Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Voluntary Manslaughter
A man who fatally shot a close friend during an altercation was sentenced Wednesday in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Jonhron Starks, 27, of Tulsa, to 63 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Starks previously pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in Indian Country.
“In a tragic act of violence, Jonhron Starks, took the life of Dre’Leigha Everidge-Taylor,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Starks escalated an already heated altercation by bringing, pointing, and discharging a firearm, killing Everidge-Taylor. He has now been held accountable for his actions in accordance with the law.”
At the sentencing hearing, Starks apologized to the victim’s sister who was in the courtroom. His defense attorney also pointed out that instead of going to trial, the defendant was remorseful and felt that he should take responsibility for the crime. The attorney also noted that the victim’s and defendant’s families were long-time friends, and Starks regarded the defendant as family.
In a victim impact statement, Everidge-Taylor’s sister told Starks that she and her mother forgave the defendant and still loved him. She urged him to be a better person and make better decisions as he moved forward and further requested he uplift her sister’s name, not disparage it. She then described how difficult it was to lose her sister.
Starks entered a guilty plea on Oct. 6, 2021. He admitted that on Sept. 19, 2020, he fatally shot victim Dre’Leigha Everidge-Taylor in front of an apartment located at 541 East 32nd Street in Tulsa. During the incident, Starks said he carried a firearm and intervened in an argument between the victim and her husband. During the altercation, Starks said a single round was fired from his handgun while in his possession and control, striking and killing the victim
According to a Criminal Complaint initially filed in the case, the victim’s husband left their apartment after getting into an argument with the victim in the early morning hours of Sept. 19. He went to Starks’ apartment where Starks and two females were hanging out watching movies. The victim came to Stark’s apartment and told her husband to come home. The husband left with the victim but soon returned to Stark’s apartment. The victim also returned and banged on Stark’s door and window, breaking the window. Starks confronted the victim with a gun. The argument became physical. He pointed the firearm at the back of the victim’s head and told her to get away from his door but did not fire. The physical argument continued, and Starks fired the gun. The bullet struck the victim in the chest. Witnesses reported hearing Starks say “I can’t believe I shot my cousin, I’m sorry DD,” then saw him flee from the scene.
Witnesses came to the victim’s aid, and the Tulsa Police Department responded to the crime scene. Everidge-Taylor died at the scene. Starks turned himself in the following day.
During the investigation, officers discovered there was no surveillance footage of the shooting. Surveillance footage from another part of the apartment complex did show Starks flee the scene and briefly stop, leaving something near a fence. Officers went to that location and discovered a .40 caliber Springfield handgun. Officers also recovered a spent .40 caliber shell casing just inside the door of the apartment. Further investigation determined the handgun was stolen from a Haskell, Oklahoma. home in March 2016. The investigation also showed that illegal drugs and alcohol may have contributed to the incident.
The victim was a citizen of the Muscogee Nation, and the crime occurred within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation Reservation.
The FBI’s Oklahoma City Field Office and Tulsa Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Roberts prosecuted the case.