Juvenile convicted of shooting, killing teen while playing video game will spend another year in custody

Javontay Forrest sentenced in friend's shooting death

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Wednesday in court, one family asked for forgiveness while another pled for justice.

Melinda Decker Yelder remembered the moment her life changed.

"I will never forget the phone call that my nephew has been shot,” Melinda Decker Yelder said. "His twin sister lost her other half."

Melinda Decker Yelder
Melinda Decker Yelder (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Nodaca Yelder
Nodaca Yelder (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Travon Yelder’s older sister, Nodaca Yelder, said her brother’s death could have been prevented.

“We need to watch our kids more,” Nodaca Yelder said. “Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if somebody saw him with a gun before.”

Javontay Forrest, 17, was found guilty of shooting and killing Travon Yelder while he was playing a video game in July of 2018.

Forrest was convicted as an adult of manslaughter, second degree. That charge comes with a five year sentence.

“This is an impact to us for life,” Nodaca Yelder. “We can’t get that back.”

During Forrest’s hearing Wednesday, both families spoke up to fight for their families.

Forrest’s former teachers took the stand to speak on his character, saying he was a good kid.

His lawyer asked the judge for probation. He argued Forrest “had an accident playing with a gun” and said he didn’t mean to hurt his friend.

Yelder’s family said they just want justice for the glue to their family that was peeled away from their lives.

“It has affected my mother so much because he was the man of the household,” Melinda Decker Yelder said. “Travon had nieces and nephews that he played with every day, they don’t have that anymore.”

The judge told Forrest he should not have had a gun and reminded him he will not be allowed to possess a gun for the rest of his life. He said he would not grant Forrest probation and ordered him to spend the next year in juvenile jail.

Near the end of that year, at the time Forrest turns 18-years-old, the judge wants to have another hearing.

“By the time he comes back he’s going to have (served) roughly half of this (5 year) sentence," Judge Mitch Perry said.

If the judge hears Forrest made improvement while in custody and shows remorse, the judge could release him on probation.

Forrest’s lawyer may file for shock probation before he turns 18. The judge said he would rule on that separately if the motion is made.

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