STOCKTON — A man convicted in the shooting death of a Stockton rapper nearly three years ago was sentenced Monday to 40 years to life in prison.
Jontell Jaymar Roots, 24, was convicted of second-degree murder for killing 30-year-old Lonnel Broadnax in 2017. Authorities say Roots shot Broadnax dozens of times after the two men were involved in an altercation earlier outside of a market in central Stockton.
A jury also had found Roots guilty of the enhancement of discharging a firearm causing death, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office said in statement Friday.
On the evening of Sept. 17, 2017, both Broadnax and Roots were among several people milling around outside Simon’s Market near the corner of North Madison and West Poplar streets, DA officials said. At one point, Broadnax walked over to a group of people that included Roots.
After an exchange, DA officials say Broadnax was seen on video punching Roots before rushing away from the scene as someone chased him. Roots’ vehicle was also recorded leaving the area following the altercation.
A witness then saw a gunman confront Broadnax as he was fleeing the area after an unspecified amount of time later about two blocks away from the rear of the market, DA officials said. An autopsy report found Broadnax had suffered 30 gunshot wounds.
Broadnax left behind a young daughter, who was 8 years old at the time of his death. Broadnax himself was an only child, DA officials said.
"It hurts to never see my son again," Broadnax’s father, Kenneth Broadnax, told The Record about a month after his son died. "(I) won’t be able to hear his voice, won’t be able to talk to him. I never planned for nothing like this."
Investigators testified at the trial that Roots had posted on social media prior to the murder about his "prized," loaded Glock-type firearm, which was consistent with the weapon used to kill Broadnax, DA officials said. Two hours after the murder, Roots also had been in a rush to sell a similar weapon with a detachable, high-capacity magazine.
"He offered the firearm to two different people," DA officials said. "It was never recovered."
Roots also posted a quote on social media describing the feeling of power derived from killing someone, DA officials said. Despite video evidence to the contrary, Roots denied ever knowing or seeing Broadnax before, as well as that his vehicle had been at the market during the time of the altercation.
San Joaquin Superior Court Judge Seth Hoyt, who presided over the case, handed down a sentence of 15 years to life for the murder charge and an additional 25 years to life for the firearm enhancement, DA officials said. Roots is to serve both prison terms consecutively and will be eligible for parole in 2042.
"All assaultive behavior is criminal, but responding to a fistfight with a loaded firearm is the definition of violence escalation and a cowardly act," District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement. "This disagreement should never have ended as it did. One young man is in prison, and a second young man is dead."
The DA’s Office said that Roots’ conviction was made possible through the work of the Stockton Police Department and its investigators, as well as the witnesses who were willing to testify about "the violent night" Broadnax died.
Contact reporter Cassie Dickman at (209) 546-8299 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @byCassieDickman.