Wilbert Demosthenes, 28, Devan Leggette, 23, and Anthony Hicks, 27,

Wilbert Demosthenes, left, 28, Devan Leggette, 23, and Anthony Hicks, 27, received 17 years, 13 years and 16 years in prison, respectively.

How gun violence affects public health

MAYS LANDING — Three men who were involved in a deadly shootout on the Atlantic City Expressway in August 2016 have been sentenced to prison, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said Thursday.

Twenty-three-year-old Devan Leggette, of Pleasantville; 27-year-old Anthony Hicks, of Mays Landing; and 28-year-old Wilbert Demosthenes, of Pleasantville, all pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder in early July.

On Thursday, Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury sentenced Demosthenes to 17 years in prison. Hicks received a 16-year sentence, and Leggette received a 13-year sentence.

The shootout killed Rosemond Octavius, 22, of Egg Harbor Township, and injured five others.

Four others were arrested in the shootout: Leonard Caro, 24, of Little Egg Harbor Township; Yahshaun Stukes-Williams, 19, of Mays Landing; Shaun Stukes, 38, of Atlantic City; and a 16-year-old boy.

It was part of a week of gun violence in Atlantic County that included a fatal shooting at Tanger Outlets The Walk in Atlantic City and the shooting of Atlantic City police Officer Josh Vadell, who survived.

Witnesses said shots were fired between a gold Nissan Maxima, driven by Hicks and carrying Octavius, and a white Ford Expedition beginning about 2:55 p.m. near milepost 11.2 in the eastbound lanes of the expressway.

The four occupants of the Expedition were identified as Stukes-Williams, Stukes, Caro and the 16-year-old.

A black Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Leggette and occupied by Demosthenes emerged from the far right entrance ramp and pinned the Expedition in between the Dodge and the Maxima.

Leggette and Demosthenes began shooting into the right side of the Expedition, hitting all four occupants of the vehicle.

After the shootout, the Expedition got off at Exit 9 and eventually stopped in the parking lot of the Wawa at the Airport Circle in Egg Harbor Township.

The Maxima got off at Exit 7N and eventually stopped on the Garden State Parkway after losing its front left wheel. Octavius was found dead in the front passenger seat with gunshot wounds to the head and neck.

The Ram got off at Exit 5 in Pleasantville and was eventually found on the side of a house on Oakland Avenue.

Stukes-Williams pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun in July 2018. He also pleaded guilty on a separate indictment to second-degree distributing heroin in a public zone, third-degree distributing heroin for profit within Atlantic City and fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence.

Contact: 609-272-7239 aauble@pressofac.com Twitter @AublePressofAC

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