MERCER – After Antwan Jones pleaded guilty to third-degree murder Tuesday, Judge Ronald D. Amrhein Jr. sentenced him to 20 to 40 years in prison.
In a plea agreement with the commonwealth, Antwan Lamont Jones, 21, Campbell, Ohio, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and carrying a firearm without a license for shooting 31-year-old Clarice Somerville to death July 12, 2020, on Quinby Street in Sharon.
Charges of first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment were not prosecuted.
Somerville’s mother, Arlene Somerville, testified at the sentence hearing Tuesday, stating that Jones should get life in prison.
“You took her away from her kids. She was getting ready to be a grandmother,” Arleen said. “He deserves life in prison. He took my child’s life.”
Clarice’s daughter, Da’Breea Gibson, agreed with her grandmother.
“I have to raise my daughter without my mom,” Gibson told the judge. “It’s hard to keep going.”
Jones stood up to face the family.
“I’m very, very sorry,” he told them. “I promise I’ll write a book about this and every profit goes to you all. Everything I do from this day forward is for you all and Clarice.”
During his preliminary hearing in August 2020, a Sharon police detective testified that Jones had told several stories about the event.
He said Jones initially said Clarice hit him and then he hit her and he went inside and heard a gunshot.
The final story police said Jones told was that the pair were outside and she slapped him so he slapped her back. Jones told the detective that he saw blackness after she hit him with a stick.
Jones said he got a gun and fired a round that hit her, the detective testified. Jones told the detective that he shouldn’t have done this, but he had exploded because he’d had enough.
Sharon police were dispatched at 3:04 p.m. July 12, 2020, for a report of a fight in the public housing complex in the 300 block of Quinby, according to a criminal complaint. When officers arrived they found Somerville in the courtyard, shot in the abdomen.
She was taken to an area trauma center, where she died, police said.
According to the complaint, witnesses told police that the shooter ran into a nearby apartment. After getting no response when they commanded anyone inside the building to come out, officers went to the apartment’s second floor, where they found Jones hiding in the shower. Witnesses identified Jones as the shooter.
The sentence breaks down to 20 to 40 years for the third-degree murder charge with credit for time served, and 18 months to 3 years confinement to be served concurrently with the murder sentence.
“I’m so sorry I can’t bring her back,” Jones told the family at his sentencing. “Things should’ve went differently that day.”
Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at email@example.com