Long Island mother, son get more than two decades in prison for fatal shooting of Far Rockaway man in 2020: DA

Far Rockaway
A mother and son from Long Island were sentenced to more than two decades each in prison for the fatal shooting of a Far Rockaway man in 2020.
File photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A Long Island mother and son were sentenced Thursday in Queens Supreme Court to more than two decades in prison, each for the fatal shooting of a Far Rockaway man in 2020.

Raymond Jackson, 24, and his mother Avita Campbell, 40, both of Hook Creek Boulevard in Valley Stream, pleaded guilty on May 16 to manslaughter in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Campbell also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of identification in the second degree.

According to the charges, on Sept. 23, 2020, the victim, Lasaaun Lawrence of Far Rockaway, went to Valley Stream to the defendants’ home looking to recoup money he believed Jackson owed him for a car repair. Jackson and Lawrence had a physical altercation.

Later that day, at approximately 5:40 p.m., Campbell and Jackson were seen on video surveillance getting out of a white BMW on Beach 31st Street near Seagirt Avenue in Far Rockaway.

Both were armed – Campbell holding a metal pipe and Jackson carrying a handgun. The victim was in a double-parked car at the location. As the mother and son approached the victim’s car, Jackson raised his arm, aimed and fired at Lawrence. About a dozen shots rang out with multiple bullets hitting Lawrence.

After Jackson stopped shooting, his mother slammed the windshield of Lawrence’s car with the pipe she was carrying, causing the glass to shatter.

Jackson and Campbell got back into the BMW and fled the scene. Police from the 101st Precinct in Far Rockaway arrived and found Lawrence lying on the roadway with two gunshot wounds. EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed Larence to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

On October 2, 2020, Campbell was driving the same white BMW when police pulled her over for a traffic stop. Cops executed a court-authorized search warrant and found a loaded silver and black handgun and two magazines inside a book bag. At the time of arrest, defendant Campbell was in possession of $10,000 in cash and a notebook and spreadsheet with hundreds of names, addresses and social security numbers which she intended to use for the purpose of fraud, prosecutors said.

Ballistics tests performed on the recovered gun by the NYPD’s Firearms Section revealed it was a match for the gun used to kill Lawrence. Jackson was apprehended in Florida in December 2020 and extradited back to Queens.

“A dispute over a small sum of money ended with a young man being senselessly executed,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “His killers are going to prison for a long time for their cold-blooded viciousness.”

Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Usher sentenced Jackson to 24 years in prison and Campbell to 22 years imprisonment.