AURORA | An Aurora gang member previously sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting an off-duty sheriff’s deputy in 2016 will spend another 10 years behind bars for a separate Aurora murder, an Arapahoe County judge decided this week.
Jahlil Meshesha, 21, was sentenced to 30 years in prison May 11 for the shooting death of 24-year-old Jahmar Leckman in an Aurora parking lot more than five years ago, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Meshesha pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case earlier this year as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Authorities said Meshesha and Prince White both shot Leckman from a dark SUV parked near East Mississippi Avenue and South Peoria Street on Jan. 17, 2016. Leckman was planning on selling marijuana to an acquaintance in the area, prosecutors said.
“This victim was killed over a couple ounces of weed,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Sugioka told the court this week. “The defendant is quite young, but he needs to learn from these lessons and take a different path. This sentence needs to be a deterrent.”
Meshesha’s co-defendant, White, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in Leckman’s murder last year.
The sentence handed down to Meshesha Tuesday adds another decade of prison time for the former Aurora resident, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence for murder at the Sterling Correctional Facility in eastern Colorado, according to state Department of Corrections records.
The new 30-year sentence will run concurrent to his current two-decade bid, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office confirmed.
Meshesha’s 20-year sentence was handed down in December 2016, several months after he pleaded guilty to attempting to murder an off-duty Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy he shot and wounded in another Aurora parking lot.
Deputy Jose Marquez was off-duty visiting his girlfriend in Aurora on Jan. 26, 2016 when two masked individuals approached him in the apartment complex’s parking lot near Rangeview High School, prosecutors said. A shootout ensued, resulting in the deputy sustaining three gun shot wounds to the shoulder and abdomen. Meshesha, later determined to be one of the two masked assailants, was shot in the leg.
The shooting made national headlines after it was revealed a bullet from Marquez’s gun went right down the barrel of Meshesha’s weapon, a shot Aurora police deemed “one in a billion.”
Meshesha was 15 or 16 at the time of the two January 2016 shootings that took place less than 10 days apart.
Leckman’s mother addressed Meshesha at the sentencing hearing earlier this week.
“The pain will always be there, dormant like a tumor, waiting to rise up without warning,” she said. “I am angry that my son is gone, but I want to find it in my heart to forgive. You are still young enough to do your time and get out and have a life. That is something my son does not have – he lost that when you pulled that trigger.”