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‘A great day:’ Family rejoices after Covington murder trial ends with guilty verdict

Lazuri Collins was found shot to death in 2017.
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:39 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - A Northern Kentucky man was found guilty on Wednesday in the murder of a mother-of-three.

Jermaine Beamon, 29, shot Lazuri Collins to death on July 29, 2017, around 1 a.m. on the corner of Wheeler and 13th Streets in Covington.

Officers say they found Collins in the driver’s seat suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Her father, Antonio Collins, was sitting in the backseat and was also hit by bullets but survived his injuries.

Lazuri was 24 years old at the time.

”It’s been a hard journey,” Antonio said. “I’ve just been trying to learn how to be humble. Today is a great day for us. It’s a great day.”

The Kenton County jury on Wednesday also found Beamon guilty of first-degree assault.

“I’m so happy because we waited so long,” said Phyllis Collins, Lazuri’s mother, said. “Four years is a long time.”

In sentencing, the defense argued Lazuri’s murder was not preplanned and was instead a mistake. They also argued Beamon “never had a chance” in life because he never knew his father and had an alcoholic mother.

A family member who raised Beamon took the stand and argued crying Beamon is not a murderer and is a “loving” person.

The prosecution countered this is Beamon’s third felony conviction involving firearms.

The jury will recommend a sentence to the judge, and a sentencing hearing will be held at a later date.

PREVIOUS | ‘ZuDay’: Family of slain Lazuri Collins celebrates her life 1 year later

Beamon was an inmate in the Butler County Jail on an unrelated sentence at the time of his indictment in November 2019.

He was extradited back to Kentucky upon the completion of his Ohio sentence at the end of that year.

“We’ve been telling folks for a long time that we wouldn’t stop until we get justice for Lazuri,” Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders said when he announced Beamon’s indictment. “This is a big step in the right direction but we still have a long road ahead.”

The prosecutor said at the time he believed the arrest should have happened two years prior, but the lack of cooperative witnesses caused police to work longer to solve the case and make an arrest.

“I grew up in this city and it pains me when a woman gets gunned down in cold blood before dozens of witnesses on a crowded street corner, yet no one saw anything,” he said in 2019.

“It wasn’t always like this, but the Covington Police stood up for Lazuri when others wouldn’t so hopefully we’ll get more cooperation in the future.”

His charges carry a possible punishment of between 20 and 50 years to life in prison for murder and 10 to 20 years in prison for first-degree assault.

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