Man pleads in murder at 28th St. strip mall

Jokari Lowery
Jokari Lowery's mug shot, courtesy the Grand Rapid Police Department.

***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Jokari Lowery pleaded guilty to two criminal counts. We regret this error, which has since been corrected.***

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — On the day his trial was scheduled to begin, a man pleaded no contest to a deadly shooting at a Grand Rapids strip mall in October.

In Kent County Circuit Court Monday, Jokari Lowery pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and a felony firearm charge. In return, prosecutors dropped five other charges against him.

Authorities say that on Oct. 9, 2016, he opened fire at a birthday party being held at a strip mall on 28th Street east of Kalamazoo Avenue. Nine people were shot. One of them, 21-year-old Juwan Boykin, was killed.

Juwan Boykin
An undated courtesy photo of Juwan Boykin.

Lowery was arrested in late January in Grand Rapids and initially charged with four felony counts.

Under the terms of the plea agreement reached on the day his trial would have started, the prosecutor recommended a 30-year prison sentence: 28 for the murder charge and two for the weapons charge.

The judge is not bound to honor that recommendation at sentencing, which is scheduled for Aug. 17.