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Sentencing of New Jersey Schoolyard Killer

It was a summer night in 2007. Lofemi Hightower and Dashon Harvey were in a schoolyard in Newark. Lofemi was twenty years old and Dashon was eighteen years old. There was another victim in this case who survived and testified at trial regarding the case. She was sexually assaulted, slashed with a machete and shot in the head.

Playing in a Schoolyard

The boys and their friends were playing in the schoolyard when they were approached by five young men. Melvin Jovel was one of the five young men. Melvin, who was twenty-one at the time, and his five friends lined Lofemi Hightower and Dashon Harvey against a wall. He then shot each of them in the back of their head killing them.

Jovel, an illegal Honduran immigrant, was involved with the MS-13 street gang. The killing of the boys in the schoolyard was part of an initiation ritual for members of the gang. The gang members had no knowledge who their victims were.

The victims either attended Delaware State University or had planned on attending Delaware State University. They were listening to music on a summer evening of August 4, 2007, when their young lives were cut short.

At the time of the sentencing of Melvin Javel, Dashon Harvey’s father spoke. He said, “my son was a beacon of light in our society, in which beacons of light are hard to find.” He stated, “he made me proud to be his Dad in a society without a lot of fathers.”

Judge Melvin Ravin sentenced Melvin Jovel to three consecutive life sentences, plus twenty years. This totals 245 years in jail.

The sentence is too short!

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Should you be in need of a lawyer, call us. Since 1978, we have been providing high-quality professional legal services for our clients at reasonable fees. Our phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431; 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

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