‘We want something done’: St. Johns County family holds protest to shed light on son’s unsolved case

Mother wants someone held responsible for 2018 shooting death of 28-year-old Lavert Durden

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Four years after a man was shot and killed in St. Johns County, no arrests have been made and his family gathered Wednesday to protest outside the county courthouse in hopes of shining new light on the case.

April Sherman wants someone held responsible for the death of her 28-year-old son, Lavert Durden.

She and other family members called for answers and action Wednesday, saying the last four years without Durden have been unbearable.

“We want to be able to go every day without crying,” Sherman said. “Every day. I cry every day. Four years, not exaggerating. Every day. And I’m tired.”

Sherman said the one thing that would give her family peace is an arrest in the case.

St. Johns County investigators said Brandon Calloway and Traevon Watson were named as persons of interest, but they were never named suspects.

Calloway is serving a prison sentence on an unrelated charge. Watson is on probation -- also for another case.

Deputies said Durden got into a heated argument near Herbert and Christopher streets with Calloway and Watson.

Durden’s family says over the years, they have not heard much from investigators and they don’t believe enough is being done.

“I know he’s probably looking down, saying, ‘Hey man, what’s going on? Really?’ We want something done,” Sherman said.

In a tragic twist of irony, Wednesday also marks six years since Lavert Durden’s cousin, Charles Durden, was shot and killed, then left in a burning car, alongside Staffon Larry. That case is also unsolved. The state attorney’s office says both cases remain open.

“Stop the violence. Stop it. We want justice. Stop the violence. Stand up for your actions, that’s it,” said Sam Sherman, Lavert Durden’s father.

Anyone with information on either case should contact the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office at 904-824-8304 or Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS


About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.