Back in October of last year, 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie shot and killed 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen in the halls of Butler High School in Matthews, North Carolina. The shooting stemmed from an off-campus fight between Cuffie and a group of McKeithen’s friends where Cuffie came up on the short end of the stick. McKeithen was not involved in the fight but was a witness to it.
Cuffie reportedly took the gun to school to exact revenge against the someone he lost the fight to, but never got the chance when McKeithen said something to him in passing. Cuffie took out his gun and shot McKeithen in the back while students were all around.
Later on, Cuffie had the charges dropped from first-degree to second-degree murder as McKeithen was not his original target. He was then surprisingly released on $100,000 bond earlier this year. Cuffie had been charged as an adult.
Yesterday, Cuffie entered into a plea deal where he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. He then received a sentence of 80 to 108 months in prison. So at the most, he’ll spend nine years in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Desmond McCallum said that Cuffie was trying to hurt but not kill McKeithen. In my opinion, that shouldn’t matter. Cuffie opened fire in a crowded school hall and killed someone. I can understand dropping the charge to second-degree murder but accepting a plea deal for voluntary manslaughter is ridiculous.
Having previously lived in the area, I can tell you that Mecklenburg county has a reputation of having a revolving door policy when it comes to criminals. This only upholds that reputation.