Teen’s Facebook post leads to arrest for murder

Reginald Lofton, age 14 and Jermaine Young, age 21(Photo Credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office)
Reginald Lofton, 14, and Jermaine Young, 21 (Photo credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office)

The murder of a pizza deliveryman in Gwinnett County, Georgia, has been tied to a 14-year-old Black teen because of Facebook. Police have accused Reginald Lofton, 14, and Jermaine Young, 21, of Lawrenceville in the shooting death of Shane Varnadore, 28, who was found dead of a gunshot wound last week. Police were able to track down the suspects a day after the incident and a search warrant was executed on the apartment where the suspects lived. Police discovered a gun and magazine clip hidden in pancake mix boxes in the kitchen of the apartment. In addition, police also found three empty pizza boxes hidden behind a washer and dryer, which also tied the boys to the murder.

Hours before the killing, Facebook pictures showed both suspects holding the weapon with readable serial numbers visible. The suspects blamed each other for pulling the trigger. Lead investigator in the case Gwinnett Police Detective Matthew Kenck interviewed Lofton and Young and stated, “There were several times during the interview when the facts changed, the story changed.”

The pair was arraigned this past Friday and face charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery. Police have stated that Varnadore was lured to the apartment complex where the suspects lived and was shot and left for dead on the street. The 14-year-old teen will be tried as an adult for his role in the senseless killing.

The family of the teen encountered the victim’s family outside the courtroom after the arraignment and expressed their sorrow over the murder of Varnadore. Lofton’s sister, Porsha Porter, is quoted as saying, “It’s hard. It’s stressful for both families, especially for a 14-year-old boy.”

Jermaine Young has been booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center, and Reginald Lofton is being housed at a metro regional youth detention center. Both are being held without bail for the killing.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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