• Lynda Cohen

Juvenile system failed Atlantic City teen charged as adult, grandmother says

Ronda Lampkin has shed tears on both sides of violence. In 2011, her 19-year-old son was fatally shot inside a car as he and friends drove down the White Horse Pike in Galloway Township. No one has ever been charged. Now, her 16-year-old grandson is indicted for attempted murder in the Sept. 19, 2016, shooting of 20-year-old Shakeem Roberts in Atlantic City.

At the time of the shooting, the then-15-year-old Raymir was on an ankle bracelet for his part in the robbery of a homeless man. It wasn’t the first time he committed a crime on the bracelet, Lampkin said. “He violated to every extent,” she said. “He failed every drug test. He never charged his bracelet.” Nothing was done, Lampkin said. A week before the Roberts shooting, Raymir was shot at while at the Atlantic City Apartments, where he wasn’t supposed to be. He had on his ankle bracelet but the battery wasn’t charged. Still no consequences. The day of Roberts’ shooting, Lampkin took her grandson to court because she was told he was finally being violated. When she got there, she was met with confusion and told there was no hearing. “The system is terrible,” she said. “They don’t do anything with these juveniles. It escalates and their behavior gets worse.” She said in court it was claimed that she I called them and said, ‘I think Raymir is dealing drugs and guns.’ That was untrue, she said. “If I did, then you didn’t do anything,” Lampkin said. “Now you want to lock him up and you want to throw away the key.” Although he is being tried as an adult, he is not being detained as one. Raymir was one of four teens who escaped from the Harborfields Juvenile Detention Center in Egg Harbor City in November.

He and Michael Huggins — accused of murder in a Bridgeton killing — had been waived up to be tried as adults before they and two others allegedly overpowered corrections officers and fled in a stolen car. His grandmother wasn’t surprised. “They already knew he was an escape artist,” Lampkin said. “This is what he does.” But changes to the juvenile system made in 2016 require a motion to move juveniles charged as adults out of a juvenile facility. Despite Raymir’s history of escaping juvenile facilities — including twice from the facility in Camden, according to his grandmother — no such motion was made. Even after the Harborfields escape, Raymir was just moved to a different juvenile facility. Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner would not comment on the case or the decision not to move Raymir. The Juvenile Justice Commission’s investigation into the escape is still ongoing. It cannot be completed until the Tyner’s office submits its report, a spokeswoman for the state commission told BreakingAC. Meanwhile, Lampkin does what she can. She reaches out to those who have suffered the loses she has and hopes one day to have justice for her son, Quadir. Anyone with information about Quadir Lampkin’s killing is urged to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit at 609-909-7666 or fill out the office’s anonymous tip form.



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