UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Lamont Adair Jr. was a promising pro basketball prospect coming out of the same neighborhood that produced Kevin Durant.
Adair, of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, was a father and spent part of the last weekend of his life counseling kids to choose peace at a neighborhood center event.
He was shot and killed Aug. 8, 2018 by 25-year-old Franklin Scott who was jealous that Adair had been seen in a social media post with the killer’s girlfriend, according to a statement from the murderer’s mother made during a sentencing hearing Tuesday.
Outside the Prince George’s County Courthouse, Adair’s shattered family shook their heads after witnessing the killer duck a life-without-parole sentence by pleading guilty to avoid a trial.
The shooter was seen in apartment complex security video committing the murder, but the video is not perfect, according to law enforcement sources close to the case.
Scott received a significant break by accepting life with all but 50 years suspended. The sentence means Scott might be eligible for parole well before serving all 50 years.
"It’s terrible," Adair’s mother Darlene Rainey said. "I’m sick of the reduced time for good behavior. I’m sick of the offers to get a lesser sentence."
Adair's sister said the plea ensures the family will continue to follow legal maneuvering for decades to come.
"I’m sure he’ll be eligible for parole one day," Urania Jackson said. "And if, God willing, we’re still here, we’ll make sure our voices are heard."
But the outcome of the Adair case is typical.
Ninety to 95% of state felony cases in the U.S. end with some sort of plea deal, according to a US Bureau of Justice Assistance report from the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Prosecutors in Prince George’s County described the outcome of the Adair case as a success, according to Denise Roberts, a spokesperson for State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy.
The sentence given to Franklin Scott ensures the case will not go through the appeals process and makes the defendant accountable for his crime, Roberts said.
An accomplice who has pled guilty to being an accessory to murder after the fact will be sentenced in the coming weeks.