Keymontae Lindsey

Victim: JJ Clavo, 17

Age at time of murder: 15

Crime date: November 13, 2015

Crime location: Sacramento

Murder method: Gunshots

Weapon: Firearm

Convictions: First-degree murder with a firearm, first-degree attempted murder with a firearm, and firing a firearm into an occupied motor vehicle

Sentence: Juvenile sentence pursuant to SB 1391


JJ Clavo, a 17-year-old high school football player, was tragically killed in an ambush-style shooting. His killer, who was 15 at the time, was tried in juvenile court, as mandated by SB 1391.


CA law on juvenile crime fails in JJ Clavo killer's sentence | The  Sacramento Bee

JJ Clavo’s Killer Sentenced To Prison

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The convicted killer of a deceased Grant High School football player learned his fate today.

This is a case we’ve been following closely now for four years. JJ Clavo was 17 at the time he was killed in an ambush-style shooting just blocks from his school. And today, his killer was sentenced.

Nineteen-year-old Keymontae Lindsey was tried in juvenile court, and a judge handed him a sentence of a few years behind bars. He could be released by the time he’s 23.

Lindsey was 15 when he shot JJ while the Grant High School football player was inside his car on his way to a playoff game.  If Lindsey would have been tried as an adult, he would have gotten up to 88 years behind bars. But a state law that took effect in January did not allow for that.

Meanwhile, JJ’s mother on Facebook tonight says Lindsey got away with murder.  She also said her faith in God has been her saving grace. And she thanks the community for their prayers.

Lindsey’s exact sentence will depend on the state department of corrections and rehabilitation.

Mom Of Murdered Teen Fights For Justice Against Youth Offender Sentencing Law

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The mother of Grant High School student JJ Clavo, who was shot and killed by a gang member in 2015, spoke out one day after the gunman’s conviction.

The killer could be out in less than six years because of SB1391, a controversial new law that limits sentencing for juveniles under 15.

Keymontae Lindsey was tried as a juvenile even though Clavo’s family fought to have him tried as an adult. Clavo’s mother vows to fight to have SB1391 overturned so other victims will not have to go through the pain she says she will have to go through again in just a few years.

“There wasn’t really a happy joyful moment. People speak of closure, but I don’t really know what closure is,” said Dr. Nicole Clavo.

Clavo was there when the verdict was read for her son’s killer Keymontae Lindsey. He was found guilty of premeditated first-degree murder.

“I was actually filled with emotion, but nothing will bring my son back and at the end of the day there is still a young man who is losing years of his life to the penal system,” Clavo said.

Lindsey killed Clavo while he was on his way to a Grant High School football game with his friends four years ago. Lindsey, a member of the Strawberry Manor Bloods, walked up and opened fire on the car while they were at a stop sign, killing Clavo and hurting another teen.

“I’ve been praying for Keymontae since day one and I will continue to pray for him. I just hope he understands the impact he has had on all our lives,” Nicole Clavo said.

Lindsey was 15 when he committed the crime. Clavo’s family, along with the DA’s office, pushed to have him tried as an adult, but earlier this year SB 1391 took effect, eliminating the ability to try a defendant who was 14 or 15 as an adult regardless of the severity of the crime.

The Sacramento District Attorney’s office appealed this case to the third district court of appeals and ultimately to the California Supreme Court, which ordered Lindsey be treated as a juvenile and returned to juvenile court with a trial that began last month.

“I am proud of the DA’s office. They did a good job. I commend them in the hard work in trying to appeal 1391…[but] we lost,” said Clavo.

Because Lindsey was a minor at the time of the murder, the passage of SB1391 means he will be released no later than his 25th birthday.

“SB 1391 traumatizes and puts victims back in the place they were the first day they found out they lost their loved ones,” said Clavo.

For now, she plans to fight gun violence.

“I will continue to fight any laws that are unjust towards victims and I will continue to be a voice in this community,” said Clavo.

And when Lindsey gets out of jail, she said she will be there to watch.

“I will be there to watch to see if he has grown as a human, grown as a man,” said Clavo.

Clavo does not believe in the death penalty. She said Lindsey’s “repayment” would be spending the rest of his life in jail.

She questioned whether six years is enough time to rehabilitate someone guilty of such a heinous crime.

Lindsey’s sentencing is set for August 19, 2019, at 1:30 p.m.

