Tavon Stewart sentenced to 7 years in prison

Tavon Stewart on Tuesday was sentenced to seven years in prison for the death of Rudolph Garris in March.

As part of a plea deal, Stewart, who was originally charged with murder, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Superior Court Judge Michael Ryan handed down Stewart’s sentence, which included an additional 220 days because Stewart assaulted a police officer while in jail. Stewart was also ordered to pay $150 dollars to the Victims of Violent Crimes fund.

In issuing Stewart’s sentence, Ryan emphasized that Stewart should spend his time in jail to reflect not only Garris’ murder but also how it effects Garris’ seven-year-old son, who is going to have to live with the trauma for the rest of his life.

Ryan  said murder has a ripple effect on the greater community.

“This type of violence, while it happens with some regularity, it’s incredibly harmful to the community,” Ryan said. “The child is going to grow up with significant violence in mind. You need to think about that during your time in jail. It’s just such a sad situation”

After serving his time in jail, Stewart is subject to five years of supervised release. Specifications of the release were not discussed Tuesday. 

Stewart’s attorney, David Maxted, recommended that during his incarceration Stewart should have access to mental health treatment for substance abuse problem, which has caused him to exhibit “symptoms associated with psychosis.”

After adding that he should receive treatment for his mental health, Ryan said “Good luck, Mr. Stewart” and Stewart was led out of the courtroom.

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