A fight between friends that escalated to gunfire and death, ended with the imprisonment of two of St. Paul’s men, each of whom remained in prison for nearly two years.
Quincy Rashon Adams, 27, and Kemar Anthony Hawkins, 23, have been sentenced to second-degree murder in the 2020 fatal shooting of 25-year-old Bajuan Devon Adams.
Judge Japaul J. Harris on Monday described the case as “heartbreaking” as family members who entered the courtroom cried in the hope that Adams, a college graduate with no criminal record, would only receive probation. The family told that he had gone to college to become a personal trainer.
“Everything I read – and you need to hear this – tells me that you are a good, understanding family man who has made a mistake,” Harris told him.
Adams was sentenced on Monday to two years in prison in Ramsey County District Court. He will be in jail for 32 months and will be under observation for 16 months. He admitted the charge on May 3.
Hawkins was sentenced on August 2 to two years in prison, with a serving of 349 days. He was found guilty by a jury.
Bajuan’s father, John Adams, who lives in Texas, sent a victim impact statement, which was submitted by state attorney Kelly L. Mehan read.
“I wish to go to court and understand, Quincy and Bajuan had a close relationship, and were more like brothers than cousins,” he wrote. “I myself have told QJ that I forgive him, and I understand. The fact that QJ’s bullet was part of BJ’s death is something Quincy has to live with for the rest of his life… Knowing that Quincy had an accidental role in Bajuan’s death, the family is divided, and this pain is something we all live with.”
Shooting took place on July 15, 2020 at approximately 5:45 p.m. in the St. Paul’s Summit-University neighborhood near Concordia and Western Avenues.
According to the criminal complaint, 23-year-old Tejman Armon Jones-English was upset with Bajuan Adams because he felt that Bajuan was humiliating him.
Jones-English did not accept Bajuan’s assurances that he had nothing to do with the comments. He insisted that the two settle the disagreement with a fight.
Quincy Adams was present and there was a gun in his shorts. Jones-English asked his cousin and a friend Hawkins to support him, as Bajuan had Adams.
When Hawkins saw Adams with the gun, he went back and took his gun. The quarrel escalated so much that one of his friends pointed a gun. The complaint states that the other retaliated and both told the police that they blanked their clips on each other.
Bajuan was shot four times – in his right arm, back, head and right ankle. He died at the scene.
Adams was shot through his right calf and took himself to Region Hospital where he was treated and interviewed by police. The complaint said Hawkins had a gunshot wound to his upper thigh but did not heal. Jones-English was not shot. At that time, while they were wrestling on the ground, Bajuan was on top of him.
“I didn’t intend for this to happen,” Adams said of Bajuan’s death on Monday. “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I feel like I’ve let everyone down honestly and I’m sorry.”
His lawyer, Ira W. Whitlock, emotional at the sentence, lowered his hand on the table several times.
“It’s been a tough case, a sad case,” Whitlock said. “I see a lot of young black kids, especially black men, sitting in this chair, being sent to prison.”