LIMA — A 21-year-old Lima man who prosecutors say drove his brother to a site in Lima with the explicit attempt to shoot a drug rival was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.
D’vonte Robertson, described in court as having an endearing personality and apparently beloved by his co-workers at a Lima fast-food restaurant, apologized to Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser shortly before she imposed sentence on a second-degree felony charge of felonious assault with a one-year firearm specification.
According to court records, Robertson’s brother D’Sean was robbed during a drug transaction by Jazz Howell and was returning to the scene with a gun. D’Vonte Robertson admitted that he knew his brother’s intent was to shoot Howell but nonetheless agreed to drive D’Sean to the location in question.
Defense Attorney Jerry Doute said his client had cooperated with authorities early in the case and had agreed to testify against his brother at trial “because he recognized the seriousness of the crime.”
Doute said D’vonte has a bright future, as evidenced by the number of honors he had received for his work ethic.
“I visited the place where he worked and people at his place of employment were overwhelmingly impressed by this young man,” Doute told the court.
Kohlrieser agreed that Robertson’s role in the crime was “very minimal … but the law says that’s complicity and that you are equally as guilty as if you’d pulled the trigger.”
The judge also expressed her familiarity with the victim in the case.
“This court is very familiar with Jazz Howell. He has victimized person after person after person in this town. But that does not justify what you and your brother did,” Kohlrieser said.
She sentenced Robertson to four years in prison — a mandatory one-year stint for the gun charge and three years for the felonious assault.
D’Sean Robertson is serving a six-year sentence in the case.