Suspects in shooting death of young mother appear before judge

- A pair of teenagers faced a Polk County judge Monday afternoon, charged in what authorities have called a  senseless murder of a young mother that happened right in front of her daughter.

Deshawn Miller, 17, and Jayvon Joachin, 16, took turns before the judge in juvenile court.  Polk County deputies say they arrested the pair after they tried to get away in a stolen SUV.

"We successfully 'stop-sticked' the vehicle,” says Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “After trying to drive 90 miles per hour, they lose control of the vehicle' and they run into the woods where we successfully take them into custody."

Police said Miller and Joachin shot and killed 27-year-old Kendra Lewis with a stolen gun while her five year-old daughter watched.  The shooting happened last week in the parking lot of a gas station in Pine Hills. 

Investigators said the gun that killed her had been stolen from a Hillsborough County gun store, with the brazen robbery caught on security camera.  The incident was deeply worrying to the owner, Richard Smith.

"One gun on the street that's not supposed to be there is just too much, so we feel bad about that,” Smith said, “that's our main concern."

Sunday night, Lewis' family held a memorial where she was shot.  Her sister, Ceria Lewis, said the pain will not go away.

“It's sad the way she was taken away from us, and regardless of the situation or whatever happened -- even if they got the person who did it -- it's not going to bring my sister back,” she said.

Lewis' sister says Kendra's funeral will be held next Saturday.  Her family has stepped up to take care of her two small children.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories