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Man pleads guilty in drive-by that killed Durham 13-year-old

Posted December 9, 2015

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— Levette Lipscomb was charged with first-degree murder after pleading guilty Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter in a 2011 Durham drive-by shooting that killed a 13-year-old girl.

Shakanah China, a seventh-grader at Lakeview School, was playing outside a home at 7 Atka Court when someone fired several shots from a passing van. She was hit in the stomach and died.

Lipscomb, of North Briggs Avenue, and another man were arrested about a year after China’s death.

“They’re [China’s family] not happy,” said assistant district attorney, Charlene Coggins. “But quite frankly this was a 13-year-old child, and there’s nothing that would bring them or anyone else justice for the death of a child.”

A delay in the delivery of DNA evidence led authorities to drop the murder charge against Brandon Townsend. His case will eventually be dismissed due to violation of his right to a speedy trial.

With credit for the three-and-a-half years he's already spent in jail, Lipscomb was sentenced to another three to five years.

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