JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend 18 months ago as she was sitting in her car in the drive-thru lane of a McDonald’s restaurant was convicted of murder Wednesday.
Rasheed Karreem was charged in the Aug. 10, 2018, shooting death of 32-year-old Jamie Roque-Lawyer. In addition to first-degree murder, he was charged with armed aggravated stalking, armed burglary, shooting into a vehicle and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Lawyer, who had three children, was shot and killed while ordering at the drive-thru at the restaurant on Baymeadows Road. According to police, Karreem approached from behind and shot her in the head.
Karreem convinced the Circuit Judge Adrian Soud that he could represent himself and the trial began Monday. After two days of prosecution testimony, Karreem rested his case on Wednesday. The jury took 90 minutes to convict him.
Sharon Kates, Roque-Lawyer’s sister, said Kates was a mother of three boys. She said her sister was larger than life.
Karreem represented himself during the trial, which was difficult for the family.
“I think what got me the most is when (during) the closing arguments when he said about Jamie, ‘I want a moment of silence,’” Kates said. “You silenced her. He silenced her, and to look at me and to say that it disgusting.”
“He’s not going to scare us like he did her," she continued. "He does not have that power any more.”
Some of the jury members who were dismissed even waited for the verdict with the family.
“They were invited to leave, and they had been there for three days. Three very long days, and listening to the ramblings of a monster. But they said, ‘We’re absolutely staying’ and they sat with us, and they waited for the verdict with us," said Martha Kates, a family member.
The family said it plans to start a foundation for domestic violence victims, which they plan to call Jamie’s Way Out.
A sentencing hearing for Kareem is scheduled for March 16.
Karreem was previously charged with domestic battery in a January 2018 incident involving Lawyer, according to court documents.