Moments after the man who fatally shot Sharon Tolbert’s son was sentenced Tuesday, she hugged the killer’s mother and held his 2-month-old son.
“The day I lost my child, she pretty much lost her son too,” Tolbert told the court about 18-year-old Treveon Reed’s mom.
Reed was friends with 17-year-old Jatarius Tolbert, who he mistakenly shot and killed in May.
Reed pleaded guilty to second-degree murder this year and on Wednesday, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stanley J. Rumbaugh sentenced him to 16 years and eight months in prison.
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The sentence was toward the low end of Reed’s sentencing range of about 15 to 23 years. Deputy prosecutor Greg Greer asked for 23 years and four months, but Tolbert’s family told the judge they wanted a lesser sentence.
When it was Reed’s turn to address the court, he said he became close with Jatarius Tolbert in middle school, and that their birthdays were four days apart.
“He was more like a brother to me,” Reed said. “I should have never been shooting at anybody.”
Both were near South 93rd and Hosmer streets May 11 when a Dodge Charger drove past. Reed believed the car belonged to someone Tolbert had been “having problems” with, according to court records.
Reed fired his gun.
Some witnesses told police someone in the Charger fired two shots back; one said no shots came from the car.
Police later determined Reed had fired the fatal bullet and that Tolbert walked into the crossfire.
“My client had no intention to kill his friend,” defense attorney Don Winskill told the court Wednesday. “... This client never complained, never said, ‘I want you to get me off.’ ”
Winskill said there were aspects of self-defense to the shooting, but not significant enough for a trial.
Deputy prosecutor Greer said the shooting was gang-related, which the mothers of Tolbert and Reed deny. Another factor in why Greer said he asked for a higher sentence is that Reed has an assault conviction from when he was a juvenile and was not allowed to have firearms.
“What we really ought to think about is eliminating days like this,” Rumbaugh said. “... There has to be something done to keep these guns out of the hands of kids. This week, it’s Mr. Reed, and next week, it’ll be someone else.”
Loved ones described Jatarius Tolbert, known as “Trey,” as silly and goofy at times.
His favorite line with the ladies, his mother said, was to ask: “Do you have a boyfriend?” And when they said no, reply: “Well, you do now.”
And he was immensely proud of a dish-washing job he had gotten at a cafe shortly before his death.
“You would have thought the job was at Boeing or something,” Sharon Tolbert said with a laugh.
She’s close enough with her son’s friend and killer that he addresses her as “Mom,” and she said she’s praying for him and his mother.
“I think he got sentenced the day his best friend’s heart stopped,” she said.
Reed’s mother, Tasha Hutcherson, said after the sentencing that her son is a smart kid who made bad choices.
“He better pray and go to church,” she said.
Reed has an 18-month-old daughter, in addition to his infant son, Hutcherson said.
A couple days before Reed’s girlfriend learned she was pregnant with the boy, Jatarius put his hand on her stomach and said he thought she was going to have Reed’s second baby.
Wednesday, after both families embraced and Sharon Tolbert held the infant, she smiled and said it’d be up to his father to “tell him about his Uncle Trey.”