Four Years After Covington Woman's Death, Man is Convicted of Murder
Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:46 RCN Newsdesk
Correction: An earlier version of this article left out the defendant's first name, Jermaine, which has been added. It has also been corrected to reflect that Beamon has been sentenced. Originally the article said that the sentencing would come at a later date.
A man was convicted in September in the 2017 slaying of a Covington woman and shooting her father. He was sentenced last week.
Jermaine Lamont Beamon, 29, was found guilty by a Kenton County jury on charges of murder and first degree assault. That same jury recommended a sentence of 50 years for the murder and 20 for the assault, to be served consecutively, for a total of 70 years.
Kenton Co. Circuit Court Judge Patricia Summe agreed with that recommendation and sentenced Beamon to 70 years.
Beamon shot and killed Lazuri Collins, 24, in the area of 13th and Wheeler streets in Covington on July 29, 2017, and wounded her father, Antonio Collins.
Lazuri Collins was in the driver's seat of a Toyota Camry when she was shot in the head. Antonio Collins was a passenger in the backseat of the vehicle and was struck by gunshots, suffering serious injuries, but ultimately surviving.
It took two years before enough evidence was collected to present to a Kenton Co. Grand Jury in 2019 against Beamon.
Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders said the investigation was stymied because, despite a street teeming with people, none admitted to witnessing the shooting. The prosecutor commended Chief Rob Nader and the Covington Police Crime Bureau for their commitment to the case and all the hours spent on the investigation. "The Covington Police stood up for Lazuri when others wouldn't and it's their dedication that put her killer in prison," Sanders said.
Beamon had been suspected for months, Sanders said, because Beamon had a dispute with Lazuri Collins's boyfriend, Chris Goode. But with no witness to place Beamon at the scene, the case was lacking, he said.
That changed when a man detectives could prove was present for the shooting got arrested and began to cooperate with police. The man, who is not being identified for his own protection, told detectives that Beamon was, in fact, the gunman. Investigators also received cooperation from a federal inmate, Gregory Pritchett, who testified Beamon admitted to being the shooter and asked for money to live on while he hid from police.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Casey Burns and Emily Arnzen, who prosecuted the case at trial, were able to corroborate the men's testimony with physical evidence recovered from near the shooting scene. Police recovered a handgun and a hoodie from the direction witnesses indicated the gunman ran after the shots. DNA from the hoodie matched Beamon. Ballistics testing of the gun matched it to a bullet recovered from Collins during the autopsy.
"I hope the outcome inspires more confidence in law enforcement and the justice system," said Sanders. "Justice for Lazuri would have come a lot sooner if we'd had more cooperation from the start."
Sanders also said that the case took so long to complete due to multiple police officers involved retiring along the way. "It was great to see (Retired) Sgt. Brian Kane and (Retired) Sgt. Jim West in action one last time," said Sanders. "Those guys were the best of the best when it comes to cops and they deserve a lot of credit for the dogged pursuit of justice in this case."