A man who was at the “wrong place at the wrong time” last year when a Charleston man was killed will serve time at a Greenbrier County facility for young adult offenders.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Maryclaire Akers on Thursday sentenced Davone Foote Jr., 22, of Washington, D.C., to the Anthony Correctional Center for conspiracy to commit burglary.
Foote previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy. He was originally charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of Keyshawnta St. John, 21, on March 13, 2022.
St. John was found with multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at a house in the 1800 block of Bigley Avenue, according to a news release from the Charleston Police Department at the time.
Foote and Mike’o Wooten were arrested a short distance from the scene, police said.
Assistant Kanawha County Prosecutor George Sitler said last month the evidence in the case shows that Foote and Wooten came to Charleston to commit burglary with St. John and that Wooten later shot St. John during an argument. Wooten last week pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in St. John’s death.
During a victim impact statement Thursday, St. John’s sister, Terrica Maxwell, asked Foote to learn from his mistake of being “at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“It happened to Keyshawnta, twice he got shot,” she said. “I just want him to learn from it. I want this to be a learning experience.”
She went on to say Foote and her brother had a lot in common. Both have children, she said.
“I want you go to the Anthony Center, I want you to get a trade and I want you to take care of your kids,” she said. “I’m going to take care of Keyshawnta but I need you to take care of your kids. I want you to learn from this. Do not let this repeat itself.”
Foote’s defense attorney, Zoe Shavers, asked Akers to sentence Foote to probation and transferred to the Maryland area so that Foote can get back to his family. Several family members wrote letters of support to the judge on Foote’s behalf, she said.
If not probation, Shavers asked that the judge sentence him to one to five years in prison. Because Foote has served 14 months in jail, he’s eligible for probation now, Shavers said.
“So interestingly enough, I’ve written here ‘wrong place, wrong time’ in my notes,” Shavers said. “Because as you are now well aware, having heard it multiple times... Mr. Foote didn’t plan anything. He came along with Mr. Wooten.
“As you can see from the letter from his mom he’s somewhat of a follower,” Shavers said. “He’s also very young, and he got himself mixed up with somebody who was way more hardcore than him.”
Foote apologized for the outcome to the St. John family.
“I’ve got two kids of my own... I can’t imagine a world without them,” Foote said.
Akers said sentencing Foote to probation or parole would dishonor the victim. She asked that Foote continue his education during the program.
“I think that you can have a very productive life ahead of you, but I can’t in good conscience let you go on probation or parole without something to show for all this,” Akers said. “And I agree with what Ms. Maxwell says. And for that reason, I’m going to send you to the Anthony Center. That program can be six months, if you work at it. And you can come out with a GED, if you work at it.
“And that’s really all I’m wanting for you, is to complete your education so that as you go forward in life,” Akers said. “You can take more steps to get more education if you want to, or to get a trade or to get a job.”
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