A father serving a life sentence for murder stated in a recent interview he felt responsible for the involvement of his two young sons in a shooting which left a man dead and another wounded.
Javaris Milton’s 12-year-old and 17-year-old sons are suspects in the June 29 incident in Omaha, Nebraska. The 17-year-old is to be tried as an adult on a charge of first-degree murder, while the 12-year-old is due to appear in juvenile court.
Prosecutors allege the shooting occurred during a drug deal, but this has been contested by both the families of the victims and suspects.
Milton was a gang member, and acknowledged he did not hide his guns or drugs from his kids.
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“My one action caused a ripple effect,” he told the Omaha World-Herald. “I know that and I take full responsibility for that. If there’s anybody to blame, it is me.”
Douglas Johnson, a juvenile court judge, ruled that the 12-year-old should be held at a youth detention center for his own protection.
The father explained that his kids grew up in a violent environment.
“Where we come from, they are going to see it in the streets anyway,” said Milton. “We got no money to take them out of the inner city, raise our kids around the picket fence and keep them away from the drug dealers and everything.”
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Milton’s two sons were allegedly part of a gang along with another 15-year-old boy detained in the same shooting incident. Police are said to be investigating the gang’s role in a series of robberies, shootings and drug deals.
“When you go to prison, everyone wants to get on their knees and pray to God,” Milton added. “You tell your kids don’t be like me, don’t go to prison, but the seed is already planted.”
Court documents reveal that the children’s mother, Iyannia Moss, was also involved in criminal activity. She served 18 months in prison for stabbing a woman in the chest in 2006.
Milton was charged with murder in 2010 and began serving a life sentence the following year.
“I was young, I was in the streets, I was an active gang member,” said Milton. “I was a poor role model. I was more of a friend to my boys than I was a father. I should have been more of a father than a friend.”