WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of James Lamont Stephens on Thursday, according to the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office.
At around 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2018, investigators say that Kenyana Jaquan Lowery shot and killed Stephens in the street on the 3000 block of Gilmer Avenue in Winston-Salem.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found several people standing outside in the vicinity of the victim’s body. Police say that the area is well-known for large outdoor gatherings and that no one at the scene admitted to seeing the shooting.
One person stated that they did not see the shooting but heard a single gunshot and saw several people running away.
An autopsy later revealed that Stephens had been shot once in the left temple and had cocaine in his system at the time of his death.
Eventually, an anonymous tip to Crimestoppers reported that someone known by the alias “KP” was the person that shot Stephens and that another person helped him leave the scene and hide the gun. The tip claimed that the murder weapon was buried in the backyard of a home on the 3600 block of Cornell Boulevard.
Investigators would later identify Lowery as the “KP” from the Crimestoppers tip.
Detectives then spoke with the person accused of helping Lowrey hide the murder weapon. They told investigators that they were present at the scene when Lowery exited the truck they were both seated in, walked up to Stephens and fatally shot him.
They then told detectives that when Lowery returned to the truck he admitted to them that he had shot Stephens.
They also admitted to investigators that they helped Lowrey bury the handgun used in the killing and led officers to the backyard where they dug the murder weapon up and found that it had the same caliber of shell casing found at the crime scene.
Lowrey would later be interviewed by the Winston-Salem Police Department and he admitted to detectives that he shot Stephens.
Lowrey told investigators that Stephens had “beaten [him] up” earlier that day and had threatened him. Stephens was a suspect in several armed robberies at the time of his death.
On Thursday, Lowrey pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 94-125 months in prison.