Man pleads guilty to amended charge of manslaughter in 2018 shooting after Raines football game

‘It’s been hell. Emotional,’ says mother of Jerod Adams, teen who was killed in shooting

Robert Howard, who was arrested in the August 2018 shooting death of a 19-year-old after a Raines High School football game, has pleaded guilty to amended charges, show court records obtained Thursday by News4JAX.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Robert Howard, who was arrested in the August 2018 shooting death of a 19-year-old after a Raines High School football game, has pleaded guilty to amended charges, show court records obtained Thursday by News4JAX.

At the time, 16-year-old Howard was arrested for second-degree murder in the death of Joerod Adams. He was also charged with two counts of attempted murder — police said two others were wounded. Howard was subsequently indicted for first-degree murder.

Adams’ mother, Jameelah Murphy, said the past few years of her life have been a roller coaster — and she’s ready to find peace.

‘It’s been hell. Emotional,” Murphy said.

As the case moved along, filings show there were uncooperative witnesses, one of whom recanted her eyewitness testimony that Howard was the shooter and was arrested for perjury. One of the two people wounded also recanted a statement that it was Howard who shot him and refused to cooperate.

The state attorney’s office said there were about 200 people in the vicinity of the shooting, but no one came forward. Because of the issue with witnesses, the state attorney’s office downgraded the charges against Howard to manslaughter and aggravated battery, to which he pleaded guilty.

“It is (frustrating) because you’ve got people that tell you they’ll tell the police what happened, but then they talk to other people about it,” Murphy said.

“Only thing I didn’t like about it is I didn’t get to speak my peace in court. That’s the part that hurt me. I really wanted to speak my peace,” she added. “I wanted him to hear out of my mouth, let him know what he took from me.”

According to Howard’s original arrest report, the incident was gang-related, and he was listed as a gang member. Over the years, Murphy said, people posted these videos of themselves damaging her son’s grave.

She said she’s also heard her son’s death mocked by rappers in music videos, referring to him as Spazz.

“You took something from me that was so precious, and I didn’t get to see him have children, finish school. I didn’t get to see him graduate,” Murphy said.

Howard, now 20, was sentenced to five years in prison, with credit for three-and-a-half years served in jail. He also received 10 years of probation.