A woman who opened fire at a family gathering in an East St. Louis park did so after her child had been in a fight at a school bus stop the month before, said attorneys at the woman’s sentencing.
Jamia Boyd was sentenced to six years Monday by St. Clair County Judge Zina Cruse for shooting two people and firing upon a third person in April 2016 at Jones Park in East St. Louis. Boyd pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm. She will have to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence and be on probation for three years after her release.
The actions were completely out of character for her, said Mark Peebles, Boyd’s attorney, and it was an “isolated, abhorrent incident in her life.”
“She’s a mother who was upset her child had been attacked,” Peebles said.
Victims did not provide impact statements, said Erin Conner, prosecuting attorney, although the state had contacted them several times.
Conner had requested 12 years, noting that Boyd had gone to the park to find Kiara Blake, whose child was in an altercation with Boyd’s the month before. Boyd then left the park and returned about 15 minutes later and challenged Blake to a fist fight, Conner said.
Boyd had brought a gun to the fist fight and fired the gun. Shots hit Bobbie Moore, 25, in the leg and Dywaun Flowers, 24, in the arm and wrist. Blake was not hit by gunfire.
“You cannot bring a gun to the park and open fire,” Conner said, noting the family gathering as well as other people at the park on a Sunday afternoon.
Police reports showed that Boyd had been drinking that day, Conner said. The request for 12 years took into account “all the good things” about Boyd, including her family connections and lack of criminal history, Conner said.
In her statement to the court before sentencing, Boyd was hoarse and tearful in apologizing.
“I don’t do things like that,” she said. “It was just a big mistake.”
Boyd was taken into custody after sentencing. She was allowed to hug her husband and children, who continued to cry.
Cruse said the minimum sentence took into account the lack of criminal history, the “relatively minor” injuries compared to what she often sees in her courtroom, and is “mindful that the victims had not come and let the court know any impact on their lives.”