Murder defendants convicted in 2014 shooting of Precious Alex
Two men have been found guilty on all counts in the Anchorage murder of a 15-year-old girl more than three years ago.
An Anchorage jury Friday convicted Jamal Townsend and Lammar Burney on two counts each of first-degree and second-degree murder, as well as assault and weapons-misconduct counts, in the shooting of Precious Alex.
Police found Alex dead on April 1, 2014 inside her home; Townsend and Burney were pulled over soon afterward in a vehicle which also contained the murder weapon.
During the trial, prosecutors said Townsend had been shorted in a marijuana deal with Alex’s mother and her fiancé, then was beaten in a fight with the fiancé.
Witnesses say following the fight, Townsend attended a party where he was upset and talked to Burney about being shorted on an ounce of weed. Around 2:30 a.m. on April 1, Burney talked his girlfriend into driving him and Townsend somewhere. Townsend gave direction to Alex's apartment on North Flower Street. After circling the block four times, Burney told his girlfriend to stop and get out. At 3:13 a.m., six gunshots were fired hitting the bedroom window of the apartment. Two bullets hit and killed Alex, another bullet hit a second victim in the foot.
Officers nearby say they heard the gunshots and stopped the car. Underneath the passenger seat, a .40 caliber pistol was found, which authorities say matched the shell casings and fragments at the murder scene.
Prosecutors believe the fight led Townsend to seek vengeance by firing at Alex’s home, with rounds passing through her bedroom home and killing her.
Assistant District Attorney Patrick Sherry said that both Townsend and Burney shared joint responsibility for Alex’s death, regardless of who actually fired.
"You may never know who actually pulled the trigger that night," said Sherry. "But in the eyes of the law, that does not matter. One of those men pulled the trigger and the other man was the accomplice which makes them both guilty of Precious Alex's murder."
Townsend’s attorney had argued that Burney fired because he planned to rob the couple, then became frustrated when things didn’t go according to plan.
Townsend and Burney are scheduled to be sentenced March 21, 2018, and could face up to 99 years in prison. Both are being held without bail pending sentencing.
Editor's note: An initial version of this story misspelled murder defendant Lammar Burney's first name.
Lauren Maxwell and Jared Mazurek contributed information to this story.
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