Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Pemberton Township man has been sentenced to 58 years in New Jersey state prison for fatally shooting a man in the Sunbury Village section of Pemberton Township in March 2017.
The sentence, handed down Friday afternoon by the Hon. Gerard H. Breland, J.S.C., comes after Douglas Lewis, 26, was found guilty of Murder and weapons charges in July 2021 by a jury that deliberated for eight hours over two days.
Judge Breland sentenced Lewis to 48 years for the Murder conviction, and 10 years, to run consecutively, on a conviction for Certain Persons not to Possess Firearms. Lewis, who has been in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly since his arrest in August 2018, must serve at least 85 percent of the murder sentence before becoming eligible for parole, and a minimum of five years on the firearm charge.
The investigation began on March 21, 2017 when officers from the Pemberton Township Police Department were called to the 100 block of Kinsley Road just before 9 p.m. for a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers discovered Shaquille Williams, 24, inside a vehicle with several gunshot wounds.
Williams, who lived in the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township, was pronounced dead at the scene. Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit – Violent Crimes Section, argued in court that Williams was killed as payback for robbing one of Lewis’s associates. AP Van Gilst was joined at trial by Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Hutchinson.
“This was an execution, plain and simple,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “We are gratified to be able to bring justice to the family of the victim, and appreciative of a sentence that sends a very clear message that gun violence carried out in a cavalier fashion as in this case will not be tolerated. I’d like to commend the investigators and assistant prosecutors for making a strong statement in support of public safety through their diligent prosecution of this defendant.”
Lewis was previously convicted of weapons offenses and conspiring with Brandon Clifton to kill Williams. Clifton, 23, of Pemberton Township, is awaiting trial on similar charges.
The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Pemberton Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Crime Scene Unit. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Sergeant Tony Luyber and BCPO Detective Sergeant Danielle Hann.