Judge returns guilty verdict for murder of Grant Union High School student JJ Clavo

Keymontae Lindsey was found guilty of three charges related to the 2015 killing of football player JJ Clavo.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The teen accused of killing high school football player Jaulon “JJ” Clavo in 2015 was found guilty Monday.

Keymontae Lindsey, 19, faced three charges: first-degree murder with a firearm, first-degree attempted murder with a firearm and firing a firearm into an occupied motor vehicle. In court Monday afternoon, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet declared he’d found Lindsey guilty on all three counts.

On November 13, 2015, Clavo, 17, was driving himself and several of his football teammates back to Grant High School after they got food between the end of the school day and a playoff game. It was while they were driving back to campus that Clavo was shot and killed. One of his passengers, fellow teammate Malik Johnson, was injured by the gunfire. Altogether, five rounds of ammunition were fired, Judge Sweet recounted in court Monday. Two shots hit Clavo.

Lindsey was arrested the day after Clavo’s death when a weapon was found at his feet during a traffic stop. Initially, he was booked into juvenile hall on a weapon charge. An investigation later found Lindsey’s gun was connected to Clavo’s shooting, according to Sacramento Police.

JJ Clavo’s mother Nicole Clavo was at Monday’s hearing.

She describes her son as “a funny, cute, handsome jokester. Loved football. Loved people. Just loved life.”

Lindsey was 15 at the time of the crime and is now 19. He has bounced back and forth between adult and juvenile court due to Senate Bill 1391, which became effective Jan. 1, 2019 and bars minors under the age of 16 to be tried as adults in California.

“I truly don’t know how to define justice in my world,” Clavo told ABC10 after the judge declared Lindsey guilty. “Yes, he was found guilty of all three, but yet he was 15 at the time of the crime. He was a baby, he was a kid. I don’t think we should even be here.”

She said she felt numb after the hearing, that the system is broken and that a teen shouldn’t have had been able to commit this crime in the first place.

“In saying that,” Clavo continued, “I have fought for him to be tried as an adult. I do not believe that he should get off of all the charges he’s facing and only have to do a limited amount of time. I don’t think our system is created to truly rehabilitate in the short amount of time he will serve.”

Lindsey’s sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m. on Mon., August 19. The judge added a gang enhancement that could increase his punishment. Judge Sweet said evidence points to a gang rivalry, existing between the Del Paso Heights Bloods and the Strawberry Manor Bloods. He said Lindsey was active with the Strawberry Manor gang and that he was targeting Clavo’s passenger, Malik Johnson, who wasn’t a member of the rival gang at the time but has since become one, the judge said the evidence shows.

Even though Lindsey was aiming for Johnson, the judge said, the legal doctrine of transferred intent says it doesn’t matter that he missed his target and killed Clavo instead; the premeditation for Johnson’s killing transfers over to Clavo.

His mother, Ranika Lindsey, told ABC10 she thinks the judge made an incorrect ruling, “but it is what it is.”

Prior to Monday’s hearing, Lindsey and Clavo embraced and prayed together. These mothers who are both grieving, whose lives were both irrevocably changed that Nov. 2015 day, came together in their sadness to share some of the heaviness of the day.

Since the death of her son, Clavo has become an advocate for preventing gun violence. ABC10 asked her about the recent string of mass shootings.

“It’s been a sad week, right? Gilroy, Ohio, El Paso. There’s so many families suffering and they don’t even know what they’re headed through in the emotions,” Clavo said. “I just continue to pray for them and lift them up and send them strength and love.”

She said losing a loved one and the events following that are stressful and tiresome.

“Gun violence– I don’t know what the answer is, but I know that we need to be at the table, as victims, in having a say,” Clavo said.

She doesn’t feel she and other victims were heard in their protest of SB1391.

“That wasn’t a bill put forth for victims. It wasn’t a bill put forth for communities. It wasn’t a bill put forth for those who support victims. It was truly a bill that only helped those who perpetrated or committed a crime,” Clavo said.

Even at 15, she said, a young person can understand what they’re doing when taking another person’s life.

“He knew what he was doing, and he should be facing the crime that he did,” Clavo said. “If he would’ve been tried as an adult, he’d be doing life – with possibility of parole, but he’d be doing life, and I’d be sitting at every hearing. Now we’re putting this in the hands of the DJJ – juvenile department, and he’ll be out before he’s 25. Where’s the justice in that?”

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