Today Dejerion Jamar Stewart, 23, and Christopher Daniel Ward Jr., 22, were both sentenced to life in prison for Second Degree Murder with a Firearm for the 2017 killing of an FGCU student. Stewart and Ward were each found guilty as charged following a four day trial in Lee County in late September.
Last week, the remaining co-defendant, Rodney Stephon Ivery, 22, entered a plea of no contest to one count of Second Degree Murder with a Firearm for his role in the crime. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison followed by 5 years of probation.
In July 2017 Stewart, Ward, and Ivery shot and killed the 23 year old victim while he was driving in Estero. The victim and his friend had gone to dinner and the friend was going to sell drugs to someone who he had arranged to meet at the restaurant in Gulf Coast Town Center. After a confrontation between the friend and his purchaser, they left without completing the transaction and the victim drove himself and his friend back towards his friend’s house. After the victim accidentally made a wrong turn he attempted to turn around but another car pulled in front of him and blocked him from leaving. Stewart, Ward, and Ivery then exited that vehicle armed with pistols.
As the victim tried to drive off, the trio surrounded the car and fired at it, striking the victim multiple times. The victim’s friend attempted to steer the car after the victim was hit but ended up crashing and fleeing on foot to call 911 from a nearby house. The trio fled the scene.
Assistant State Attorney Sara Miller of our Homicide Unit and Assistant State Attorney Anthony Kunasek prosecuted the cases.
State Attorney’s Office