For Immediate Release 3/4/15
Alvin Kelley Jr., 27, was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison for murdering Jefferie Thomas Jr., 22. Kelley was charged and convicted of 2nd degree murder and use of a handgun during a crime of violence in January. Assistant State’s Attorney Sharon R. Holback prosecuted the case.
“It was all just incredibly sad,” Holback said about the sentencing hearing. “You had the victim’s mother, father, two aunts, and cousin pleading with the judge for justice and at the same time acknowledging the shooter’s family’s pain … it was clear that both families were hurting.”
During the trial, the jury heard evidence that the victim sustained three gunshot wounds in the back of the head, the upper back and through his right hand. The prosecution argued that Thomas may have been shot execution style with his hands behind his head and on his knees.
The murder weapon was found in Kelley’s car when he was arrested in an unrelated matter nineteen days after the killing. Evidence was presented that, as part of a gang initiation, Kelley was ordered to shoot the victim.
Holback said Kelley’s choice to shoot and kill the victim has left two young children without their fathers and family members on both sides suffering.