Durham County

Peaks pleads to involuntary manslaughter, is sentenced, immediately freed. Here's why

Anthony Peaks Jr. pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Thursday in the shooting death of Javaun Devonte Graves, 20, on June 11, 2015.

After being credited for time served while awaiting trial, he was released immediately.

Peaks, who had already spent 957 days in jail, or about 2 years and 7 months, was sentenced to a minimum of 16 months to 29 months in prison, less than he had already spent locked up.

“Which is at least 31 months,” said Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson Jr., referring to Peak's 957 days behind bars. “Therefore the defendant has served the maximum sentence in this case and is not subject to any further incarceration or supervision by the State of North Carolina or the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections in this matter.”

"I don't think the sheriff has any interest in keeping him longer than his sentence," Hudson said of Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews, whose office runs the Durham County jail.

Graves was found wounded after police answered a call about shots having been fired on the night of June 11, 2015.

Graves had been shot in the side in a driveway between 802 Atlantic St. and 706 Atlantic St. while standing next to a vehicle and talking to his girlfriend.

“It penetrated and went in, but did not have an exit wound at that time,” Durham County Assistant Attorney Stormy Ellis said in court.

The young child of Graves' girlfriend was nearby when the shooting occurred.

Investigators have since alleged that Terry “Red” Jones pulled the trigger on the shot that killed Graves. Jones is being held in the Orange County jail on charges involving an unrelated double homicide.

Phone records indicted that Peaks was instrumental in getting Jones to the scene of the crime, Ellis said.

What started as an argument at a bus stop ended up as a homicide, Ellis said, Peaks' discussion of the original argument over his cellphone helped to escalate the situation.

“They started something for which the proximate cause was the eventual death of Mr. Graves,” Ellis said.