09/26/13 3:42pm
09/26/2013 3:42 PM
JOE PINCIARO PHOTOS |  Ishawn Jackson, Jhmil Dawson and Lavon Dawson being escorted into town court Thursday.

JOE PINCIARO PHOTOS | Ishawn Jackson, Jhmil Dawson and Lavon Dawson being escorted into Town Justice Court on Thursday.

Three men arrested after an attempted robbery at the CVS pharmacy on Route 58 in Riverhead Wednesday are being investigated in connection with several pharmacy robberies throughout Suffolk County, prosecutors said.

During their arraignments Thursday in Riverhead Town Justice Court, county assistant district attorney Tisha Burrows said Jhmil Dawson, 26 of Coram, his younger brother, Lavon Dawson,17, of Riverhead, and Ishawn Jackson, 16, of Calverton, may have been involved in a “pattern of other robberies” that have occurred throughout the county since January.

One of those robberies includes the Jan. 14 robbery of the same Route 58 CVS, Ms. Burrows said.

Ms. Burrows also told the court that Lavon Dawson has confessed to the January robbery, in which he and two other men entered the CVS armed and wearing masks, taking off with over $8,000.

He also confessed to holding the handgun during Wednesday’s armed robbery, pointing it at a CVS employee and forcing the employee to the floor in an attempt to steal money and cigarettes, she said.

Defense attorney Anthony Rutkowski said the handgun recovered by police was a BB gun.

Lavon Dawson, who has no criminal record according to the assistant district attorney, was charged with first-degree attempted robbery as well as first-degree robbery – both felonies – following his confession.

Ms. Burrows requested $200,000 cash bail, however Justice Allen Smith set it at $100,000.

Both Jhmil Dawson and Ishawn Jackson are also facing first-degree attempted robbery charges, with Jhmil Dawson also being charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, also a felony.

Hours after the Wednesday morning incident at CVS, the men were spotted by a farm worker in fields at nearby Anderson Farms and apprehended shortly after, police had said.

Jhmil Dawson is being held without bail, due to a past criminal history, Mr. Smith said during court.

Mr. Dawson has two prior felony convictions, including an attempted robbery conviction for which he served time in jail, Mr. Burrows said.

Ishawn Jackson, 16 and still in the Riverhead school system, is being held on $100,000 bail

Family members for all three men were present in court.

Before her son’s court appearance, Lakisha Jackson said her “heart is broken.

“He is so good with his sisters; he’s just a follower,” Ms. Jackson said. “I love him.”

Jhmil Dawson currently lives with his mother in Coram, his father, Andre Lee, said.

“He just turned the wrong way.” Mr. Dawson said, explaining that his son had recently moved back to Coram from Virginia, where he had graduated high school. “May God bless him.”

A Suffolk County grand jury is taking up the case, and all three suspects are due back in town court Monday.

cmiller@timesreview.com

Correction: Ishawn Jackson is being held on $100,000 bail. We previously reported $200,000.

02/15/13 2:14pm
02/15/2013 2:14 PM
Drive-by shooting suspects

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTOS | Eric Baldwin Jr., Jasmine Parsons and Jeffrey Despeine.

A mother sobbed in court as she watched her 21-year-old son, wearing a green jumpsuit with his hands cuffed in front of him, appear before a Riverhead judge Friday to answer to felony gun charges.

Her son, Jeffrey Despeines of Centereach, is one of four people accused of shooting up a Third Street house that was filled with adults and two small children Wednesday night.

A woman who identified herself as a close friend of another suspect, Jasmine Parsons, also sat in the audience.

“She’s a good person. She’s loving. She has a job,” the woman told a reporter. “She just got caught up in the wrong situation with the wrong people.”

Three of the four suspects, Mr. Despeines; Ms. Parsons, 19, of Mastic; and Eric Baldwin Jr., 18, of Bellport; appeared in Town Justice Court for continued arraignment proceedings Friday, a day after bail was initially set for them Thursday.

The fourth suspect, Jordan Harrell, 18, of Medford will be back in court Tuesday.

The three suspects were not required to enter a plea on their felony charges. A Suffolk County grand jury will be reviewing the case Tuesday, Feb. 19, prosecutors said.

Mr. Baldwin pleaded not guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.

Prosecutors said Mr. Despeines was the shooter in the drive-by, allegedly firing seven rounds into the two-family house. He was charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree reckless endangerment, all felonies.

His bail, originally set at $250,000 cash or $750,000 bond on Thursday, was modified to $100,000 cash or $250,000 bond Friday after a lawyer argued on his behalf.

The court-appointed attorney, Carl Irace of East Hampton, said Mr. Despeines has no prior criminal record.

“He has a very concerned family, and a impeccable work record,” Mr. Irace told a reporter after court.

Mr. Baldwin was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony, for his alleged involvement in the shooting, along with the misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon charge because police say they found brass knuckles on him.

His lawyer told the judge Mr. Baldwin has “strong ties to the community” and works full-time at a thrift store

Mr. Baldwin was held on $100,000 cash bail or $500,000 bond. Justice Smith modified his bond to $200,000, leaving cash bail set at $100,000.

Assistant district attorney William Nash had argued the bail amounts set Thursday should stay in place, due to the charges’ “serious nature,” adding also that some of the suspects are believed to have gang affiliations.

Ms. Parsons’ waived her right to appear in court Friday, said her attorney, Daniel Barker of Riverhead, saying he wanted the opportunity to speak with Ms. Parsons in private first.

He did not ask for a bail modification.

Although all four suspects appeared in court Thursday, authorities had not yet found lawyers to represent all of them during the initial proceedings.

cmiller@timesreview.com