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Valley Stream man on the run, arrested in Florida, charged with murder

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz speaks during a

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz speaks during a news conference at her Queens office on July 22. Credit: Charles Eckert

A Valley Stream resident on the run for three months after he allegedly shot a man to death in Far Rockaway, was caught in Florida and arrested, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Wednesday.

Raymond Jackson, 22, and his pipe-wielding mother Avita Campbell, attacked Lasaun Lawrence, 27, in September over a dispute about money, Katz said.

"This mother-and-son duo allegedly teamed up to kill a man," Katz said. "A minor dispute over a few hundred dollars sparked this tragic shooting. The pair sought out the victim and when they found him, the son allegedly fired more than a dozen shots at him. The mother was allegedly armed with a metal pipe. This was a brutal, senseless killing that should not happen in our neighborhoods."

A 10-count indictment charged Jackson, who was arraigned Tuesday by Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant, with second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree unlawful possession of personal identification information.

His attorney, Edward Muccini, said Jackson is presumed innocent but declined to comment further because he had not received any evidence from prosecutors.

Katz said surveillance video showed Jackson and Campbell, 38, exit a white BMW on Beach 31st in Far Rockaway on Sept. 23. Lawrence was sitting in a double-parked car at the location. Jackson raised his arm and opened fire at Lawrence as the mother and son team approached the car. Jackson fired about a dozen shots, Katz said, striking Lawrence multiple times.

When Jackson stopped shooting, Campbell shattered the victim’s car windshield with a pipe. Jackson and Campbell fled from the scene in the white BMW. Lawrence died later from the gunshot wounds.

Jackson had lived with his mother on Hook Creek Boulevard in Valley Stream, Katz said.

Campbell was driving the white BMW when she was pulled over on Oct. 2 for a traffic stop. Police executed a search warrant and allegedly found a loaded handgun and two magazines inside a book bag. Campbell was then arrested on weapons charges.

Ballistics tests showed that the gun was a possible match for the same weapon used to shoot and kill Lawrence, according to prosecutors.

The indictment charges Campbell with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth-degree criminal mischief, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle without a license. She was arraigned in October.

Both mother and son are scheduled to return to court on Jan. 19. If convicted, they could face 25-years-to-life in prison.

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