fired two shots, one of which hit Fuentes in the chest and killed him.

It is on this basis that the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter rather than murder. But as Justice Chapple outlined his sentencing judgment, he pointed out that Dixon had clearly intended to harm Fuentes, given how close he was when he fired the gun.

Explaining how he arrived at the 23-year prison term, the judge noted a number of aggravating factors in the case, including that Dixon had shot his one-time friend in front of Fuentes’ family in a public place. He said he did not consider the degree of provocation in this case to be very high, and it was still unclear whether or not Fuentes had picked up the machete after seeing Dixon had a gun or whether Dixon had got the gun because Fuentes had a machete.

But what was certain is that Dixon was carrying a gun in his car that was either already loaded or in very close proximity to the ammunition. Prior to delivering his ruling, Justice St John-Stevens, had given Dixon the opportunity to reveal the location of the gun he had used and told him that if he did, it could have mitigated the sentence.

However, defence attorney Riel Karmy-Jones KC, who represented Dixon throughout the case, told the court that, given his position that he was not the killer, he was not able to assist because he did not know what happened to the gun. “He can’t give what he does not have,” she said.

But since the jury had decided that Dixon was definitely the shooter, the finding of the court was that he had been carrying the weapon around with him, even if he had been provoked into using the gun.

“Only you know why what happened happened,” the judge stated in his ruling. “One thing that will never be resolved… is why did you have a gun and ammunition in that car? Only you know why you had it.”

The judge said it was a tragic case in which a much-loved man held dear by all his family had his life cut short by an act of violence which some of them witnessed. His mother had to sit through two trials and hear what had happened to her son. It was also revealed in the court that Fuentes was a father of young children who had already suffered the death of their mother.

Dixon had no relevant previous convictions, and many people who gave character references for him had said the killing was completely out of character. Nevertheless, despite being relatively young and showing no violent tendencies before this shooting, Justice St John-Stevens, said that the killing called for a significant period of imprisonment as he handed down a 23-year sentence.

CNS NOTE: An earlier posting of this story had incorrectly referred to Justice Roger Chapple as the judge int his case. We have since corrected that error which was our mistake and apologise to readers and the judges.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    we need to see these prison sentences for the kiddy touchers.

    17
  2. Anonymous says:

    Was it worth murdering someone over $175?

    Bloody loser idiot.

    28
    2
  3. Anonymous says:

    175 / 23 = $7.60 per yr in HMP.

    14
  4. Anonymous says:

    He done the crime now he serve the time the judge should have added 23 more years on his sentence. That is what you call friend enemy

    14
    2
  5. Anonymous says:

    Once a Jamacian always a Jamacian

    26
    1
  6. Anonymous says:

    The innocent kids suffer in the end #notworthit.

    13
    1
  7. Anonymous says:

    Deportation order?

    15
    1
  8. Junior says:

    Expensive dept owed to you then?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Should had blame Bujo instead. Everyone would have believed that.

    14
    1
  10. Anonymous says:

    Amnen another thug off the road

    22
    1
  11. 🙏 says:

    23 years that was clearly MURDER what about automatic 10 for the gun.

    24
    0
    • Anonymous says:

      Person with no legal knowledge has entered the chat.

      7
      2
      • 🙏 says:

        12:25 Do you know that a unlicensed gun is 10 years tell me what he shot him with lookup the LAW. A..

        • Anonymous says:

          If you would actually read law you would know that those Charges Run What they call Concurrant. To make it easy for you and others. it means the same time

        • Anonymous says:

          Give it up. If the gun possession was a separate charge, it would likely be concurrent.

          The definition of murder wasn’t satisfied in this case, hence why it was manslaughter. You’re very welcome.

          Now, back to law school for you.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If only Blacks would listen to his conscience and come forward!

    17
  13. Anonymous says:

    Much loved man may be doing a lot of heavy lifting. Whilst not deserving of being shot by an imbecile over a debt that’s similar to a cash float at a shop, the victim had a very checkered past.

    20
    • Anonymous says:

      Yes indeed 10:46, a very very checkered past from a very very early age. But his home life was s$&t too.

      7
      1
      • Anonymous says:

        but…

        I have encountered many people who have had shocking starts in life. The vast majority are not anti-social morons with a chip on their shoulder.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Javon, it was worth it? You see why these expats have a terrible view of us? Sigh

    21
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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah because that same thing doesn’t happen where each and every immigrant is from, right? 🙄

      13
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      • Agast says:

        Well, my home town has a population of 94,000; similar to current Cayman. Traffic accidents minimal! No homicides for the past 8 years!

        So yes, Cayman currently is vastly more criminal oriented than many other places with similar population.

        Been coming here since 1984. We don’t walk the beach at night like we used to (to Royal Palms), we only drive when we arrive and depart (walk to groceries), we stay close and eat out frequently, but close by. We have no interest to encourage our children to make this a life-long vacation spot in the future (they grew up here basically) – Caymanian’s have allowed their Paradise to be corrupted.

        7
        2
        • Anonymous says:

          What’s the over/under that your home town locals aren’t outnumbered 2:1 (at least) by immigrants whose goal is to soak up everything they can and then leave in a few short years?

          No idea where you are from, but even without that knowledge I can guarantee the scenario is certainly not the same.

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