Press Release


Each Faces More than 20 Years in Prison

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Avita Campbell and her son, Raymond Jackson, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other charges in the September 2020 shooting death of a 27-year-old man in Far Rockaway.

District Attorney Katz said: “This diabolical mother and son duo teamed up to execute a man in a dispute over a relatively small sum of money. They are going to prison for a long time for a killing that was as senseless as it was brutal.”

Campbell, 40, and Jackson, 24, both of Hook Creek Boulevard, Valley Stream, pleaded guilty yesterday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant to manslaughter in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Campbell also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of personal identification in the second degree. Justice Pandit-Durant indicated that on June 5 she will sentence Jackson and Campbell to 24 years in prison and 22 years in prison, respectively. The defendants will each additionally be sentenced to five years of post-release supervision.

According to the charges:

– On September 23, 2020, the victim, Lasaaun Lawrence, went to Valley Stream to the defendants’ home looking to recoup money he believed Jackson owed him for a car repair. Jackson and the victim had a physical altercation.

– Later that day, at approximately 5:40 p.m., defendants Campbell and Jackson were seen on video surveillance getting out of a white BMW on Beach 31st Street near Seagirt Avenue in Far Rockaway. Both were armed – Campbell holding a metal pipe and Jackson carrying a handgun. The victim was in a double-parked car at the location.

– As the mother and son approached the victim’s car, Jackson raised his arm, aimed and fired at Lawrence. About a dozen shots rang out with multiple bullets hitting Lawrence.

– After Jackson stopped shooting, his mother slammed the windshield of Lawrence’s car with the pipe she was carrying, causing glass to shatter.

– Jackson and Campbell got back into the BMW and fled.

– The victim, who lived in the area, died from the gunshot wounds.

On October 2, 2020, Campbell was driving the same white BMW when police pulled her over for a traffic stop. Police executed a court-authorized search warrant and found a loaded silver and black handgun and two magazines inside a book bag. At the time of arrest, defendant Campbell was in possession of a notebook and spreadsheet with hundreds of names, addresses and social security numbers which she intended to use for the purpose of fraud.

Ballistics tests performed on the recovered gun by the New York City Police Department’s Firearms Section revealed it was a match for the gun used to kill Lawrence.

Jackson was apprehended in Florida in December 2020 and extradited to New York.

Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Selkowe, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau is prosecuting the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter J. McCormack, III, and John W. Kosinski, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Shawn Clark.

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