NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – A federal jury has convicted a father and son from Niagara Falls in the shooting death of an up-and-coming Buffalo rapper. The case, which involved a narcotics conspiracy, resulted in the conviction of Lavon Parks, 32, and his father, James C. Parks, 58. They were found guilty of discharging a firearm causing death, among other narcotics and firearm charges.
The prosecutors presented evidence that Lavon Parks fired six shots, killing 21-year-old Kevin O. Turner on January 21, 2018. The motive, according to the prosecutors, was related to a drug territory dispute, with Lavon Parks targeting Turner, who was described as a rival drug dealer.
The trial revealed that the father and son, along with five other defendants, were engaged in a conspiracy to sell cocaine in the Niagara Falls and Buffalo areas between May 2017 and March 2019. The prosecution also alleged that the drug conspiracy involved the shipment of cocaine from postal parcels sent from Puerto Rico to various locations in Western New York and other states.
During the trial, the defense questioned the credibility of several prosecution witnesses who had previous run-ins with the legal system. The defense lawyers emphasized the lack of eyewitnesses to the shooting and the absence of DNA evidence on the gun used to kill Turner.
The case, which involved a tense courtroom battle over the disclosure of evidence, resulted in the guilty verdicts for Lavon and James Parks. They are now scheduled to be sentenced in June.
This conviction marks the end of a trial that exposed the deadly consequences of drug-related disputes and the challenges in prosecuting such cases. It also highlights the complexities involved in presenting evidence and testimony in court, especially when dealing with witnesses who have a history of drug use and criminal activity.